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How Effective Is Hypnotherapy for IBS?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2020
    Conjecture Corporation
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Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that affects the gastrointestinal system and includes bloating, gas and constant cramping and pain. Research into the effects of hypnotherapy for IBS has found that hypnosis may be a useful tool for some people in decreasing pain and bloating. This may be due to the relaxing effects of hypnosis, which can help decrease inflammation and increase resistance to low or moderate pain. More research is needed to determine the full effects of hypnotherapy for IBS. Although hypnosis and hypnotherapy for IBS can be helpful, it should only be used as a complementary approach to IBS management.

Some research has shown that hypnotherapy for IBS can be an effective treatment plan for those suffering from low to moderate abdominal pain, gas and bloating. Studies involving patients with irritable bowel syndrome have shown that the success rate of hypnotherapy for IBS can be as high as 70 percent in some cases. It is unknown as to the exact effects hypnosis and meditation have on the body, yet there are some clues to why it may be successful. One theory is that hypnosis may be able to decrease stressful thoughts or emotions, which can have an impact on digestion and the gastrointestinal system.

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What researchers do know about hypnosis and IBS treatment is that hypnotherapy can help provide deep relaxation in many people. Relaxation may be helpful in relieving constipation in some cases, especially for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, helping to relieve cramping and abdominal pain. Relaxation may also be helpful in reducing inflammatory processes in the body, providing the body with a natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce pain and swelling in different areas of the body. How this occurs is unknown; however, this subject matter has provided researchers with interesting data to investigate.

Another component of hypnotherapy treatment for IBS is the methods used to teach patients how to control aspects of their gut function with their minds. By using certain suggestions, a hypnotherapist may be able to give a patient a posthypnotic suggestion that will allow the patient to go into a deep relaxed state whenever a gastrointestinal flareup occurs. It is more probable that these methods work for those with low to moderate IBS, and not necessarily for those with a high level of IBS. Most doctors agree that hypnotherapy can often be used safely alongside the proper medical advice.

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