Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects 10 to 15% of the population. People who suffer from IBS report frequent diarrhea, constipation as well as gastro-intestinal pain. These symptoms may create emotional distress: incontinence brings about a perceived loss of control. Its effects can be felt over a long period of time. In a survey that quantifies the impairment in health status, respondents reported 73 days of restrictions in a year.
The typical treatment includes medications (pain killers and narcotics) and dietary changes. For many, these two options bring limited relief. More and more people are turning to complementary and alternative treatments, like hypnosis.
What is teletherapy-delivered hypnosis?
Teletherapy is delivered at a distance, through Skype, Zoom or other videoconferencing tools. Because a hypnosis treatment consists of many sessions scattered over many weeks, teletherapy presents valuable advantages to people who have limited access to skilled practitioners, either because of reduced mobility or geographic constraints.
People who do not have hypnotherapists close to them can finally seek help and use this mind-body therapy without meeting in person. The hypnotherapist and the client can live in different places, maybe even different time zones. The client listens to the hypnotherapist and enters a state of focused awareness.
Hypnosis Can Reduce the Severity of Symptoms
A study conducted with 1,000 people show that hypnosis can help a person suffering from IBS experience more comfort, less stress and anxiety. The study shows that two thirds of the participants experienced a reduction in abdominal pain by at least 30%. Hypnotherapy also slashed the number of days of pain by half (from 18 to 9). The number of people suffering from depression and anxiety was halved with percentages falling from 63% to 34% and 25% to 12% respectively.
Teletherapy Delivered Hypnosis Can Be Effective
A 2018 study compared the effectiveness of in-person hypnotherapy sessions with Skype delivered hypnosis sessions. The topic stemmed from the limited availability of hypnotherapy despite its impressive effects and its endorsement by the National of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK.
The study followed 20 participants who received 12 sessions delivered via Skype and compared their progress with the earlier 1,000-participant study. The small group study reported a reduction in IBS symptoms and an improvement in the quality of life. While the second study has too few participants to draw firm conclusions, it is worth noting that there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups when it comes to pain and symptoms reduction.
This study seems to suggest that teletherapy-delivered hypnosis can be as effective as in-person hypnosis sessions.