Gut feeling? IBS & Hypnotherapy

Updated: Feb 22

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system. It's usually a lifelong problem and I know all too well that can be very frustrating to live with. IBS is diagnosed by eliminating any other medical reason for the symptoms. This means it can often be a long and frustrating journey to diagnosis. Symptoms may well be exacerbated by worrying about the condition which in turn can prolong and perpetuate the symptoms. A pretty vicious, and painful, cycle.



Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine & Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, has been researching the use of hypnotherapy to manage and treat IBS since the 1980s. His work has demonstrated that over 60% of IBS sufferers who used hypnotherapy seen significant long-term improvement and even the complete disappearance of symptoms, often with no recurrence. Hypnotherapy is now acknowledged within the medical profession as an evidenced-based therapy that can help alleviate the symptoms of IBS. The National Institute for Clinical and Care Excellence (NICE) lists hypnotherapy as one of the treatments to help with IBS.


Gut-focused hypnotherapy, as we call it, is about inducing a state of deep relaxation and teaching people to take control of their very real, physiological symptoms. Hypnosis has been shown to reduce symptoms such as gastrointestinal sensitivity, the strength of muscular contractions in the gut and gastric-acid secretion in people with IBS.
Peter Whorwell - nature - Q&A Peter Whorwell

It was Peter Whorwell who diagnosed my IBS. The immediate impact was that I was just so relieved to get a diagnosis after such a long time. There was a strong link between my IBS and anxiety, stress and depression. Did IBS cause this or did these cause IBS? I still don't now. He recommended a number of measures to help with the conditions, including hypnotherapy. This dramatically reduced my symptoms and it also gave me the confidence to change my life. I directly attribute hypnotherapy as the reason I went for a got a promotion at work. It gave me the confidence to move to the countryside. Ultimately it led to me studying hypnotherapy and making it my career. It changed my life.


Whilst not everyone may see such a dramatic impact in so many aspects of their life, hypnotherapy really can help with IBS. Get in touch to find out more, book a free consultation and find out more about hypnotherapy whether face to face in Hebden Bridge or online.


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