We love finding all-natural ways to deal with various symptoms in the body, and now a small clinical trial shows that a combination of mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga may help soothe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a Reuters report.
In a study of 75 women with the digestive disorder, researchers found those assigned “mindfulness training” saw a bigger improvement in their symptoms over three months than women who were assigned to a support group.
The mindfulness training included lessons on meditation, gentle yoga postures and “body scanning,” in which people focus their attention on one body area at a time to detect muscle tension and other sensations.
Three months after the therapy ended, women who’d undergone mindfulness training, on average, had scores on a standard 500-point IBS symptom questionnaire that fell by more than 100 points, with a 50-point drop considered a “clinically significant” improvement, according to the report.
In contrast, women in the support group averaged a 30-point decline, according to results in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
In other news, Dr. Gerard E. Mullin, M.D., author of “The Inside Tract,” posted a blog on Huffington Post offering his top 5 natural remedies for IBS:
- Stress reduction – He explained negative thoughts have a major effect on digestion, and recommended techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga and even hypnosis.
- Diet – As food is a trigger for IBS, Dr. Mullin often puts patients on an elimination diet, cutting out common allergens, such as corn, soy, dairy and wheat, he said.
- Acupuncture – Dr. Mullin reported some research has found a link between acupuncture and the reduction of IBS symptoms.
- Peppermint Oil – This can calm intestinal spasms, and often provides “rapid relief” for those with IBS, Dr. Mullin stated, recommending people take capsules of it. “Look for enteric-coated peppermint oil and take 0.2 mL in capsule form two to three times per day with meals,” he said.
- Probiotics – Friendly bacteria, or probiotics, have also been found helpful in studies.