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Hypnosis as a successful IBS treatment?

About the author: 

I was rather surprised at the article on IBS (WDDTY, Vol 4 No 1) because the author seemed totally unaware of the psychological literature on the subject and in particular the very successful use of hypnosis for the treatment of IBS

Dear WDDTY

I was rather surprised at the article on IBS (WDDTY, Vol 4 No 1) because the author seemed totally unaware of the psychological literature on the subject and in particular the very successful use of hypnosis for the treatment of IBS.

Treatment of IBS by hypnosis has been spearheaded by a group at the University Hospital in South Manchester led by Dr P J Whorwell. In 1984, Whorwell et al reported that IBS patients undergoing hypnotherapy showed a dramatic and statistically significant improvement in all symptoms compared to controls and a group undergoing psychotherapy (The Lancet, 1 December 1984).

Since then, Whorwell's group has published several supporting studies showing up to an 80 per cent success rate with hypnosis for up to 18 months with the odd relapse being quickly put right by another hypnotherapy session. Dr Colin Sutherland, University of Central Lancashire, complementary medicine programme........


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