Research: MILLER and WHORWELL,

Listed in Issue 162


MILLER and WHORWELL, University of Manchester, United Kingdom treated patients with inflammatory bowel disease with focused hypnotherapy.



Fifteen patients with severe or very severe inflammatory bowel disease on corticosteroids but not responding to medication received 12 sessions of 'gut-focused hypnotherapy' and were followed up for a mean duration of 5.4 years, with disease severity being graded as remission, mild, moderate, severe, or very severe.


Two patients (13.4%) failed to respond and required surgery. At follow-up for the remaining 13 patients, 4 (26.6%) were in complete remission, 8 (53.3%) had mild severity, and 1 (6.7%) was moderately severe. Quality of life became good or excellent in 12 (79.9%). Corticosteroid requirements dramatically declined with 60% of patients stopping them completely and not requiring any during follow-up.


Hypnotherapy appears to be a promising adjunctive treatment for inflammatory bowel disease and has steroid sparing effects. Controlled trials to clearly define its role in this disease area are justified.


Miller V and Whorwell PJ. Treatment of inflammatory bowel disease: a role for hypnotherapy? International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis. 56(3): 306-17. Jul 2008.

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