I'm seven months pregnant and I'm doing the Hypnobabies home study course with the goal of having a beautiful, easy natural birthing. I'm slightly skeptical that it will work for me, although I'm trying to overcome that feeling because I believe that it can and does work for others. I guess it's just that "what you believe will become your reality" seems a little bit too much like "The Secret" to me, which I don't believe in, as I don't think anyone gets cancer or has other horrible things happen to them because of their thinking. Also, even though I've been listening to affirmations every day that say "my iron level is high", I'm mildly anemic.
Still, I enjoy the deep relaxation of Hypnobabies so much (I'm about half way through the program) and want to believe that it will completely eliminate any pain during birthing. Yet I notice that I get nervous about practicing my hypnosis while I'm experiencing back pain because I'm afraid that it won't work and I'll lose all confidence I have in the program. How can I become completely convinced that hypno anesthesia will really work in my body? I know I must believe it's real in order for it to work, but I'm not sure how to get over this hurdle.
Also, I've noticed that I REALLY don't like having my light switch "off" because if I have an itch or a muscle cramp in my leg or something when it's "off" I feel like I'm failing at it. Or if I try switching my light switch to the center position before scratching or readjusting I wonder if I'm really creating a difference between the two states.
As you can probably tell, I'm very analytical and even though Reminder 1 says not to get wrapped up in this stuff, I get so afraid that I'm not doing it right. I know that hypnosis works differently for everybody, but what are THE key things that I need to know about how hypnosis works so that I can stop worrying about doing it right? I feel like I should have a handle on this from the reading, but I don't. Maybe it's too easy?
What you are describing are some fairly common "what ifs". "What you believe, you can achieve", is in the context of the mind-body connection. We can influence our health and well-being and even our comfort through our beliefs. What we think, hear and say repeatedly, becomes our belief about something. Our thoughts and words create brain chemicals and hormones that impact our physiology. Simply put, we all know that type A+ personalities are at risk for certain illnesses like heart disease, and this is due to their hyper, driven personalities and their often anxious thoughts and their need for perfectionism. On subtler levels, we can impact birth with encouraging language in hypnotic suggestions, confidence-building affirmations and thoughts, and the resulting brain chemicals and hormones that result in well-being, ease and comfort. (Read my article linked below for a bit more detailed explanation.)
Also, when you understand that hypnosis is a "state of mind" and not a "feeling", it will reassure you. We all experience states of hypnosis every day; while becoming engrossed in a good book (and we don't hear the words someone is speaking to us...just the sound of their voice), when we are driving in a car (and we can't consciously recall passing a certain milestone on our journey), when we are watching a movie or TV show (and it seems as if we are actually there...a part of the story). Now, none of these times was there a physical sensation associated with the state of mind we call hypnosis. In Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis, we create post-hypnotic suggestions that result in a very deeply relaxed state. Since they are paired so closely together, most of our students think the hypnotic state they are in IS the relaxed feeling, and I assure you it's not. We are not profoundly relaxed when driving our cars and we most certainly are experiencing a hypnotic state of mind.
We help women achieve a profoundly deep state of hypnosis which results in physical relaxation with their Hypnobabies tools. This deep state of hypnosis is called somnabulism, which is a misnomer. "Somnambulism" means sleepwalking. In hypnotherapists' circles, it means being deeply enough in hypnosis to produce a profound relaxation that mimics the physically relaxed state we are in when sleeping. Now, hypnotherapists also know that when a person is in a state of somnambulistic hypnosis, a lessening of physical sensation occurs. We've named this phenomenon "hypnotic-anesthesia".
Hypnotherapists who specialize in pain elimination, often work with surgical and dental patients that are allergic to medical anesthetics, to help them learn to create hypno-anesthesia. The type of post-hypnotic suggestions they use are specific to the type of procedure-related pain they are helping to eliminate. An entirely different set of scripts, post-hypnotic suggestions and repetitive practice sessions to compound the effects are necessary to help these people eliminate pain associated with their specific procedures.
