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Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS

Expert Hypnotherapy for IBS treatment (Gut Directed Hypnotherapy), based in Huntingdon, UK and online​


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Hypnotherapy For IBS

Experience the remarkable power of IBS Hypnotherapy, also known as Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy – a scientifically-backed treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). With the use of hypnosis and visualisation techniques, you can effectively rewire the complex gut-brain connection, reducing gut sensitivity and alleviating IBS symptoms.

How Does Hypnotherapy for IBS Work?

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy works by concentrating on the gut-brain axis, a crucial component in the management of IBS.

This axis represents the intricate communication network between the brain and the digestive system, where the brain consistently receives information about digestive tract activities through the nervous, hormonal, and immune systems.

The brain then processes these signals and sends feedback to the digestive system, thus influencing digestion and absorption.

Under normal circumstances, these background processes are not noticeable. However, in IBS, the brain intensifies its response to signals from the large bowel, causing the conscious mind to become aware.

This heightened brain sensitivity then sends incorrect signals back to the intestines, resulting in pain and altered bowel habits.

These physical symptoms often provoke emotional distress, leading to a vicious cycle of escalating symptoms.

Clinical hypnosis utilises visualisation, hypnotic language, and suggestion to decrease the brain’s subconscious sensitivity to messages from the digestive system.

This method allows the brain to reinterpret and reframe these messages, reducing their distress and emotional impact. As a result, pain is diminished, and regular gut function is reinstated.

Additionally, the calming effects of hypnosis treatment help to alleviate stress and anxiety, which can further exacerbate the emotional distress often associated with IBS.

How Effective Is Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy?

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy stands as a highly effective treatment for IBS, backed by robust scientific evidence. Numerous research studies consistently show that hypnotherapy benefits a significant majority of IBS sufferers – between 71% to 80%, to be precise.

Below are the results from two such studies among the multitude, which underscore the impressive success rate of hypnotherapy in alleviating IBS symptoms.

In Professor Olafur Palsson’s 2006 study, IBS symptoms improved in over 80% of patients. In Gonsalkorale et al.’s 2003 study,  71% of patients experienced IBS symptom relief. 

How Long Do The Benefits Of IBS Hypnotherapy Last?

The benefits of IBS hypnotherapy are not just significant but also long-lasting.

Research evidence indicates that a substantial proportion of patients – between 73% and 81% – continue to experience relief for an impressive span of 4 to 5 years post-completion of Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy treatment.

In the rare instances where IBS symptoms resurface, they present as mild inconveniences and are readily manageable, ensuring that patients can maintain their quality of life.

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS long term effect

Hypnotherapy For IBS Is Globally Recognised and Approved

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy is globally recognised and recommended by many authoritative international medical bodies, including:

  • The British Society of Gastroenterology
  • The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • The American Gastroenterological Association
  • The American College of Gastroenterology
  • The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
  • The Japanese Society of Gastroenterology
Hypnotherapy for IBS is globally approved

Who Can Benefit From Hypnotherapy For IBS?

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment option for most IBS patients, regardless of the severity of their symptoms or the duration of their condition.

Adults and Children

Patients of all ages and genders respond to hypnotherapy treatment of IBS.

Severe IBS Cases

Individuals with severe IBS symptoms respond to hypnotherapy.

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS

Low Responder Patients

Patients who haven’t responded to other IBS treatments respond to IBS hypnotherapy.

Varying Hypnotisability Patients

People who do not enter a full hypnotic state and experience a partial level of being hypnotised respond well to IBS hypnotherapy.

IBS Hypnotherapy: More Than Just Symptom Management

Reduced anxiety and stress

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy has proven to be effective in alleviating IBS-related anxiety, depression, and stress by interrupting the harmful cycle that worsens IBS symptoms.

Improved digestive function and nutritional status

Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy encourages healthy eating habits, restoring normal digestive function in IBS patients and improving nutrient absorption while reducing nutritional deficiencies.

Enhanced sleep quality

IBS-related discomfort can negatively affect sleep quality. However, as IBS symptoms improve through hypnotherapy, patients experience better sleep quality, leading to reduced discomfort, improved mood and energy levels, and an overall boost in feelings of well-being.

Increased self-confidence

IBS can cause reduced self-esteem and confidence, as it can hinder daily activities like socialising and exercising. Hypnotherapy can help IBS patients regain confidence, allowing them to enjoy once-loved activities and feel more in control of their lives.

Increased productivity

IBS can hinder concentration and productivity, leading to a 21% decline in work productivity for sufferers, equivalent to one lost work day per week. Hypnotherapy can reduce IBS symptoms, positively impacting productivity and allowing patients to work more efficiently and effectively.

Is Virtual Hypnotherapy For IBS as Effective As In-person?

hypnotherapy for ibs virtual consultation e1681261555703

According to a 2019 study in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, online hypnotherapy for IBS is just as successful as in-person sessions. Both virtual and face-to-face patients reported significant improvement in their IBS symptoms, and online hypnotherapy offers the added benefits of convenience, flexibility, and comfort in one’s own environment.

