Lyonesse Therapies
Lyonesse Therapies

Treating IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) with Hypnotherapy

Do you or someone you know suffer from IBS?

If you are reading this page then it is likely that you or someone you know suffers from IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome – so you probably know most of the facts about this condition:

The good news is that hypnotherapy, relaxation training and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) have been shown to help alleviate symptoms considerably.

Hypnotherapy – proven effective for IBS

In February 2008 the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), which gives guidance to the NHS on effective treatments, published guidance for GPs and consultants saying there was good evidence that hypnotherapy was an effective IBS treatment and that it could be recommended for chronic IBS.

How does it work?

Hypnotherapy for IBS seems to work by lowering the general level of anxiety, lowering the perception of pain and discomfort (which is related to anxiety) and also by directing positive images and suggestions to the gut. The gut has it’s own separate nervous system – called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS), which has a full set of neurons and neurotransmitters normally found only in the brain itself. The ENS can function seperately from the main central nervous system and is connected by special large nerve fibres to the brain. Thus it is possible that the bowel can be influenced by images and thoughts in the brain to a much greater extent than previously thought. It is also possible that the gut can swamp the brain with messages too.

Where does Stress fit in?

People with IBS have a bowel that over-responds to stress (so instead of simply emptying the bowel when stressed it spasms). The symptoms of IBS are so stressful that IBS is a self-maintaining condition - i.e. a vicious circle of pain/discomfort > increased stress response > greater perception of discomfort > more stress, etc.

So one of the key’s to dealing with IBS is lower our stress sensitivity and thereby reduce the perception of pain from the bowel. Hypnotherapy has a history of remarkable effectiveness in lowering anxiety levels and also in pain reduction.

For more information call June Hale on 01953 799813

June Hale (based in Dereham and Norwich, Norfolk)