Irritable Bowel Syndrome or “IBS” is essentially a nervous system condition. Even though the symptoms of IBS are in the gut area; Gas, bloating diarrhea, and constipation are the most common symptoms. There are not any issues with the intestinal tract, rather a brain-gut communication issue. One way to think about it is that the muscles in these areas are spasming or not functioning properly. This condition effects possibly 40 million people in the U.S. alone.
The key to working with IBS is to lessen anxiety. Yoga, as we know, is well suited for this. Many people with IBS present with other indicators of anxiety, however, it is chicken and egg. Is it the IBS causing anxiety or anxiety causing IBS? In terms of treatment, it may not matter what is causing what since the system must be balanced and anxiety lessened to reduce symptoms.
In clinical practice I’ve found it useful to assess the individual and determine what type of practice will lead to less anxiety. In terms of directly soothing nerves in the gut area, it is best to let the breath do the work. I have seen it suggested that certain poses are best for IBS. I believe it’s more the breathing practice and matching a style of practice to the individual’s needs that produces results.
Below is a general practice that incorporates breathing practice, forward bending, back bending, and twists in a combination that will stimulate the gut-brain connection without irritating the digestive tract. This practice can be modified to suit individual needs but is a good starting point.
May this information be helpful for all those suffering.
Interested in helping others as a certified therapist? Check out yoga therapist training courses that we offer at Breathing Deeply.
PDF Version: IBS Practice
Breathe in, breathe out. Looking for a therapeutic yoga definition? Learn what yoga therapy is and what it can help treat from Breathing Deeply.
Welcome to episode 2 of the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy and Meditation Podcast! At Breathing Deeply we offer Yoga Therapy Foundations and IAYT Advanced teacher training programs. Inside these programs, we have weekly Q&A sessions with students and Breathing Deeply founder & lead teacher. Brandt Passalacqua. This episode has been taken from a live Q&A […]
Today’s episode is a recording taken directly from a live Q&A session with Breathy Deeply founder, Brant Passalacqua and students of our Yoga therapy foundations program. Brandt covers how a yoga therapy session usually flows, whether you need to specialize as a yoga therapist, the difference between depression and anxiety and how to approach mental […]