IBS Awareness Month
Irritable Bowl Syndrome or IBS is one of the most common stress related Symptoms I see people in my clinic with. This can be a painful and embarrassing condition, which many people put up with, and can be hugely exacerbated in times of stress. Pains in the gut, bloating, excessive or trapped wind, and constipation or sudden diarrhoea are some of the most common symptoms.
In Chinese Medicine, IBS can be related to the emotion of grief or sadness, or not wanting to let go of something in your life. The bowel is designed to release waste matter; if there is something that is no longer required in our lives, and we are hanging on to it emotionally, not wanting to let it go, this can manifest in the physical state of constipation or IBS.
It also can relate to our personal boundaries in life. If we find ourselves being pushed into areas or situations we are not happy with – say in work or a relationship, or we feel out of control, this can also contribute towards IBS symptoms. Our body is literally trying to assert control over what is released or struggles to contain matter.
So often in consultation with clients who are struggling with IBS when I start to explore some of these areas with them it turns out to be exactly what’s going on for them at some level in their lives.
With the support of Shiatsu we can begin to address those areas of difficulty which are so often the underlying cause of stress and the aggravating factors for IBS, and the body begins to respond, with a decrease in symptoms.
There are a few things you can do for yourself in managing IBS day to day.
Most importantly look at what you can do to reduce your stress levels: (and keep an eye out for my blog posts on managing stress).
Shiatsu is a space where emotions and symptoms can be explored in a safe and supportive way, enabling the receiver to relax and in this relaxed state the body begins to heal. In my practice I offer time to explore what’s going on, and support people to find ways of helping themselves to a better state of peace and ease in their lives.
Ultimately we are all responsible for our own health, and one of the practices I often recommend to my clients to help improve their health and wellbeing is that of Qi Gong (pronounced Chee Gong). This is an ancient practice with is similar to Tai Chi in that it is a series of slow movements working with the breath, but is designed to activate and improve the Circulation of our Qi (chi or Ki) which we work with in Shiatsu. By bringing this practice into your daily or weekly routine, you are nourishing and supporting your body's inbuilt system, as we do in Shiatsu, building health, wellbeing and resilience.
I often show clients a few simple Qi Gong exercises, but nothing beats an actual class! For clients in Bristol I would recommend taking a look at this website www.qigong-bristol.co.uk which list local practitioners and classes available. and also explains a little about Qi Gong and some of the benefits!If you can't make a class, you can find heaps of instructional videos on the internet too. Why not give it a go and see how you feel?!
Maybe see you there!!
Author: Hannah Currant
Hannah is a Shiatsu and EFT Practitioner based in Bristol.
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