Hypnotherapy for IBS

Hypnotherapy for IBS

IBS is a very common condition that affects the digestive system. Symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, gas, diarrhoea, constipation (or a mixture of diarrhoea and constipation) and changes in bowel movements. 

As many as 1 in 5 people have symptoms of IBS and it can have a significant impact on day-to-day life. 

Many of my clients have tried different medications and lifestyle interventions with little to no success and have all but given up on getting their life back. But hypnotherapy for IBS can be very successful in reducing the impact of symptoms. 

What Is IBS?

The causes of IBS can be complex and the exact causes aren’t fully known. 

Some of the factors that have been put forward as IBS causes include:

  • Abnormal activity in the immune system (lots of immune activity takes place in the gut!)
  • An imbalance of gut bacteria and/or the presence of fungi and viruses in the gut
  • Overactivity in the gut (often leading to contractions in the gut wall)
  • Increased sensitivity in the gut, often as a result of the gut-brain axis and how the nervous system interprets pain signals from the brain 

The symptoms are not a sign that the digestive system has been damaged and most IBS sufferers will find that scans look normal. Because of this, IBS is often called a functional GI disorder. 

Women are believed to be more likely to suffer from IBS. This may be linked to hormonal factors. Oestrogen can encourage the gut to be more sensitive and IBS symptoms can be worse at certain stages of the menstrual cycle, 

The Impact Of IBS

IBS can cause a huge amount of disruption and distress. For so many of my clients, IBS means planning journeys around toilet stops and always knowing where the nearest toilets are whenever they go somewhere new. And that’s if they can actually leave the house without being terrified that they’ll be “caught short” with no easy access to a toilet. 

How Stress & Anxiety Can Make IBS Worse

Chronic stress and anxiety can cause physical changes in the body, making IBS more likely. This can include producing less stomach acid, bile, and digestive enzymes. The body can find it harder to break down food and digestive problems can be much more likely. Stress can also disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, which can lead to IBS symptoms. 

Research published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology showed that IBS can disturb the link between the brain and the gut, making it easier for stress and anxiety to create overactivity in the gut. 

Stress doesn’t have to be chronic though. Stressful or traumatic events can also trigger IBS symptoms. 

It’s not uncommon to have experienced a spike in stress or trauma before IBS symptoms first appear. This can become a catch-22 situation as the impact of IBS can be very stressful too! 

How Hypnotherapy Can Improve IBS 

IBS hypnotherapy is an effective intervention and is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). If you have IBS symptoms that haven’t responded to medications within 12 months, hypnotherapy is often recommended as a treatment. 

Even if you haven’t seen any success with other treatment options, IBS hypnotherapy will often be successful. This is definitely the case with many of my clients! 

Why does hypnotherapy have so much potential for improving IBS symptoms? 

It helps to reduce stress, which can make a big difference to IBS symptoms. By allowing the mind and body to relax, hypnotherapy can help change the gut-brain connection and decrease symptoms. During hypnotherapy, the aim is to change the signals from the brain so that gut function also shifts. 

As Professor Peter Whorwell, a leading expert on IBS, says: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome is ideal for treatment with hypnosis, as there is no structural damage to the body”

Professor Whorwell has researched gut-directed hypnosis for more than 20 years and his findings have been invaluable for showing how IBS hypnotherapy can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. 

In one study, 250 patients who had been struggling with IBS for at least two years were given 12 sessions of an hour each and a detailed explanation of how the gut works. 

The effects can last for some time after hypnotherapy sessions end – for years potentially! 

His research has also confirmed that online hypnotherapy is very effective in treating IBS – and works just as well as face-to-face sessions. 

How Does Hypnotherapy for IBS Work?

Hypnotherapy for IBS uses the healing power of the mind to alter the brain-gut connection. 

We can use visualisations that change the relationship between the gut and the brain and reduce the sensitivity of the gut. This can also involve setting realistic goals that help you to imagine the future without IBS being in control of your life. 

Relaxation techniques can help you to cope with worries, concerns and stress that would otherwise make IBS symptoms worse. 

You can also develop self-hypnosis techniques to maintain the effects at home after our sessions end. 

Ready to Reclaim Your Life With IBS Hypnotherapy?

If your symptoms are taking over your life, hypnotherapy for IBS can help you to manage them and regain a much better quality of life. There’s a lot of evidence to show that IBS hypnotherapy can reduce the impact of IBS symptoms and not just as a short-term fix. 

Together, we can make your gut less sensitive and get on top of the stress and anxiety that is a major contributor to the severity of your symptoms. Imagine how different life could be when IBS isn’t dictating your life and you can feel confident and happier. 

You can contact me on 07862 255131 or e-mail me at hypnotherapyloungeleeds@gmail.com to take the first step towards a happier, healthier gut. Or if you’re ready to book your initial consultation, you can do so by visiting https://hypnotherapyloungeleeds.com/book-now/


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