Yes. Whether you have a physiological impediment or have been diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” fertility hypnosis may be the missing link that will help you to achieve your dream of conceiving a baby. Many women are experiencing infertility due to physiological issues. Hypnosis can help with these issues in many ways including stress reduction and as a direct complement to medical procedures.
Subconscious blocks have often shown to be the cause of infertility, whether there is a physiological cause or not. Unresolved sexual trauma, abortion, miscarriage, abusive relationships, fear of imitating someone else’s parenting mistakes, sudden death or injury to a loved one, and history of mental or physical handicaps, are just a few of the subconscious blocks that can interfere with conception. The key to remember is that you may not have any idea that these or other experiences have so profoundly affected you. Having comforted a friend through a teenage abortion experience can be the culprit for many reasons, as can an uncomfortable early childhood encounter with a seriously physically and/or mentally challenged individual.
Most of the clients who come in for hypnosis have already seen a physician, often having received the “unexplained infertility” diagnosis. Many of these women are undergoing acupuncture, and, as you may be aware, acupuncture is widely accepted for the treatment of infertility. In fact, many reproductive endocrinologists will refer their patients to an acupuncturist to complement the IVF process. Hypnosis is a powerful adjunct to acupuncture, as well as any or all other fertility treatments, and the combination of these methods can effectively accelerate the fertility process—whether natural or medically assisted.
As all hypnosis is technically self-hypnosis, the Certified Fertility by Hypnosis® Consultant functions as a type of guide. Self-hypnosis, like meditation, is a highly effective method for reducing stress and creating an inner calm, however, a skilled professional trained in Fertility by Hypnosis® methods is required to facilitate some of the deeper work necessary for the successful outcome of either natural or medically assisted fertility.
What is hypnosis?
A normal state of consciousness, hypnosis can be defined as concentrated and directed daydreaming. Whereas the word sleep is sometimes used to describe the trance state, you are far from being asleep when in hypnosis. A person in hypnosis is aware of his/her surroundings in a detached sort of way and is more receptive to acceptable suggestions.
There are many definitions of hypnosis. We hear terms such as relaxation, suggestibility, and hypnotizability. We may think in terms of clinical hypnosis, psychology, private practice. The most clear and concise definition of hypnosis is the bypass of the critical faculty (conscious mind) allowing access to the subconscious mind. This may be done through use of different types of hypnotic induction methods, and a Certified Hypnotist in an office setting will guide you into the hypnotic state. Progressive relaxation (relaxing different parts of the body in progression) and guided imagery are probably the most familiar methods, however, there are many ways to induce hypnosis and it’s important to note that one does not have to be relaxed for hypnosis to occur. The goal is to access the subconscious mind. After all, if it were possible to create the necessary change consciously we would have no infertility issues to speak of, and no need for this specialty work.
Can hypnosis help me?
In short, the answer is yes. Each and every person who wishes to be hypnotized can be hypnotized under the right conditions. It is a fallacy that strong minded people cannot be hypnotized. In fact, strong minded people often have some of the greatest success. There are three requirements necessary for hypnosis to occur: a minimal level of intelligence, an ability to follow simple instructions, and a willingness to be hypnotized. No one can make you do anything against your will. If they could, the world would be run by power crazed hypnotist who would hardly have a need to maintain private practices working with smoking cessation, weight loss and fertility issues.
Hypnosis is a learned skill. Some of us are better at it initially, but anyone can improve with a little practice. The mind does not have to be quiet or still during the hypnotic state, which often makes hypnosis preferable to meditation for some people. A participatory process—the hypnotist works with you during your session to create the most powerful session for you based on the information you provide, and the goals you desire to achieve.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis in a sense; however, there are some things self-hypnosis will benefit and others that require the facilitation of a skilled hypnotist. A skilled hypnotist can help you to accomplish more in just a few sessions than people are often able to accomplish themselves throughout their entire lifetimes.
