Hypnotherapy app eases irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in six weeks

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects many people; roughly 8 million people are thought to be affected in the UK. The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) says IBS can be debilitating, preventing people from achieving simple tasks such as going shopping or enjoying long walks. Comprising of symptoms such as abdominal pain, this syndrome can have a big impact on life quality. Often doctors feel powerless to help; the mechanisms of IBS are poorly understood by most and many treatments are only somewhat effective.

Gastrointestinal disorders are complex, and the causes are different for every patient. It’s important that if you experience sudden changes in your digestion and comfort levels that you see a GP and receive a diagnosis as these symptoms can be an indicator of serious illness.


Grace Wade reported in New Scientist that …”the chronic gut pain people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience may be due to long-lasting activation of a select group of gut cells. In mice, these cells continue to react to irritants even after the substances have left the gut.” This over-sensitivity leads to the cramping, churning, diahorrea, and constipation as the digestive system tries to react to what it perceives as an invader.

Dr Peter Whorwell is one of the world’s leading experts in IBS management is pioneering treatment for IBS using gut-directed hypnotherapy.  That is, hypnotherapy which specifically draws a person’s attention to the sensations and activities in their gut and uses the power of the mind to calm the system.

In 2018 specialists from the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands decided to investigate more into the mechanism of gut directed hypnotherapy.  They found that their research subjects who participated in hypnotherapy (either individual or group sessions) reported a statistically significant improvement in their IBS symptoms.  A newly released app called Nerva which guides people through an online hypnotherapy programme claims that the majority of their members see a significant improvement in 6 weeks of daily sessions.

With so many different hypnotherapy based options available to people who are suffering from IBS, it seems clear that this is the way of the future.  Rather than attempting to figure out complicated or expensive restricted diets or curtailing activity, people can find a trained hypnotherapist for individual or group sessions, or use an app to learn the tools that they need to start to feel comfortable.

To find a hypnotherapist who is trained in gut directed hypnotherapy, please visit the NCH therapist finder.


Photo by Askar Abayev

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