People who respond to hypnotherapy are those who choose positive colours compared to the ones who choose negative colours or no colours which impacts their response to the therapy.
These findings could be used to predict responders to treatment.
Peter Whorwell worked with a team of researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, to carry out the study using a colour chart called the 'Manchester Colour Wheel', which allows patients to choose colours that have previously been defined as positive, neutral or negative.
"Our unit has been providing hypnotherapy for the treatment of IBS for over twenty years with approximately two thirds of patients responding to treatment," said Whorwell.
"Unfortunately, patients may require as many as twelve one hour sessions of therapy to secure a response and therefore this results in the treatment being relatively expensive to provide. Consequently it would be very useful to be able to predict responders," he added.
Speaking about the results Whorwell said, "Being able to describe mood in terms of a positive color is a sign of an active imagination, which is an important component of hypnotic ability".
Gut-focused hypnotherapy aims to give a patient control over their gut and they have shown that following a course of treatment actual changes in gastrointestinal function can be demonstrated.
The study appears in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.