Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

One in five people worldwide – both men and women – suffer from IBS. It is characterised by:

  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • flatulence

experienced either alone or in combination. There is no known cause, although various things such as stress, hormones and certain foods can trigger episodes. Although it is not life-threatening and does not cause damage to the bowel, it can be extremely unpleasant, frustrating and debilitating. Furthermore, as with any chronic illness, it is often accompanied by low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Conventional treatment, which includes medication, increased exercise and dietary changes, has not proven sufficiently effective for many sufferers.

Why choose hypnotherapy?

More than 25 years of research has demonstrated that hypnotherapy, when combined with medical treatment, is a highly effective method of alleviating IBS symptoms in both the short and long term. In fact, the Chair of the National Women’s Health Network in Washington, DC, called it the treatment of choice for sufferers who have not responded to conventional treatment. One of the reasons for this is that hypnosis in itself effectively reduces stress, one of the most common contributing factors to IBS. In addition, since both the pain response and the digestive system are controlled by the subconscious mind, they can be reprogrammed safely through hypnotic trance, leading to effective control of gut function.

How effective is it?

There has been a great deal of scientific research into the benefits of hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS, much of it pioneered by Professor Peter Whorwell of Manchester University. His studies found hypnotherapy to be over 70% effective at reducing and even eliminating symptoms . Other studies elsewhere support this, with research by Dr. Olafur Palsson of the University of North Carolina demonstrating symptom relief in 80% of sufferers . Melissa Roth of Alabama Hypnotherapy Center built on this research and developed a programme that resulted in symptom reduction for over 90% of IBS sufferers, with 86% becoming completely symptom-free. Her studies can be found here.

Of particular note is the evidence from Whorwell and Roth’s research especially that symptom relief can last for well over 5 years following a course of hypnotherapy treatment.

Other information on IBS and studies supporting the use of hypnotherapy for often dramatic relief of IBS symptoms can be found here:

Prior, A., Colgan, S.M., & Whorwell, P.J. (1990). Changes in rectal sensitivity after hypnotherapy in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Gut, 31(8), 896-898.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1378618/pdf/gut00602-0076.pdf

Gonsalkorale, W.M., Miller, V., Afzal, A., & Whorwell, P.J. (2003). Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut, 52(11), 1623-1629. http://gut.bmj.com/content/52/11/1623

http://www.naturalnews.com/027504_IBS_hypnosis.html
http://www.ibsresearchupdate.org/

What does the Hong Kong Hypnotherapy IBS Programme involve?

I received my certification in IBS Hypnotherapy from Melissa Roth, C.Ht, Ph.D and my programme is based on the one she developed, whilst taking into account the specific needs of individuals.

It has been designed to help you get control of this frustrating and unpleasant condition by managing your stress levels and learning to use both your conscious and subconscious mind to regulate your digestive system. With these skills, you will learn to manage your symptoms for the rest of your life.

Features of the package are:

  • Six sessions (some clients may require more than this) spaced approximately 2 weeks apart
  • Techniques for immediate stress relief
  • Homework and handouts that help you understand and manage your symptoms effectively
  • Hypnosis for pain relief where it is needed
  • CDs of the trance portion of each session to reinforce suggestions between sessions

Important note

IBS is a medical condition and all treatment is done in conjunction with your doctor and not intended as a replacement for medical treatment. The overall aim is to help you reduce or eliminate your symptoms so that medication is no longer necessary, but this must be discussed with your doctor. It is essential, therefore, for clients to obtain a referral letter before symptom-specific treatment can begin.