Hypnotherapy has long been used for gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, abdominal pain, and acid reflux. A new article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "A Surprise Medical Solution: Hypnosis," discusses the effectiveness of Mount Sinai Health System's hypnotherapy program located in New York, in ameliorating the symptoms of these disorders. The author, Sumathi Reddy, states, "Studies have shown hypnotherapy is effective in reducing symptoms associated with these gastrointestinal disorders... Experts theorize that hypnotherapy works because many gastrointestinal disorders are affected by a faulty connection between the brain and the gut, or digestive tract… " Dr. Pandolfino states, "Because there aren’t many treatments for IBS, hypnotherapy has become 'the front-line therapy.'"
Hypnotherapy works by changing the way the brain interprets sensory data from the GI tract. In GI disorders it is believed that the brain is overreacting to gut sensations, causing painful reactions felt in the abdominal region. However, through hypnosis you can soothe the brain and decrease the strength of the gut reactions. You can also improve the gut-brain connection, restoring balance and health.