Can Hypnotherapy Help with IBS?
Hypnotherapy can help reduce and in many cases eliminate the symptoms of IBS. The science is very clear on this.
Dozens of highly regarded peer-reviewed studies have looked at this from the mid 1980's onwards and produced consistently encouraging findings.
In a scientific review of the available research carried out in 2005, into the efficacy of hypnotherapy for IBS, and mechanism of action and published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, concluded:
"We concluded that hypnosis consistently produces significant results and improves the cardinal symptoms of IBS in the majority of patients, as well as positively affecting non-colonic symptoms. When evaluated according to the efficacy guidelines of the Clinical Psychology Division of American Psychological Association, the use of hypnosis with IBS qualifies for the highest level of acceptance as being both efficacious and specific." (1)
That is incredibly good news and should give hope to anyone suffering from this condition.
What's more the results last. A long term follow-up of 204 cases of IBS patients treated with hypnosis indicated that among the 71% who initially responded to hypnotherapy, 81% maintained their improvement over time. (2)
The science backs up what many of those who have seen a hypnotherapist for IBS already know. That is, that when they are given the opportunity to improve the communication between their gut and brain, while overcoming emotional triggers, their symptoms reduce, and often the benefits are experienced quickly.
1. Tan, G., Hammond, D. C., & Gurrala, J. (2005). Hypnosis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Review of Efficacy and Mechanism of Action. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 47(3), 161–178.
2. Gonsalkorale, W. M. (2003). Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut, 52(11), 1623–1629.
The articles on this blog are where possible are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies, but they're not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any medical questions or concerns please talk to your healthcare provider.