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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

How can hypnotherapy help with IBS?

People with IBS have a bowel that over-responds to stress (so instead of simply emptying the bowel when stressed it spasms) and also is hypersensitive and so the pain threshold is lowered.

Hypnotherapy is an ideal treatment for IBS for the following reasons:

  • It is excellent at lowering stress and anxiety levels, both the general level of anxiety and also hypersensitivity to stressful situations.
  • It is powerful and effective at pain reduction – very effectively removing the perception of pain.

How many sessions will it take?

The number of sessions depends on the cause and degree of the stress and anxiety and the client’s individual circumstances. As a guide, usually about four sessions are required.

If your anxiety is particularly high then the Lightning Process is an option to be considered. Please contact Helen for further advice.

Although hypnotherapy has is very effective in the treatment IBS, it is still regarded as a medical condition. If you think you might have IBS then the first thing to do is visit your doctor to get their diagnosis and advice. Once you have established with the doctor that your condition is IBS and you believe that hypnotherapy can help you please contact me.

IBS Research & Guidance

In February 2008 the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), which gives guidance to the NHS on effective treatments, published guidance for GPs and consultants saying there was good evidence that hypnotherapy was an effective treatment for IBS and that it could be recommended for chronic IBS.

That guidance can be accessed here:
NICE Guidance for IBS – Quick Reference (PDF 169kb)


IBS Research – Manchester University, Professor Peter Whorwell

Research by Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology in the University’s Medical School showing hypnotherapy to be effective in over 70% of cases

“IBS is ideal for treatment with hypnosis, as there is no structural damage to the body,” explained Professor Whorwell. “During the hypnotherapy, sufferers learn how to influence and gain control of their gut function, and then seem to be able to change the way the brain modulates their gut activity.”

“We’ve found it to help all the symptoms, whereas some of the drugs available reduce only a few,” he said

Read the full article here.


IBS Articles from the BBC

BBC: Kings College experts advise doctors to consider hypnosis for IBS
BBC: Hypnotherapy effective for IBS
BBC website: Hypnotherapy works for bowel pain
Researchers at Witherington Hospital in Manchester found hypnotherapy helped 71% of patients with IBS and the improvements lasted five years.

* Disclaimer
Please note results may vary.