This short article explains just how helpful Clinical Hypnotherapy has been found to be for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I see a large number of people struggling with all sorts of issues and conditions. IBS is just one of those and although it is a very real and physical problem, research has found that it can be influenced, often greatly, by psychological treatments, such as clinical hypnosis, not least because associated with IBS are many not physical conditions, such as anxiety, low moods, fears, lack of confidence and more...
At Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy, we practice a modern neurosciences based Hypnotherapy, which means, we take the best evidence-based methods from talking therapies and combine it with the powerful benefits of hypnosis, to help people make practical positive changes and find ways to get the best out of themselves and life. What our Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy sessions do is aim both to help a person cope better, and work on reducing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Before going any further about how Hypnotherapy can help IBS, let's first take a moment to understand what it is.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
One of the first things to understand about IBS is that there are no visible abnormality in the bowel and there is no diagnostic test for it. However, this is not to say that it's in the mind, because there are many real, uncomfortable (to very painful) physical symptoms, such as: cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea/constipation or both or even nausea.
Associated with IBS there is often anxiety, low moods, stress and worries, tiredness, poor sleep, fears and confidence issues. It is also very likely that a large part of these worries and anxieties are as a result of how the person suffering from IBS feels about their situation. They may be:
Worried about going out and being too far from a bathroom.
Embarrassed to go out with friends or eat out, in case they suddenly feel unwell.
Anxious about what to eat and how much, so as not to have a flair up.
Sometimes feeling hungry but worried about eating, just in case it causes them pain or discomfort.
All of these physical and psychological conditions add up, making the symptoms worse and creating a vicious cycle that can make the situation very difficult for a person suffering from IBS. It is not surprising that the condition can have an effect on a person's work, productivity, relationships and sense of worth.
How does Clinical Hypnotherapy help with IBS?
According to Scientific research, Hypnotherapy is one of the most effective approaches for IBS. In most published research studies to date, the response rate to treatment is very high. In one large-scale study, with 1000 IBS patients, the positive response rate was 80% in the females and 76% overall for a study (Miller 2015).
What is also worth acknowledging is that it often helps individuals who have failed to get improvements with other methods. You can imagine that most people who turn to hypnotherapy do so only after having exhausted the medical treatments available. This therefore means that hypnotherapy ends up proving helpful for even the chronic persistent cases of IBS, the difficult cases, the people who don't know where to turn to any more and start looking beyond what is most obvious.
Dozens of clinical studies have been published showing Hypnotherapy significantly improves bowel symptoms and often the associated quality of life and emotional symptoms. For example in the study mentioned above of 1000 IBS patients, who received 12 hypnotherapy sessions over 3 months, both anxiety and depression were halved, as were the number of pain days reported.
There are a list of other benefits to using hypnotherapy for IBS:
- Firstly, it has no negative side effects, because it is a drug-free therapy.
- Furthermore, not only does it have no negative side effects, you could say it has bonus positive side effects of improvement in other problems such as migraine, tension headaches, social anxieties etc. As hypnotherapy it holistic , it helps the person's overall well-being.
- Moreover, it is relaxing, easy and very enjoyable, so if anything, it feels like a treat to have a hypnotherapy session, not at all something you have to 'suffer through' in order to feel better.
- Another valuable benefit is that it's empowering, because it utilizes the power of the person’s own mind.
- Finally, its beneficial effects last long after the end of the course of sessions. According to research, individuals can generally look forward to years of reduced (or no) IBS.
For all of these good reasons, Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy (GDH) comes highly recommended, from no less than The British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Nice recommends that, "People living with IBS who do not respond to pharmacological treatments after 12 months, [should] consider a referral for psychological interventions, such as Hypnotherapy.”
Of course, a person suffering from abdominal or other health concerns should always consult their doctor first to rule out other diagnoses. However, as NICE recommends, if you've been suffering from IBS and would like to see how Hypnotherapy can help you, Clarity Flow Hypnotherapy offers a Free Initial Consultation* which is very easy to book. Simply click the link and choose your preferred time for a video meeting with Maral Kojayan, a qualified and experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist.
During the 30-40 minute Initial Consultation, we will assess your needs, discuss how hypnotherapy can help you and answer any questions you may have. You will also learn more about how the brain works and already start to get some insights into understand what changes to make and how.
So, if you feel you'd like to start hypnotherapy, feel free to book yourself in for the free consultation offer and we looks forward to helping you towards helping yourself to get more peace of mind, and body.
Maral Kojayan MA HPD
TO BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION* FOR CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY CLICK HERE
*Only one Free Initial Consultation booking per client pending therapist's availability. You must have a genuine interest in starting Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy. A Clinical Hypnotherapist is not a medical professional. You should always consult with your physician/GP or a medical/mental health provider regarding your health concerns.
V Miller, H R Carruthers, J Morris, S S Hasan, S Archbold, P J Whorwell. 2015. 'Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients'. Aliment Pharmacol Ther.41(9):844-55.