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Hypnosis for IBS > In-Person Hypnotherapy > Questions to Ask

In-Person Irritable Bowel Syndrome Hypnotherapy

In-person hypnosis for IBS requires finding a qualified hypnotherapist and undergoing a series of sessions in his or her office. The therapist should discuss your IBS symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, pain, gas, bloating) with you and what you hope to achieve in terms of reduction. You will then lie down in a comfortable position and the therapist will use one of several techniques to induce a state of hypnosis.

Once you enter this state you should feel deeply relaxed, and you will be asked to stop thinking consciously. As stress, worries, pain, and negative thoughts are cleared from your mind you will focus with intent concentration on the instructions the therapist gives you. The suggestions you're offered may use imagery or other creative thinking to help your symptoms diminish or disappear once you've returned to a normal waking state.

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To achieve results, a patient needs self-motivation, repetition, and believable suggestions.[1] For IBS (spastic colon) sufferers, the first requirement is practically a moot point. No one is more likely to want an improvement in your health than you, as you're the one suffering from the symptoms. Having this clear intention and motivation for change will help the hypnotic suggestions take hold in your subconscious and manifest successful outcomes in your daily life.

Repetition of the suggestions must be reinforced by repetition. Typically, hypnotherapy sessions need to be repeated on a regular basis until you notice an improvement. Your therapist may also give you a tape of your session to listen to on the days you do not have an in-person session. You are trying to change a physical health problem that you've likely been struggling with (and emotionally impacted by) for quite some time. A single hypnotherapy session or two will not be enough to overcome your IBS – it will take a little time and dedication to therapy on your part.

The third key to successful hypnotherapy is the use of believable suggestions. If your subconscious is to accept a suggestion, your mind must first allow that it is a real possibility. This is why it is crucial that a hypnotherapist be knowledgeable about your particular problem (IBS or otherwise), how it physically and emotionally affects you, and what constitutes a realistic address of your symptoms.

The real fly in the ointment when it comes to finding a suitable hypnotherapist for IBS is that there are so few in America with experience in this field.[2]

As a result, you will need to grill any prospective therapists with both IBS-specific and general practice questions.


[1] Dr. Thomas D. Yarnell, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist.

[2] The United Kingdom is another story. The British Medical Association approved hypnotherapy as a valid medical treatment in 1955, and the UK currently approves its use in many situations under the national health care plan. The UK is one of the world leaders in using hypnotherapy specifically for IBS; some hospital gastroenterolgy departments actually employ hypnotherapists to treat the condition. The UK also offers a list of certified IBS Hypnotherapists.



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