Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects one person in five and is the world’s most common functional gastrointestinal disorder. Symptoms include abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from your GP if you feel you may be suffering from IBS.

It has now been shown that in some cases emotional triggers, which affect the function of the central nervous system (or brain) by virtue of the connections of the brain gut relay, can affect the intestines. This in turn can bring about a nervous reaction in the gut. These emotional triggers could be stress or anxiety, or physical or verbal abuse for instance.

A given amount of stress has been shown to have a greater adverse effect on intestinal reaction and sensation than in non-sufferers. Certainly, many sufferers consider that stress is an important factor and is responsible for triggering flare ups of their symptoms.

Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology in the School of Medicine and Director of the South Manchester Functional Bowel Service, discovered a way to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) using hypnotherapy. More recently, 250 patients who have suffered from IBS for over two years were given twelve one-hour sessions, during which they were given an explanation of how the gut works and what causes their symptoms.

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. The treatment has a success rate of about 70%.*

Gut-directed hypnotherapy is a special form of hypnotherapy developed for IBS and digestive disorder sufferers. It uses the therapeutic qualities of hypnotherapy, such as deep relaxation, and adds gut-specific treatments and suggestions.

We know that IBS can be exacerbated by anxiety or stress, and that the subsequent worry about the IBS can perpetuate the effects. Hypnotherapy can get to the root of the problem, giving you the tools to manage any stress that may be making the IBS worse, and by using positive suggestion increase your confidence in your well-being to reduce sensitivity in your gut.

Please remember, with Clinical Hypnosis you remain awake and in full control of your actions during treatment. It’s simply a pleasant and very beneficial relaxation.

I receive referrals from local Gastroenterologists as they understand that hypnosis can help alleviate the symptoms of IBS, especially where anxiety is concerned. Please do call and arrange an initial consultation so we can chat through your individual situation.

* Data from the University of Manchester School of Medicine