Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Hypnotherapy for IBS


  • Worried about leaving the house?
  • Checking where the nearest toilet is?
  • Going to the toilet several times before leaving home?
  • Can’t go on public transport in case you can’t hold it?
  • Have I got my Imodium?
  • Stressing about long journeys in case you won’t make it?
Hypnotherapy for IBS

Do any of those sound familiar?

If any of these sounds familiar to you, then hypnotherapy for IBS can help. Suffering from IBS myself, I know what an impact it can have on your life. It’s on your mind constantly and it takes over your life. It doesn’t need to be like this, it can get better with some simple changes. 

IBS sufferers usually have no physical bowel abnormalities. By becoming calmer and more relaxed, the frequency and intensity of symptoms can reduce, or even disappear, which will lead to all-around improvements, and in turn, you will be able to deal with stress more appropriately.

There is a strong link between stress and IBS.

Tension, anxiety or stress that can be created by living with conditions such as IBS can exacerbate the condition and further compromise health, creating an unhelpful cycle of emotional upset and physical discomfort.

Hypnotherapy treatment will include learning to cope with any worries or fears contributing to IBS, increasing confidence and well-being and visualising the future and how you will be without IBS. Visualisations and suggestions are together a very powerful way to lessen the sensitivity of the gut and to increase confidence.

The conventional ways of treating IBS revolve around taking drugs to help with the symptoms. Which can sometimes help, but when the treatment is finished, symptoms often return. Hypnotherapy helps by getting to the root cause, to improve your symptoms or even better, get rid of them. It’s one of the most successful ways to treat IBS. The response rate to treatment is 80%.

Thanks to the research of Professor Peter Whorwell of Wythenshawe University Hospital, Manchester, hypnotherapy is now acknowledged by the medical profession as an effective treatment for IBS. My hypnotherapy is based on his work.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is characterised by a collection of symptoms affecting the small and large intestine, causing symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Pain can be mild or severe and may happen at a particular time of the day. It can leave the sufferer feeling stressed and embarrassed. This can have a huge impact on the individuals’ quality of life, stopping them from doing daily activities and things they enjoy.

What are the causes of IBS

The cause of IBS is unknown but there are a few factors that are thought to be related.

  • Gut motility- when the nerves or muscles in the gut don’t work in a coordinated way.
  • Gut sensitivity- this could be triggered by long courses of antibiotics, food poisoning or bacteria in the gut.
  • Smoking – nicotine can speed up digestion.
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Genetic factors

The gut-brain connection – Scientists have known about the gut-brain connection for many years. Billions of neurotransmitters that transmit orders and induce independent reactions. This network of neurons that they call the second brain is none other than our stomach.

It can function totally independently and it’s more than a digestive system, it’s an enteric nervous system. It reigns over a spectacular colony of one hundred thousand billion gut microbiota (our gut flora or gut microbiome) whose activity is thought to have an impact on more than just our gastrointestinal functions — it also affects our immune systems, mental health, personalities, and even central nervous systems.


A number of clinical studies have found gut directed hypnotherapy for IBS to be an effective treatment, a recent study published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology journal.

Results showed that immediately after treatment, participants in the two hypnotherapy groups reported satisfactory relief at considerably higher rates than those who received educational supportive care, and these benefits continued for nine months after the treatment ended.

Research has shown that hypnotherapy can be effective in reducing symptoms of IBS. A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that hypnotherapy was more effective than a placebo in treating IBS. Participants who received hypnotherapy for IBS had a significant reduction in their IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea.

Another study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that hypnotherapy was effective in reducing symptoms of IBS in individuals with moderate to severe IBS. Participants who received hypnotherapy had a significant improvement in their IBS symptoms and a reduction in the number of days they experienced symptoms.

See also

Doctors are still taught that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion

So how is IBS treated?

IBS is a medical condition. Unlike some medical conditions that have specific tests to confirm a diagnosis, for IBS, there aren’t any. The condition doesn’t cause any easily detectable abnormalities in your digestive system and everyone is affected by the condition differently.

Doctors are still taught that IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, and patients readily sense that they are being told that nothing is really wrong with them.  Many people soon come to appreciate that the range of medical treatments available is limited in both scope and efficacy.  The mood of negativity, once established, is difficult to dispel.

Although there is no cure for IBS, it is often considered to be a lifelong condition. There are things that can help manage the symptoms, such as Hypnotherapy, learning relaxation techniques, a controlled diet, and medication have all been found to help ease symptoms of IBS. 

One IBS treatment recognised by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is Hypnotherapy

Does hypnotherapy work for IBS?

Your state of mind can have a huge impact on your physical well-being. Tension, stress and anxiety often caused by IBS may undermine the immune system and further compromise health.

Hypnotherapy for IBS can also help you overcome any negative thoughts, beliefs and behaviours you have towards your condition and help you develop new coping strategies.

I will encourage you to visualise the future and how you would see yourself in situations you once found stressful. Visualisations and suggestions, with the aim of decreasing the sensitivity of the gut and increasing confidence.

gut directed hypnotherapy

By using hypnotherapy for IBS you will learn how to relax and manage situations you once found stressful. Guiding you into a state of deep relaxation, I will give you positive suggestions for managing IBS symptoms. These suggestions can help develop new healthier patterns of gut function.

What do I do next?

It’s important to note that hypnotherapy isn’t a quick fix and it can take time to see results but by working with a qualified hypnotherapist this can be achieved.

So, if you have been seen by a medical practitioner and your diagnosis has been confirmed. Please get in touch as I would be happy to help.  

If you would like to discuss your issue