There are a few misconceptions about hypnosis which must be addressed so that you can understand and benefit from the process:
· I might get stuck in hypnosis. Not so. Even if the hypnotist were to leave building and forget about you completely, you would do one of two things: drift into a natural sleep for a few minutes or simply open your eyes and emerge.
· My secrets will be revealed! Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You are always aware of the process and in control of what is said or not said at any time during the session.
· I don’t want anyone to control my mind! Hypnosis is a state of heightened awareness, a tool with which you can tap into the power of your own mind and create positive changes in your life. The protective critical faculty of the mind ensures that your morals, values, and beliefs are kept intact, and allows only positive suggestions into the subconscious.
· I don’t think I can be hypnotized! What if I can’t go under? “Go under” is a poor choice of words to describe the hypnotic state. During hypnosis you are not asleep or unconscious and, in fact, experience a state of heightened awareness. Relaxation goes along nicely with hypnosis but is not a requirement. Hypnosis can occur when standing, sitting, with eyes open or closed. There simply needs to be a willingness on your part to participate and by following the instructions of the hypnotist you will be able to benefit from hypnosis.
· What if I fall asleep?! It makes no difference whether you “remain awake” or “fall asleep” during a hypnosis session. That is only the opinion of your conscious mind which really has no way to gauge the hypnotic state and therefore may “think” you have fallen asleep when you are simply benefiting from a relaxed state.
· Will you make me cluck like a chicken? No, it is a myth that people can be made to do things against their will, you will not do something during the hypnotic state that you would not do otherwise. Hypnosis simply affords you access to the more powerful part of your mind, the subconscious mind, where you can make changes that will benefit you. You are always in control.
· My mind is too sharp to be hypnotized. Only weak-minded individuals can be hypnotized. Not true. A sharp mind is an asset in accessing and benefiting from the state of hypnosis. Different induction methods will benefit different learning styles or information processing abilities. A skilled hypnotist will help you utilize your individual style and intelligence level to benefit from hypnosis.
Can everyone be hypnotized?
Yes. Can we prevent it? Yes, provided we know it is happening. We are actually better able to control hypnosis in the clinical sense, i.e. when we know it is coming. Can a hypnotist make you do something against your will? No. But, advertising oftentimes convinces us that something is for our own good, that we must have a certain something, that there is truth in a particular statement. By triggering emotions; tapping into our hopes, fears, dreams; they sell us cars, attract us to restaurants. And convince us we cannot have a baby. This is also hypnosis—these are also hypnotic suggestions. Fertility by Hypnosis® will teach you how to protect yourself from the media, advertisers, naysayers, medical personnel; in short, to “dehypnotize” yourself and take back control of your life.
The critical faculty of the mind functions as a door or screen that protects information in the subconscious mind, whether it is positive or negative. To create change at the subconscious level one must bypass the critical faculty; the most effective method is hypnosis. Any form of startle or shock will instantly bypass the critical faculty. Formal hypnotic induction by a Certified Hypnotist is designed to distract the conscious mind (bypass the critical faculty) whereby bringing the subconscious to the forefront.
During the hypnotic state there is a physiological change that occurs in the brain which basically balances the two hemispheres of the brain, strengthening communication pathways between them. This makes you more receptive to suggestions for change. Suggestions are given in the form of imagery, pictures, patterns, and emotion, and are created based on information provided by you during an intake session. The hypnotist does not have control of your mind, and you will not concede to a suggestion that is against your will. Often a lot of the work done by a Fertility or Birth by Hypnosis® Consultant is actually more of a “dehypnotizing” process. The reason is that your critical factor may be bypassed often during daily life without your being aware of it, resulting sometimes in formidable subconscious blocks.
