Overcome IBS -
Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Remember what it was like before IBS symptoms started affecting you. That freedom. That care-free attitude towards life. Remember what it was like to be able to just go out and do whatever it is you want without the fear of suddenly and unexpectedly needing access to a toilet.

Now imagine what it would be like to live that life again.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, more commonly referred to as IBS, is a disorder that affects the nervous system of the gut. IBS symptoms can include any combination of constipation, diarrhoea, or both, as well as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, altered bowel movements and spasms.

IBS has also been known as rotten gut, nervous stomach, irritable stomach or spastic colon, and is often cited as the second leading cause of absence from work.

But it doesn't have to be that way.


There is hope


"There is now good evidence that hypnotherapy benefits a substantial proportion of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and that improvement is maintained for many years. Most patients seen in secondary care with this condition also suffer from a wide range of noncolonic symptoms such as backache and lethargy, as well as a number of musculoskeletal, urological, and gynaecological problems. These features do not typically respond well to conventional medical treatment approaches, but fortunately, their intensity is often reduced by hypnosis. The mechanisms by which hypnosis mediates its benefit are not entirely clear, but there is evidence that, in addition to its psychological effects, it can modulate gastrointestinal physiology, alter the central processing of noxious stimuli, and even influence immune function."

Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: the response of colonic and noncolonic symptoms.
Journal of psychosomatic research
June 2008

"There is accumulating and compelling evidence that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Recently, studies have shown that hypnotherapy has beneficial effects that are long lasting, with most patients maintaining improvement, and with decreased consultation and medication needs in the long term."

Hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
European journal of gastroenterology and hepatology
January 2005

"Recent controlled studies in the field of gastroenterology have shown that hypnotherapy is unequivocally beneficial in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulceration."

Use of hypnotherapy in gastrointestinal disease.
British journal of hospital medicine
January 1991



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Please Note

Conventional medicine alone has not been able to adequately alleviate IBS symptoms. However, hypnotherapy in conjunction with traditional treatments has and can produce remarkable results in symptom alleviation. Hypnotherapy is not considered a "cure" for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but it is an effective method for symptom relief.

This therapy is to be used in conjunction with the client's personal physician. This is not intended as an alternative or replacement for conventional medical treatment.


If you are experiencing IBS symptoms but have yet to have this diagnosed, please see your GP.

Hypnotherapy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
2005, Vol 17 No 1


There is accumulating and compelling evidence that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Recently, studies have shown that hypnotherapy has beneficial effects that are long lasting, with most patients maintaining improvement, and with decreased consultation and medication needs in the long term. The particular gut directed approach used, which is aimed at normalizing and controlling gut function, is also described. While the mechanisms of how hypnotherapy brings about its therapeutic effect are not fully known, changes in colonic motility and rectal sensitivity have been demonstrated, although changes in central processing and psychological effects may also play a role.



Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome

Gut - Journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology

Background and aims: There is now good evidence from several sources that hypnotherapy can relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in the short term. However, there is no long term data on its benefits and this information is essential before the technique can be widely recommended. This study aimed to answer this question.

Patients and methods: 204 patients prospectively completed questionnaires scoring symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression before, immediately after, and up to six years following hypnotherapy. All subjects also subjectively assessed the effects of hypnotherapy retrospectively in order to define their ''responder status''.

Results: 71% of patients initially responded to therapy. Of these, 81% maintained their improvement over time while the majority of the remaining 19% claimed that deterioration of symptoms had only been slight. With respect to symptom scores, all items at follow up were significantly improved on pre-hypnotherapy levels (p,0.001) and showed little change from post-hypnotherapy values. There were no significant differences in the symptom scores between patients assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5+ years following treatment. Quality of life and anxiety or depression scores were similarly still significantly improved at follow up (p,0.001) but did show some deterioration. Patients also reported a reduction in consultation rates and
medication use following the completion of hypnotherapy.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least five years. Thus it is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.



Hypnosis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
A Review of Efficacy and Mechanism of Action

American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis
47:3, January 2005


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain, distension, and an altered bowel habit for which no cause can be found. Despite its prevalence, there remains a significant lack of efficacious medical treatments for IBS to date. In this paper we reviewed a total of 14 published studies (N = 644) on the efficacy of hypnosis in treating IBS (8 with no control group and 6 with a control group). 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. In reviewing the research on the mechanism of action as to how hypnosis works to reduce symptoms of IBS, some evidence was found to support both physiological and psychological mechanisms of action.



Hypnosis and upper digestive function and disease

World Journal of Gastroenterology
2008 November 7


Hypnosis is a therapeutic technique that primarily involves attentive receptive concentration. Even though a small number of health professionals are trained in hypnosis and lingering myths and misconceptions associated with this method have hampered its widespread use to treat medical conditions, hypnotherapy has gained relevance as an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome not responsive to standard care. More recently, a few studies have addressed the potential influence of hypnosis on upper digestive function and disease. This paper reviews the efficacy of hypnosis in the modulation of upper
digestive motor and secretory function. The present evidence of the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a treatment for functional and organic diseases of the upper bowel is also summarized, coupled with a discussion of potential mechanisms of its therapeutic action.



Hypnotherapy in severe irritable bowel syndrome: further experience

Gut - Journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology


Fifteen patients with severe intractable irritable bowel syndrome previously reported as successfully treated with hypnotherapy, have now been followed up for a mean duration of 18 months. All patients remain in remission although two have experienced a single relapse overcome by an additional session of hypnotherapy. Experience with a further 35 patients is reported giving a total group of 50. This group was divided into classical cases, atypical cases and cases exhibiting significant psychopathology. The response rates were 95%, 43%, and 60% respectively. Patients over the age of 50 years responded very poorly (25%) whereas those below the age of 50 with classical irritable bowel syndrome exhibited a 100% response rate. This study confirms the successful effect of hypnotherapy in a larger series of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and defines some subgroup variations.



Hypnosis Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Effects on Symptoms and Psychophysiology

Spring 2005


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a costly chronic health problem that affects about 10%–15% of the population and is treated with limited success in standard medical care. Hypnosis treatment is an effective adjunct to standard care and has been investigated in 15 published studies. Hypnosis treatment improves IBS symptoms long-term for about three out of every four patients who fail to respond to conventional medical treatment, and it provides broad therapeutic benefits that generally last for years. The physiological mechanisms underlying bowel symptom improvement from hypnosis intervention remain poorly understood.