Frequently asked questions.
Some Helpful Hints to Success with the IBS Audio Program 100®
Do take the time to read the information provided here for you – It will help make the journey a smoother one and reassure you that you can feel better.
Just about everyone who has completed Mike’s IBS Audio Program 100® has enjoyed the benefits of reduced or eliminated IBS symptoms and the related anxiety and other IBS thought patterns and concerns.
Over the years of helping people, there are always a few common considerations by people on their journey with the sessions.
Many times, the same questions are asked over and over again, and this is because as human beings, we have these same feelings when beginning something new, and especially with something that may be a last resort to finally address IBS.
Because there are these common threads, Mike has incorporated most answers to common questions into the program and we have provided them here as well –
Before asking questions – there are a few things you can do to reassure yourself right away that will be helpful to you:
Listen again to the Commentary Introduction –
and do it sitting up in an alert “mode.” This is CD one, Track one, and it is NOT a hypnotherapeutic session, but rather an information track.
This is suggested because when folks first listened to the program back in 1998, some of them had questions later on as they progressed though it. Back then, Mike had you listen to the introduction once at the beginning, and by the time listeners were farther along in the program, they had forgotten that some of the answers to the concerns they had were already addressed in that introduction. So that may be one place to consider for immediate assistance. Because of this, Mike now has you listen to the introduction a few more times within the schedule and this has really been helpful!
Read your entire booklet before starting the program –
and refer to it again when you have a question. Many times the answer is right there. Also, we realize that sometimes we do read it and still have to be reassured that “in our particular case” it still applies. If your basic concern is IBS, then it does apply. But the program does not address generalized anxiety disorder in the broad sense, (though it may help), nor will it address gastrointestinal disorders that are not functional (you need an IBS diagnosis from a physician), nor will it address co-existing medical or psychological concerns or disorders. It was not meant to, and it won’t. It is not a cure-all or substitute for in-person medical care for other conditions. This doesn’t mean that the sessions cannot indirectly help you to cope with other medical or mental concerns, it may be able to help there, but it is not designed to do that.
If you have ordering concerns, or lose your schedule, etc.
then use the contact page on the website where you purchased the program, or call the toll-free number, and we will happily assist you. Though you may be assisted there, message or support group bulletin boards are not intended for purchasing or shipping inquiries, nor specific or detailed questions or concerns regarding the program.
If you have a private concern,
that directly pertains to IBS and the program, and you cannot find the answer here or in your booklet, then you can call the toll-free number or use the contact page on this website. Please be aware that even though Michael prefers to answer as many questions as he can himself, due to the increasing volume of correspondence he receives, it is not always feasible to do so. Please review all information provided on these pages and in your program booklet to determine the need for inquiry. Michael usually responds to questions in between seeing patients at his surgery, so some delay will be expected; and some replies may come from one of his associates.
Additional Common Questions and Concerns
It is OK to fall asleep –
Your mind still takes it in – if you fall asleep naturally during your session, then this is what your body needs at that time. Your subconscious still takes in information up to about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Since the sessions are about 1/2 hour in length, you are covered! Mike talks about this in the introduction and the booklet. Do not be concerned in the least if you fall asleep.
Getting off track with the schedule –
This is mentioned in your booklet – Just use good common sense with this – if you miss one day, go back and relisten one day prior to the one you missed and carry on from there – each day missed, is another session back from where you left off to relisten to. If you don’t listen to your sessions for a full 2 – 3 weeks, then just start over from the beginning. If you are more than half-way through, then back-track to where you left off. A few blips and missed days here and there, that are not re-listened to, won’t derail you that much, so don’t get too obsessed about it – however, respect the schedule as much as possible, because it is the OPSIM (Ongoing Progressive Session Induction Method) that is a part of how successful you will be with the program.
This also applies to travel – if you don’t think you can keep to the schedule on a trip, then apply the guidelines there too, or perhaps opt to restart the program once you are back into your routine.
It is probably best to start the program when you know you can devote the proper listening time and follow the schedule as accurately as possible.
If you find that you accidentally repeated a day’s session or two, just carry on with the schedule from that point, once you discover it and be sure to take the scheduled day off if applicable. No need to backtrack in this case. A few repeated days is no cause for concern.
Symptoms Temporarily Returning – Mind-armies – and shadow fears.
