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There is accumulating and compelling evidence that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Recently, studies have shown that hypnotherapy has beneficial effects that are long lasting, with most patients maintaining improvement, and with decreased consultation and medication needs in the long term. The particular gut directed approach used, which is aimed at normalizing and controlling gut function, is also described. While the mechanisms of how hypnotherapy brings about its therapeutic effect are not fully known, changes in colonic motility and rectal sensitivity have been demonstrated, although changes in central processing and psychological effects may also play a role.