- Hypnotherapy Can Provide Lasting Relief for IBS Sufferers, New Research Shows -

By Amy Taylor republished on February 06, 2018

In a study involving a total of 346 patients, researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found out that hypnotherapy can be an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Hypnosis as an Effective Treatment for IBS

IBS is one of the most common health problems in UK, affecting 10-20 percent of the population. This condition is characterised by abdominal cramps and distension, irregular bowel movement, and bloating. While some of the symptoms can be relieved by prescription medications, people with severe IBS symptoms lack more effective treatment option because until now, there is no cure for IBS. All approaches used at present are only intended to minimise symptoms, not to completely free a person from IBS.

But in two separate studies, Swedish researchers were able to find an alternative method to relieve IBS symptoms for a much longer time – hypnotherapy.

The first study involves 138 IBS sufferers. For twelve weeks, they underwent one-hour hypnotherapy sessions. Participants were taught how to control their symptoms through deep relaxation and positive suggestion. Hypnotherapy is designed in a way that even without the assistance of a professional practitioner, patients can regulate and minimise their IBS symptoms. At the end of the trial, their conditions were assessed. It was found that 40% of those who had hypnotherapy experienced significant reduction in IBS symptoms. Not only that, they were able to manage their condition as well for the entire year following the treatment. On the second study which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 208 IBS patients were examined after undergoing hypnotherapy. It was shown that 85% of those who received hypnosis treatment experienced reduction in symptoms for up to seven years. Furthermore, they found that the number of people who seek medical care to address their IBS have reduced by 70%.

The lead researcher Magnus Simrén pointed out that hypnosis for IBS has been studied in the past but only at highly specialised hypnotherapy centres. Their findings suggest that hypnotherapy as a form of treatment that can be used in ordinary healthcare.

More on IBS

IBS is a chronic gut disorder which has an unknown cause. Nonetheless, it is believed that stress, low immune system, and problems in the gut muscles trigger the onset of IBS. It is estimated that one in 10 people suffer from severe IBS. According to the NHS official website, 10-20% of people in the UK are likely to experience IBS at some point in their lives. Furthermore, women are more at risk of suffering from IBS than men. There is no standard test used to diagnose this condition and health professionals only make their diagnoses based on the symptoms. While this condition can be extremely debilitating, it poses no danger to a person’s health. Some other symptoms of IBS include diarrhoea, sharp pain in the lower part of the rectum, excessive passage of wind, muscle and joint pains, headaches, and other kinds of discomfort.

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