Those of us who create, edit and record the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis scripts and audio tracks are hypnotherapists and childbirth educators with many years of experience in both modalities. We are well aware of the birth process (having taught childbirth classes and childbirth hypnosis to thousands of students, and have assisted at many hundreds of their births collectively). We tailor the suggestions to be specific to the powerful sensations of birth. It's not surprising when sometimes a single Finger-Drop and lightswitch OFF isn't enough by itself to stop the pain from a hammered thumb, let's say! (Apples to Oranges here).
The Finger-Drop/lightswitch OFF is the way we teach mothers to enter hypnosis (an ignition switch if you'd like to think of it that way), and what we hear (or think to ourselves) in the way of hypnotic suggestions after that is what creates the hypno-anesthesia effect for an easier and more comfortable birthing. It's why our mothers must listen to a constant stream of hypnotic suggestions during their babies' birthings (Birth Guide/Easy First Stage & Pushing Baby Out). This is to keep the "flow" of mental anesthesia constant, and then there is the "Peeeeaaace" cue that deepens their hypno-anesthesia in the moment, along with the mental practice of "breathing the hypnotic-anesthesia" to wherever it is needed at that time. By the time a mother has listened to several Hypnobabies tracks, used her lightswitch OFF and then to CENTER in order to move during her birthing, she will be so profoundly deep in hypnosis that these tools that she is merely practicing for small periods of time each day, will be there for her in spades. Try listening to Deepening and then immediately doing about 12 Finger-Drop/Eyes-Open Childbirth Hypnosis practice sessions (one right after another). You'll see the effects of repetition and compounding that I'm talking about, and then multiply that times the amount of repetition during birthing, and you'll get the idea!
We ask on our Facebook page all the time, "Graduates, were you able to FEEL your hypno-anesthesia while practicing? If NOT (which is the case for a lot of our moms), did it work for you during birthing? Overwhelmingly, the response is YES!
Here is the link to a post I made on the Hypnobabies website "Birth Hypnosis Blog". It explains further about how hypno-anesthesia and childbirth hypnosis works, what it is, etc. Hope it's helpful! https://www.hypnobabies.com/birth-hypnosis/entry/2012/08/30/hypnosi...
Thank you so much for your thorough response, Carole. I have been practicing more and thinking of my finger drop as more of an "ignition switch", and not worrying so much about whether I'm doing it "right" and not getting down on myself if I do move a bit, as I can tell that I am still deeply relaxed. I have found that doing several practice sessions in a row does increase my relaxation tremendously. I can't get to twelve, though, because I fall asleep! I also find that once I have turned off or to the center without a time limit, I don't want to count myself up, even if I know that I will be able to turn off again after releasing the hypnosis. I take this as a sign that my body is responding appropriately with relaxation.
You're doing well, from what you've written here. Have fun with the suggestion that when your switch is OFF, you're OFF...no exceptions. Yes, we can all move IF we choose to, and if we choose NOT to, we are programming into our subconscious minds, that when our switch is OFF we are so profoundly relaxed and deeply in hypnosis that we can automatically create a hypnotic anesthesia in our bodies. Remember to use your CENTER switch before moving, and then go OFF after you are done moving. If you need to do that often, great! You'll be getting more practice and your mind and body will respond instantly and powerfully during your birthing time.
It's the hypnosis that creates the comfortable and easier birthings Hypnobabies moms experience, and the deep relaxation is a by-product of the hypnotic suggestions. Nice to know?! So, what this means is that when you think you're "falling asleep" before you can even get to the 12th Finger-Drop practice, you're actually very deeply in hypnosis and it's working perfectly for you! YAY!
Just keep doing what you've been doing because it's working perfectly for you, and remember to just enjoy your hypnosis sessions and practices. This really is the easiest thing you will do as you prepare to become your baby's mama.
"Big warm hugs" from Hypnobabies. Thank you for reporting on your progress. Nice to know you're doing well.