Hypnotherapy Treatment for IBS

Author: University of Gothenburg
Published: 2012/04/03 - Updated: 2022/06/06
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Researchers demonstrate that hypnotherapy provides lasting relief, even for severe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The treatment involves the patient learning to control their symptoms through deep relaxation and individually adapted hypnotic suggestions. The idea is for the patient to use this technique in their everyday life. The study showed that 40 percent demonstrated a satisfactory reduction in symptoms, compared with 12 percent in the untreated control group.

Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy, or hypnosis, is a nonstandard or "complementary and alternative medicine" treatment. Hypnotherapy is a type of mind-body intervention in which hypnosis creates a state of focused attention and increased suggestibility in the treatment of a medical or psychological disorder or concern. Hypnosis uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness - sometimes called a trance.

Main Digest

Studies involving 346 patients conducted by researchers at The Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, showed that hypnotherapy alleviated symptoms in 40 percent of those affected - and that the improvement is long-term.

Around 15 percent of the Swedish population is thought to suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), symptoms of which include abdominal pain and alteration of bowel habits, as well as abdominal distension and bloating.

Those with milder symptoms can be helped through lifestyle advice and some medical treatments, but those with severe symptoms currently lack an effective treatment option.

Researchers at The Sahlgrenska Academy have now been able to demonstrate that hypnotherapy provides lasting relief, even for severe symptoms.

Can be used in ordinary healthcare:

IBS treatment using hypnotherapy has been studied before, but only at highly specialized "hypnotherapy centers." Researcher Magnus Simren and his colleagues at The Sahlgrenska Academy of Gothenburg University have conducted two studies to evaluate a form of treatment that could be used in ordinary healthcare.

40 percent showed reduction in symptoms:

In one of the studies, which was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 138 patients with IBS received hypnotherapy treatment for one hour a week over 12 weeks. The study showed that 40 percent demonstrated a satisfactory reduction in symptoms, compared with 12 percent in the untreated control group.

"The treatment involves the patient learning to control their symptoms through deep relaxation and individually adapted hypnotic suggestions. The idea is for the patient to use this technique in their everyday life then," says Magnus Simren.

The positive effect was sustained for the entire year for which the study ran and led to an improvement in the quality of life experienced by the treatment group.

Long-term Effect

In the other study presented in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 208 patients who had previously received hypnotherapy were examined. The results showed that 85 percent of those who had been helped by hypnosis still felt the benefits of the treatment up to seven years later - and that the majority still actively use the technique in their everyday lives.

Reduced cost for society:

"In this group, use of the healthcare system as a result of stomach and bowel symptoms had also reduced by 70 percent," says Magnus Simren. "Overall, our studies show that hypnotherapy is an effective method of treating IBS, even when provided outside of specialist 'hypnotherapy centers'. The conclusion is that hypnotherapy could reduce both the consumption of healthcare and the cost to society, and that hypnosis, therefore, belongs in the arsenal of treatments for IBS."

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication pertaining to our Hypnotherapy: Hypnosis and Hypnotism section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Hypnotherapy Treatment for IBS" was originally written by University of Gothenburg, and submitted for publishing on 2012/04/03 (Edit Update: 2022/06/06). Should you require further information or clarification, University of Gothenburg can be contacted at the gu.se/en website. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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Cite This Page (APA): University of Gothenburg. (2012, April 3). Hypnotherapy Treatment for IBS. Disabled World. Retrieved April 15, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/medical/alternative/hypnotherapy/effective.php

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