IBS and hypnotherapy

If you have received a medical diagnosis of IBS then you might want to see what hypnotherapy can do for you. It’s important that you have been given a medical diagnosis of IBS though, as any reputable hypnotherapist will want to be sure that your GP has ruled out any other pathological cause of your symptoms.

A diagnosis of IBS can be somewhat depressing and you might be under the impression that your bowel is going to rule your life. For some people, their symptoms are so severe that they cannot even consider going on holiday, outings or any other of the fun things that most people would consider normal. Many people with IBS find the condition so debilitating that it completely takes over. So if you have been diagnosed with IBS, it could be uplifting to consider that there might be something that can give you back your freedom.

Hypnotherapy for IBS

It’s encouraging to consider that with around 12 sessions of hypnotherapy (everyone is different so it’s difficult to be precise) you could be experiencing a normal life again. I think in modern life, we are used to having a quick fix and ideally, that’s what we want. But a quick fix isn’t always available, although, if you have suffered from IBS for years then you may see some improvement after a few months of hypnotherapy.

When you start out on a fitness regime, you don’t expect to become fit after your first visit to the gym. That, of course, would be fantastic but realistically it will take time. The investment in your health and well-being is well worth the time.

The link between the brain and your gut is an interesting one and effectively by undertaking hypnosis to help your IBS, you are learning to use your mind to help control your gut.

In his book 'The Second Brain' Michael D Gershon, a professor and specialist in anatomy and cellular biology at New Yorks’ Columbia University, documented his 30-year study based on research. Gershon states that the two brains; the upper brain and the abdominal brain must work in tandem or there will be chaos in the abdomen and 'misery' in the head. Gershon’s research demonstrated that there is evidence of reciprocal chemistry operating between the two brains via the vagus nerve which supplies the upper digestive tract and the organs of the chest cavity and the abdomen.

Hypnotherapy has been used in a number of RCT (random clinical trials) to test its effectiveness with IBS and the results have been very positive. In the region of 70% of patients gained relief. There are a number of medical research papers that have documented the efficiency of using hypnotherapy to treat IBS and these are downloadable from the internet.

According to an article published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, hypnosis was first used to treat IBS in a clinical trial in Manchester in 1984 (Whorwell, Prior & Faragher 1984).

There is no one treatment that is effective for all people and often its a combination of treatments that gives the best results. The most important thing for me is that clients have as much information about their condition as possible and that they know what choices of treatment are available to them.

Currently, there is a lot of research being done into the gut microbiome (gut bacteria) and how important this gut bacterium is to our health and well-being, there may be some interesting links that are yet to be explored here.

For more information on this check out the BBC programme on this subject.

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Written by Jane Harbord - Clinical Hypnotherapist & NLP Practitioner

Jane Harbord is a Wellness Coach with over 15 years in complementary health.
Jane is passionate about helping people to wellness.
She is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Coach and qualified Homeopath, registered with the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths.
Registered member of the Complementary Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)… Read more

Written by Jane Harbord - Clinical Hypnotherapist & NLP Practitioner

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