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Psychological Stomach Pain

If all physical causes have been ruled out for stomach pain, then it’s likely the cause is psychogenic. This means something we have suffered or are perpetuating psychologically is triggering a mind-body response and leading to physical symptoms of pain.

The phrases “gut reaction”, “butterflies in the stomach” and others are so common because we are aware that our stomach is one of the first places we feel strong emotions such as fear or anxiety. These feelings tend to be temporary and with an obvious cause. However, when the stomach pain or dysfunction such as bloating, diarrhoea or constipation is chronic and medical investigation has failed to find a physical cause, then it’s our emotional lives that we must examine.

If we have no outlet for negative emotions such as sadness, fear or anger they create tension in the body mind system which can express itself as pain or dysfunction in the stomach. Trauma such as abuse, attack or accident which has not been processed can also be held in the gut because we “cannot stomach it” ie we have not faced up to and acknowledged the emotional legacy of such incidents. How we perceive our life can also contribute to digestive disorders. If we hold resentments, anxieties and other negative emotions around how we feel we have been treated in the past or what we fear may happen in the future, these negative perceptions have physical impacts. Frequently if we examine issues from all sides and breakdown our perceptions, we see many parts are unfounded and can therefore release the negativity surrounding them.

Psychogenic stomach pain is often mis-diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Stress and anxiety can inflame the digestive tract and create muscle tension which leads to stomach pain. Medications prescribed for these symptoms will bring relief by chemically subduing the symptom or numbing the pain. However, if the underlying problem has been  a failure to recognise unprocessed emotions the symptoms will return as soon as the drugs are stopped, or we are committing to a life on medication.

Zen Ten Spa’s psychotherapeutic support and associated body therapies enable us to safely process pent up emotions, develop coping mechanisms and release the physical tensions that manifest as stomach pain and digestive issues. Book us now on : 07709 101010 

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