We have all heard stories of that certain something that someone did in order to finally get pregnant – acupuncture, herbs, reflexology, the magic pill that put an end to their infertility. We read something or receive a recommendation and put all our hopes in this being IT. For some people it works and then they too have their miracle conception story to tell. But what about everyone else? We cannot analyse the statistics of how many people have acupuncture regularly and don’t get pregnant. It is impossible to truly test if anything was the thing that did it as we cannot prove that that was not meant to be their month regardless.
My blog posts and support group have always been about sharing how to get happy rather than how to get pregnant. I believe that anyone who tells you that if you follow a certain set of rules and you will get your baby, be that doctors, therapists or friends are belittling the wonder of creating life. However the mindbody connection fascinates me and there is growing research that indicates that utilising hypnosis can influence us physically as well as emotionally. So can hypnosis get you pregnant? There are studies that show that hypnotherapy can enhance fertility.1
Over the coming weeks I intend to share such research as well as my personal experiences of hypnosis and hypnotherapy; the good, the misleading and the transformative. I experimented with programs that promised that if I listened repeatedly I would get my baby, the result: I started berating myself for the fact I was still not getting pregnant, obviously I was not being positive enough and the feeling that I was to blame for not being able to conceive was overwhelming.
I felt much happier with a series that supported my body during IVF, inviting me to imagine my body responding perfectly at each stage. On my second round of IVF I did fall pregnant so in my case those MP3s have a 50% success rate! Sadly I miscarried at 8 weeks but fell pregnant naturally four months later which coincided with when I was writing my natural cycle hypnosis MP3s! I have created two hypnosis packages specifically for Embrace Fertility readers one to support your natural cycle and one to support an IVF cycle. Both are very much in keeping with mindfulness and focus on allowing you to reach a place of deep relaxation and acceptance. I also offer one-to-one hypnotherapy sessions and will be talking about my own experiences of working with different therapists.
But let’s start at the beginning
Hypnosis is a psychological state where you are completely focused on one thing. Each of us goes in and out of this state throughout the day. Some examples are when you are reading and you don’t hear someone trying to get your attention as you are so engrossed, or when you arrive home and realise you were not consciously thinking about how to get there – slightly disturbing when you were driving!
Our conscious mind is the part of us that we think of as ‘I’. It is our awareness, our logic, everything we are aware of in terms of our thinking and thought processes.
However it has been proven that 95% of our behaviour is directed by our unconscious, we get up in the morning and get ourselves washed and dressed without having to consciously decide how we are going to put our socks on for example. We learn how the world works and store that information to free up our mind for more important tasks. Many problems we experience are just the result of unconscious thought processes based on miscalculations, which lead to actions designed to bring a benefit, even though they don’t.
For example if we are attacked or scared by a dog in childhood our unconscious stores the belief “dogs are a threat” and each time we encounter a dog our mind pulls up this belief and our body responds by increasing our heart rate and preparing the body to either fight or run away from the threat. This reaction is obviously not helpful if experienced every time you encounter a dog on the street.
Hypnotherapy can help us to reprogram our unconscious so we remain in control of our thoughts and actions instead of being hijacked into running away from dogs, smoking when we want to quit, comfort eating when we want to lose weight or any other limiting action. Hypnotherapy therefore actually de-hypnotises us. By asking the conscious mind to focus, be that by relaxing the body or focusing your thoughts we can access your unconscious. You will notice the similarity therefore between hypnotherapy and mindfulness. The key difference between the two is that with mindfulness we are looking only to experience the present moment as it is and with hypnotherapy we are using language to guide the conscious and unconscious minds to achieve a desired result.
Cognitive hypnotherapy integrates cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), evolutionary and positive psychology, emotional freedom techniques (EFT), hypnosis and neuro linguistic programming (NLP) to create a fast and effective way of creating lasting change in your life. If you would like more information please watch this short video:
Cognitive hypnotherapy is very much a two-way street, you tell me what you want to achieve and I support you in taking action towards that goal. I offer one-to-one support via Skype and Facetime and in Henley on Thames Oxfordshire. The number of sessions will depend on what you would like to achieve and how much support you would like.
Session 1: Detailed history take where you tell me where you are and what you would like to achieve from working with me. In cognitive hypnotherapy we always set a goal that we can work towards to keep the therapy focused and to allow us to monitor success. This session will also include interventions to aid you in achieving your outcome to include learning self-help techniques to aid relaxation and stress reduction.
Session 2: Intervention to clear emotional blocks and unhelpful beliefs. Hypnosis including your own personalised suggestions, which will be specific to exactly what you want to achieve. Word weaving, as mentioned in the video, uses your own language and representational system so is created purely for you. If required the session can also be focused on deep relaxation of both the mind and body.
Life for me was pretty much ruled by anxiety, and fear of having a panic attack, not being in control of myself, or possibly going mad from the anxiety. Pretty exhausting! I thought I would like to try hypnotherapy as I wanted to change my thoughts around anxiety and be able to become more accepting of the way things are right now. I was in a brilliant mood last night after our session and very relaxed. I would recommend working with you without hesitation. I had forgotten what it was like to be light-hearted for a while – good to feel it again ☺ - Samantha
Sessions 3 & 4: Check in with how you are finding using the stress reduction techniques and changes you are experiencing from listening to the hypnotic suggestions. Further interventions or coaching to move you towards your goal.
Naomi’s style felt like talking to a friend, albeit a very wise and knowledgeable friend! I found it easy to ask questions and ask advice.
Additional sessions as you require. I offer 60 minute sessions to really maximise what we can achieve. As part of the four session package you will also receive the natural cycle or IVF cycle MP3 packs included in the price.
To book your free 20 minute consultation and discuss how I can support you. Let me know when would be the best time to ring you.
I trained in cognitive hypnotherapy with Trevor Silvester the founder of this revolutionary new therapy at the Quest Institute London. I have a diploma in cognitive hypnotherapy, I am registered with the National Council for hypnotherapy and have ongoing supervision as part of the Quest network. I am a certified practitioner of neuro linguistic programming and I completed my emotional freedom technique (EFT) practitioner training in September 2013 with master practitioners Emma Roberts and Sue Beer who contributed to the book ‘The Babymaking Bible’.
Do you feel you are doing everything you can to support your fertility and well-being? Leave a comment below or come and join the conversation within our fertility support community.
I have created a FREE Fertility Support Pack to get you started with the mindbody techniques I share. It includes an hour-long introduction to mindfulness, a 20 minute emotional freedom technique video tutorial, a 5 minute meditation and an e-book that includes 10 easy ways to bring mindfulness into your day. For your free pack sign-up.
1. Over the coming weeks I will be discussing various research projects and exploring the benefits of hypnotherapy in regards to trying to conceive and while undergoing infertility treatments such as IVF.
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