A study from the Manchester University found that three quarters of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients experienced improvement in their symptoms after hypnotherapy, with results lasting for as long as five years.
But, researchers warn that many sufferers may continue on in discomfort due to the pessimism of some doctors.
“Sadly many health professions are skeptical,’ says Professor Peter Whorwell, who pioneered the treatment at Manchester. “It works for people who are quite ill and who have not responded to other treatments.”
Affecting ten to 15 per cent of the population, IBS can cause stomach cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. Radical diet change is one of the most commonly employed treatments by sufferers.
The hypnotherapy treatment includes weekly sessions for three months, during which patients are also provided with suggestions about how they can gain control over their gut.