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Treatment with hypnotherapy reduces gastrocolonic response.

18 Apr

Treatment with hypnotherapy reduces the sensory and motor component of the gastrocolonic response in irritable bowel syndrome.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden, conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial to see if hypnotherapy could mediate the post-mealtime gastrocolonic symptoms typically suffered by many people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

The study included 28 patients with irritable bowel syndrome refractory to other treatments. They were randomized to receive gut-directed hypnotherapy 1 hour per week for 12 weeks (N = 14) or were provided with supportive therapy (control group; N = 14). Before randomization and after 3 months, all patients underwent a colonic distension trial before and after a 1-hour duodenal lipid infusion. Colonic sensory thresholds and tonic and phasic motor activity were thus assessed.

The study found that at 3 months, the colonic sensitivity before duodenal lipids did not differ between groups. Controls reduced their thresholds after duodenal lipids for gas (22 +/- 1.7 mm Hg vs. 16 +/- 1.6 mm Hg, p <.01), discomfort (29 +/- 2.9 mm Hg vs. 22 +/- 2.6 mm Hg, p <.01), and pain (33 +/- 2.7 mm Hg vs. 26 +/- 3.3 mm Hg, p <.01), whereas the hypnotherapy group reduced their thresholds after lipids only for pain (35 +/- 4.0 mm Hg vs. 29 +/- 4.7 mm Hg, p <.01).

The colonic balloon volumes and tone response at randomization were similar in both groups. At 3 months, baseline balloon volumes were lower in the hypnotherapy group than in controls (83 +/- 14 ml vs. 141 +/- 15 ml, p <.01). In the control group, reduced balloon volumes during lipid infusion were seen (141 +/- 15 ml vs. 111 +/- 19 ml, p <.05), but not after hypnotherapy (83 +/- 14 ml vs. 80 +/- 16 ml, p >.20). The study concludes that hypnotherapy significantly reduces the sensory and motor component of the gastrocolonic response in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.



Citation: Simren M, Ringstrom G, Bjornsson ES, Abrahamsson H. Treatment with hypnotherapy reduces the sensory and motor component of the gastrocolonic response in irritable bowel syndrome. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2004 Mar-Apr; 66 (2): pages 233-8. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award