Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gut. With IBS, an individual’s bowel is extra sensitive and the nerves and muscles do not work as they should. The condition causes re-occurring pain or discomfort in the abdomen and an altered bowel habit.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. IBD typically included Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Symptoms can vary but they typically include diarrhoea, fatigue, abdominal pain, blood in stool and weight loss.
Hypnotherapy for these two conditions involves the hypnotherapist inducing a trance-like state to relax the client and then the use of suggestions to decrease stress and anxiety levels and also modify the way in which the client sees their gut working. It is not meant as a CURE for IBS/IBD but it can help to have control over the symptoms and reduce the stress and anxiety which often go hand in hand.
The type of hypnotherapy that I use is called Gut Directed Hypnotherapy (GDH)which was developed in 1984 specifically for IBS patients, but can also be used for patients with IBD too as some of the symptoms are very similar. People with symptoms such as anxiety, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and/ or constipation have the highest success rates.
Typically, GDH works best with a minimum of 6 sessions. Ideally these are carried out weekly or fortnightly and a CD will be given out to listen to at home.
IBS & IBD Hypnotherapy
As with any form of hypnotherapy, its success relates to your commitment to it. Commitment to attending sessions and listening to the CD will enable you to have the most favourable outcome.
In 2008, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Evidence) published guidelines for G.Ps and consultants stating that there was good evidence that hypnotherapy was an effective treatment for IBS and that it could be recommended for chronic IBS.
As IBS and IBD are medical conditions, it’s important to consult your doctor first for information, advice and a diagnosis.
Hypnotherapy for IBS/ IBD – £60 per 60 minute session