Gut directed hypnotherapy has been used for over thirty years to help people suffering from various functional digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional diarrhea, functional constipation and functional dyspepsia. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of gut directed hypnotherapy, exploring its benefits, and what a typical program includes. If you are someone seeking relief from gut-related issues, this post will provide you with valuable insights.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the name given to use of hypnosis to achieve therapeutic outcomes.

Hypnosis is a collaborative, communication process between a hypnotist and a subject. The hypnotist provides instructions and suggestions to the subject with the aim of directing and focusing their attention on a single idea or concept. This focusing of attention switches the subject’s brain into its natural ‘learning mode.’ Once this learning mode has been activated suggestions are given to enable changes in thinking, feeling or behaviour that the subject wants to experience. For example, regular bowel movements and relief from painful bowel movements.

Gut Directed Hypnotherapy

Gut directed hypnotherapy is a specialized form of hypnotherapy used to help reduce the symptoms of functional digestive disorders, improve overall gut health and an individual’s quality of life.

The Science Behind Gut Directed Hypnotherapy

Research has found that there is a connection between the brain and the gut, referred to as the gut-brain axis. This is a two way communication channel that operates 24/7, 365 days a year. This bidirectional communication allows the brain to influence gut function, and the gut to keep the brain updated, in real time, on what’s happening in the digestive system. 

The latest thinking is that functional digestive disorders like IBS are in many cases, caused by problems with the communication along the gut-brain axis. In fact IBS is now classified as a ‘disorder of the gut-brain interface.’

Gut directed hypnotherapy helps to reset the gut-brain axis so normal communication is resumed.

Another common cause of functional digestive disorders is chronic stress. When a person is experiencing chronic stress their Stressor Response is in almost constant activation. Activation of the Stressor Response causes the body to down regulate the digestive system because, from a survival point of view, the brain doesn’t want to be expending energy on digesting food when it might need that energy to help us fight off a threat or escape from it. We can go back to digesting our lunch once we are safe again! So chronic activation of the Stressor Response significantly disrupts the function of the digestive system. 

Gut directed hypnotherapy helps to switch off, and reset the Stressor Response, and triggers the Rest and Digest Response. By it’s nature a hypnotherapy session is very relaxing. It helps minimize stress and anxiety by using simple techniques that helped you shift your brain to a calmer state.

Benefits of Gut Directed Hypnotherapy

1. Reduction in Symptoms
Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of gut directed hypnotherapy in reducing symptoms associated with functional digestive disorders. In clinical trials Gut Directed Hypnotherapy consistently produces success rates of 60-80% for reduction in symptoms. Research published in The Lancet showed that over 70% of IBS patients experienced significant symptom improvement after undergoing this therapy.

What the experts say:   
“While there are many lifestyle changes and medications suggested to ease the various symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), hypnosis is now recognised as being one of the most effective.” ~ UK NHS

“There is such good evidence that gut-directed hypnotherapy is the best treatment there is for IBS, better than any of the medications doctors prescribe.” ~ Isobel Mason, Chair of the UK’s Gastrointestinal Nursing Forum.

2. Decreased Medication Dependency

Gut directed hypnotherapy offers a drug-free alternative for managing symptoms. By addressing the root cause of the problem through the mind-body connection, individuals may be able to reduce their reliance on medications and their potential side effects.

3. Enhanced Quality of Life
Living with chronic gut-related issues can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Gut directed hypnotherapy not only provides relief from physical symptoms but also improves mental well-being, leading to a better overall quality of life.

The Gut Directed Hypnotherapy Process

In my opinion an effective gut directed hypnotherapy program needs to be an integrated program. What do I mean by integrated? In most cases people seeking gut directed hypnotherapy are, in addition the their digestive symptoms, experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, pain, panic attacks. By integrating strategies and techniques from other therapies into the Hypnosis4ibs Program I am able to help people address the complex range of interconnected symptoms they are experiencing.

How many sessions are needed to experience results?

Gut directed hypnotherapy typically involves a series of sessions ranging in number from five to twelve. My Hypnosis4ibs Program comprises five sessions.

A tailored solution

Everyone is unique and they need a solution tailored to them. I designed my Hypnosis4ibs Program to be flexible and easily adapted to an individual’s specific symptoms and needs.

Target the root cause and what is maintaining the symptoms

Gut directed hypnotherapy addresses the root cause(s) of an individual’s condition and addresses the factor(s) that are maintaining their symptoms.

Reinforcement through repetition

Most gut directed hypnotherapy programs task participants to listen to hypnosis recordings between sessions, and after the program has completed for a set period of time. These recorded sessions help to reinforce the impact of the suggestions delivered during the live sessions and to complement those suggestions with additional ones. My Hypnos4ibs Program includes eight tailored gut-directed hypnotherapy audios for clients to listen to between sessions.

Psychoeducation about IBS and the mind/body connection

Psychoeducation is the process of providing a knowledge, information, resources, and coping skills related to a specific health condition or concern. Research shows that psychoeducation empowers people with knowledge and tools and improves health outcomes. 

Many people with functional digestive disorders do not know how their:
– digestive system functions
– survival system creates the experience of stress and anxiety
– brain creates the sensation of pain

This lack of understanding and knowledge is disempowering and causes uncertainty which creates more anxiety. A good gut directed hypnotherapy program will provide just the right of psychoeducation to enable you to understand how the tools and techniques that are being shared help to contribute to the solution. For example in my Hypnosis4ibs program I share pain management techniques and stress and anxiety management techniques.

Skill Acquisition

As part of a gut directed hypnotherapy program, individuals are taught at a minimum simple self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques.  These skills when practiced help a person to manage any future flare-ups,  outside of the sessions. This empowers the person to take control of their gut health and manage symptoms effectively.

A Medical Diagnosis Is Essential

This Hypnosis4ibs Program is designed specifically for those with a medical diagnosis of IBS.
It is important to remember that you cannot self-diagnose IBS and there are many serious conditions that mimic IBS including, coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and bowel cancer. For this reason, it is essential that you get a proper diagnosis from a medical practitioner or doctor before embarking on a program of gut directed hypnotherapy. 

Your GP can do some tests to check for IBS and rule out other problems. Many people living with IBS have co-morbidity, for instance, clinical depression, and these problems may have to be addressed first. Remember to inform your GP you are considering investing in a gut directed hypnotherapy program and then as you work through your program keep him/her updated on your progress towards symptom relief.


Gut directed hypnotherapy is an effective approach to managing functional digestive disorders by leveraging the power of the mind and body. This therapy has shown remarkable results in reducing symptoms, decreasing medication dependency, and improving overall quality of life. By understanding what it is and the process, individuals with functional gastrointestinal disorders can make informed decisions about whether to explore this therapy further. 

If you are considering gut directed hypnotherapy, then use the button below to schedule a no obligation consultation with me. During the consultation I can answer any questions you might have. Remember, your mind has the potential to heal your gut. 

Take the first step towards controlling your digestive wellness today!

Remember, your mind has the potential to heal your gut. Embrace the power of gut directed hypnotherapy and take control of your digestive wellness today!