Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the digestive system and gut that causes the bowel to be very sensitive. The condition causes recurring pain and discomfort in the abdomen and often, the nerves and muscles don't work as they should.While there is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome, there are certain treatments and lifestyle changes that can help manage symptoms. One IBS treatment recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is Hypnotherapy.
IBS sufferers may experience a combination of symptoms, frequently with one symptom occurring more regularly or severely. Symptoms may vary from mild, where they do not significantly impair the individual’s quality of life, to serious, prompting them to seek medical help. In addition to the physical symptoms, people may also become anxious, depressed or become socially isolated as a consequence of their condition.
If you have IBS, it might be a bit difficult to understand how hypnotherapy can help. Hypnotherapy deals with the mind, right? And IBS affects your gut. So there can’t be a connection…In fact, there’s a very clear connection between your mind and your gut. Your brain and gut are closely connected by your vagus nerve, which is like an information superhighway and sends messages from your brain to your gut. The thoughts you have and emotions you feel are communicated directly to your gut and affects how your gut works – we’ve all felt worried about something and been unable to eat or have felt nauseous. Likewise, information is communicated from your gut back up to your brain. The expression ‘gut feeling’ sums this up nicely – your gut is giving you information which might be important and your brain can then act on that information.
Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine & Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester, has investigated the application of hypnotherapy to manage and treat IBS since the 1980s. His pioneering research demonstrates that over 60% of IBS sufferers who undertake hypnotherapy see long-term improvement and even the complete disappearance of symptoms, often with no recurrence.
Many people find that particular emotions – such as anxiety and anger – make their IBS symptoms worse. Hypnotherapy can help you recognise the situations which trigger these emotions, your own response to the emotions and the impact this has on your IBS. Using hypnosis, you can learn to experience new outcomes from these triggers and emotions which can help manage and improve your symptoms. Another way in which hypnotherapy can help is by introducing you to deep states of relaxation and powerful imagery during your hypnotherapy sessions and afterwards, as you practice self-hypnosis and listen to your HypnoIBS™ recordings. Most clients who have experienced HypnoIBS™ report not only an improvement in their IBS symptoms, but in their lives in general!
The HypnoIBS™ programme is 3 sessions which include;
Payment is due on the first session. This programme is available in person face to face at the therapy centre or online via Telehealth video conferencing (no account needed)
James Greenaway is a Certified HypnoIBS™ Practitioner