Abdominal Cramps - IBS Treatment Hypnosis

IBS Treatment Hypnosis

Sadly, there is no known cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can help relieve the symptoms and help you feel more comfortable.

Hypnotherapy is now recognised as a highly effective treatment for IBS. It is recommended by the NHS as well as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The NICE guidelines recommend that those who have lived with IBS for over 12 months and not responded to pharmacological treatments should be referred to psychological interventions such as Hypnotherapy, CBT and others.

A number of clinical studies have shown that hypnotherapy can improve quality of life and overall well-being. Additionally, hypnotherapy can also help reduce bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Nice Guidelines: “the benefits of treatment by drugs were lost shortly after the treatment stopped, which contrasted sharply to hypnotherapy where they were found to be long-lasting”. This study was of the treatment of a statistically important 250 patients. The therapeutic gains were shown in the same study to have lasted for 5 years.

It has been found that six hours of hypnotherapy is effective in the treatment of IBS. However, some cases have seen results after only one or two sessions. Your progress will depend on how your IBS affects you. We will devise an individualised plan with you.

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a long term and unpredictable condition that affects the digestive system and causes bouts of stomach cramps, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating. The exact cause of IBS is still currently unknown, and a diagnosis is only given when doctors have ruled out every other possibility. In a patient suffering from IBS, their colon is anatomically normal. The only real observed issue in a lot of cases being excessive mucus. IBS Hypnosis is gaining traction as a viable management option and is now recommended by the NHS.

IBS causes bowel sensitivity and often has a detrimental effect on an individual’s life, specifically due to recurring pain and discomfort. Thankfully, IBS does not pose a serious medical threat and can be managed. There is no cure for IBS, but there is a range of treatment options that can help symptoms.

There are three types of IBS. These are IBS with:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhoea

IBS also tends to fall into three categories:

  1. Mild – 50% – Infrequent symptoms, often self-managed. Little or no psychological difficulties.
  2. Moderate – 45% – Intense and frequent symptoms. Need for psychological and pharmacological intervention.
  3. Severe – 5% – Severe symptoms. Does not respond to psychological or pharmacological treatments.

*Before choosing hypnotherapy, it is very important that you have not self-diagnosed your IBS. For example, a lot of people who self-diagnose do not actually have IBS and are not receiving proper treatment for their actual condition. If you have not been given a diagnosis of IBS by your GP, then our first action will be to refer you back to your GP*

The Mind-Body Connection

It is believed that in patients who are suffering from symptoms of IBS, their Sympathetic Nervous System (the system that takes over during fear, anxiety, anger, etc) becomes dominant over the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). The ENS is embedded in the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for controlling the colon and intestines. During hypnosis, the control of the ENS is given back to the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This in turns reduces the emotional control and frequency of the spasms. In essence, hypnotherapy helps the mind to re-train the nervous system. Your state of mind has a great influence on your physical well-being.

IBS Inforgraphic

IBS Statistics Infographic

Why is hypnosis effective in treating IBS?

Hypnotherapy is a great therapeutic tool for helping individuals manage stress. Stress is a common cause of IBS. Hypnosis is a relaxed state. It is impossible to be anxious or stressed whilst relaxed. By learning self-hypnosis you learn to take yourself into a relaxed state, which in turn takes away stress, anxiety and tension.

The IBS Hypnosis Sessions

During our IBS hypnosis sessions, your unconscious mind will be given positive suggestions and images. This helps with IBS by lowering the levels of anxiety, pain perception and discomfort. The goals of our sessions are as follows:

  • Set goals of what you would like to achieve. We future pace this and visualise what relief from IBS would look, sound and feel like for you
  • Teach you how to cope with worries and fears that contribute to IBS. This will increase your confidence and reduce your anxiety
  • Feed your unconscious mind suggestions to help decrease the activity of the gut
  • Teach you self-hypnosis. This is so that you can continue to use these skills once the sessions have ended

Additionally, you will get a personalised CD or mp3 (your choice). This can be used outside of sessions and after the treatment has ended.

Psychological Factors related to IBS

Due to the debilitating nature of IBS and how it can negatively affect the simplest of daily tasks, it is not uncommon for patients to experience feelings of anxiety or even depression. If you are feeling anxious or low in mood, then it is important that you disclose this to your GP.

Helpful Links for IBS Hypnosis

Nice Guidelines

Long term benefits of Hypnotherapy for IBS

Efficacy of Hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS

Hypnotherapy and IBS: BBC

Facts about IBS

  • 20% of people in the UK will suffer from IBS at some point in their life
  • Usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years old
  • IBS is only diagnosed once doctors have ruled out every other possibility
  • Sufferers may have a more sensitive colon
  • Hormonal changes can trigger IBS – almost 70% of sufferers are women

Signs and symptoms of IBS

  • Abdominal pains or cramps in the lower abdomen or rectum
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • The urgency to open bowels
  • Bloating
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Indigestion