Living with IBS or SIBO is no easy task. Sometimes it seems like symptoms can come and go but one thing that’s certain is that the condition causes a lot of anxiety and stress due to the fact that digestive symptoms can be unpredictable and at times very severe.
This is why learning about alternative therapies can be helpful if you have IBS. I have found that for most people it usually takes a combination of conventional and alternative therapies to find more consistent relief.
In this article, we will go over the benefits of hypnotherapy for IBS, what hypnotherapy is, and studies that have shown excellent results in IBS patients who used professional gut-specific hypnotherapy.
When you initially hear the word “hypnotherapy,” the first thing that probably comes to your mind is someone on stage in front of a large audience convincing people to sing, dance or perform other unusual acts after being hypnotized.
Professional, medical hypnotherapy for IBS and other disorders, on the other hand, is a guided form of therapy that can be used along with other forms of psychological or medical treatment.1
Typically performed by a trained psychologist or psychiatrist, hypnotherapy guides the patient into a trance-like state that transforms their awareness inward to address suppressed emotions, as well as discover, within themselves, ways in which they can make the necessary changes in their lives to regain control.
Indications for Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy can be used to treat a variety of psychological and biological disorders. Some of these include:
Gastrointestinal side effects of pregnancy and chemotherapy 1
Hypnotherapy: What to Expect
Depending on the health provider, hypnotherapy can be performed various different ways. Typically, in a clinical environment, hypnotherapy will be performed in a calm and therapeutic area, in which the therapist will guide the patient into a relaxed and focused state 1.
During this process, the patient will be asked a variety of questions about their personal experiences and situations in an effort to allow for a more positive outlook to be placed on these events.
The hypnotherapist who guides the patient will take them through guided meditations, visual journeys, and calming techniques specific to the patient’s condition. Most of the time this is accompanied by relaxing music as well.
Hypnotherapy for IBS
As many IBS sufferers can probably agree, conventional treatments for IBS are not always successful, as these types of medications often fail to address the wide variety of symptoms that IBS patients endure.
Gut-directed hypnotherapy has been shown to be an extremely effective treatment for patients with IBS, as improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and bloating, overall quality of life, as well as associated symptoms such as nausea, lethargy and backache have been improved through this form of treatment.
For example, there have also been a few different scientific studies done using hypnotherapy in patients with IBS. You can see these studies in the chart below.
Majority of responders still used hypnotherapy after treatment
Reduced health care costs
Typically, gut-directed hypnotherapy for the treatment of IBS will involve one session per week of an hour-long duration for a total of 12 weeks.
There is now a better option for gut-specific hypnotherapy you can do in the comfort of your own home that is guided by one of the top hypnotherapists in the world, Michael Mahoney. It is a 100-day program that has been optimized through many patient trials.
In 1984, a group of clinical researchers led by Peter Whorwell in Manchester, England investigated the potential use of a structured intervention, which we now recognize as gut-specific hypnotherapy, as a treatment of IBS. At the conclusion of this study, patients experienced such an improvement in their IBS symptoms that hypnotherapy has become an increasingly used treatment option for this gastrointestinal disorder.
Since the results of this study were so promising for IBS patients, the researchers decided to expand their work and investigate the ways in which hypnotherapy can also be a useful treatment option for individuals with other functional gastrointestinal disorders, some of which include gastric acid production, upper digestive disorders, such as those affecting gastric emptying rates, frequently relapsing peptic ulcers, functional dyspepsia and several others.
The efficacy of these studies is further explored in Table 1.
Gastric Acid Secretion
Hypnosis therapies involved deep muscle relaxation and intense imagery (such as lying on a beach, watching a sunset, etc.) to take the patient’s attention away from eating.
