SUPER GI NERD ALERT!
January 7, 2023JAMES “JED” FOSTER, JR., MA, LMFT
Attention Long Distance Voyagers! Have you heard? VIRTUAL REALITY not only shown to lighten up your moody blues, it could prove a powerful tool in managing GI symptoms.
What do hypnotherapy and virtual reality have in common? They’re both immersive experiences that engage our senses. Both have also shown to be effective in the treatment of pain and mood disorders, and it looks like virtual reality may soon join gut-directed hypnotherapy as an effective means of treating the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders.
Full disclosure: I own a VR headset, and I use gut-directed hypnotherapy daily in working with our patients at Behavioral Health Specialists at Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Health. I also deal with chronic pain due to subjecting my joints to too much wear and tear over the years. So, when Dr. Troy passed along this article from GI and Hepatology News (https://www.mdedge.com/…/virtual-reality-emerges…), I have to admit that I got downright giddy. It just makes sense that virtual reality can engage our brains in a way that can distract us from our discomfort and keep us present, engaged, and even enthralled.
As a “technogeek” that seems to need the latest drone, Apple product, video production app, and virtual guitar effects package, I get pretty ramped up by the idea of bringing technology into the office as a primary means of treatment or adjunct to other scientifically tested treatments. Now look, I’m not saying that it’s time to set up a VR arena in the office that looks like Professor Xavier’s Cerebro (X-men reference. Yep. Marvel geek too.). I’m not. We’re not quite there yet; however, it is something to look forward to. In the meantime, we do engage the senses and creative nature of the brain with gut-directed hypnotherapy to provide patients with an experience that has been proven effective in managing a wide range of GI symptoms (please visit www.ibshypnosis.com for numerous resources regarding gut-directed hypnotherapy). This work has been among the most fulfilling of my career as I’ve watched patients learn how to access their own ability to manage their body’s stress response and increase their overall well-being. Potentially adding more tools to the stress and anxiety toolbelt gives our patients and me more options in tailoring a treatment plan that hastens their journey to wellness.
Our providers are well-versed in all the latest treatment options for IBS (and other causes of altered bowel habits) including nutritional interventions, optimizing the mind-connection with gut directed hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, and utilizing the huge variety of potentially beneficial supplements and medications. One size does not fit all – you need to have an individualized treatment plan.
We are eager to help IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE and have you THINK LESS ABOUT YOUR GUT. Call 224.407.4400 or visit compgihealth.com to schedule a consultation.