Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a huge missed opportunity for the NHS. This common, very distressing problem responds well to hypnotherapy. The NHS gastro-enterology service in South Manchester has been offering hypnotherapy to help with this condition for many years now, with good results, which have been carefully researched and the findings presented in scientific journals. Yet despite this, no other NHS Trust has adopted this treatment method.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common condition in which the intestines move either too fast (causing diarrhoea) or too slowly (causing constipation), without any physical disease to account for this problem. Basically it is an extreme example of the way the intestines normally respond to stress and anxiety. The bowels, like the skin, have a close connection to the nervous system, and respond immediately to mood changes. In IBS, a vicious circle is created when diarrhoea and severe constipation become causes of anxiety in themselves. Hypnotherapy works in these cases by promoting general relaxation, reducing anxiety, and suggesting a more regular and moderate action of the intestines.