Rebecca* was referred to me by her family doctor in May 2021. She had been experiencing persistent digestive issues since 2013. She had been diagnosed with IBS, and also had a history of depression and anxiety.
While she had been struggling with digestive issues like very loose stools, bloating, incomplete evacuation, and stomach pain since 2013, the situation was worsening, and she wasn’t sure what to do. She had experienced some traumatic life events in the months leading up to our first meeting. In addition, she had a history of PMS but an increase in cramps and was experiencing pain to the point of vomiting during her menstrual period.
Quality of life
As a first year high school teacher, Rebecca could not afford to continue living with a lack of predictability, discomfort, and pain. She needed her body to be more dependable. She could not afford to miss school on account of pain, discomfort, and anxiety.
Shift Your Gut Therapy
I worked closely with Rebecca on a 12-week digestive health restoration program I developed called Shift Your Gut Therapy. In this program, we include:
- temporary food eliminations (hypoallergenic approach to diet)
- dietary enhancement (increasing/introducing foods that are known to be beneficial to digestive function such as increased fiber, prebiotic and fermented foods.
- specific movements that support digestive health (stretching exercises, yoga poses)
- daily tummy massage
- increased hydration.
- daily nervous system support (food choices/deep breathing exercises/ end of day brain dump)
As different layers were introduced, and through daily tracking and observation, we soon concluded without a doubt that Rebecca’s root cause of symptoms was anxiety/a highly engaged nervous system.
I had recently learned more about gut-directed hypnotherapy and of the role that it could play in modulating heightened visceral sensitivity for IBS patients.
In Canada, it was nearly impossible to find a practitioner who could deliver this service on an individual basis. In my search I learned about Nerva. I did my research and as a practitioner, took myself through the six-week program to discover what it was all about.
I was very impressed and knew that I had some clients for whom the gut-brain connection was a significant and likely root part of their picture.
I felt that Rebecca could benefit greatly from this addition and I introduced the Nerva app and process to her daily protocol.
With daily application, there was a consistent pattern of symptom reduction. In Rebecca’s case the Nerva app replaced our daily deep breathing exercise. She completed the six week program, and we noticed in our daily and every four week tracking, that her general symptoms had reduced significantly.
She has since noticed that without it in her daily life, she has had a more difficult time regulating her stress. We have discussed the maintenance component and the continued application of daily deep breathing practice as part of her go forward plan.
Rebecca felt that the Nerva process was a brilliant complement to the 12 week Shift Your Gut Therapy Method, and enjoyed and learned a lot from the readings included in the program as well.
Nerva, a year on
Just over a year later and Rebecca’s entire circumstance has changed.
It is significant to note that Rebecca feels strongly that the daily tracking and observation component helped identify specifically which layers were of greatest benefit to her. With consistent attention to the stress management piece, she has managed to live with nearly absent or reduced symptoms. As a final piece of Rebecca’s puzzle, we did reintroduce the previously eliminated foods and she is managing them without flare up or symptoms.
Her mood is more balanced, her periods are less difficult, and she really felt that the Nerva app helped her to regulate her stress, which made a huge difference in her quality of life.
Rebecca’s stools are no longer loose, they are better formed, more predictable and the constant nag of stomach pain is no longer present.
Our goal was always to discover the root of her issue, develop a most liberal nutrition plan that did not include restriction or elimination and help her live her life in a more predictable manner, and symptom free.
Rebecca is thrilled to have achieved all of these benchmarks and so am I.
As a practitioner, I have since introduced a few more clients to the Nerva app. I am finding that among those, the ones who commit to it daily, are in fact, seeing improved results via symptom reduction.
About Bonnie Wisener
Bonnie Wisener is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is the Founder of Shift Nutrition and Wellness and Creator of the Shift Your Gut Therapy Method, a comprehensive group program that combines personalized patient support alongside group education.
Talk to us about joining our healthcare practitioner network, Connect. You will receive free, full access to the six-week Nerva program and educational resources to help you refer clients to gut-directed hypnotherapy.