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Irritable bowel solution

Could a new phone-based app be a solution for sufferers of IBS?

We take a look at Nerva.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common ailments in the world, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In fact, some studies have shown it affects up to 15 per cent of the global population at any given time, limiting the quality of life for a lot of people and putting a strain on our healthcare system.

But there’s hope for IBS sufferers. Gut-directed hypnotherapy (GDH) has helped many people manage their IBS symptoms by addressing this miscommunication between the stomach and the brain. In the past, the cost of this face-to-face therapy meant many had to suffer in discomfort and silence — but now that’s all about to change.

Introducing Nerva, a mobile app delivering GDH in a cost-effective and highly convenient way. This app is easy to use and has helped many IBS sufferers achieve positive results. In fact, new research has found that 64 per cent of IBS sufferers reported a reduction in symptoms after using the app-delivered GDH program, a similar rate to those receiving GDH in person.

“Hypnosis is performed through voice and closed-eye sessions even when done in person, so it is one of the best techniques to be delivered via a mobile app,” says Alex Naoumidis, co-founder and co-CEO of Nerva. “Hypnosis-based therapy is effective for most people, with some being more receptive than others.”

The Nerva Program

Nerva is suited to IBS sufferers with symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea. It is available on both iOS and Android devices, and users can start their journey with a seven-day free trial. The program itself consists of two phases: a six-week course focused on helping patients gain control over their symptoms, followed by a support program focused on helping patients keep their symptoms under control.

Patients learn how to self-manage their IBS symptoms with 20-minute daily hypnotherapy sessions, breathing exercises and educational readings, leaving them empowered, educated and — most importantly — pain-free.

This app was developed by Mindset Health, a business dedicated to developing digital therapeutic programs with a scientific advisory board consisting of world-leading experts in hypnotherapy, psychology, gastroenterology, medicine and neuroscience.

Lauren Clarke

Lauren Clarke

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