What exactly is Hypnosis
- A naturally occurring state
- Focussed inner attention
- Positive use of the imagination
- Positive suggestions to create calm
- Can be progressive in nature
- A permissive state that you can go in and out of whenever you wish
- Can be used therapeutically
When working with hypnosis we are accessing the part of the mind that stores memories, creates emotional responses and maintains patterns of behaviour. The mind can be thought of as having two parts to it, the conscious area which is involved with all the things that we are aware of, and the subconscious or inner conscious, which looks after all the things that we never have to think about. This includes processes like digesting our food, keeping our temperature and blood pressure balanced, our internal organs working, growing a baby and all the instinctive programmes that we were born with. These subconscious processes ensure that our body functions without us having to consciously think about it. So when you sleep or rest deeply you can trust your body to carry on breathing and looking after you in a way that your conscious mind could never do. This part of the mind also builds up unconscious habits throughout our lives, so that when you learn how to do something you do not have to keep relearning it e.g like riding a bike, once learnt, you never forget how to do it.
The Unconscious Mind and Hypnosis
Although both parts of the mind, are working together all of the time the thinking part is more generally dominant, then about every one and a half hours the brain’s unconscious part plays a greater role. This is the point we might find ourselves day dreaming or forgetting what we were going to say. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon, all humans experience trance like states throughout the day and night without realising it. Have you ever forgotten the last few paragraphs of a story you have been reading? Or been on a familiar journey and realised you can not remember crossing a particular road? This is not memory loss, it is your conscious mind having a rest, and you have been in a natural trance.
Hypnosis is a natural sate that all people use everyday without realising it. It is that mind sate that we enter as we focus on a task that becomes like second nature, when we stare out of a window and get lost in our thoughts, listen to music and become absorbed or that way the mind beings to relax as we wind down from a busy day. Thoughts can become more abstract and our bodies begin to naturally calm down allowing the mind and body to being natural rejuvenation, regeneration and repair. All hypnosis is really self hypnosis as the inner self allows the conscious mind to rest and become less dominant intrusive for a while. During Hypnosis many positive changes can be initiated and the removal of negative unwanted issues, emotions or habits can be achieved.
So Hypnosis can be seen simply as a single focus of attention, an internal rather than an external awareness. With practise you can learn to develop this natural ability and shut out the chatter of the conscious mind and enter in to a profoundly restful state. In this trance state the mind can access powerful resources which can greatly influence the mind body experience. In childbirth this means that you will have the ability to maintain a relaxed focus and your body will respond by allowing the birth process to progress in a natural, calm and efficient way. You can look forward to discovering just how to tap into that natural state, encourage your conscious mind to take a rest and to relax, so that your subconscious mind, the part that conceived and nourished your baby can get on with bringing him or her into this world.
Misconceptions about Hypnosis
There are many misconceptions about hypnosis so let’s look at some of the questions that are often asked. Many people ask 'Will I be able to do it?' or 'can anyone experience a hypnotic state?' Yes, every healthy person can and indeed does go into trance states regularly. You experience natural trance states every day.
Is it like sleep?
No, hypnosis is not at all like sleep, although lots of our mums practice the relaxing breathing techniques to help them get to sleep.
Will I be able to move during the birth with Hypno Birthing?
Yes, of course, however when you are profoundly relaxed you may just not want to. Hypno Birthing teaches you that when you are very relaxed your body can be simply allowed to get on with what it knows instinctively how to do.
What will it feel like and will I be able to hear others around me?
Everyone’s experience of hypnosis is different, some become so absorbed that the sounds around them fade way into the background, you will remember a time sunbathing or resting peacefully, not asleep but in a very relaxed state, well it is very much like that.
How long will it take for me to learn the Hypno Birthing techniques?
Again everyone is different. Some people get there quicker than others, the important thing is that you take time out to practice regularly trusting that just as you have learnt so many other things in your life you will soon become familiar with your bodies ability to relax deeply.
Will I still be in control during the labour?
Yes you will, and when deeply relaxed you will be more in tune with your body and the baby. You will be able to move around and chat as you wish, but as labour progresses we find that our Mum’s become more and more focused and although they can talk to and respond to their partners and the midwife they naturally concentrate on the calming hypnotic state and breathing. For more information on Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy please visit: soniarichards.com