Hypnosis and Hypnobirthing: My Training!

I have officially finished my hypnobirthing training to become an instructor and after completing my case study, I will become qualified. I wanted to do this training because I have seen the incredible benefits it has to offer, both in placement and online. I love that it not only helps promote positivity around childbirth, but also educates women on their biological process and options available.

For me, hypnobirthing was a very strange concept. I didn't believe it until I saw it, and I still didn't really understand how it worked so I think it's really important to educate on the topic. I found it really eye-opening to learn about the history of it, and from their, it have me a new perspective on the topic.

Hypnosis is not new. On fact present during the Ancient Greek and Egyptian times. Over the years, it has been historically practised for magic or religious purposes and interestingly, it was used to induce dreams to analyse medical problems. The modern hypnosis understanding, signified the start of thinking of hypnosis from a scientific viewpoint. Nowadays, it is still used as a complementary therapy, although is gaining ground in both birthing and for easing other psychological distresses in a variety of situations. Recent reports have suggested it could become the "norm" in 10 years time and is on the same pathway as pool births.

When I was first asked the question as to whether or not I had been hypnotised, I immediately said no. However, as I learnt what hypnosis truly is, it can be argued that everyone has been hypnotised. Hypnosis is the state of trance and individuals are affected differently. It is enhanced by mental and physical relaxation, whereby the subconscious can communicate with our conscious mind. Commonly, people associate hypnosis with a stage show for entertainment, whereby willing participants are less inhibited and do silly actions for entertainment. These people already arrive with the thought of wanting to be apart of the show and are therefore the most suggestionable.

Consciousness can be classified in different levels using cycles per second to measure brain waves. Each range results in different types of consciousness and therefore the ability to be hypnosis is variable, because they each serve a different purpose. When we are fully conscious and aware we have a critical factor of the brain that acts as a filter. This filter has been established in accordance with our belief system and is what we use to analyse incoming information. When we move into a state of trance this becomes side tracked and we therefore become more open to suggestions. If a woman hears negative stories to childbirth often enough, this will become part of her conditioning.

Hypnosis in therapy is used therapeutically to change outdated beliefs and absorb new learning. A useful side effect of entering into trance in this way is that you also access what is known as the relaxation response and this produces a state that helps counteract the negative effects of stress on the body. So simply being in this state is highly beneficial and in particular for birthing.

Natural states of trance are frequent and regularly, often on a daily basis: daydreaming, storytelling, fixation, driving, shock, emotions and sex! Ever driven somewhere and not sure how you did it? You were in a state of trance! Ever get lost in the throws of sex without inhibition? Another state of trance! I often find myself driving home from a night shift, and arriving back without even realising how or where I'd gone. Hypnosis is often described a state of deep relaxation but in the examples above, that's not always the case. Individuals feel different and this can vary from feeling heavy, floating or simply concentrating.

One of the most interesting aspects I found through the training and something that it is really important clients know, is that when they experience a trance during a Wise Hippo Birthing class (the type that I now teach), there is a part of them that always remains in control. It is this understanding that provides the confidence for them to consciously let go and get the most from the session. Hypnobirthing takes into account how the mind is already working and just looks at it from a different perspective, very much how I now understand the process too.
Whilst it's not for everyone, I strongly believe it can be beneficial to all, if you have an open mind and practice what is taught. There are so many myths of hypnosis which are often unproven, and they prevent people from considering the concept at all. Remember:

  • You can not get stuck in a trance like state. 
  • You are always in control so you won't reveal secrets. 
  • You will not do anything you don't want to do. 
Everyone can be hypnotised, as we all are in daily life, but following instructions is key to success. There are no known contraindications for this type of hypnosis. If anyone would like me to help answer any other questions or if you're interested in practising hypnobirthing yourself, let me know.

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