Can a Hypnotherapy App Improve IBS Symptoms?
Last updated: June 2023
After trying to manage my IBS through diet, medication, and lifestyle changes, I finally decided to give hypnotherapy a go. I had read about it online and I had heard about it in forums, so I was curious how it would work for me. And since I thought that I might not be the only one wondering, I wanted to share my experience.
The starting point: anxiety and IBS
In my articles, I often mention that I suffer from both anxiety and IBS. While I’m pretty happy with my IBS diet and how I cope on a daily basis, dealing with stressful situations is a huge problem for me. I just don’t know how to stay calm, and my anxiety always triggers the worst flares.
This being the case, I was hoping that hypnotherapy might help me address this correlation between my brain and my gut.
App or in-person sessions?
I decided to try an app for gut-directed hypnotherapy instead of looking for in-person sessions. Actually, it wasn’t even much of a decision. Appointments make me terribly anxious, and I also wouldn’t have the money for them. Using an app was a great solution for both problems.
The app I chose allowed me to start my hypnotherapy journey in a stress-free way. The sessions were short and fairly easy to integrate into my busy day. As for the price, I found it slightly expensive at first but ended up getting a good deal during a sale.
IBS symptom improvements
To be honest, I didn’t see significant improvements in the first few weeks of my gut-directed hypnotherapy program. The app I used had specified that it could take a while. I did notice, however, that the sessions helped me relax and feel calmer overall. Even when I had trouble staying focused during a session, I felt much better afterward.
I also started turning to the app whenever my IBS was flaring up. The listening experience was calming for both my mind and my gut. It created another tool in my IBS toolbox to help me get through the symptoms.
As time went on, the app started teaching me deep breathing techniques. Let me tell you, I had no idea how much I needed these! Not only do breathing techniques calm my mind almost instantly, but I was actually able to use them while I gave birth to my second baby. It was such a game-changer and incredibly effective for managing the pain.
Hypnotherapy program results
The app I used offered a 6-week program during which I listened to hypnotherapy sessions every day. After that, I set up a maintenance plan to continue 3-4 times a week. It was during the last week of the program as well as the weeks after that I really started to see the effects.
First of all, the hypnotherapy sessions greatly impacted my mindset around IBS. I’ve always been one of those people who imagines the worst. I used to get hung up on every little symptom and worry about getting a terrible flare. The hypnotherapy sessions provided me with coping techniques for these situations and I’m doing much better now.
Even on stressful days, my IBS symptoms get triggered a little bit less. It almost feels as if my mind and gut aren’t as closely connected anymore. I’m able to feel stress without needing the bathroom right away.
What digital health lacks
After using the app for several months, I can honestly say that it’s a great way to address anxiety-related IBS. However, it’s not perfect.
First of all, it did not suddenly make my symptoms disappear. I still have IBS, and I still can’t eat everything I want. I’m less anxious about food though.
My second issue was the lack of in-depth information about certain topics. During my 6-week program, I received daily reading assignments that went over different aspects of IBS and coping mechanisms. While I found these very interesting, I would have loved it if these texts were longer and more detailed to be helpful.
Other than these 2 aspects, I’m quite happy with my overall hypnotherapy journey!
I think that gut-directed hypnotherapy is a great option for those of us whose IBS is often triggered by anxiety. It can provide helpful tools to get out of this vicious cycle. It’s not a magic IBS cure though – at least it wasn’t for me.
Have you tried hypnotherapy for IBS? If yes, I’d love to hear about your experience!
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?