What is hypnosis?

Lets start by saying what hypnosis is not, it is not sleep or unconsciousness, you cannot be hypnotised against your will, or be made to divulge any information or secrets, you can come out of hypnosis at any time you choose. Hypnosis is a naturally induced state of relaxation and increased awareness where it is possible to access your subconscious mind to make positive changes. Your subconscious mind controls and maintains all of the your bodily functions for example your breathing and blood pressure, you don’t have to remember to breathe it is done automatically. Your subconscious stores your thoughts, feelings and memories; everything you have ever experienced is held in your subconscious and can be accessed through hypnosis. Most of us experience hypnosis every day when our conscious thinking mind is still, for example daydreaming, driving and cannot remember the journey, engrossed in a good book. Children are particularly good at it being mesmerised and absorbed by the television and blocking out what is happening around them.

An induced state of hypnosis can be used to help and treat many conditions for example phobias, anxieties habits, allergies, stress, post traumatic stress, depression, IBS. Hypnosis is becoming more popular and is frequently used by the medical and dental profession as a form of analgesia, accessing the subconscious mind and changing the perception of pain. During hypnosis you feel very calm and deeply relaxed, you are in control and aware of your surroundings.

How it works for childbirth

Let me explain what can happen when a woman has negative thoughts, worries or anxieties about giving birth. Your mind and body are linked together therefore if you create a thought pattern during pregnancy for example ‘I will not be able to cope with contractions’ your body will put this thought into reality as a self fulfilling prophesy, this is a negative self hypnosis pattern

If a woman during childbirth is frightened or has a perceived threat she produces adrenaline, this is called the fight or flight response. Adrenaline works against the body’s natural hormone oxytocin that is produced during childbirth to make effective uterine contractions. This means that with the release of adrenaline the woman’s contractions are less effective which could result in slow progress in childbirth, which then in turn creates more fear, tension and pain. The woman’s uterus must then work harder to enable the cervix to dilate, if the cervix is not dilating well a synthetic hormone called syntocinon is introduced to make the contractions more powerful. This cycle of fear and tension leaves a woman feeling exhausted and ultimately increases the risk of medical intervention.

Being relaxed during childbirth will enable you to work with your body to birth your baby. Hypnosis changes the way the brain experiences pain. By using hypnosis you will train your mind to believe that contractions are comfortable and easy, to prepare and equip yourself for the challenges of childbirth. Self-hypnosis helps you to approach birth positively and become in touch with your body’s natural and instinctive ability to birth your baby, allowing you to relax and embrace birthing as a comfortable and joyous occasion and enjoy the miracle that is about to occur. Hypnosis for childbirth enhances postnatal recovery, as you feel more relaxed and energised.