Specialist Training In IBS

Trained and approved provider of three leading IBS Hypnotherapy methods:

  • The North Carolina Approach
  • The Manchester Approach
  • The Bremner Method

Specialist Memberships

  • Member of the BSCAH Neuro-Gastroenterology Interest Group
  • Member of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology


  • Over 30 years of clinical experience

Professional Qualifications

  • Advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis, Staffordshire University, 2011
  • Master of Science degree in Psychobiology of Stress and Stress Management, University of Surrey, 2004
  • Diploma in Osteopathy, British School of Osteopathy, London, 1985
  • Certificate in Pain Reprocessing Therapy, 2022

Hypnotherapy Registration

  • Registered with The British Society for Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BASCH)

Recognised Expertise

  • Authored numerous scientific publications
  • Presented at national and international conferences
  • Editor and author of a book and book chapters

Flexible and Accessible Treatment Options

  • Available for in-person hypnotherapy in Huntingdon (UK)
  • Available for virtual hypnotherapy sessions online

Alan Szmelskyj Hypnotherapist in Cambridge

IBS Specialist Hypnotherapist
Alan Szmelskyj

DO, MSc, Adv Dip Clin Hyp, FRSPH

At True Health Clinics, you will be under the care of a highly experienced, dedicated and compassionate IBS hypnotherapist, Alan Szmelskyj. His expertise, combined with his commitment to his patients and staying at the forefront of research and innovation, ensures that you will receive the best possible treatment and support.

The Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy Treatment Process

A typical IBS hypnotherapy treatment course consists of 7 to 12 sessions, conducted on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Our specialised IBS Hypnotherapy treatment program commences with a detailed consultation with our highly qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Alan Szmelskyj. During this session, Alan will conduct a comprehensive medical evaluation, assess your symptoms, and explain the treatment process.

Alan’s extensive expertise, which includes an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis, a Certificate in Pain Reprocessing Therapy, a Diploma in Osteopathy, and a Master of Science degree in Psychobiology of Stress and Stress Management, combined with over 30 years of clinical experience, enables him to conduct a comprehensive and thorough assessment, analysing every aspect of your health. If he suspects that your symptoms may be caused by a physical condition, he may perform a targeted osteopathic examination, or if he identifies elevated stress levels, he may suggest stress management techniques. Additionally, if he notices neuroplastic brain changes, he may include Pain Reprocessing Therapy in your treatment plan. By adopting this approach, Alan will enhance and complement Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy, increasing your chances of responding positively to the treatment.

Taking into consideration your medical history, physical condition, and psychological state, Alan will create a personalised and effective treatment plan that incorporates hypnotherapy and other relevant approaches. This tailored plan ensures that you receive the best possible care tailored to your specific needs.

In the first few treatment sessions, building upon the insights gained during the initial consultation, we will guide you through hypnotic induction and focused relaxation exercises tailored to your individual needs. By taking into account elements from your medical history, physical condition, and psychological state, we ensure a personalised and effective treatment approach for each session.

Our aim during these early sessions is to establish a strong therapeutic connection with you, cultivate a sense of trust, and create a comfortable environment for your journey towards healing. We will also work on alleviating your stress and teaching you relaxation techniques to enhance your receptiveness to recovery. This strong foundation sets the stage for the targeted Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy and any other complementary approaches identified during the initial consultation, maximising the potential for a successful treatment outcome.

Hypnotherapy for IBS online

From sessions 3 to 12, we will focus on implementing gut-directed techniques to empower you to control your gut function. These techniques have been specifically designed based on the insights gained from your initial consultation and early sessions, and they will be tailored to address your individual needs and concerns.

We will employ a variety of methods, including visualisation, direct suggestions, and other evidence-based approaches, to create a bespoke therapeutic experience that targets the underlying causes of your IBS symptoms. This personalised approach ensures that each session builds upon the previous one, maximising the effectiveness of the therapy.

Throughout these sessions, we will closely monitor your progress, offering support and guidance as you navigate your journey towards healing. By continuously assessing your response to the treatment, we will make any necessary adjustments to our approach, ensuring that the therapy remains effective and relevant to your evolving requirements.

Our ultimate objective during these sessions is to equip you with the tools and techniques to effectively manage your IBS symptoms, instilling confidence in your ability to sustain long-lasting improvements in your gut health and overall well-being.

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy Induction

As part of your treatment, we will provide you with recorded audio to support your daily practice of self-hypnosis. This valuable resource enables you to refine your skills between therapy sessions, reinforcing the techniques you have learned and giving you the power to manage your IBS symptoms. By committing to regular practice at home, you will accelerate your progress and maximize the overall success of the treatment.

hypnotherapy for ibs audio recording

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy

Is Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy safe?

Yes, it is. There are no risks associated with IBS hypnotherapy if it is administered by a qualified clinical hypnotherapist.

Do I need to have a certain level of hypnotizability to respond to Gut-DIrected Hypnotherapy for IBS?

No. Research shows that 85% of people can get into at least a light trance state, which is enough to see a benefit from hypnosis for IBS. For some people, a hypnotic state is very similar to day dreaming, and this is enough to induce a positive change.

Can Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy be used alongside other forms of IBS treatment?

Yes, Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy can be used as an adjunct to other forms of IBS treatment. Indeed, research shows that hypnotherapy may improve patients’ response to other interventions, such as medication.


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Gut-Directed Hypnotherapy for IBS in Huntingdon and Online

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