Hypnotherapy for IBS: Does it Really Work?

Hypnotherapy for IBS: Does it Really Work?

If you're anything like the 1 in 7 people worldwide who suffer from IBS, you've probably tried everything to combat your symptoms.
In your quest to find a solution for managing your symptoms, you may have stumbled on articles about hypnotherapy for IBS. In which case, chances are you've probably wondered: does it actually work, and is this too good to be true!?
As the creators of Nerva, we're honoured to be guest posting over on FodShop today and can confirm: it is absolutely possible for you to self-manage your symptoms from the comfort of your own home with gut-directed hypnotherapy (GDH).
We're here today to hopefully debunk some of the biggest misconceptions you've likely had about hypnotherapy and share how this non-invasive, evidence-based and natural solution for self-managing your IBS symptoms can be seamlessly integrated into your current wellness plan.

And the best part? Using GDH means you don't need to give up the food you love, or go on restrictive diets. Now that's pretty amazing, don't you agree?

First up, what is hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is a vehicle for delivering a useful message that offers therapeutic benefits and allows someone to take onboard positive suggestions at an unconscious level, where they're absorbed with focused attention.
Hypnotherapy is simply the therapeutic application of hypnosis, allowing for positive change to take place. Hypnotherapy is nothing like the stage hypnosis you may be familiar with. For starters you are in complete control the whole time; no one can make you cluck like a chicken! 
Rather, hypnotherapy feels more like a guided meditation, relaxing you, keeping you focused and enabling positive change to occur at a subconscious level, offering long term benefits and sustained change.

How does it work?

Thanks to neuroplasticity, research has confirmed that it's possible to form new neural pathways, which means that our brains are capable of learning new things; new ways of thinking and new ways of being - at any time in our lives.
During a hypnotherapy session you will be guided into a 'flow state' where you are deeply relaxed and able to take on board positive suggestions that enable new neural pathways to be formed, leading to new ways of thinking and being.
Regular practice of hypnotherapy is like building a new muscle that we can learn to strengthen over time. 
Just like going to the gym, you won't get a 6-pack after one session, but with consistency over time you will see results.

How Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy Can Help You Take Control of IBS Symptoms



The ‘gut-brain axis’ is a two-way connection between your brain (the central nervous system) and bowels (enteric nervous system). They communicate back and forth along a superhighway of nerve fibres called the vagus nerve.

It is thought that people who have IBS experience a miscommunication that's occurring between the 'gut-brain link'. This could be experienced as either the wrong messages are being sent; or that the right messages are being sent but are being confused with being faulty, when they are, in fact, completely normal!
When such a miscommunication happens, that’s when you may experience gut pain, constipation or diarrhoea.
With all this communication, or miscommunication going on, many people with IBS want to regain control over the flow of communication between their  brains and bowels — and that’s where GDH comes in.
GDH works by teaching you how to address the miscommunication between your gut and brain and turn down the dial of IBS symptoms. 
And it works!
In fact, on average, people who complete six weeks of Nerva noticed their symptoms were better managed by around 50%.
And even better? Research has confirmed that GDH is as effective as the low FODMAP diet in relieving symptoms of IBS, such as bloating and abdominal pain.

Biggest Myths about Hypnotherapy

Now let's address the elephant in the room and help bust some of the most common myths and misconceptions about hypnotherapy!

Myth #1: hypnotherapy is mind control

For many people, the first encounter they have of hypnosis is through stage hypnosis, so they believe that they will be under control of the hypnotherapist, which is a big misconception!

An important distinction to make is that stage hypnosis is intended for entertainment purposes, whereas hypnotherapy is designed for therapeutic purposes, offering positive changes and lasting benefits to the patient.
During a hypnotherapy session, a patient is always in control and can choose to take on board the therapists' suggestions, or they can choose to ignore them altogether. 
Most people have presumably experienced a state of hypnosis before, which can also be likened to a 'flow state’ where your mind is completely focused and engaged on what's happening in the present moment. 
This can often happen when driving; when your mind runs on autopilot and then before you know it you have arrived at your destination!
The only difference between these naturally occurring states and the hypnotic state a hypnotherapist will guide you into, is the purpose behind it. 
A hypnotherapist will guide you into a deeply relaxed but focused state  as a means of therapeutic application to support your healing and transformation and you will be completely conscious, and in control of your own actions.

Myth #2: You can stay stuck in hypnosis

During a hypnotherapy session you are always in control and it would be impossible for you to remain 'stuck' in hypnosis. 
Hypnosis is simply a naturally occurring state of focused attention and you always remain in the driver's seat of your experience. 
During a hypnosis session, you will be guided into a state of deep relaxation so you can experience the therapeutic benefits and once this part has completed you will be guided out of this state and back to the here and now.

Myth #3: hypnotherapy works like a magic pill

People often assume that hypnotherapy works like a magic pill and that after one session they will be completely symptom-free. 
While some people may experience benefits after one session of hypnotherapy, generally they will need anywhere from 3-6 sessions with a hypnotherapist to create lasting change.
There is a level of commitment required from the patient in order to see the long lasting benefits that hypnotherapy can provide.
Keen to try Nerva for yourself?
Start your 7-day risk-free trial here.
Bio / About Nerva:
Created by world-leading researchers, Nerva helps you self-manage and live well with IBS through science-backed gut-directed hypnotherapy. Nerva's 6-week program is accessible via an easy-to-use app, allowing you to self-manage your IBS symptoms in the comfort of your home, without restrictive diets. Find out more: www.mindsethealth.com/nerva 

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