Hypnotherapy provides support for Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers

Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Sarah Mortimer Hypotherapy Bristol

Sarah Mortimer Hypnotherapy is marking Gut Week 2011 (22-28 August) by highlighting how the therapy can help clients cope with the symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

According to the organisers of Gut Week, about a third of the population experience IBS at some time in their lives.

The condition affects the large bowel and symptoms might include abdominal pain and spasms, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and excess wind. It can also involve an urgent need to visit the toilet and even incontinence if you don’t get there in time.

In 2008, NICE published guidelines for GPs for the diagnosis and management of IBS. Once diagnosed, the guidelines recommend 12 months of traditional treatments ranging from dietary advice through to anti-diarrhoea or anti-constipation medications as appropriate, or even low dose antidepressants to reduce pain and spasms. If the IBS has not responded to this treatment, it is classed as 'intractable'.(1)

In such cases, NICE recommends Hypnotherapy as an option to help the condition.

In fact there are a small number of Hypnotherapists specialising in IBS working within NHS hospitals. According to the NHS on-line portal, NHS Choices, which offers information about how to make choices about your health: “Hypnotherapy has been shown to help some people with IBS to reduce their symptoms of pain and discomfort... You can have Hypnotherapy as an outpatient in some NHS hospital pain clinics, or you can learn self-hypnosis techniques to do at home.”

Dr Roland Valori, editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said of the first 100 of his patients treated with hypnotherapy, symptoms improved significantly for nine in 10. He said that although previous research has shown Hypnotherapy is effective for IBS sufferers, it is not widely used. Back in June, the Royal Society of Medicine announced that they were seeking to make hypnosis more widely used within the NHS.

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.

Sarah Mortimer would always recommend that a client seeks advice from their GP if they are experiencing any bowel symptoms to ensure there is nothing more sinister going on. In the event that traditional treatments for IBS prove ineffectual, hypnotherapy has been shown to be beneficial. Many hypnotherapists receive referrals from local Gastroenterologists and GPs as they understand that hypnosis can help alleviate the symptoms of IBS, especially where anxiety is involved.

If you would like to find out more about how Hypnotherapy can help you with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, then please contact Sarah on 07851 307 062 or email to book an initial consultation. 

(1) Adapted from an article “Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is Evidence-Based and Highly Effective”, January 12th, 2011 by Helen Bremner