Fear is an excellent example. When we are afraid we revert back to our genetic programming. When the “fight or flight” response is triggered, critical thinking is bypassed and our instincts (unconscious) kick in. This is a double whammy for fertility as number one, the reproductive system is not considered necessary for survival and therefore is one of the first to be neglected in favor of parts and systems of the body necessary to run or fight; and two, an experience or comment that shocks or startles us will immediately bypass the critical faculty (hypnosis) and a follow up direct suggestion (such as you will never be able to get pregnant) is accepted by the subconscious mind. This is especially true if the suggestion is delivered by someone perceived to be in authority (such as a doctor) and/or with enough emotion, imagery, color (television) to cause an imprint.
The latest hype in the media is the rising numbers of infertility. We hear news reports, read articles, hear celebrity gossip, see commercials, watch television shows that continually reinforce the “fact” that it is becoming more and more difficult to conceive. (More hypnotic suggestions.) Reality shows and sit coms focus on the anguish of infertility, making jokes about the neurotic behaviors often associated with it. Considering that many women are waiting until their mid to late thirties before starting a family means that there is a lot more time for them to receive negative pregnancy input which contributes to negative reinforcement. When you consider that hypnosis is simply a bypass of the critical faculty of the mind you realize that any suggestion or situation that causes this is, in effect, hypnosis.
What if I have a medical issue?
Hypnosis is complementary to any medical procedure and often can lessen discomfort or support the medical protocol. For example, medical personnel may experience difficulty inserting the catheter during an egg retrieval, yet hypnotic suggestion can easily resolve this issue. Studies show the positive influence of hypnotic suggestion on bodily functions such as blood pressure and heart rate, and hypnosis has been shown to impact the hypothalamus and influence the release of hormones.
What about unexplained infertility?
Fertility by Hypnosis® consultants love to hear the words “unexplained infertility.” Though these words may strike terror in the hearts of the individuals who have received this diagnosis, “unexplained infertility” actually means there is no physiological reason for a woman not to become pregnant. Although women often feel helpless upon learning of this “condition” it is actually great news. In the absence of a pathological impediment—the removal of all or part of the reproductive organs, for example—most women can be helped to achieve fertility by exploring prior programming or emotional blocks.
Negative feelings left unexpressed and/or unresolved hold considerable energy which can block conception. Unexpressed emotions such as the anguish, guilt or profound shame often felt after an abortion can create extreme emotional conflict, which affects every cell of the body and can cause or compound reproductive problems. Negative self-talk (self-punishment, real or perceived judgment of God or compounded chastising of others) has a direct causative effect on the endocrine (hormonal) system. This is achieved by the direct stimulation of the amydgdala, and its interrelationship with the hypothalamus, and parts of the brain involved with emotions.
Issues involving sexual abuse or other trauma can diminish overall feelings of safety and cause a woman to live in a state of constant fear. Though the conscious mind resolves to forget or move past the incident, the subconscious mind (the emotional part of the mind) is in conflict because of feelings of betrayal and endangerment. The sympathetic nervous system remains on guard, overriding the body’s natural tendency toward balance. As this condition becomes chronic, the parasympathetic nervous system, concerned with conservation of energy and restoration, is unable to fulfill its regenerative duties. Lack of health and vitality, which is the natural result of disharmony between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, leads to a variety of stress-related symptoms including “unexplained infertility.”
The neurochemical barrage that is associated with the “fight or flight” response in all human bodies, and which can be triggered by a threat to self-esteem or dignity, translates in the body as contraction of the muscles, an acceleration of the cardiovascular system, and the release of “emergency” hormones throughout the body. The body is on alarm, energy is directed toward the areas needed for actual “fight” or “flight” such as the arms and legs, and away from areas the brain considers less important. Unfortunately, the reproductive system is the most expendable. Once a chronic imbalance of the autonomic nervous system is created, only the regular and consistent practice of relaxation will facilitate the restoration of the parasympathetic nervous system. Hypnosis provides an effective means of establishing that restoration and enables women to establish the level of safety essential for reproduction to occur.