This sometimes happens – we hesitate to mention this, because it doesn’t happen to everyone, and rather not give the idea that it “could” happen. But at times, the subconscious mind fights the new thought patterns, and some initial progress is lost temporarily, and the IBS comes back for a brief time, then finally dissipates and improves again. To the patient, it might seem that the symptoms came back even worse than before. This can sometimes happen – and it is usually for folks with long-term severe refractory IBS that this is a possibility. However, this can even be encouraging in a way.
Don’t panic – just know that you did feel better before, and you can do it again. After all, you didn’t get IBS in just 100 days, so be patient and know that this too shall pass, and continue with the sessions.
Getting sick and listening.
If you get the flu, cold or other similar ailment, you may wish to take a break in the sessions until you feel better. It is not mandatory, but sometimes the sessions become linked with the illness, and it just takes longer to sort that out. Again, use your own radar and sense – if the sessions make you feel better, then it may help you cope with your illness; it is up to you, but that is an option. Then if you do take a break, follow the make-up sessions guidelines in the booklet and mentioned above. And of course, for the same reasons, it is best not to begin your initial listening to the program if you are ill.
While it is perfectly fine to listen to your session if you are in the midst of an IBS “episode,” to help you feel better and get through it, you should also consider listening when you are feeling better and relaxed for your scheduled session.
If sadly, you become afflicted with a serious or long-term illness or confinement, again, use your own good judgment – it may be that listening to the sessions could perhaps be helpful in coping with the illness or with sleep just as an added benefit, but the sessions are not intended to treat other conditions.
Becoming Impatient with your Progress –
Ensure you don’t try too hard, the greatest enemy is impatience! You cannot consciously speed up or rush this process. Simply let the subconscious work with mind and body in their own time. And of course we are all different, all unique, and therefore you cannot compare yourself to others, only to yourself.
Repeating the program –
The booklet gives the time-frame for this, if you wish to listen again. It is not always necessary, but some folks do. As individuals, symptom resolution isn’t always a one-size fits all deal. Some sufferers with very severe long-standing refractory IBS have completed the program 3 times and then had very good results. Usually, if after the first round, you at least notice that you have had better sleep, or a bit less negative thoughts, or just the beginnings of feeling more hopeful, another round will most likely get you further. Again, the program is not a cure – there will be some folks who for various reasons may not get help from hypnotherapy; but this method has the highest success rate of symptom reduction – AND this is usually based on folks who have tried everything else first. So that is extremely encouraging.
If you have had some progress with the first round and wish to repeat the program, you may consider beginning a bit sooner – after a month or so – but you may listen to your favorite sessions in between times, as desired.
Daydreaming and mind wandering –
NORMAL, normal, normal… listen to the introduction! Did you ever have the radio on in the background, not really listening, but then suddenly you heard something that brings your attention to what they are saying? Well, that is because the subconscious still is monitoring things all the time, even when you are thinking of other stuff. This usually subsides a bit as you go along, then it can come and go, but don’t worry about it; when you realize you are doing it, then just bring your thoughts back to the session.
If you are on them, continue with them – especially if they are prescriptions; always consult your doctor. If they are OTC, (Over the Counter) then take them if they help you, and as you progress you may find you don’t need them as much or at all. One of the outcomes of the program, is reduced or elimination of need for medications. Of course this pertains only to IBS medications – this does not apply to other prescription medications, including SSRIs, etc. for other conditions. Again ALWAYS consult your physician regarding any of your prescription medications.
Everyone puts their own spin on the visual imagery provided in the sessions – don’t ever worry if you do it right or wrong – you always do it right for you – you will adjust the imagery to suit what is needed for you.
Also – PLEASE do not ask specific visual imagery questions on support group message boards or share imagery details with others – the reason is then you are coloring others’ visualizations of the sessions – everyone should be able to approach the session in its pure form. Please be considerate and not “spill the beans” of imagery content to others. Again, if you have a very specific problem, ask on the contact page of the website.
Concerns of the Recently Diagnosed –
With recently diagnosed IBS patients there often appears to be a subconscious willingness to work with the hypnotherapy, yet at the same time the subconscious has not yet completed its understanding of the presenting and developing symptoms. It’s like a story is unfolding and the subconscious wants to know the outcome. Yet you are working to prevent the outcome being known. This is fine, and desired, and yet the subconscious puts up a fight. It knows it is being prevented and therefore tries harder, by slowing progress, and also by working hard to re-establish the symptoms, and frequency of presentation.
