Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis

Hypnosis as an adjunctive treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Crohn’s Disease1,2

In patients with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), preliminary studies indicate that hypnosis can:

• Decrease use of steroids
• Decrease inflammation
• Decrease disease severity as demonstrated by 57% fewer office visits and emergency room visits.

In addition, hypnosis can help co-morbid features of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including positively influencing coping behaviors, reducing stress, facilitating sleep,  modulating depression and/or anxiety, and contributing positively to overall wellness.3

Hypnosis has been shown to be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional abdominal pain (FAP), both of which, of course, are considered to be functional disorders.  Functional disorders are those in which all tests, including biopsies, are negative.  What’s exciting is the efficacy of behavioral therapy in the treatment of biopsy-proven organic disease!


1.    Keefer, L., J. L. Kiebles, Z. Martinovich, E. Cohen, A. Van Denburg, and T. A. Barrett. 2011. Behavioral interventions may prolong remission in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Behav Res Ther 49:145-150.
2.    Mawdsley, J. E., D. G. Jenkins, M. G. Macey, L. Langmead, and D. S. Rampton. 2008. The effect of hypnosis on systemic and rectal mucosal measures of inflammation in ulcerative colitis. Am J Gastroenterol 103:1460-1469.
3.    Keefer, L. 2013. Presentation at American Society of Clinical Hypnosis Annual Scientific Meeting.