Reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common long-term condition of the digestive system. It affects about one third of people in the UK at some point in their lives. The exact symptoms experienced differ from person to person, but commonly include: abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, queasiness, bloating, flatulence and indigestion. Symptoms can vary from mild to completely debilitating. The exact causes of IBS are not known but there is a strong link between stress, anxiety and IBS symptoms. Thanks in large part to the 30 years of pioneering research by Professor Peter Whorwell, at The University of Manchester, there is a great deal of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS. In recent years, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has formally recognised hypnotherapy as an effective treatment. Research shows that about 80% of IBS sufferers can experience long-term benefit from hypnotherapy treatment across all IBS symptoms.

From almost two decades as a hypnotherapist, I have extensive experience of successfully helping clients to manage and reduce their IBS symptoms. Using Professor Whorwell’s Gut Directed Therapy approach, together with techniques from pain management, stress management, hypnotherapy, meditation and psychotherapy, I can assist you in managing your primary IBS symptoms as well as any secondary emotional difficulties, like anxiety, embarrassment or depression. These techniques combine to form a highly effective set of tools to help you take charge of your condition, feel more in control and reduce your symptoms.

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Selected Research into hypnotherapy for IBS

  • Gonsalkorale, W.M., Miller, V., Afzal, A. & Whorwell, P.J. 2003. Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut 52: 1623-9.
  • Lea, R., Houghton, L.A., Calvert, E.L., Larder, S., Gonsalkorale, W.M., Whelan, V., Randles, J., Cooper, P., Cruickshanks, P., Miller, V. & Whorwell, P.J. 2003. Gut-focused hypnotherapy normalizes disordered rectal sensitivity in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 17: 635-42.
  • Lindfors, P., Unge, P., Arvidsson, P., Nyhlin, H., Björnsson, E., Abrahamsson, H. & Simrén, M. 2012. Effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy on IBS in different clinical settings – results from two randomized, controlled trials. American Journal of Gastroenterology 107: 276-85.
  • Miller, V., Carruthers, H.R., Morris, J., Hasan, S.S., Archbold, S. & Whorwell, P.J. 2015. Hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome: an audit of one thousand adult patients. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 41: 844-55.
  • Vlieger, A.M., Menko-Frankenhuis, C., Wolfkamp, S.C., Tromp, E. & Benninga, M.A. 2007. Hypnotherapy for children with functional abdominal pain or irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Gastroenterology 133: 1430-6.
  • Whorwell, P.J., Prior, A. & Faragher, E.B. 1984. Controlled trial of hypnotherapy in the treatment of severe refractory irritable-bowel syndrome. The Lancet 2: 1232-4.

Mark Witter

Mark Witter MA DHP PhD

A highly qualified and experienced hypno-psychotherapist, creating a safe, compassionate and professional environment to confidentially support your healing and personal development.

Find out more about Mark