Recently the media has become saturated with stories proclaiming the rise of “infertility” and our increasing “need” for medical intervention. It is now an unfortunate but common belief that it’s just not easy to have a baby. Women may become so preoccupied with becoming pregnant that they prematurely rush in for medical testing. The stress brought on by this invasive protocol alone is enough to impede the natural process. And at present time women aged 35 and up are immediately considered “high-risk.” Hearing these words is often enough to cause women devastating emotional upset and seriously increase their already soaring stress levels. And stressor hormones, as we have established, do not contribute to a pregnancy conducive environment.
In an article by Suzy Greaves entitled Can Hypnosis Help to Make You Pregnant? Dr. Elizabeth Muir, a clinical psychologist who uses hypnosis for infertility, explains that hypnosis does have an effect on the hypothalamus—the neural center located at the base of the brain and linked to the pituitary gland—and controls the flow of hormones in the body. The hypothalamus is sensitive to stress and acts as a bridge between the emotional and physical, turning emotional messages into physical responses that impact hormone levels. According to Greaves, Muir believes that the psychological issues surrounding pregnancy are not sufficiently well addressed for many women with fertility problems.
Studies conducted by Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Behavioral Medicine Program for Infertility in Boston support Muir’s theory that unresolved issues about having a baby can be removed with counseling and mind/body techniques such as hypnosis. In the first of Domar’s studies, published in 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association, 42% of 132 infertile women in the program conceived within six months of completing it. In the second study, published in 2000 in the journal Fertility and Sterility, 55% of the previously infertile women who met regularly in a mind/body program conceived, compared with 20% of the control group who used no mind/body techniques and who did not attend meetings.
“Optimism goes all the way with pessimism but arrives at a point far beyond it.” This philosophy is taught to persons living with cancer as they strive toward health. The body has a natural tendency toward health, and embracing an optimistic outlook supports this rebalancing. Hypnotism is the method of teaching this principle to the mind.
Stress and a lack of confidence tend to be the top culprits that must be addressed with hypnosis for “unexplained infertility.” Many couples have lost faith in the natural process of conception and maintain too strong a conviction in the need for medical assistance. And with more and more women in high stress jobs it’s really no wonder that conception doesn’t always occur immediately (disastrous in our want-it-right-now culture).
Hormonal problems also sometimes contribute to conception issues. Restoration of hormonal balance and eventual pregnancy may occur through the utilization of hypnosis techniques and implementation of positive lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Hypnosis is well recognized for its effectiveness in smoking cessation, weight control, stress release, and general habit changing. Interestingly, these same issues pose the biggest threats to fertility.
Hypnosis reduces stress and increases confidence, instilling a sense of control in the client, which in turn enables her to maximize chances of conceiving naturally and/or increase the success of medical assistance.
What does fertility hypnosis do?
Fertility by Hypnosis® literally applies powerful hypnotic techniques to enhance the mind/body connection which studies have shown to greatly enhance the success of both natural and medically assisted fertility. Hypnosis goes beyond simple relaxation methods and those who have experienced hypnosis for fertility can easily recognize the distinction. Hypnosis supports conception, pregnancy, birth and beyond, and has been utilized for various issues, including these, for centuries.
Can fertility hypnosis work for me?
Yes, if you give it a chance. The HypnoFertility® program was created because so many women Lynsi Estburn was working with were getting pregnant after a few hypnosis sessions despite the fact that they, in many cases, had been told they had less than 1% chance or no chance at all of ever conceiving a child.
What about male infertility?
Fertility by Hypnosis® Consultants work with women one-on-one and/or with their partners. They also work with male fertility issues. Men often have subconscious blocks similar to those women experience. It’s interesting to note that many men, who, at the initial infertility workup tested normal, will be found to have a low sperm count upon retesting a year later. In other words, the emotional strain and stress a couple endures during a year of infertility testing and medical procedures, appears to have serious impact, which may add insult to injury so to speak.
