Monday, June 11, 2012

Hypnosis during the birthing year & more ~ and a Special Offer!

By Sharon Gourlay C.Ht, HBCE, HBIMI, RMT, BA 
Be sure to download the special offer flyer by clicking here!

There is no question that the things we think have a tremendous effect upon our bodies. If we can change our thinking, the body frequently heals itself.” ~C. Everett Koop, M.D.

When you hear the words hypnosis what do you think?  If you are like most of the world’s population your mind goes to “clucking like a chicken, doing something silly, or even an eerie trance”.  Unfortunately, that is the power of the media distorting the truth and power of hypnosis.  Hypnosis can be as simple as driving from point A to B and not realizing how you got there.  The natural state of hypnosis happens to everyone.  You could be simply watching a movie or reading a book and then lose track of time.  Simply said, our brains power down to this state every single day.  And this is where we can make changes to transform our lives.  Hypnosis is a very valuable tool during the birth year ~ from fertility, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the postpartum period.  Hypnosis is a tool that you can use to help lower stress, fear, pain, and so much more. 

During pregnancy and the birthing year our culture has become fearful.  The contributing factors causing fear range from language, media portrayal, stories we tell one another that are not uplifting, the birthing room, to unsupportive Care Givers.  Somewhere we have lost the ability to believe in our bodies and our babies.  Women in our culture seek Care Providers who do not trust the body’s ability to get pregnant, birth, and nourish our babies.  Often the information presented is fear driven and lacks one central concept; listening to women.  Think about just the language of birth ~ “bloody show, ruptured bag of waters, or mucus plug”.  This language is medical in nature and not words women would traditionally use to describe birth.  These fearful words and concepts have seeped into our culture, seeped into our minds, and impacted our bodies. 

Fear impacts us so that our bodies are not working efficiently.  This is especially true when fertility issues crop up or even pregnancy/postpartum issues happen.  When humans enter into a fearful state this is called flight or fight.  It causes only our key organs and essential body parts to get the blood needed for survival.  Our reproductive organs are not a part of this system.  Fear and stress have been shown to repeatedly impact our reproductive system negatively.

If you can remove the fear, educate the woman, and lower her stress she can begin to connect with her body to overcome challenges that are posed.  The same can be said of men.  So how does this work?  Concepts heard repeatedly become our personal truth.  In a relaxed state a woman hears positive suggestions for relaxation, stress relief, visual imagery, or whatever she specifically needs.  This allows the information to sink into the mind.  What the mind accepts as real the body will respond to.  This is called The Law of Psycho-Physical Response.  This is truly the beauty of hypnosis.  We (hypnotherapist and client) can guide the mind to visualize conception to the point that body believes it.  So when fertilization takes place the body is willing and in the proper state to achieve conception.  We can help a mother on bed-rest relax get out of the negative thinking loop.  That in turn can impact her body, baby, and lend itself to a healthier situation.   With a mother who is having a cesarean section we can help her remove the fear associated with surgery, have an easier surgery experience and a faster recovery period.  During the postpartum period we can help a mother who is stressed or tired relax and allow her milk to come down.  The benefits are truly endless with hypnosis.

As a hypnotherapist, I truly enjoy working with women on a wide variety of issues because transformation is a continued component of our lives.  I came to this work through grief and loss and that is where I have learned the benefits of caring, holding space, and helping people.  This summer I am offering this special to help women of all socio-economic backgrounds;  “Love Offering” (pay what you can if you the package pricing doesn’t work for you).  The summer package pricing is as follows:  A 45 minute session is JUST~ $50, Three Sessions ~ $135, Five Sessions ~ $210!   This allows everyone the opportunity to experience hypnosis and learn more about what I offer to families.  All sessions will be held via Skype.  Women do not need to leave their homes for sessions.  This is especially beneficial to bed rest mothers who truly can benefit from the relaxation that hypnosis can provide.  I am able to offer alternate hours for sessions so that family schedules will not interfere with sessions.    All that is needed is a computer, microphone/speakers, a quiet location where you will not be disturbed, and a camera (optional).  The time needed for most sessions is 45 minutes and you will need to fill out an intake form prior to our session.  We will discuss your needs and create a custom plan of action.  This is all done prior to your first session.  Payment can be made through PayPal or a check.  I am only offering these specials during the summer from June 11 through July 31, 2012.  It is my goal to help many women and their families in a thoughtful way.  For more information you can contact me at my home office 740-687-5506 or

