Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that affects 1 in 5 people in the UK and can occur at any age. People suffering from IBS often notice that there is a strong connection between stress and IBS which is why hypnotherapy has shown to be an effective treatment.

What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Sometimes, the sensitivity of the bowel can become so prominent that the symptoms interfere with our daily life. They are often characterised by frequent rushes to the loo, abdominal pain and sensitivity to certain foods. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include:

abdominal pain
Excess wind
Sensitivity to food

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

It is a generally accepted opinion that IBS is triggered by psychological conditions. Still, the above-mentioned symptoms can occur in some different occurrences, so it is good to consult your GP for opinion. In most cases, individuals suffering from IBS are affected by stress or have psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. There is now a significant body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in relieving the symptoms of IBS.

The effectiveness of hypnotherapy for IBS

Dr Roland Valori, of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said that hypnotherapy can help irritable bowel syndrome and has been referring his patients for this mode of treatment. ‘It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect.’, he said. It is well known that people can suffer from IBS during stressful situations and hypnotherapy can help them learn how to reduce their stress level and be more calm and in control.

Whorwell PJ; Prior A; Faragher EB. Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome.The Lancet 1984, 2: 1232-4. This was the earliest formal study of hypnosis treatment for IBS and remains to date one of the best studies in this research area, as it was thoroughly placebo-controlled and showed dramatically greater improvement from hypnosis treatment above the placebo. Thirty patients with severe symptoms that had been unresponsive to other treatment were randomly chosen to receive either 7 sessions of hypnotherapy (15 patients) or 7 sessions of psychotherapy plus placebo pills (15 patients). The psychotherapy group showed a small but significant improvement in abdominal pain and distension, and in general well-being but not bowel activity pattern. The hypnotherapy patients showed a dramatic improvement in all IBS symptoms. The hypnotherapy group showed no relapses during the 3-month follow-up period.

Hypnotherapy has proven to be an effective solution in relieving the symptoms of IBS and now there is significant supporting evidence documented in a number of clinical studies. If you would like to know more about studies and research on use of hypnosis for IBS, you can find it here.

To book an initial consultation and find out how hypnotherapy for IBS can work for you, contact me via email or by calling 07827061637.

* Results may vary from person to person