Hypnosis is one of the best known and most widely used treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and can offer sufferers a drug-free solution to their symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain ,and bloating.
The NIH (National Institute of Health) has recognized that hypnosis may help with IBS.
Research in Hypnotherapy for IBS has shown that hypnosis improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and may even alter the underlying physical problems that cause the symptoms.
One of the first studies of hypnosis for IBS was conducted by Dr Peter Whorwell, a leading expert on IBS and hypnosis in the UK. His controlled trial in 1984 of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome found IBS sufferers who had failed to respond to other treatments showed dramatic improvements when treated with gut-directed hypnotherapy. Those under 50 years of age exhibited a 100% response rate to hypnosis.
The effectiveness of hypnotherapy in treating irritable bowel syndrome in a number of studies has led to the establishment of the first unit in the United Kingdom that provides this treatment as a clinical service. An audit was recorded on the first 250 unselected patients treated in the clinic - Hypnotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome: a large-scale audit of a clinical service with examination of factors influencing responsiveness. Patients underwent 12 sessions of hypnotherapy over a 3-month period and were required to practice techniques in between sessions. Marked improvement was seen with hypnosis in all symptoms measured, in quality of life, and in anxiety and depression.
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