Help with IBS

It took a long while for IBS to even be recognised as a condition and given the variety of symptoms associated with IBS, it is in a sense a catch all diagnosis made by doctors when no specific cause can be found for the problem in the digestive system. It is a complex syndrome and also one which doctors find difficult to treat. As you will see below scientific studies have shown that hypnotherapy has a good success rate.

IBS and Stress

Hopefully new, more effective medications for the treatment of IBS will come on stream over time and boost the range of medications currently used in the treatment of IBS. However, it is thought unlikely that a single “silver bullet’ medication will ever be found given the complex nature of the condition and the fact that there is psychological factor to the condition itself and it’s treatment.  There is evidence that stress sufferers are more prone to IBS and to quote from the IBS section of the NHS website “Reducing your stress levels may also reduce the frequency and severity of your IBS symptoms.”  – click here to read in full.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Apart from medications, common methods used to attempt to control IBS include changes in diet, various alternative medicine methods, probiotics, and psychological approaches. Among alternatives to medication, only psychological treatments have sufficient research base to back up their use in IBS. The jury is still out on the case for other options like homeopathy, probiotics and enterically coated peppermint oil capsules. (click here for further information about probiotics and IBS)

Among psychological treatments tested for the disorder, hypnosis treatment has shown the highest success rate in replicated studies (see links below) with studies commonly showing an impressive 80% or more of the treated patients improving, and improvement commonly lasting for at least a couple of years*. Click the links below if you would like to read for yourself more about recent scientific research on the impact of hypnotherapy on IBS.

*Results may vary from person to person

Greater use of hypnotherapy to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Research list produced by an independent source –  a psychologist who is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at a US university

University of Gothenburg Research study reported in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology

The Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome; A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (US National Institute of Health)

Professor Worrell’s Research

One of the leading researchers is Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at UHSM’s Wythenshawe Hospital, who has been researching and treating disorders of the gut for over 30 years. He oversees research into the clinical, epidemiological and pathophysiological aspects of gastrointestinal disorders as well as caring for large numbers of these patients from all over the UK

Prof. Whorwell is renowned for pioneering the treatment of IBS with hypnotherapy – and his published research provides evidence of its effectiveness. According to Professor Whorwell, IBS is ideal for treatment with hypnosis.  He says:  “We’ve found it to help all the symptoms, whereas some of the drugs available reduce only a few.”

Benefits

Thanks to the work of Professor Whorwell and others, hypnotherapy is now acknowledged by the medical profession as an effective treatment for IBS, by itself  or combined with medication and other treatment options. While there is no guarantee that it will work for you, it does have advantages which makes it a really attractive option for many IBS sufferers with chronic and severe symptoms:

  • The treatment often helps individuals who have failed to get improvements with other methods.
  • It is a uniquely comfortable form of treatment; relaxing, easy and enjoyable.
  • It utilizes the healing power of the person’s own mind and is without negative side effects.
  • The treatment sometimes results in improvement in other symptoms or problems such migraine or tension headaches, along with the improvement in IBS symptoms.
  • The beneficial effects of the treatment last long after the end of the course of treatment. According to research, individuals who improve from hypnosis treatment for IBS can generally look forward to years of reduced bowel symptoms.

As stress can often trigger IBS symptoms such as spasms, cramps and other reactions affecting the small or large bowel, I find that my IBS clients  benefit a lot from just learning how to relax well in addition to my use of powerful visualisation techniques and body/mind reprogramming in hypnosis*.

For further Information about IBS…

If you would like to know more about IBS – click here   The IBS Network is a national charity offering advice, information and support, to improve the quality of life of IBS sufferers and raise public awareness of the condition. You’ll find much more information there about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, publications, handy hints for coping with IBS and the latest news.

*Responses may vary from person to persosn