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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  1. Woman with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Says Imagery Helps

    We just found this feedback to the IBS/IBD imagery on our website and it’s very encouraging.  We decided to post it to inspire others to try imagery for their irascible guts. 

    Lisa writes:

    After having had great results with your Successful Surgery CD, I ordered this one as well. I've been listening every morning for several weeks and am already experiencing a calmer, happier, much less reactive gut. I highly recommend it for those with Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis. Thank you for introducing me to the soothing, supportive experience of guided imagery.
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  2. Does Imagery Work For Crohn’s Disease & IBD?

    Any research on efficacy of guided imagery for managing Crohns Diseease?  My 20 year old daughter is recently diagnosed and I want to find resources for her.
    Thank you.


    Dear Paul,

    There’s nothing definitive - I can only find small pilot studies - but I can certainly point to some promising results from them.  One study out of the University of Manchester yielded excellent results with 15 patients suffering from severe inflammatory bowel disease, who were on corticosteroids but were not responding to their medication.  These patients were given “gut-focused hypnotherapy” (guided imagery) and were followed for an average of 5.4 years.

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  3. Effects of relaxation and stress on the capsaicin-induced local inflammatory response.

    Researchers at the University of Iowa studied how 3 conditions: stress, relaxation and a control condition, can affect an inflammatory response artificially induced by injecting capsaicin, the pungent compound in chili peppers, under the skin. 50 subjects 28 men and 22 women were pre-trained in relaxation, using an imagery-based relaxation tape, and then randomized to one of the experimental groups a 20-minute stress test, a relaxation tape or a video control, followed by a capsaicin injection in the forearm. Digitized measurements of flare were taken for 1 hour after the injection, as well as measurements at regular intervals of cardiovascular variables, cortisol, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, and norepinephrine. Investigators found that the size of the maximum capsaicin-induced flare was significantly smaller in the relaxation group than in the stress or control conditions, which appeared about the same. Increases in norepinephrine, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure during the experimental task, but not after capsaicin, significantly predicted size of maximum flare and total area under the curve of flare measurements. The study concludes that stress reduction may well affect local inflammatory processes. Results are consistent with sympathetic modulation of the effects of relaxation on the flare response.

    Citation: Lutgendorf S, Logan H, Kirchner HL, Rothrock N, Svengalis S, Iverson K, Lubaroff D. Effects of relaxation and stress on the capsaicin-induced local inflammatory response. Psychosomatic Medicine 2000 Jul-Aug; 62 (4):pp. 524-34

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