Hypnotherapy for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and / or constipation but with Clinical Hypnotherapy, it is treatable!

The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.

You may find that some of symptoms improve after having a poo.

IBS is thought to affect up to one in five people at some point in their life, and it usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men.

The condition is often life-long, although it may improve over several years.

What causes IBS?

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but most experts think that it’s related to increased sensitivity of the gut and problems digesting food.

These problems may mean that you are more sensitive to pain coming from your gut, and you may become constipated or have diarrhoea because your food passes through your gut either too slowly or too quickly.

Psychological factors such as stress may also play a part in IBS.

How IBS is treated

…Symptoms can often be managed by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.

For example, it may help to:

  • identify and avoid foods or drinks that trigger your symptoms
  • alter the amount of fibre in your diet
  • exercise regularly
  • reduce your stress levels

Living with IBS

IBS is unpredictable. You may go for many months without any symptoms, then have a sudden flare-up.

The condition can also be painful and debilitating, which can have a negative impact on your quality of life and emotional state. Many people with IBS will experience feelings of depression and anxiety, at some point.

Speak to your GP if you have feelings of depression or anxiety that are affecting your daily life.

With appropriate medical and psychological treatment, you should be able to live a normal, full and active life with IBS.

NHS Choices

(Source: NHS Choices)

* The NHS’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recognised Clinical Hypnotherapy as a possible treatment for IBS and GPs are able to make a direct and funded referral…

Alimentary Pharmacology & TherapeuticsHypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients (Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, May 2015)


Gut-focused Hypnotherapy improves the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with benefits being sustained for many years. Despite this, the technique has not been widely adopted by healthcare systems, possibly due to relatively small numbers in published studies and uncertainty about how it should be provided.  This study of 1,000 patients aims to review the effect of Hypnotherapy in a large cohort of refractory IBS patients.

These results provide further evidence that hypnotherapy is an effective intervention for IBS.

BBC NewsHypnotherapy ‘can help’ irritable bowel syndrome (BBC News)

Greater use of Hypnotherapy to ease the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome would help sufferers and might save money, says a leading gastroenterologist.

Dr Roland Valori, Editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said of the first 100 of his patients treated, symptoms improved significantly for nine in 10.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gut problem which can cause abdowoman with abdominal painminal pain, bloating, and sometimes diarrhoea or constipation.

Dr Roland Valori, of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said the research evidence which shows that Hypnotherapy could help sufferers of IBS was first published in the 1980s.

He began referring IBS patients for Hypnotherapy in the early 1990s and has found it to be highly effective.

“To be frank, I have never looked back…It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect,” he said.

Powerful effect

He believes that it could work partly by helping to relax patients.

“Of the relaxation therapies available, hypnotherapy is the most powerful,” he said.

He also says that IBS patients often face difficult situations in their lives, and Hypnotherapy can help them respond to these stresses in a less harmful way.

NHS guidelines allow doctors to refer IBS patients for Hypnotherapy or other psychological therapies if medication is unsuccessful and the problem persists.

Dr Valori thinks that if Hypnotherapy were used more widely it could possibly save the NHS money while improving patient care…

Further Research from Sweden

More recently, two Swedish studies, conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, have been published showing the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The two studies involved a total of 346 patients.

In the first study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 138 patients with IBS received hypnotherapy treatment for one hour a week over 12 weeks.

The research showed that hypnotherapy fully alleviated symptoms in 40% of those affected by the digestive condition…others received benefit from mild to moderate relief.

One of the researchers, Magnus Simrén, said “The treatment involves the patient learning to control their symptoms through deep relaxation and individually adapted hypnotic suggestions. The idea is for the patient to then use this technique in their everyday life.”

In the second study, published in Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 208 patients who had previously received hypnotherapy were examined.

The research showed that 85 per cent of those who had been helped by hypnosis still felt the benefits of the treatment up to seven years later and that the majority still actively use the self-hypnosis techniques learnt in their everyday lives.

The group also showed that the use of the healthcare system as a result of stomach and bowel symptoms had also reduced by 70%.

IBS is more common in women than men and may be aggravated by stress and life changes. Hypnotherapy can help to alleviate symptoms often by addressing the underlying anxiety. It also gives you the tools to be able to cope better so that stress no longer triggers IBS symptoms. Hypnotherapy also helps to manage any pain that might be experienced as a result of the condition.

So try Clinical Hypnotherapy for IBS at The Penarth Practice.

We can help you not just to get back on track, but to stay on track!

Clinical Hypnotherapy is the single most powerful psychotherapeutic tool for Stress, Anxiety and Depression.

For a full list of issues and challenges that Clinical Hypnotherapy can help, click here.



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