Hypnotherapy and Biofeedback For Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – and for Functional Abdominal Pains in Kids

Both Hypnosis and heart rate variability biofeedback are useful in irritable bowel and, in children and adolescents, functional bowel disease


Recent Blognote published on effectiveness of Hypnosis on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 4/10 were better, 5/10 of rest felt in control of their symptoms. read more at blogsite here


I used to do hypnosis on IBS and have them imagine warmth in hands, and with hands on abdomen, imagine the warmth penetrating into abdomen where sore. You could hear the bowel making noises as it relaxed. Suggestions of a glow of wellness and health coming from within was useful as well.

Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback

Another technique recently published for IBS involved a biofeedback technique to increase heart rate variability. This involved relaxation, clearing mind of distrubing thoughts, and diaphragmatic breathing at a rate of 5-7/min. The heart rate variability can be factored out into more high frequency or low frequency variability. The low is better.

One article discussing it is here:

Heart Rate Variability training

The actual article on its use for IBS used it in kids:
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2010 Mar 14. [Epub ahead of print]
Restoration of Vagal Tone: A Possible Mechanism for Functional Abdominal Pain.
Sowder E, Gevirtz R, Shapiro W, Ebert C. abstract here

  • Functional abdominal pain affect 10-15% of children
  • The biofeedback intervention consisted of six sessions of resonant frequency training following the manualized procedure describe by Lehrer et al. (2000). It consists of amethod
    of slow diaphragmatic breathing following a designated pace. This intervention has been found to increase baroreceptor sensitivity, cardiopulmonary function, and homeostatic
    reflexes (Lehrer et al. 2000, 2003). All FAP group participants were instructed to practice this method of diaphragmatic breathing every day for at least 10 min.

Annoyingly, they did not give Lehrer description so I had to look it up:
Lehrer’s discription is as follows:

Lehrer, P. M., Vaschillo, E., & Vaschillo, B. (2000). Resonant frequency biofeedback training to increase cardiac variability: Rationale and manual for training.
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback,25(3), 177–191.

  • “At the next session, the patient is directly given biofeedback for cardiac variability,
    and is instructed to increase the amplitude of heart rate fluctuations that occur in conjunction with respiration. The feedback takes several forms. One uses a beat-to-beat cardiotachometer, superimposed on a measure of respiratory activity. The patient is instructed to breathe approximately in phase with heart rate changes, with the goal of maximally increasing amplitude of RSA. In another display, the patient is shown a moving frequency analysis of heart rate, within the band of 0.005–0.4 Hz. The display is updated approximately every second, and reflects the frequency of heart rate fluctuations within the past minute. The patient is instructed to increase the spectral power peak that occurs at approximately resonant frequency. A light-bar display also can be used, whose height is proportional to the amplitude of RSA with each breath. The heart rate reflected in the top and bottom of the light bar must be set for each individual, and adjusted over time, depending on the peaks and troughs in the individual’s heart rate. The sensitivity is set such that a full-screen excursion represents an amplitude that is approximately double that found at baseline. The patient often purchases, borrows or rents one of these devices for daily home use.”

Results of training – “Prior to HRV biofeedback, the average child experienced pain on a fairly severe level (i.e. a rating of 7 on a scale of 1–10, with 10 being most severe) 4–5 times per week. After completion of HRV biofeedback, the composite average child only experienced a mild level of
pain (e.g. a rating of 2) 1–2 times per week.”

Where do you hear about slow diaphragmatic breathing? From Yoga – A British Columbia study found it quite useful in kids:

A randomized trial of yoga for adolescents irritable bowel syndrome
Leora Kuttner PhD1, Christine T Chambers PhD1,2, Janine Hardial BSc2, David
Kevan Jacobson MBBCh1,3, Kathy Evans
Pain Res Manage Vol 11 No 4 Winter 2006, 217-223 free full article here
ages 11- 18

“adolescents had significantly lower scores for gastrointestinal symptoms and emotion-focused avoidance following the yoga intervention. However, doesn’t look like pain scores changed much.

Comment – these techniques have got to be the number one techniques for IBS.

anyone with experience here? pulsera pandora pulsera pandora

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