Spiegel & Klein (1989)
Upper Digestive Transit
Types of hypnosis used:
Visualization of cascading waterfall to promote faster GI transit
Beaugerie et al. (1991)
Gastric Emptying Rates
Guided verbal progressive relaxation
Warmed hands were placed over upper GI organs (esophagus and stomach) to encourage improved GI function
Flowing river and waterfall imagery
Chiarioni et al. (2006)
16-week treatment phase followed up by a 40 week follow up phase
Patients were instructed to have their eyes fixed on certain objects, which was followed by progressive muscular relaxation that was eventually deepened
Patients were also asked to place their hands on their abdomens and image their symptoms improving
Results: Lowered anxiety scores, improved quality of life but unknown why improvements are shown
Calvert et al. (2002)
Although a tremendous amount of relief was achieved by utilizing hypnotherapy for the aforementioned disorders, researchers believe that more studies need to be performed by independent investigators before the widespread use of hypnotherapy is applied for the treatment of upper digestive disorders.
Additionally, the time and cost of hypnotherapy treatments, as well as the limited amount of individuals who are trained in this type of psychological therapy are also important factors to consider when determining the effectiveness of these alternative treatment options.
Hypnotherapy for the Gut-Brain Connection
The gut-brain connection is often prone to dysregulation in GI disorders, such as IBS and SIBO. In these situations, the use of medical hypnotherapy provides a way to connect and treat the “second brain” of the enteric nervous system (ENS) with the severity of the symptoms that patients with these types of GI disorders experience.
By entering a state of deep meditation, such as that which is achieved with hypnotherapy, patients suffering from severe GI disorders are able to turn off that dysregulation and allow their digestive systems to heal.
The IBS Audio Program 100 Gut-Specific Hypnotherapy
Imagine that doing something every day for only 30 minutes could bring a drastic relief to your GI symptoms. If you are someone who has been struggling with your GI symptoms associated with SIBO, IBS, GERD or other debilitating GI disorders, you are most likely thinking – how and when can I sign up for this?
The IBS Audio 100 Program does just that – curated by Mr. Michael Mahoney, who is well known for his development of the Ongoing Progressive Session Induction Method (OPSIM), this program lasts 100 days, which taken together is a little over 3 months.
Each day, your 30-minute session will bring you through progressive, calming and deep meditations that will attempt to help you calm down your GI tract, as well as relieve any anxieties or fears you may feel regarding your GI disorders.
The IBS Audio 100 Program is a convenient option you can do anywhere to achieve the same benefits that countless other patients with IBS and related GI disorders have accomplished by attending expensive hypnotherapy sessions at a doctors office.
A.B. – Cheshire, England
“The senior clinical pediatrician recommended IBS Audio after my daughter missed 2 years of school; her studies were sent home and clinical psychiatrists tried to help her but with no benefit. Upon completion of the sessions, my daughter went back to school, getting good grades and is now studying for a profession and no going back”
J. F. – England
“I had been suffering from IBS for the longest time when my daughter purchased the IBS Audio Program 100 for me. I was skeptical, but she paid for it so I owed it to her and myself to give it a try. And what a powerful message this is…I could hardly believe it within the first week I was seeing changes and feeling better…I think I did after the first few days (that introduction is just so amazing)…Within a month I felt brilliant, by the end of the program, it was such a relief to know I could feel so much better. I finished the program 10 months ago and I have never looked back. I found the content was excellent and the listening schedule was so easy to follow, and yet it kept me on track and made so much sense too. THANK YOU!”
“I just really wanted to take a chance to thank you. Your CDs have changed my life…wait, given me my life back. It still just amazes me that doing those relaxing CDs changed me so much. I am having trouble expressing just what it means to me and how much my life has been impacted. My attitude is different about everything I’m not afraid to go to work or friends’ houses. I don’t have pain all the time. Not only do I wish there was a way I could buy everyone a set of your CDs that can’t afford it, but I want to get the word out to doctors and anyone that will listen. Everyone needs to at least try these. There is nothing else I have ever done that comes close to the physical and mental improvements I have seen from doing your CDs. Thank you with all my heart.”
To find out more about the IBS Audio 100 Program, click here.
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