You may be wondering “what is gut-directed hypnotherapy?⁠⁠” On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about what gut directed hypnotherapy is and wether or not it could be a treatment option for IBS symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.

Will gut directed hypnotherapy have you quacking like a duck? 🦆⁠

No! Lol though when my patients hear the word ‘hypnotherapy’ they worry it might. ⁠

Gut directed hypnotherapy (GDH) uses suggestion of symptom control to the subconscious mind, and utilizes the power of imagery and deep relaxation.⁠

Many studies have found GDH improves:⁠
– quality of life⁠
– improvement in symptoms like nausea, bloating, gas, stool consistency and pain⁠
– decreased anxiety & depression⁠

We believe this works by way of ‘re-wiring’ the inappropriate communications between the brain and the gut – changing that conversation! ⁠

Researchers have postulated that because of the role of the gut microbiome in the gut-brain axis, perhaps changes to the microbiome occur and also contribute to its beneficial effect. However, in one small scale study, this appears to not be the case; there were no significant microbiome shifts when GDH was performed for 6 weeks. ⁠

🌀Who should consider gut directed hypnotherapy?🌀⁠

🥑Those not appropriate for dietary intervention⁠
One 3 arm trial of intervention-naive patients were randomized to receive either the low FODMAP diet, GDH, or both – assuming that because the mechanism of action is different, that there would be a synergistic effect. Surprisingly – there wasn’t! Both the diet and GDH groups improved equally.⁠

😓I like to suggest it for patients for whom stress and worry is a driver of symptoms, even after the low FODMAP diet. While the research didn’t find synergistic benefit, I think what is important to highlight is – there is a subset of patients this is likely a good fit for. In fact the new ACG clincial guidelines suggest that GDH is a great adjunct in appropriately fit IBS patients!⁠

doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001036⁠
DOI: 10.1111/apt.13706⁠
DOI: 10.3390/ijms19113619