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Hypnosis and Gastric Disorders

Hypnotherapy has gained relevance as an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) not responsive to standard care. Patients receiving hypnotherapy report a significant reduction in symptoms, anxiety, and depression. A survey of general practitioners in West Sussex, United Kingdom, found that more than 70% of family practice physicians indicated there is may be a role for hypnotherapy in the management of IBS. Further, a longitudinal study conducted at University Hospital of South Manchester, United Kingdom, demonstrated that the beneficial effects of hypnotherapy appear to last at least five years. Thus it is a viable therapeutic option for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. More recently, a review of the efficacy of hypnosis in the modulation of upper digestive motor function and secretions indicate that hypnosis is an effective treatment for functional and organic diseases of the upper bowel such as upset stomach, indigestion, esophageal chest pain, and acid reflux disease.

  • Chiarioni, G., Palsson, O. S., & Whitehead, W.E. Hypnosis and upper digestive function and disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2008; (41):6276-84.
  • Gonsalkorale, W. M., Miller, V., Afzal, A., & Whorwell, P. J. Long term benefits of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2003; 52(11): 1623–29.
  • Department of Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • Cox, S., de Lusignan S., & Chan, T. General practitioners believe that hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care. BMC Fam Pract. 2004; 5:22-29. Gillets Surgery, Balcome, West Sussex, UK.

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