The MOVE IT Center, under the direction of Hayat Mousa, M.D., diagnoses and treats children with disorders of the nerves and muscles of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. These problems lead to difficulties with the passage of solids, liquids, and gases through the digestive tract. Symptoms of these types of disorders, called “motility disorders,” include difficulty swallowing, abdominal bloating, diarrhea or constipation, poor appetite, nausea, and chronic abdominal or chest pain.
In addition to having a thorough physical examination, patients at the center may have laboratory, X-ray, breath hydrogen, and endoscopic testing. Many patients will also undergo manometry (measurement of pressures and muscle strength in the esophagus or intestine). In the course of their treatment, patients and their families may work with dietitians, physical therapists, psychologists, and surgeons.
Clinical hypnosis and guided imagery are techniques that have been proven to help many children and adults with chronic abdominal discomfort. These therapies are performed at our center by Rebecca Cherry, M.D. Dr. Cherry is a pediatric gastroenterologist who received special training in medical hypnosis.
Hypnosis or guided imagery sessions typically last about 30-45 minutes and are performed every two to three weeks. Up to eight sessions may be required. Between sessions, patients are asked to practice these techniques, often with the help of a customized audio recording.