Gastro-intestinal problems

Gastric problems and hypnotherapy.

The whole of the gastro-intestinal tract is susceptible to psychological influence, via the ‘autonomic nervous system’. The purely mental anticipation of eating a tasty meal triggers measurably higher salivation and secretion of digestive enzymes. But also, the very thought, say, of eating something considered consciously to be unpleasant – say, a raw ox-eye – is enough in some people to cause near-vomiting.

Hypnotic suggestions for improvement can work by indirectly affecting the flow of glands involved in digestion. Stress, too, is an important component. Hypnosis, especially self-hypnosis, can be effective in producing non-drug tranquilization, so alleviating many conditions. Hypnotherapists of course only work on these problems if the medical causes have been investigated first.

With some people, their intestinal problems simply disappear, if they change job, move home, or go on holiday – again demonstrating the power of psychological aspects.

Interestingly, it is recognised now that a whole previously overlooked area in the body is also involved. Incredibly, a ‘second brain’ exists in the gastric region. In the developing foetus, over 800 million brain cells actually migrate down the vagus nerve and settle around the gut region, forming a co-ordinated network. Perhaps as confirmation, we speak of a ‘gut reaction’, and we know that a psychological shock can be physically felt in that region.

The enormous significance of this other brain (never up to now shown in text-books of physiology or psychology) is just becoming realised.

In modern hypnotherapy suggestions are given to influence that second brain, via the head-brain, in ‘gut directed therapy’

Hypnotherapy that looks at deep unconscious reasons for problems may sometimes discover that a problem, say, of having a ‘nervous stomach’ goes back to an embarrassing event involving going to the loo, that occurred in childhood.


We offer treatment for gastro-intestinal problems in Egham, Surrey, London, etc.