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NHS News – IBS and Hypnotherapy

“Hypnosis is twice as effective at relieving agonising symptoms of IBS than other methods,” reports the Mail Online.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition in which people get repeated episodes of stomach pain and discomfort, along with bowel problems such as diarrhoea and constipation. Some people get relief from lifestyle and diet changes or medicines, including peppermint oil and antispasmodic medication, but these treatments do not help everyone.

UK guidelines say people should be offered IBS-focused hypnotherapycognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or psychological therapy if changes in diet and medications do not work after 12 months. However, it is unclear whether group treatment works as well as individual hypnotherapy.

Researchers in the Netherlands compared the effects of receiving hypnotherapy in either groups or individually, with receiving just group education and support about IBS. They found that up to half of people who had individual or group hypnotherapy had adequate relief from their symptoms compared with less than a quarter of people who only had education and support.

The results for those who took part in group hypnotherapy sessions were about the same as those who had individual hypnotherapy treatment. Read more here