Heat Therapy

Direct heat is a tremendously effective muscle relaxant, and can be wonderfully beneficial for most IBS symptoms. When your gastrocolic reflex has triggered colon spasms, and pain, diarrhea, or constipation have resulted, direct, intense lower abdominal heat can relax the colon and offer quick relief.

In addition, heat can provide unparalleled relaxation and thus help prevent stress-related attacks in the first place, not just alleviate the cramps and bowel dyfunction once they've already begun.

If you have access to a Jacuzzi, steam bath, or sauna, take advantage of this and try engaging in regular sessions of heat-induced bliss. A hot oil massage, especially with aromatherapy, can work wonders too.

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Make a particular effort to try heat therapy right before any upcoming stressful event – it's a great pre-emptive strike. It really doesn't take much effort to try this approach. A simple hot bath will do, or even a long hot shower. You can also wrap yourself up in an electric blanket, or apply a hot water bottle, hot pack, or heat wraps directly to your abdomen.

Use of a heat pack is particularly beneficial for women when it's used in anticipation of menstrual cramps. Try direct, intense lower abdominal heat the day and night before you expect to be in pain, and odds are you will significantly lessen both your cramps and the likelihood of a related IBS attack.

Heat wraps that can be worn directly on your abdomen beneath clothes are extremely helpful when you're dealing with IBS symtpoms but cannot take the day off. These wraps stay hot for up to eight hours and provide continuous heat to relax your colon and relieve symptoms. They are a wonderful invention for IBS!
   

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