Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an inconvenient, embarrassing and often painful condition that targets the stomach, intestines and bowels. It can even give rise to other ailments such as bladder dysfunction, lower back pain, general aches and extreme fatigue. While IBS is becoming increasingly common, its causes remain unknown.
Our digestive tract is the body part that is the most sensitive to our emotions and mental state. Some people, for example, experience stomach aches or the need to go to the bathroom when they are extremely nervous or under stress. The phrase “trust your gut” originates from the idea that your stomach’s reactions can act as a warning system in perilous situations. Many IBS sufferers notice that their condition is stimulated or exacerbated by stress, discontent or other mental and emotional maladies.
So, if a negative mental state can provoke physical illness, why not use a positive mental state to promote health and wellness? Hypnosis is a safe, simple and powerful way of taking control over your IBS and reducing or eliminating those agonizing symptoms.
How Stress Can Exacerbate IBS—And What You Can Do About It
Countless independent studies (see below) have proven that stress causes or worsens nearly every chronic physical condition, including IBS. We literally worry ourselves sick. By using hypnosis to reduce stress, you can greatly improve the condition of your body as well as your mind. Hypnosis is successful because it pinpoints and alleviates stress where it originates: in your unconscious mind.
Each of us has a conscious mind, which contains the thoughts and behaviours we’re aware of, and an unconscious mind, which contains the rest. Imagine you’re reading a book: your conscious mind processes the words and makes sense of the story, whereas your unconscious mind reacts with emotions such as sadness or amusement. It is our unconscious that harbours the stress that in turn exacerbates chronic conditions such as IBS.
Hypnosis is a highly successful form of stress management because it allows direct access to your unconscious thoughts. It does this by causing a state of deep relaxation and forming a connection between your conscious and your unconscious minds. From there, it is possible to determine the precise source of your stress. For example, if your relationship with your significant other is causing you grief, hypnosis can help you identify exactly which elements are wreaking the most emotional havoc. The answers you find may come as a surprise. Next, using motivational suggestion, your hypnotherapist will help you turn that negative thinking into positive thoughts that foster inner tranquility and happiness. Finally, because the session itself involves such deep relaxation, you will leave our office feeling calm and stress-free for hours, days or even weeks! And as the stress in your life decreases, your overall health—including your IBS—will improve.
Scientific Studies Have Demonstrated the Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy for IBS
The following are summaries of scientific research done on IBS and how the condition is affected by hypnosis. All information was gathered from PubMed.
“We undertook a randomized controlled trial and compared clinical effectiveness of hypnotherapy with standard medical therapy in children with functional abdominal pain or IBS… Hypnotherapy was highly superior, with a significantly greater reduction in pain scores compared with standard medical therapy… At 1 year follow-up, successful treatment was accomplished in 85% of the hypnotherapy group and 25% of the standard medical therapy group.”
Department of Pediatrics, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
“Patients received five sessions of hypnotherapy in addition to their usual management… [they]were significantly less likely to require medication, and the majority described an improvement in their condition.”
Department of Primary Care and General Practice, Division of Primary Care, Public and Occupational Health, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
“A 3-month home-treatment version of a scripted hypnosis protocol previously shown to improve all central IBS symptoms was completed by 19 IBS patients. Outcomes were compared to those of 57 matched IBS patients from a separate study receiving only standard medical care. Ten of the hypnosis subjects (53%) responded to treatment by 3-month follow-up (response defined as more than 50% reduction in IBS severity) vs. 15 (26%) of [those who did not receive hypnosis]. Hypnosis subjects improved more in quality of life scores compared to [those who did not receive hypnosis].”
Division of Digestive Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
“Eleven studies, including 5 controlled studies, have assessed the therapeutic effects of hypnosis for IBS… The median response rate to hypnosis treatment is 87%, bowel symptoms can generally be expected to improve by about half, psychological symptoms and life functioning improve after treatment, and therapeutic gains are well maintained for most patients for years after the end of treatment.”
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA
“Over 70% [of general practitioners responding to a survey]thought that hypnotherapy may have a role in the management of patients with IBS; though the majority (68%) felt that this should not be offered by general practitioners. 84% felt that this should be offered by qualified hypnotherapist, with 40% feeling that this should be offered outside the health service.”
Gillets Surgery, Deanland Road, Balcome, West Sussex, UK
Use Hypnosis to Fight Stress and Get Relief from IBS!
Don’t suffer from the pain, discomfort and embarrassment that comes with IBS any longer. Use hypnotherapy to reduce your stress and take control of your health and your life.
The next step is to call us at 416-556-4068 (in Toronto) or 1-888-HYPNO-24 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada) to schedule a free initial consultation online through video conferencing or at our office in downtown Toronto. This one-hour meeting allows us to figure out how we can help you, and it lets you understand our practices and principles a little better, so that you can make an informed decision. If scheduling is difficult for you, completing our self-directed consultation and requesting a custom treatment plan is another way to start. Otherwise, complete the form below and we’ll get back to you with our next availabilities.
This consultation is for discussing private, individualized care. For a low-cost option, we host regularly scheduled group hypnosis sessions. Click here for more information.
* For legal reasons, we must state that the ideal results described on this site, including testimonials, represent the outcome of an ideal client. Your results might be different, and will depend on your hypnotic suggestibility, motivation to change, past history, and many other factors that are not in our control. In addition, our work as hypnotherapists is not medical care, psychotherapy or psychological advice.