IBS Treatment: Hypnotherapy

IBSIt is estimated that between five and eight million people in the UK alone suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Sadly, many spend their lives experiencing the effects of finding little or no relief from conventional treatments such as diet and medication.

IBS is considered a minor condition although the symptoms can include; diarrhoea and constipation, painful bloating and swelling of the abdomen, and food intolerances.

Hypnotherapy is a treatment that can aid those who have not responded to conventional treatments.


What Happens during a hypnotherapy session?

Forget about what you may have seen on television or in a theatre show; hypnotherapy is not about making a fool of yourself. It is a relaxed state of being where positive suggestions are made to your subconscious. A session typically lasts an hour during which you enter a hypnotic state. Clients are given an in-depth explanation of how the gut works, what causes their symptoms and learn to influence and gain control of their gut. Quite often they are given a recording/CD so that they can practice self-hypnosis between sessions.


Is IBS all in the mind?

It is not known for sure whether IBS is a psychological disorder, but it is thought not to solely be one; therefore, treatment should not be merely physical or psychological, but rather a combination. What is known is that stress can make symptoms worse but is not the cause.

It is unknown how gut-directed hypnotherapy works, but it may influence the way the brain modulates gut activity. In laboratory testing, hypnosis has shown to reduce gut sensitivity.


Does Hypnotherapy work?

Overall success rates are around 70 per cent with women seeing better results than men. Typically, sessions are individual, but success has been shown in group sessions.




“It helps all the symptoms, whereas some of the drugs available reduce only a few of the symptoms. However, men don’t do quite as well as women.”

Prof Whorwell


Where can I get treatment?

Unfortunately, guy-directed hypnotherapy is not available on the HNS, so private is the only current option.

Chris Fleet, of Fleet Hypnosis and The Devon School of Hypnotherapy, is a qualified hypnotherapist that works with those who are suffering from IBS. You can arrange a free, no obligation consolation by telephoning The Devon Clinic on 01803 500300 or email chris@fleethypnosis.com.


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