Below are just a few of the studies substantiating the benefits of hypnosis for the birthing year:

ü  Women facing fertility challenges utilizing mind/body techniques such as hypnosis have a 42 – 55% conception rate as compared to 20% with in vitro fertilization (IVF).The Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 1999 and The Journal of Fertility and Sterility 2000. (Studies conducted by Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Behavioural Medicine Program for Infertility in Boston
ü  Hypnosis based on imagery and a relaxation strategy was successful in facilitating pregnancy. The treatment was considered to have resulted in beneficial modification of attitude, optimism, and mind-body interaction. The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. (Volume 38, Issue 1, 1995, 22-26): Hypnosis in the Treatment of Functional Infertility.
ü  Hypnosis was used to effectively overcome an acute phobia of needles and other invasive medical procedures that were associated with a high level of anticipatory pain with a client who was slightly over eight months pregnant. Australian Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. (Vol. 29, No. 2, 2001, 107-115): Brief Hypnosis for Needle Phobia.
ü  With the use of hypnosis 80% of hypertensive patients lowered blood pressure and decreased medications. 16% were able to discontinue all of their medication. The Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation 1989.
ü  Hypnotherapy was successfully utilized in the treatment of Postpartum Depression by attending to the specific problems presented by the client and developing client skills to resolve existing problems and prevent their recurrence. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (493, January 2007): Treating Postpartum Depression with Hypnosis: Addressing Specific Symptoms Presented by the Client.©2007 American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
ü  Women with depression, when treated showed a 60% viable pregnancy rate within six months, contrasting with 24% when depression went untreated. Journal of American Medical Women’s Association, 1999, vol. 54.
ü  A meta-analysis of studies conducted involving hypnosis with pregnant women was compared to non-hypnosis intervention, no treatment, and placebo. Primary measurements in the meta-analysis included analgesia used during labor and also pain scores during labor. The meta-analysis included 8395 women who had used hypnosis during pregnancy or labor. The analysis concluded that fewer women needed to use a form of analgesia during labor. Women who received hypnosis reported less severe pain than those in the control groups.  From Natural – Steve G. Jones, Ed.S
ü  In another study, 60 pregnant women participated. The participants were divided into two groups based on their suggestibility; all received childbirth education and tips on pain control. These two groups were then subdivided with half receiving a hypnotic induction and the other half learning breathing and relaxation exercises. Women in the hypnosis group and in the high suggestibility group reported less pain. Those who used hypnosis reported using less medication and had a shorter stage 1 labor.  From Natural – Steve G. Jones, Ed.S
ü  Another meta-analysis looking at various studies performed using hypnosis with pregnant women showed that hypnosis reduced the level of medical intervention during labor and reduced risk to women and newborn babies. One study showed that women who were trained to use hypnosis during childbirth very rarely experienced postpartum depression. Hypnosis can help manage both depression and anxiety related to pregnancy, labor, and becoming a new mom. This shows that hypnosis can have many benefits on both women and their newborn babies.  From Natural – Steve G. Jones, Ed.S
ü  One study found that women in their second and third trimester of pregnancy were more suggestible. The study showed that as women became further along in their pregnancy, their suggestibility increased according to the Harvard Hypnotizability Scale. Pregnant women also scored higher on the Creative Imagination Scale. This study researched women at two time periods, when they were pregnant and not pregnant. The research shows that if women are more suggestible during pregnancy, there is more of a reason to use hypnosis for pregnancy and childbirth.  From Natural – Steve G. Jones, Ed.S

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