Irritable Bowel Syndrome Hypnotherapy - How Effective Is Hypnotherapy?

Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Applied Psychology)
Last updated date : February 13, 2023

Many studies show that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It suggests guided imagery and feelings focusing on the patient’s pain, followed by increasing their relaxation. There have been gains in terms of overall health, quality of life, and symptoms including bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc. Some people believe that you may be unconscious during this treatment. Can the therapist control your mind? It is a myth. Most of the time, the client is awake through and after the hypnosis. Let us see what hypnotherapy is and what its benefits for irritable bowel syndrome are.

In this article, we will discuss how hypnotherapy is used to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In the end, we have some home tips for you to reduce the signs of IBS.

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Chapter 1:

Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What Is Hypnotherapy?
So what comes to your mind when you hear the word hypnotherapy? Does it control your mind? Let us look at the fact that our pain is naturally lessened when we are in a calm state. Likewise, hypnotherapy is used as a tool to make you relax and hence reduce your pain.

Our mind constitutes a conscious part and a subconscious part that guides us in our life. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions depend on our inner beliefs and memories. The subconscious mind is in charge of inner beliefs and memories. As a result, any harsh memories or negative beliefs may have a subconscious impact on the present.

During this therapy, people go into a calm state where they can connect to their deeper thoughts and feelings. To help you concentrate deeper on an issue, it makes use of the increased awareness of the hypnotic state. People are taught to consider joyful memories or visualize a calm scene while in treatment. Three to four weekly sessions of 60 minutes each make up the treatment. Everyone responds to treatment to their own needs.

An expanding amount of research supports that hypnotherapy can reduce IBS symptoms by 25% to 75%.

Mental Aspects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a painful illness and it has adverse mental effects such as low quality of life and stress etc. Therefore it aims to calm the body, mind, and soul as this illness involves biopsychosocial components. This suggests that hypnotherapy has a bodily impact on the gut in addition to its mental effects, which reduces IBS symptoms.
How Does It Work?
The specific process through which hypnotherapy could alleviate IBS is still being discovered in the field of research. Yet, there are other instances in which the impact might occur. It usually involves:
  • To lessen the pain sensitivity in your gut.
  • It reduces body pain.
  • Relaxes the tensed muscles such as smooth muscles in the intestines.
  • Increases the digestion rate.
  • Lowers the somatic symptoms of illness such as breathing or sleep problems.
  • It also helps to reduce related symptoms of stress or depression.

For instance, people with IBS may suffer from stress when they attempt to carry out daily tasks, such as going to work or school, since they are worried about the future. Even the stress itself may affect the digestive system. However, you may learn to imagine that your stomach is strong, smooth, quiet, and protected with the use of this therapy.

Chapter 2:

Hypnotherapy Techniques for IBS

The therapy methods include both mental and body relaxation. Hypnotherapy is an effective tool for managing stress, which is linked to irritable bowel syndrome. As well as creating self-care routines that improve health and quality of life.

For instance, imagine your gut being free from pain as you close your eyes and relax. It is possible with hypnosis from a qualified expert. The therapy includes some of the following approaches:

A person may let go of stress by practicing mindfulness, paying attention, and offering calming ideas. Relaxing the body is necessary for mental relaxation to occur. It reduces the stress-related IBS symptoms as a result of therapy.
Gaining Confidence
People who have severe illnesses like IBS may experience depression and self-doubt. The therapy helps to reframe, and right-size your thoughts and feelings that help people increase their confidence, and develop an overall positive attitude.
Reducing Pain
This method depends on the close link between the body and the mind. A person can change how they view pain when under hypnosis. Since it is such a highly suggestible condition, you can use it as a dial or knob to adjust your pain’s severity. It is usually achieved in an imagery approach.

In addition to these techniques, there are some techniques that you can also practice at home to reduce the symptoms of IBS, such as:

Deep Breathing
It is used to induce a calm state. Exhaling helps to naturally relax since that is what a body does. It relaxes your system and makes a shift in attention by taking deep breaths and lowering the rate of your breath. Hence moving you into a peaceful state of mind and body.
Self-Guided Relaxation
As you close your eyes, focus on your breath. Inhale gently and deeply. And every time you exhale, speak out loud, “I am exhaling the pain out, I am at ease now”. Breathe more slowly and allow yourself to unwind more and more with each breath. Imagine an item moving gently up and down or side to side in your mind.

Chapter 3:

Tips for Home

Here are some of the tips for making hypnotherapy more effective by practicing some of the tips for home for reducing irritable bowel syndrome. Such as
  • Make exercise a daily routine. As it not only makes you fit but also has pain and stress-reducing effects such as a morning walk. Also, it increases digestion and improves overall wellness.
  • For good health, a balanced diet will help. If you want to have smooth bowel movements, try to include vitamins, fiber, and lots of water in your diet.
  • Set aside some time for yourself to unwind. Simply spend some time in nature, gardening, doing yoga, or reading a book. Do what make you relax and zone out for some time from your hectic routine.

Finally, do not be hesitant to seek help. IBS may be quite stressful and challenging itself. An expert’s help is not in any way a sign of weakness. Instead, accepting that you need treatment is a sign of strength and of your will to live a happy and successful life. You surely deserve it!

Chapter 4:

Call to Action

You can read “Stomach Problems – What Is up with Your Tummy” under the section on body and aches at Epsychonline. To help learn about stomach problems, their causes, and how to manage them.

Further, you can enroll in the “Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)” course on our website. This course will help you to cope with your pain and manage the other effects also.

We hope this article was helpful to you. Sign up now to learn more.

"Quick online learning, thanks!" Susan

92 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount