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An Update on Irritable Bowel Syndrome*

Australian Hypnotherapists Association (AHA) History – Irritable Bowel Syndrome –

In 2005, Horace Drew, a scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech, worked for CSIRO for 23 years as a molecular biologist, and was a renowned expert in translating crop circles, took an interest in

Horace submitted an abstract on Irritable Bowel Syndrome; “Hypnotherapy in Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
A Large-scale Audit of a Clinical Service with Examination of Factors Influencing Responsiveness” 
authors were Wendy M Gonsalkorale, Lesley A Houghton & Peter J Whorwell. The Research came from
the Department of Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

As the then National President of the AHA at that time, I was interested in what type of hypnotherapy was used.

Horace accordingly contacted Professor Whorwell who suggested that I contact Wendy M Gonsalkorale who generously sent suggestions on the basic framework of the hypnotherapy sessions and two scripts that they used with the patients.

I invited the current President of the Gastroenterologists Society of Australia, Professor Peter Gibson to a trauma presentation I was giving at a Victorian Workshop of the AHA. He was accompanied by Dr. Sanjay Nandurker.

Over lunch, we spoke at length about the UK research and from this meeting, the AHA organised an all-day IBS workshop which was held in most states of Australia.

Presenters included Professor Gibson, who showed how the gut functioned and how they worked with IBS patients, and Dr. Sue Shephard who is internationally known for her FODMAP diet. Sue identified those foods to have and those to avoid in her FODMAP (which I have posted below). I spent the afternoon on the hypnotherapy component.

Professor Peter Gibson later became an Honorary Member of the AHA and I have been invited to speak at Monash University in both Hypnotherapy and IBS.
In 2006 I was invited by Dr. Nandurker to give 2 back-to-back workshops at the Crown Hotel in Melbourne. 
This one-day symposium was sponsored by AstraZeneca for clinicians on the ‘Challenges in Gastroenterology’. My presentation was called ‘Hypnotherapy for functional gut disease’.

The workshop was attended by interstate gastroenterologists and overseas speakers. The evening prior to the workshop was a meet and greet, finger food affair for the participants. As president of the Australian Hypnotherapy Association (at that time), I moved between groups and introduced myself as one of the speakers.

The intention of this venture was for Gastroenterologists to send patients to AHA hypnotherapists. The reverse happened. Some Gastroenterologist learned hypnotherapy to enable them to use it with their patients.

Over the years I have kept in touch with some of these gastroenterologists and regularly forward any new research that comes to my attention.

Some members of the AHA would remember Simone Peters. Simone provided me with the Abstract of her research (shown below) which she did to complete her Ph.D.

“FOODMAP diet and hypnotherapy research trials”.

A Randomised clinical trial: the efficacy of gut-directed hypnotherapy is similar to that of the low
FODMAP diet for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
Authors S. L. Peters, C. K. Yao, H. Philpott, G. W. Yelland, J. G. Muir, P. R. Gibson
First published: 11 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/apt.13706

Durable effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy are similar to those of the low FODMAP diet for the relief of gastrointestinal symptoms. Hypnotherapy has superior efficacy to the diet on psychological indices. No additive effects were observed. For the full article; click on the AP&T book logo to the left. 

Whilst at the time when giving talks at Monash University I was hoping that this would gain increased work for clinical hypnotherapists, what has come out of this venture is that Gastroenterologists at Monash University will be taught gut focussed hypnotherapy to help their patients. As you will note from the ABC video here, 5 sessions with an improvement of 80%, shows just how powerfully hypnotherapy can be to help this and many more issues.

In defense of the well-trained hypnotherapist; I read on the Medscape site that Dr. Peters said in her writing to doctors that they needed to use a gastroenterologist that knew how the gut worked. Yes, it would be helpful to know what problems your client is having with their gut and know how that is caused in the gut, and what history may have started this symptom we call IBS. This enables you as the hypnotherapist to formulate hypnotic visualisations and suggestions to correct the problems the client is experiencing with their IBS symptoms. But that goes for anything that hypnotherapists are helping clients with. If they don’t know what to do, they are trained to on-refer.

Hypnotherapists without knowledge of how the gut works, in today’s age of technology, can find out through searching on the internet the information they need to know. As an example, you may wish to learn more yourself and are able to look at this youtube posted by Nucleus Health here… which was the first link I clicked on to support my writing here. I am sure I could find other sites if I felt this information wasn’t useful to me.

Taking the history of the client, you would find out if the client is on medication, and query if they are having side effects from this. Again, on the internet, you can check the side effects of any drug – look here… so you can ask the right questions to check if this could be a normal reaction to the drug they are taking. If it was severe, you can send them back to the doctor to talk to them about that.

A talk to a hypnotherapist to check if they know enough to be helpful to you (the consumer) before you make your booking, helps you to get the best treatment available.

It is Well to remember that even doctors give out different medications for the same health problem. In the same way, I learned early in my training that any two therapists can go through the same training and yet only one consistently gets better results. This can be due to personality traits of the client/therapist interaction. So before making an appointment, check your therapist out and use your gut feeling if this seems the right person for you.

(Don’t forget to click on the return arrow to come back to continue reading this page.)

Original Article before the update:

A large-scale UK study of 250 people suffering from acute long-term Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) participated in 12 sessions of hypnotherapy that clearly demonstrated that hypnotherapy significantly reduced their symptoms and improved their quality of life.  There were also the additional benefits, for most participants, in that they experienced a noticeable reduction in feelings of anxiety and depression.

Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in a number of previous research studies. This has led to the establishment of the first Unit in the UK staffed by six therapists which provide this treatment as a clinical service.

In some cases, symptoms can be so severe that IBS sufferers find themselves having problems coping with work.   They don’t find it easy to socialise as they may have bloating, diarrhea, constipation, emit smelly gasses and noises – leaving the sufferer miserable and depressed.

Marked improvement was seen in all symptom measures, quality of life, anxiety, and depression, in keeping with previous studies.

The study clearly demonstrated that hypnotherapy remains an extremely effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome which should prove more cost-effective as new, more expensive drugs come on to the market.  It may be less useful in males with diarrhea-predominant bowel habit.

Dr. Sue Shepherd, of Shepherd Works, developed the low FODMAP diet in 2001. She has proven, through her pioneering Ph.D. research, that limiting dietary FODMAPs is an effective treatment for people with symptoms of IBS. The low FODMAP diet has been published in international medical journals and is now accepted and recommended as one of the most effective dietary therapies for IBS.

FODMAP* is an acronym for;
Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans),
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose),
Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt).

The new research indicates that Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy is not inferior to the Low-Fodmap Diet in Reducing Symptoms Associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Your complete on-the-go guide to the Low FODMAP Diet 

With the Monash University Low FODMAP DietTM app you’ll have easy access to recommendations about the foods you should eat – and those you should avoid – at every meal.

The app is direct from the research team that first developed the FODMAP Diet and includes:

  • An easy guide to which foods are low and high in FODMAPs
  • Over 80 delicious low FODMAP recipes
  • A digital version of the Monash University Low FODMAP DietTM Guide

You are able to download the app here…

Hypnosis –

My hypnotherapy protocol is to –

  • Release any negative energy from past negative events.
  • Use direct suggestions / visualisations to create change
  • Teach you how to use your mind in self-hypnosis and visualisation to change how your gut works.
  • There is an MP3 I will ask you to get which is designed to help to get everything working normally.

To make a face-to-face Booking go here…

To ask further questions or to make a Skype booking contact me here…