Solent-hypnotherapy your hampshire hypnotherapist serving Botley, Locks Heath, Whiteley, Hedge End, Southampton, Portsmouth and South Hampshire

Your South Hampshire Professional Hypnotherapy Service:- GHR and NRH Registered Hypnotherapist


Hypnotherapy and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Midway between Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester

  Please note that no claim is being made that hypnotherapy can cure any disease, it is medically recognised that IBS is not a disease it is a functional disorder (a medical diagnosis of IBS is required prior to treatment commencing to ensure it is NOT a disease such as IBD, Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease).

  As someone who had IBS for 17 years I noticed, whilst studying for my Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis, a rapid and long-term improvement in the behaviour of my gut to the extent that there are only a couple of foods that now trigger an attack – my problem for liking hot curries and chillies. I therefore developed a special interest in the treatment of IBS through hypnotherapy, was  originally trained in IBS treatment by the BST Foundation, as well as by Michael Mahoney of the IBS Register, before developing an approach based on the comprehensive, published, research of Professor Peter Whorwell et al. I have since founded IBSHelp and I am course author and tutor of 'The Treatment of IBS through Gut Orientated Metaphor' delivered in partnership with the College of Integrated Therapies.


I am also on the GHR Specialist Register for IBS and Gut Related Disorders.

The most accepted theory is that IBS is a disorder of the interaction between the brain and the gut; a functional disorder. It is not a disease. Usually 4 weekly sessions with a couple of monthly follow up sessions  can bring very significant help for / relief from the symptoms of IBS. Historically an 80% reduction in symptoms from an individual's starting point; as from measured when commencing treatment.

Medical research on this approach can be found here from the work of Whorwell and his team.

Please note that if distance or money is a factor in being able to access treatment, Solent-Hypnotherapy offers a downloadable programme. This is not quite as individual/powerful as 1-to-1 sessions with me as they are not perfectly tailored to your own individual experience of IBS, but they are symptom specific programmes that lead you through the IBS treatment protocol.

Please click on the link below:-

Effective downloadable IBS Treatment Programmes

Below is an extract of the BBC's Alternative Therapies programme with Professor Kathy Sykes' interview with Professor Peter Whorwell on Hypnotherapy and IBS.


News Stories on IBS:

Telegraph 18 March 2010        BBC News 18 March 2010

IBS is distressing and life restricting for the estimated 10.5% in 2004 (8.2% in 2003) of the British adult population that are diagnosed sufferers and almost twice as many of those are women in comparison to men. Allowing for unreported cases, it is estimated to affect 15-20% of the general population at any one time (Hypnotherapy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: a Large-Scale Audit of a Clinical Service With Examination of Factors Influencing Responsiveness – W.M Gonsalkorale PhD, L.A. Houghton PhD., and Peter Whorwell MD FRCP – The American Journal of Gastroenterology Vol 97 No 4 2002). IBS is an anathema too as it is usually confirmed by the absence of any other condition.

Hypnotherapy is included in the 2008 NICE [National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] clinical guidelines, under psychological interventions, as a third option (with the others being diet and medication) for the management of IBS and particularly for individuals that have had the syndrome for over 12 months. This is in part due to the significant clinical research of an NHS unit in Manchester in the use of hypnotherapy in the management of IBS. Professor Peter Whorwell heads up the South Manchester Functional Bowel Service at Manchester University’s School of Medicine and is the founder of what has become known as the Manchester Model; the model of treatment that I use.

In the Manchester Model, specific gut-orientated therapy is used in the suggestion of warmth, calmness and relaxation of the colon and this can have benefits that can provide up to five years being symptom free (Whorwell PJ (2006). 'Effective Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The Manchester Model' (International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 54(1):21-6.).

The model suggests the uses of gut directed therapy over several weeks using guided imagery, particularly that of the gut as a smoothly flowing river or, the use of a tree metaphor for strength and resilience, along with teaching self-hypnosis. The Manchester Model reports that approximately 80% of patients showed significant improvement in symptoms and overall well-being; the patient audit used a statistically important 250 case histories (Hypnotherapy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The American Journal of Gastroenterology Vol 97 No 4 2002). A previous study (Galovoski T.E., Blanchard E.B. 'The Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Hypnotherapy' Applied Psycophysiological Biofeedback 1998;23;219-32)  importantly showed that hypnotic ability (how deeply you enter hypnosis) is not a factor in the success of treatment.

As the audit of hypnotherapy of Whorwell (et al) concludes “ has been shown that their [drugs] beneficial effect is lost shortly after cessation of treatment…which is in sharp contrast to hypnotherapy  where the symptomatic improvement is long-lasting.”

A final thought before starting any treatment: as the hypnotherapist I (and any hypnotherapist) must ensure that the client has had IBS diagnosed by a medical practitioner, this is a must as IBS is similar in many symptoms to diseases such as Colitis, Crohn’s disease and Coeliac disease and is usually diagnosed by positive symptoms and blood tests.


 I am situated in Curbridge which is convenient for Botley and Whiteley and being at the Heart of South Hampshire less than half an hour from both Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester. I also practice in Weybridge, Surrey. For an appointment please call Duncan  on 01489 787312 or email via the enquiry form.



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