Beyond IBS

My recovery from IBS

My personal journey of lasting natural recovery from IBS

I struggled with a range of digestive symptoms since childhood.

Over four decades, my symptoms have fluctuated along with stress. Ranging from unbearable and at times to quite subtle. The lowest point of all was travelling alone in Thailand in 2005, and being physically unable to make my way from my guest house to the airport to catch my long-awaited return flight due to painful spasms. I laid curled up and stuck on the bathroom floor for a few hours until I felt capable of making it to the guest house reception to book back into a room. I felt pretty worried and alone, not to mention uncomfortable.

It was a long journey through uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms.

Change is possible


I experienced digestive symptoms for so long that they felt like part of who I was. Having had them since I was about 4 years old, I didn’t know any different, but I was keenly aware that for a lot of people their bowel movements just sort of happened without needing to ever really think or worry about it.  

I don’t like to take medications unless I have to and I felt anxious about how long I had been relying on low level medications to manage my symptoms. Deep down I wanted my digestive symptoms to function naturally and find balance.  I always knew that stress was impacting my symptoms.

As I learned about my gut health from a root cause perspective, I discovered that lasting change could be a reality and I committed to healing myself. My belief that recovery is possible grew as I understood how and why my body was trying to cope with stress. 

Self healing - without restrictive lifestyle changes

IBS is a collection of symptoms and these symptoms can vary for different people. What is often common to all sufferers is that it’s chronic and has often built up over years. There is not an instant switch we can flick to turn it off, but by understanding and addressing my ‘why’ I have found a path to recovery.

I’ve learned how and why my digestive symptoms started and took hold – and by walking my path in reverse I have gently supported my intestine to self heal – without restrictive lifestyle changes or any side effects.

For some time I blamed food sensitivities and avoided gluten because it did bloat me out. But I noticed as I deepened my awareness of the impact of stress, that my gluten sensitivity was present when I felt stress. 

Understanding irritable bowel syndrome


The gut is a common place where we hold stress. Most doctors accept that stress is a major factor in IBS. But unfortunately, we are mostly told to Many IBS ‘manage stress’ as part of managing overall symptoms. This can feel really demoralising and we can feel alone with our symptoms.

Managing stress did help me a little: when I consciously breathed into my belly, I my intestines would relax, calm and soften. But in my day-to-day life, I didn’t always have the time or focus to stay connected to these stress management techniques. They could help a little with today’s stress, but I had underlying what residual stress in my belly.

My root cause

My gut symptoms had been triggered a long time ago, due to stress and trauma which my gut had was holding onto, as an attempt to protect me.  I needed to support myself to let this old stress go and move forward. 

My gut was stuck in fight or flight. There was past stress in my digestive system and current day stresses were constantly re-triggering it. My intestines were holding onto issues that remained unresolved and painful – and it was going to hold it until I stopped, paid attention and made peace with myself… Whereas, I had been denying myself and trying to keep the peace with everybody else.

Sometimes self healing our symptoms involves processing old emotions in our body.
Sometimes it means shifting negative thoughts to more empowering ones.
Sometimes it involves making actual changes in our lives and relationships to look after ourselves.
Sometimes it is all of the above.

I experienced lasting change when I set healthy boundaries, was true to myself and started committing to keeping myself safe. Then my gut healed. For me, reaching that point of readiness and courage to make those real life changes firstly required me to release the guilt, fear, shame and anger that had previously kept me in hypervigilance.

Repair and regeneration


Once I had processed my feelings, limiting thoughts and blocks, I was able to make relationship changes. Then, my gut shifted over the duration of a week or so. My digestive system was finally processing my past experiences and letting them go. It was uncomfortable, but that is what my digestive system’s purpose is – to digest, process and then eliminate what isn’t healthy or wanted. 

Despite the changing and uncomfortable symptoms as my gut healed, I understood our body’s natural healing cycles; that these symptoms were a process. I knew what to expect and why because the root cause approach is based in biology and anatomy. 

Since, I have not woken with a churny, tense gut in the night, or those awful night sweats – and I have felt peace and space in my belly… And I am empowered in other areas of my life, because this journey has lead to better overall self care and it has freed me to move forward in lots of new ways.

Ready for change?

How I can help

I use a targeted 10 step process to help you connect with your symptoms and understanding of what is really going on. You will learn that you have everything you need within to self-heal.

Start today with awareness

I’ve created a free guide to help you begin exploring the why behind your IBS symptoms using simple steps and self care practices that can be used at home. 

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