The Science Bit
Hypnotherapy is acknowledged by medical professionals as an effective treatment for IBS, largely thanks to 30 years of research by Professor Peter Whorwell of Wythenshawe University Hospital, Manchester. I attended a master class and offer treatment based on the protocol Professor Whorwell developed.
Professor Whorwell is an NHS Consultant who sees some of the most difficult IBS cases in the UK. He works alongside Hypnotherapists using gut directed hypnotherapy – i.e. the patient visualises relief for their symptoms.
“IBS is ideal for treatment with hypnosis, as there is no structural damage to the body,” explained Professor Whorwell. “During the hypnotherapy, sufferers learn how to influence and gain control of their gut function, and then seem to be able to change the way the brain modulates their gut activity.”
With a success-rate of about 70% Professor Whorwell believes that, hypnotherapy could be an extremely effective treatment for the condition; and a less expensive alternative to new, costly drugs coming onto the market.
In February 2008, The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended hypnotherapy as a second line of treatment for IBS after drugs were tried for 12 months without success.