Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Blog




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  1. The NHS Website reports that Hypnosis is twice as effective at helping people deal with IBS than other methods. 

     ibs and hypnosis and hypnotherapy

    Taking information reported after a study where researchers recruited patients who had been referred to 11 hospitals in the Netherlands for psychological treatment of IBS that had been diagnosed according to standard guidelines, the UKs NHS website reported on the efficacy of the treatment plan. The researchers were from University Medical Centre Utrecht, Leiden University Medical Centre, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam and St Antonius Hospital, all in the Netherlands, and Wythenshawe Hospital in the UK. You can read all about IBS Hypnotherapy studies undertaken by Professor Peter Whorwell here: IBS Studies in the UK

    "Hypnosis twice as effective at relieving agonising symptoms of IBS than other methods," read the headline in many newspapers who reported the findings.

    What does IBS stand for and what is IBS?

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition in which people get repeated episodes of stomach pain and discomfort, along with bowel problems such as diarrhoea and constipation. Some people get relief from lifestyle and diet changes or medicines, including peppermint oil and antispasmodic medication, but these treatments don't help everyone.

    UK NHS guidelines say people should be offered IBS focused hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or psychological therapy if changes in diet and medications don't work after 12 months. However, it's unclear whether group treatment works as well as individual hypnotherapy.

    In my practice I have found that individual therapy gives more effective and faster results as it can be tailored to the individual and their personal situation. If you are able to find an NHS group near you then you may be able to join this and you can do this via your GP. In this study most of the work was undertaken in group sessions.

    The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet – Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

    Medicines, CBT and psychotherapy, were not tested in this study.


     How does the NHS treat IBS?

    From the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/hypnotherapy-may-offer-relief-ibs-symptoms/

    “IBS can cause a lot of distress and can be difficult to treat, probably because the causes are not clear. In the UK, standard treatment begins with dietary and lifestyle advice, with medications for those who don't get adequate relief from making diet and lifestyle changes.

    If people do not respond to medicines after a year of trying them and still have IBS symptoms, they can be offered psychological therapies, including hypnotherapy.

    The trial finding that hypnotherapy works better than educational support adds evidence to previous studies showing that hypnotherapy may have a helpful effect. The finding that group hypnotherapy works about as well as individual hypnotherapy is interesting, as this means many people could be treated by the same therapist at the same time, which could reduce waiting times and the cost of treatment.

    However, there are unanswered questions in the study, including why a large number of people dropped out of treatment. This could have affected the results, especially if people dropped out of group hypnotherapy because they didn't like group treatment. As said, it can't be assumed that hypnotherapy is better than other psychological therapies that may be considered at the same stage of treatment, such as CBT.

    It also demonstrates that unfortunately, even with the best care, IBS can still be a difficult condition to treat. Half or more people receiving hypnotherapy still gained no symptom relief.

    Therefore there are still avenues to explore in looking at the causes and best management approaches for IBS.”

    You can find out more about IBS help here: https://www.markpowlett.co.uk/ibshypnosis.html  

  2. What does EMLI Stand for?

     Panic on Keyboard RF

    You may have heard the acronym EMLI in relation to panic attacks or anxiety attacks as some people call them. But what does it stand for and what does it actually mean?


    Anyone can suffer a panic attack and when they happen they can be very frightening indeed. The fight or flight reaction that happens can be particularly overwhelming and can even lead to you stopping doing things because you worry that you will get into a cycle and have another panic attack.

     SO What does EMLI mean then ?

    E is for Event

    The ‘E’ stands for Event, something that happened to you that triggered this reaction. Something has happened which effectively traumatised you. This can be a single event like a car accident or a result of a growing feeling of stress and anxiety when perhaps things are difficult at work and at home.


    M is for Meaning

    The ‘M’ is the Meaning in that event. You perhaps tell yourself that going into a supermarket makes you have a panic attack, or the noise of a car backfiring. For people who have P.T.S.D, noise can often trigger that reaction.  


    L is for Landscape

    The ‘L’ is about the Landscape of your mind and body. During an anxiety attack your body is flooding itself with adrenaline and cortisol. It is the classic fight or flight reaction, however sometimes there wasn’t a real threat, just an imagined one. This means that a panic attack can chang the landscape of your brain. The part of the brain called the amygdala, sees what happens and then regulates all of our emotions, based on the response we have. After the first attack it will be checking for an event that might be like the first one. Because we act and think in patterns when you hear a noise or see something that reminds you it can trigger another attack.


    I is for Inescapability

    Finally the ‘I’ is the feeling of Inescapability. After a panic attack or when the feeling returns you feel trapped, you can’t escape the place or the feeling. It can happen so quickly that you just don’t know where it is coming from.

    The good news is that with the right help you can learn to let go of the panic attacks, reduce the stress and anxiety and deal with them in a way that means you can stop them from happening. If you are looking for help please do drop me and email and I can let you know how I may be able to help. You can contact me on [email protected]