IBS and Gut Directed Hypnotherapy

Staying in. Just in case. Staying near home. Just in case. Avoiding new things on the menu. Just in case. Food diaries. FODMAP.  Pain. Bloating. Embarrassment. Sound familiar?

You may even have had investigations and perhaps they’ve come back clear. Reassuring in one way, but so frustrating in another, since that doesn’t really explain why you have experienced such difficulties.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) isn’t fully understood yet, though it seems to behave differently than other bowel issues, such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

Our brain and body are often seen as two very distinct things, yet in reality they work very much in unison. We probably know those sayings, such as ‘trust your gut’, or  ‘rely on your gut instinct’ and actually, it may suggest that deep down, we already recognise that link between the brain and the bowel. In fact, our brain is the main driver of multiple processes in our body – and what we definitely  know, is that there is a particularly powerful, complex and direct line of two-way communication between the bowel and the brain, known as the Gut-Brain Axis. If this becomes unbalanced, particularly in times of stress, then we may notice issues in our bowel, or a worsening of existing difficulties.

Indeed, NICE (the NHS National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has produced clinical guidelines, recommending that, “hypnotherapy, and / or psychological therapy, should be considered for people with IBS who do not respond to pharmacological treatments after 12 months”.

Our hypnotherapy sessions together are influenced by the work of Professor Peter Whorwell, whose pioneering work in Manchester has greatly affected the approach to easing symptoms for IBS sufferers. My work with the research-based Clinical Hypnotherapy School, led by much respected Clinical Psychologist Dr Rachel Gillibrand, has also shaped my approach to supporting people with this distressing condition. Research suggests an Initial Consultation followed by a further six, one-hour long hypnotherapy sessions, each at weekly intervals. As always of course, our work together is about you as an individual. This means you’ll never, ever be forced into having a set number of sessions. You are in charge; you will know if and when things begin to feel easier for you  and we’ll closely review your progress as we go along.