We often forget (or it never even occurs to us) that men may also have unresolved issues involving previous pregnancy or abortion. There are many scenarios which may have occurred causing his subconscious mind to put up a protective block which can interfere with conception. Perhaps he’s been devastated by a previous partner having an abortion when he really wanted the child. He may be concerned with repeating abusive behavior stemming from his own childhood experience. In these cases, hypnotic resolution can effect conception just as it does when addressing issues of the female.
What about hypnosis for birth?
Birth by Hypnosis® is the natural progression of the HypnoFertility® methods. When you’ve come to know and trust your Fertility by Hypnosis® Consultant you will be pleased to learn that she or he is able to assist you hypnotically throughout your pregnancy and birth.
What if I’m not having a vaginal birth?
Hypnosis can be an effective method of birth assistance regardless of whether or not you have a vaginal birth. Hypnosis can help far above and beyond assistance for vaginal birth. Hypnosis can help alleviate fears or stress about birth in and of itself.
What if I’m scheduled for a c-section, can hypnosis still help?
Yes, hypnosis can make the entire c-section process go more smoothly. Though it can be used in place of anesthesia, the typical hypnotic application for c-section is to alleviate fear, lessen discomfort or pain, facilitate faster physical/mental/emotional recovery, enhance lactation, and support mother/baby bonding.
What if I’m having pregnancy anxiety?
It is natural to have some pregnancy anxiety, particularly after a long, drawn out fertility journey. Hypnosis can assist with the confidence and stress reduction necessary to alleviate much of these feelings and to facilitate effective prenatal bonding. Hypnosis is a powerful tool that has repeatedly helped countless women to have calm pregnancies and peaceful births.
Can hypnosis help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy?
Yes, in fact, hypnosis has often helped women to overcome this very issue. Nausea and vomiting—particularly in excess—during pregnancy can be dangerous to the health of mother and baby. This issue is easily relieved through hypnosis.
What if I’ve had repeated miscarriages?
Repeated miscarriage is a form of infertility. Though there is often a medical cause for this issue, the hypnotic process can address subconscious issues that may be contributing to the problem. The Fertility by Hypnosis® program utilizes specific advanced techniques that have been cultivated for the express purpose of assisting women who have thus far been unable to carry a pregnancy.
What if my thoughts have become increasingly negative or fearful?
Then it is important to address that issue. Powerful impact of the subconscious mind through hypnosis can help you change your thoughts quickly and effectively.
What if I’m pregnant with multiples?
Oftentimes a woman pregnant with multiples will be an automatic c-section. Hypnosis can help with the overall wellbeing of mother and baby, assist with preparation for and recovery after a c-section, and can facilitate bonding of mother and baby. It may even be used to support a longer gestation period which can be crucial for the health of mother and babies.
Hypnosis can also deal with stress or fears that may emerge during the pregnancy, particularly as women pregnant with multiples are usually subjected to more negativity than usual. Insensitive comments by others can cause worries or fears; and there is often stress about how one will handle having more than one newborn.
Can hypnosis help with “high risk” pregnancy and birth?
Yes, hypnosis can help lower blood pressure, stop premature uterine contractions, turn a breech baby, assist with placenta previa, address overall stress to mom and baby, and so much more.
What if I can’t “just relax”?
Many people dealing with infertility are tired of being told to “just relax.” And for good reason—that is about the equivalent of an insomniac being told to “just go to sleep.” You don’t have to relax to benefit from hypnosis, nor do you have to totally quiet your mind. Your Fertility by Hypnosis® Consultant is trained to facilitate a calming environment for you, where you can access the rejuvenating properties of your parasympathetic nervous system. All you have to do is breathe.
They told me I have “old eggs,” can you help?
Yes. Women are told they have “old eggs” all the time, yet many of these same women have pursued fertility by hypnosis, used their own eggs, and given birth to healthy babies conceived either naturally or with medical assistance.
If you have more questions about hypnofertility, or would like to talk to Joann about assisting you to clear the blocks to becoming pregnant, contact her at 203-907-7710 / JoannDunsing@GMail.com
© Copyright 2009 The HypnoFertility Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.