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Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, then you know just how emotionally draining it is when you begin to feel that painful cramping and bloating in your abdomen.

You know how it impairs the quality of your life. How it makes your world grow smaller and smaller. How it affects your work. How it even prevents you from making simple plans to have a meal with friends, because you have no idea how you might be feeling.

Unfortunately, conventional treatments have a fairly low success rate because there is no real structural damage involved with this disease. This means physicians are often left just telling you to learn to relax and giving you medication to help you cope with the pain.

Fortunately, there has now been over 20 years of clinical research done at the University of Manchester in England that proves hypnosis is currently the most effective way to treat this painful condition because it has at least a 70% success rate.

Hypnosis can help you reduce those feelings of stress and anxiety that are major factors in triggering an attack. It can help to reduce any pain and inflammation you may experience. It can help you make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. It can even help you resolve those emotional issues that often play a major role in the development of this disease.

Call 416-556-6238 today to find out more.

You can even book a free 40-minute telephone consultation with a qualified hypnotist who will be happy to answer all of your questions.

IBS Fact Sheet

This is chronic condition involving abdominal pain and cramping in the bowels and intestines due to bloating, gaseousness, diarrhea and constipation.


  • stress and anxiety (which reduces the flow of blood to the digestive organs);

  • depression;

  • emotional conflicts;

  • excessive worry;

  • divorce and bereavement;

  • childhood sexual abuse;

  • domestic abuse;

  • poor diet (particularly a lack of fibre and too much milk and caffeine, as well as large meals and spicy foods);

  • drinking too much alcohol;

  • smoking;

  • lack of physical fitness.


  • bloating;

  • gas;

  • nausea;

  • tenderness in the large intestine;

  • abdominal cramps and pain;

  • constipation or diarrhea;

  • anxiety and depression;

  • tiredness and fatigue;

  • headaches;

  • backaches;

  • difficulty concentrating.

How Hypnosis Can Help You

If you have IBS, then hypnosis is ideally suited to helping you deal with this condition because:

  • it can give you a greater sense of control over your life;

  • it can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and other emotions that can make your symptoms worse;

  • it has an analgesic effect and can help to block pain and discomfort;

  • it can help you to regulate and sooth your digestive system;

  • it can help you to increase the flow of blood into your digestive system and reduce any inflammation;

  • it can enhance your innate capacity to heal yourself;

  • it can improve your ability to follow sound medical advice and work with your physicians;

  • it can help you deal with the emotional aspects of your illness;

  • it can help you make any necessary dietary and lifestyle changes;

  • it can help by allowing you to dissociate yourself (focus your mind and attention elsewhere) from your condition so it is not nearly as annoying and uncomfortable;

  • it can help if there is a link between a specific emotional trauma and the onset of your condition;

  • it can help if your IBS involves any subconscious and state-dependent processes.

Some Research That Proves These Claims...

The scientific research is conclusive. If you are capable of entering into a moderately deep state of hypnosis (something 70% of the population can achieve), then hypnosis can help you. Here is a summation of some of these studies...

Controlled Trial of Hypnotherapy in the Treatment of Severe Refractory Irritable-Bowel Syndrome. Lancet. 1984 Dec 1;2(8414):1232-4. Whorwell PJ, Prior A, Faragher EB.

This study was one of the earliest ones that proved IBS could be successfully treated with hypnosis. It involved 30 patients who were suffering from severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome. They were randomly assigned to two groups. One received hypnotherapy, while the other received psychotherapy. The patients who were in the psychotherapy group showed a small improvement in some aspects of their condition, while those in the hypnosis group showed a dramatic improvement in all aspects of their condition.

Hypnotherapy in Severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Further Experience. Gut. 1987 Apr;28(4):423-5. Whorwell PJ, Prior A, Colgan SM.

This paper reports on a study conducted on 15 patients, eighteen months after they were successfully treated with hypnosis for severe intractable irritable bowel syndrome. The authors report that even though two of the patients had minor relapses (and were successfully treated with hypnosis again) all patients still remained free of any symptoms 18 months later.

Symptomatology, Quality of Life and Economic Features of Irritable Bowel Syndrome – The Effect Of Hypnosis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 1996 Feb, 10:1, 91-5. Houghton LA, Heyman DJ, Whorwell PJ.

This study involved 50 patients who were all suffering from severe IBS. Twenty-five of them were treated with hypnosis and 25 were treated with more conventional means. At the end of the study, the researchers found that those who were treated with hypnosis showed a significant improvement in their condition when compared to the other group. They also determined that those who were treated with hypnosis took less time off work , made fewer visits to their physicians and had a better (self-reported) quality of life. This lead the authors of this study to conclude there were substantial economic savings involved in treating IBS with hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Large-Scale Audit of the Clinical Service With Examination of Factors Influencing Responsiveness. Am J Gastroenterol 2002 Apr;97(4):954-61. Gonsalkorale WM, Houghton LA, Whorwell PJ.

This is a report on the first 250 patients to use a new facility in England exclusively dedicated to using hypnosis to help those suffering from IBS. All 250 patients received 12 individual hypnosis sessions over a three month period and were required to practice self-hypnosis at home between sessions. There was a marked improvement in all symptoms of IBS among all patients (with the exception of males who were also suffering from diarrhea), as well as an improvement in their quality of life and a reduction in feelings of depression and anxiety.

Long-Term Improvement in Functional Dyspepsia Using Hypnotherapy. Gastroenterology. 2002 Dec;123(6):1778-85. Calvert EL.

This study involved 126 patients who were suffering from functional dyspepsia (digestive problems). They were randomly assigned to one of three groups for a 16-week program. One group received hypnosis, another received ‘supportive therapy’ (which included a placebo medication), while the third received medical treatment. At the end of the program it was found that those given hypnosis had improved by 59%, compared to a 41% improvement among those given supportive therapy, and a 33% improvement among those treated medically. Fifty-six weeks later during a follow-up, it was found that those who had been given hypnosis and those who had been given medical treatments had both continued to improve (the hypnosis group had now improved by 79% and the medical treatment group by 43%), while those who had received supportive therapy had declined (to 33%) . However, by this point, 90% of the medical treatment group and 82% of the supportive therapy group had begun to take medication for this condition; something that no one in the hypnosis group had done. Furthermore, those who had been in the hypnosis group had significantly reduced the number of visits they made to see their physicians (with a median of 1 visit, compared to a median of 4 visits in both of the other groups). The authors of this study concluded that in addition to providing an effective treatment for dyspepsia, there were significant economic advantages to encouraging those with this illness to have it treated with hypnosis.

Prokinetic Effect of Gut-Oriented Hypnosis on Gastric Emptying. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Apr 15;23(8):1241-9. Chiarioni G, Vantini I, DE Iorio F, Benini L. Houghton LA, Cooper P, Morris J, Whorwell PJ.

This study focused on how hypnosis affects the speed it takes for food and drink to empty from the stomach (gastric emptying) in 11 healthy subjects and 15 patients who were suffering from digestive problems (dyspepsia). Both groups were monitored under 3 conditions: during rest; after cisapride (a drug that increases the speed at which the stomach empties); and during a 90-minute hypnosis session. It was found that among the 15 patients who were suffering from digestive problems (dyspepsia), it took an average of 274 minutes for the stomach to empty during rest, 227 minutes with cisapride and 150 minutes with hypnosis. Among the 11 healthy subjects, only hypnosis significantly increased the speed at which the stomach emptied. This study concluded that hypnosis is effective in helping to shorten the time it takes to empty the stomach in both healthy and dyspeptic subjects.

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