There has been a number of research studies done on the benefits of using hypnotherapy for IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) and in short, although no one can truly say why it works, but the studies are clearly showing that for IBS symptoms both physically and emotionally, hypnosis works wonders.
In one particular study, 75 people received between five and seven 30 minute hypnotherapy sessions spread over a three-month period. Patients reported a 30% improvement in their emotional quality of life and a 16% increase in overall physical health. Another 2 studies carried out by one researcher included 135 people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Participants received 12 weekly, 1 hour hypnotherapy sessions for IBS and they showed a 52% improvement in their physical symptoms. Improvements were maintained when researchers checked in with participants six months after the end of the study.
In fact, the evidence is so convincing that IBS symptoms respond to particularly well to hypnosis, that Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, chair of the National Women’s Health Network in Washington, D.C., says that hypnosis should be the treatment of choice for severe cases of IBS.
CBT and hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Cognitive behavioral therapy identifies unhelpful behaviors formed from past experiences and works to re-frame and change these patterns. A study was conducted for a group of IBS patients who attended up to 10 weekly sessions of CBT. The sessions covered information on IBS, muscle relaxation training, development of a flexible set of problem-solving skills related to IBS, and ways to curb worries about the illness. Results showed that 60% to 75% of participants had improvement in their symptoms. That was just CBT alone, so combined with a hypnotherapy treatment where the information can be directly accessed by the subconscious mind, results can be life changing. A narrative review found that out of 11 studies, 5 of which were controlled, hypnotherapy brought relief to approximately 87% of patients, cut symptoms in half, and its effects were equal to cognitive behavioral therapy alone.
(I am trained in both CBT and hypnotherapy and these are both used in my sessions.)
As with everything in life, you are the one who needs to make choices based on what is right for you. If hypnotherapy is in alignment with your belief system, your needs, your lifestyle and if it’s accessible to you, then it’s an option well worth considering with no real downside. (There’s been no evidence of hypnotherapy harming anyone!)
How I can help
I’ve been trained and am qualified internationally in both CBT and hypnotherapy and have all the hypnotherapy resources to support you through your healing journey with IBS. I offer a free 15-20 minute initial consultation to discuss your needs and outline how hypnotherapy can help with your IBS symptoms. Every person is unique and each health plan will be slightly different, however usually a client can expect 3-5 sessions. IBS hypnotherapy sessions can be done online or in person.
I look forward to supporting you on your healing journey.