The first thing is to take away the importance of the IBS. Remind yourself you are in control, your thoughts create different responses. Take away the importance of the IBS and the symptoms decrease. Also, by taking away the importance it takes away the need for the subconscious to know the end of the story, its not important, and just as reading a story to a child at bed time who has heard the story before, the child drifts into sleep. Because the story is no longer a mystery, the outcome is known, so no longer important and therefore no longer desired.
Be patient with yourself, and remember that listening to the program is a journey and a process – just as you must take a complete course of antibiotics in order to fully address an infection, so too, the time needed to complete and partake in the program is a part of your healing. Allow yourself to complete the process and thereby progress forward at your own pace that your subconscious knows is best for you.
Do certain foods cause IBS?
No, certain foods don’t “cause” IBS, though many individuals gradually link various foods with symptoms. After completion of the IBS Audio Program 100®, a vast majority of individuals are again able to eat once “forbidden” foods. It may be noted that food indiscretions are not IBS, as many individuals who do not have IBS, have food indiscretions.
Are there any side effects?
Any side effects are feelings of well being and calmness. Because the processes are natural, not intrusive in anyway, no drugs or potions, or manipulation, there is no way that negative side effects could be developed.
Hypnotherapy is not Stage Hypnosis, which is completely different from the Clinical Hypnotherapy processes used in the program.
What does the IBS Audio Program 100® contain?
It contains 4 CDs , a reference booklet, which contains a progress log/symptom check list, listening schedule and other information relevant to IBS sufferers. The recordings contain a clear introduction to IBS and Hypnotherapy, and 5 different hypnotherapy processes, each one building on the previous one. The 4th BONUS CD, is The IBS Companion which provides a concise, easy to understand explanation of IBS, medical testing, and other pertinent information for family members and other individuals in the IBS patient’s life.
How long do I have to listen to the program.
The program is structured (refer to informational booklet enclosed with program) and is completed over 100 days, with rest days allocated in-between. After the initial listening, users are encouraged to listen to the final session for a little while, to ensure the learned processes are imbedded into the subconscious. In all there are 20 ‘rest days’ where no listening of the program is required. Some individuals prefer to continue listening to their favorite sessions as desired upon completion of the 100 day program.
What can I expect when using the program?
Initially most listeners can expect a general feeling of continued calmness and deepening relaxation. Improvement of IBS symptoms is realised within varied time-frames for each individual. There is no need to worry about having any pre-conceived time-frame for feeling better. Just allow the program to do its work, and be sure to complete it according to the provided schedule. No matter at what point during or after program completion that you begin to experience symptom improvement, it has been shown that the majority of listeners continue to experience on-going symptom mitigation in the months and even years that follow.
What is the best time to listen to the recordings?
Whatever fits best into your daily routine. Some folks listen in the morning, some prefer after the day has finished, it is really up to you. It is suggested that you listen at the same time each day if possible, so that you get into a routine, but it is not mandatory. Those who listen at night feel that it is helpful for peaceful sleep; others listen in the morning as an energizer for the day. Many people find that hypnotherapy can be a “power nap” if done in mid-day.
Do people ever become clear of IBS?
Yes, there are those that do in fact walk away from IBS after completion of the program. However, we do not call the program a cure. Technically, medical diagnosis indicates that there is no physical cause for the condition and is primarily diagnosed by exclusion of other illnesses.
Although the mind-gut connection has been identified in clinical studies, without a physical problem, few doctors would use the word “cure.”
This however does not detract from the fact that a good percentage of people do become symptom free. There have been articles and books that do use the term “cure” with respect to hypnotherapy and IBS, and while the vast majority of sufferers receive benefits, as with all treatment methods, there are those who are helped to lesser degrees. The encouraging component to this is that hypnotherapy usually is considered as a last resort treatment, and provides benefits when all other methods have failed. At the very least, most IBS sufferers find that they are better able to cope with their symptoms, are more relaxed and sleep better. But the vast majority do see substantial reduction or even elimination of their IBS symptoms along with the anxiety and improvement in the brain-gut connection which is such a strong component of IBS.
Do symptoms ever return?
