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you have already discussed this; I'm relatively new here. I have been seeing a therapist to learn RSA Breathing to manage the symptoms of my IBS-D. I also suffer from lower back and sciatic pain. I asked my therapist if there were any biofeedback techniques he could teach me that would lessen the excruciating pain I've been in for the last month. I was diagnosed 7 years ago with an extruded L-5 disc, which was pressing on spinal nerves. It seemed logical: I had a high pressure, sedentary working life, I was overweight and didn't exercise. I was the poster child for lower back problems. My chiropractor told me that I had little hope of rehabbing the injury unless I was willing to lose weight.He gave me some exercises to do, and eventually I got a little relief. But I kept having recurrences of the pain, usually after doing the least little thing you would think would have any effect. 2 years ago I finally got serious about things and started the Atkins Diet, and doing aerobic and resistance training. I lost 45 pounds and seemed to have banished my pain.About a month ago my world came crashing down around me with the return of excruciating pain. I thought that I would surely have to have surgery, an idea I had vigorously resisted until now. My rehab exercises didn't seem to be having the effect they had before, and my chiropractor had moved out of the area. I was THIS close to putting my situation in the hands of the medical establishment.Then, while grimacing in front of the therapist who was teaching me a biofeedback technique for managing my IBS-D symptoms, he suggested I might want to read the books written by Dr. John Sarno. Dr. Sarno was on the staff at NYU's School of Medecine, and had some interesting ideas about low back pain, and other stress-related conditions.My local library had a copy of Sarno's "Mind Over Back Pain", and I checked it out. I was stunned to find that he believes that low back pain is not a structural problem in many cases, but (in effect) the body's reaction to repressed anxiety. His basis for this belief is that many patients who were diagnosed with degenerative disc disease had no pain, and many patients who complained of low back pain had no structural problem. Biopsies of the muscle tissue of these patients showed a buildup of cellular wastes indicative of oxygen starvation due to constriction of blood vessels--a classic anxiety reaction.He began subjecting his low back pain patients to seminars designed to educate about the harmful effects of anxiety--manifesting themselves as physical symptoms--and patients started getting better. We're talking about people who had had multiple surgeries and were still in pain. I believe that the same holds true for IBS. That is, get rid of the anxiety and the IBS symptoms will eventually disappear. I see this therapist again next month, and plan to discuss further therapy to deal with the underlying anxiety issues. Note: I finished the Sarno book 3 days ago, and after a brief period of inner turmoil, am starting to feel better--both in terms of lower back pain AND IBS. I hardly think this is coincidence. I was generally skeptical when studying Freud back in college in the 70's, but there may be somthing to this. It's worth exploring, particularly if it avoids expensive surgery that often makes things worse! Will keep you posted as things unfold.
 

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Marius,That could be for many people. However, once I treated my IBS successfully with hypnotherapy, my anxiety eased. I was diagnosed as agorophobic at one time, so the anxiety was really bad. There is a little bit more to it with IBS I think. The mind-gut connection is strong. The gut is considered the "second brain" as many of the chemicals found in the brain are also found in the gut. This is one reason anti-depressants work well for IBS. Also, IBS is considered a motility problem, IBS patients are hypersensitive to sensations in their guts.I'm not dismissing what you have said. I believe there is a strong connection with stress, anxiety and IBS. However, it tends to be more than relieving stress. It takes a combination of techniques to relieve IBS symptoms.All the best,AZ
 

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I believe my anxieties were hiding behind my IBS symptoms, because as soon as my IBS cleared up, I experienced anxiety attacks. Once I was able to walk myself through this episode, and healed it, I have not had an IBS attack in three and half months. I believe for me, the anxiety theory rings true. I'm always looking for creative ways to deal with stress and anxiety, so I've joined a drumming circle. I've heard that drumming can be an effective means for promoting and maintaining health and well being. There's another interesting class that's new it's called Healthrythms. It is a program like rhythmic yoga, what ever that means? I'm going for the first time tonight. I hope to have a creative workout for mind, body and spirit. The regular drumming circle is really cool! I'm a dancer and I love the drum beat and the rhythm. Hope to stay a head of the anxiety issue. I think the author of that book you mentioned is right on. Lori
 
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What Marius is saying only adds credence to the validity of the mind-gut connection theory. Regardless of what method is used to release or reprogram the causes of anxiety, the results may well be the same;relief from pain, including that connected with IBS. Keep us posted Marius, I find that information quite interesting. willie
 
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