Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There is mounting evidence that irritable bowel syndrome's symptoms (IBS) respond very well to clinical hypnotherapy. NHS research proves hypnosis offers an excellent likelihood of giving you welcome and long term relief for this condition.

Hypnotherapy can help with IBS*

The exact causes of IBS are unknown. However it has been suggested that there is a strong link between stress and IBS. What seems to happen with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is that the bowel becomes super sensitive and responds with violent contractions or spasms to stimuli such as stress or simply eating a meal.

With Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, I could help in the following ways*:

  • Enhance healthy digestive functioning and decrease pain by using cutting edge Gut-directed hypnotherapy suggestions whilst within a gentle relaxing trance state
  • Decrease sensitivity in the guts with metaphors
  • Teaching you powerful creative visualisation techniques to continue self care between sessions
  • Helping you to focus on how you want things to be with solution Focused therapy, thus Programming in a new, positive reaction to stress triggers and greater coping abilities
  • Understand and overcome the underlying issues affecting IBS
Just a few weeks from now, you no longer had the burden of IBS, no longer had the mad rushes to the loo, the worries about what you eat.....

What you would be able to do.... Go to the restaurant? join that Salsa class? or just get on with your life, free of pain?
What often proves to be the most unexpected benefit is that there is no longer the need for medication or extreme exclusive diets.

To book your initial consultation to discuss how Hypnotherapy can help your Irritable Bowel Syndrome,
call 07731 784 254 or  

*Results may vary from person to person

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel syndrome is a common digestive disorder. Perhaps 25% of the population are affected. It affects both men and women equally and can occur at any age.

Symptoms vary from person to person, ranging from being a nuisance for some to seriously affecting quality of life for others. The symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain (mild to severe)
  • Change in bowel habits (pain, constipation or chronic diarrhoea)
  • Bloated abdomen, passing excess wind, feeling sick and indigestion.
In 10% of cases, symptoms are severe enough to interfere with normal life, such as work, travelling, social activities. 

(NB. These symptoms may be caused by problems other than IBS. You should visit your GP for advice). 
The precise causes of IBS are not known but doctors suggest it could be brought on by a variety of things such as food (fatty foods, foods that give wind, fizzy drinks, tea or coffee), exercise, hormones and stress. It may be a combination of the above factors. 

However, it is generally accepted that psychological issues play a major role in triggering the symptoms.
Stress is a major factor in IBS. Sufferers have a bowel that over-responds to stress: it has become hypersensitive and their pain threshold is lowered. 

The Research

The pioneering research of NHS consultant Dr Peter Whorwell in the UK (supplemented by Olaf Palsson in the USA) has now shown that treatment of IBS with hypnotherapy can have an impressive success rate, even in cases where all other forms of therapy have failed. The response rate to treatment is 80% and better in most published studies to date.

Dr  Whorwell's NHS research shows that the improvement continues long-term. This success story has been picked up by the media. 

Hypnosis offers excellent prospects of success with IBS. There are various claims for how many sessions are needed. Whorwell's authoritative research indicates that up to 12 sessions may be needed, but it can be less. 

Some Research Papers:

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 study is the earliest and perhaps the best study in this research area to date, as it was thoroughly placebo-controlled and showed dramatic contrast in response to hypnosis treatment above the placebo group. Thirty patients with severe symptoms unresponsive to other treatment were randomly chosen to receive 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 central symptom. The hypnotherapy group showed no relapses during the 3-month follow-up period.

Graph adapted from the above paper, showing group differences in two of the main IBS symptoms:

Lindfors et al, Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Feb;107(2):276-85. Effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy on IBS in different clinical settings-results from two randomized, controlled trials. This pair of controlled research trials in Sweden investigated the effects of 12 sessions of gut-directed hypnotherapy for IBS in two different clinical settings. In study 1, 90 patients were randomly assigned to receive either hypnotherapy or supportive therapy in psychology private practices, whereas in the second study 48 patients were randomly assigned to either gut-directed hypnotherapy or a waiting list in a small county hospital. Gastrointestinal symptom severity and quality of life were evaluated at baseline, at 3 months follow-up and after 1 year. In both the studies, IBS-related symptoms were improved at 3 months in the hypnosis groups but not in the control groups. In study 1, hypnosis produced a significantly greater improvement in IBS symptom severity than in the control group.

*Results may vary from person to person