While the mind-armies situation mentioned previously is applicable while in the middle of the program, this also can happen sometimes once the program has been completed and there has been a good response. Improvement for most individuals is very subtle and gradual. Some people find that their symptoms get better, then come back again for a while. This happens with some people for two reasons. One is that IBS has been with the individual for such a long time that the old negative IBS thoughts come back while trying to resist the new positive thoughts. These positive thoughts become stronger and stronger until the old IBS thoughts become old and weak and gradually dissipate and symptoms again improve. Much is dependent upon duration and severity of symptoms of the IBS.
Also, the individual must remember that as human beings, we all experience digestive symptoms from time to time, and it isn’t necessarily the IBS coming back.
If this should happen to you, do not get discouraged or give up. Most individuals find that they are able to get through this and go on to better and better improvement. Be encouraged that even though this is a possibility, it does not preclude that you can’t go beyond it. You will be better soon and you know that there are those who went before you who came through this just fine!
Again, we hesitate to even mention it, as it does not happen to everyone, but if it does happen, don’t let this discourage you or upset you in the least.
What are the benefits of using the program over seeing a hypnotherapist in person?
First, finding a hypnotherapist who has the background, training and is a specialist in the knowledge of IBS is a task in itself. However, in the UK, you may find a qualified IBS hypnotherapist if you refer to the UK Register of IBS Therapists. The UK is one of the leaders in using hypnotherapy for this condition, some hospital gastroenterology departments employ hypnotherapists for this condition. But there may be a long waiting list, and this may mean weeks or even months of continued suffering.
The IBS Audio Programs are available now – only a few short days away if you order the hard copy – and if you download your program – you can begin listening TODAY – and begin your journey to feeling better right away!
Cost might be a constraint.
The price of the IBS Audio Program 100® is very cost effective in that, in many cases, it is equivalent to, or even less than, the fee charged for ONE session of live one-to-one clinical hypnotherapy.
No appointments to keep, or traffic to travel through.
Comfort. Developed for home use, no unfamiliar noises, odors or surroundings, this allows you to be truly ‘at home with your program’.
Can I set my CD player to play back only today’s session?
Almost all CD players offer a “Programming” feature which allows a listener to set the order in which tracks are played back. This feature can also be used to make the CD player play one track only — for instance, the day’s session on the IBS Audio Program 100®.
Because there are only two tracks on each disc of the IBS Audio Program 100®, you will only have to program your player when listening to track 1. When you play track 2, the player will stop automatically at the end of the disc.
Read the owner’s manual for your CD player to learn how to program your specific model. After programming the day’s track, be sure that your CD player is not set to “repeat” mode, to avoid hearing the track more than once.
If you do not have an owner’s manual handy, try using these generic instructions as a guide:
Many CD players can be programmed by the following steps:
1. Make sure the CD is stopped.
2. Press the button labeled “program” or “memory.”
3. Using the forward/reverse buttons, select track 1.
4. Press the button labeled “program” or “memory” once more, to add the track to programmed play.
5. Press play to finish the program and start the playback.
To play track 2 only, just skip forward to track 2 and press play; the player will stop automatically after the track.
If you are shopping for a new CD player, look for terms on the player packaging such as “playback modes,” “memory features,” “track selection,” and “favorite track,” which indicate that the player has a programming feature.
What if my CD won’t play correctly?
Our CDs are 1st generation productions, professionally recorded in a state-of-the-art sound studio, duplicated with the latest technology and are tested before being packaged for proper playback and consistent product quality.
In the unlikely event that your CD(s) should skip or have improper playback, try playing the CD in another CD player. Usually this solves the problem. Determine whether the CD is not playing back properly, or if your player is malfunctioning.
Make sure your CD is free from debris, and handle with care to avoid scratching and abrasion.
If you have no other CD player, play another CD in the same player. If you still have a problem, with a different CD, then the problem is with the CD player.
Try cleaning the player if applicable, according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Please be aware, too, that many portable CD players have a limited lifetime, and can become unreliable after a while. Also check to see if your skip control is “on” if your player offers this feature. Sometimes this will easily solve the problem.
If the CD continues to playback incorrectly, please state clearly where the problem begins by indicating the running time in minutes: seconds into the CD, and a clear description of the fault. This will help us to ascertain the fault and reduce waiting / checking time, expediting replacement process if CD is found to be defective.
Should a CD be returned that is not defective you may incur associated postage and handling charges.
We hope that this page has addressed all of your questions about the IBS Audio Program 100® – but if not, feel free to make your inquiry on the contact page! We will be happy to assist you in any way that we can!
Enjoy your journey to feeling better!