It is interesting to note that more and more medical studies are confirming that stress and psychological disturbances are often related to chronic constipation. Many psychologists concur with the chinese system of medicine which associates ‘inability to let go of past hurts or memories, or difficulties in coming to terms with grief and loss’ as a common factor in patients with chronic constipation.
In fact, in one study it was said to be “a powerful determinant of outcome, shaping (the patients’) response to treatment.
- Another study revealed that “psychological treatment is feasible and effective in two thirds of those patients who do not respond to standard medical treatment.”
- All the evidence suggests that psychological therapies are superior to medical management alone.
- Physical diseases including cancer, heart disease and even skin complaints have been helped with Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy.
The power of suggestion and mental imagery is a tool all too often overlooked but which can be of immense help to constipation sufferers. Remember also that constipation is a stress related condition and Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy are both excellent aids to help control emotional stress.
A controlled study in Europe involving 266 patients found that psychotherapy can improve the therapeutic possibilities of drugs, diet and surgery. Psychotherapy combined with relaxation and removal of stress were considered along with the personality of the patient before the outbreak of chronic digestive disorders .
It was suggested that unknown emotional conflicts such as depression and mental ability may influence the course of these diseases.
(1) Irritable bowel syndrome: assessment of psychological disturbance and its influence on the response to fibre supplementation. Fowlie S; Eastwood MA; Prescott R Gastrointestinal Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, U.K. J Psychosom Res (ENGLAND) Feb 1992, 36 (2) p175-80
(2) A controlled trial of psychological treatment for the irritable bowel syndrome [see comments] Guthrie E; Creed F; Dawson D; Tomenson B Department of Psychiatry, Manchester Royal Infirmary, England. Gastroenterology (UNITED STATES) Feb 1991, 100 (2) p450-7
(3) Psychologic considerations in the irritable bowel syndrome.Whitehead WE; Crowell MD Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Gastroenterol Clin North Am (UNITED STATES) Jun 1991, 20 (2) p249-67,