Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Thanks largely to the work of Peter Whorwell of Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, hypnosis is now acknowledged by the medical profession as an effective treatment for IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common disorders of the digestive system. It is estimated that it affects one third of people in the UK at some time, to some extent and one in ten people have symptoms bad enough to visit their doctor. IBS is characterised by a collection of symptoms affecting the small or large bowel, which can cause pain and discomfort. The exact causes of IBS are unknown. IBS sufferers usually have no physical abnormalities in the bowel. It is suspected that there is a link between stress and IBS. It seems that the bowel becomes particularly sensitive and responds with violent contractions or spasms to stimuli such as stress or eating some foods.

Symptoms vary between individuals, but the following are common:

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Abdominal contractions, spasms or cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Excess wind
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion

IBS sufferers may experience a combination of some of these symptoms, with one symptom in particular occurring more regularly or with greater severity. Symptoms vary from mild to serious, affecting the quality of life.

Because IBS is such a loose collection of symptoms, there is no one definitive 'cure'. However, there are a number of self-help treatments that can alleviate and improve symptoms, such as diet and therapies such as hypnosis.

How can hypnotherapy help with IBS?

The bowel moves food along the intestines through muscular contractions, known as propulsion. There are also areas of hold-up, known as segmentation. This combination of propulsion and segmentation is called peristalsis. We are completely unaware of it when it is working normally. The control of peristalsis is complex. The best way to regard IBS is as a loss of coordination of these muscular contractions. We will provide you with a full assessment and using hypnotherapy, we will help you to re-establish control of the peristalsis process, speeding it up or slowing it down depending on your requirements.

In addition, we address the evidence that people with irritable bowel syndrome have increased sensitivity within the gut to external stimuli such as stress. This means IBS is often the outcome of a complex interaction between psychological and physical factors. With hypnotherapy we aim to reduce the sensitivity within the gut and to control stress where it is a factor.

A disorder of the digestive system can affect the gut anywhere from the mouth to the anus, which accounts for the diversity of symptoms experienced. However your IBS affects you, we can use hypnotherapy to address the symptoms.

It is a long accepted fact that there is a strong link between stress, anxiety and IBS. The majority of suffers report that the symptoms of IBS are related to stress. In terms of relieving stress, hypnotherapy could help in the following ways:

  • Helping you to relax, easing the symptoms if they are triggered by stress
  • Teaching you powerful creative visualisation techniques to achieve relief for your symptoms
  • Programming in a new, positive reaction to stress triggers

Although hypnotherapy can help IBS, it is a medical condition. If you think you have IBS or are experiencing symptoms, then speak to your doctor in the first instance to get a diagnosis and advice on treatment. If, after this, you are interested in using hypnotherapy to help combat IBS, you may wish to discuss treatment using hypnosis with me. We can then assess all of the factors which affect your IBS, including diet and agree a plan to reduce, even liberate you from the symptoms.

Address: 3, St Anne's View, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3QQ
Telephone: 07852 117030