Hypnotherapy for IBS

Hypnotherapy, also referred to as hypnosis or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnotherapy is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions.

Hypnotherapy can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It’s important to know that although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don’t lose control over your behavior.

Gut-directed hypnotherapy has been investigated extensively over the past three decades as a treatment option for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in adults. Almost 30 clinical research studies have been published on the topic. Hypnotherapy significantly improved bowel symptoms and, often, the associated quality of life and emotional symptoms. Diaphragmatic breathing plays a large part in achieving the calmness and the reduction in stress that accompanies hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is only one of several approaches to treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome and may not be the most suitable option for all patients. However, hypnotherapy treatment has some advantages which makes it an attractive option for many IBS sufferers with chronic and severe symptoms:

    • It is one of the most successful treatment approaches for chronic IBS. The response rate to treatment is 80% and better in most published research studies to date.
    • The treatment often helps individuals who have failed to get improvements with other methods
    • It is a uniquely comfortable form of treatment; relaxing, easy and generally enjoyable.
    • It utilizes the healing power of the person’s own mind, and is generally completely without negative side effects.
    • The treatment sometimes results in improvement in other symptoms or problems such as migraine or tension headaches, along with the improvement in IBS symptoms.
    • The beneficial effects of the treatment last long after the end of the course of treatment. According to research, individuals who improve from hypnosis treatment for IBS can generally look forward to years of reduced bowel symptoms.

IBShypnosis.com is a reference website by Dr. Olafur Palsson PsyD that provides a link to US healthcare professionals who offer hypnotherapy treatment for IBS.

IBS Audio Program 100, referred by thousands as “Mike’s Tapes” developed by Michael Mahoney Hypnotherapist, was a pioneer in developing a home-based Hypnosis treatment for IBS patients.


Mayo Clinic: Hypnosis
Lancet: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(18)30344-3

Last updated on Jan 12, 2021