Posts Tagged ‘Article’

Hypnosis For Childbirth

Unless your mother was one of those women who has been blessed with a 45 minute labor and delivery when giving birth,  you have probably wondered how difficult childbirth is…. really.   Like everything else, it is very personal.   I didn’t like it at all but I know from experience that it is a lot more wonderful without drugs.  I had both experiences,  and my labor and delivery times were well over 20 hours each.   Shortly after having my last pregnancy confirmed, (she is now 27), I remember having the sudden realization “Oh, no!!  Now I have to get that baby out of my body!!”   Mother Nature plays this awful/wonderful trick on us;  she makes us forget the physical pain of childbirth after a couple of years.   So congratulate yourself on investigating the gift of hypnosis for making birthing a wonderful experience.

As I have written in so many of the articles here on hypnosis, I will tell you again that anytime your brain has an experience when you body is relaxed and your mind is focused, it cannot tell the difference in that and reality.   So very simply,  once you are in the delightful state of hypnosis,  your guide, whom you have made a contract with to allow yourself to receive suggestions, will take you in present tense throughout the entire birthing process, in the best case scenario.

The first thing she will do is guide you to create a “safe place” where you will go in and out of throughout the birth.  When the first contraction begins (in this dress rehearsal) you will be instructed to leave your body and go to your safe place.  When you feel the muscle begin to relax, then you will be ready to go back into your body.   You will be practicing this experience of giving birth at least three times throughout the session, ending with the baby being placed on your tummy and you seeing it’s face.   Most moms-to-be shed tears of joy at this time in the session.   During the acting out, you will see yourself going from your home to the birthing center or hospital.  You will see those who are attending you as well as family or friends whom you have asked to be present at the birth.  Your “safe place” is not just for birthing; it is a place that you can use for the rest of your life when you need to get away from your physical surroundings and just take a break.   It is a wonderful spot to go to when you are just getting used to breast-feeding and the nipples are still a little sore.

With hypnosis for childbirth, there are no drugs administered and therefore, there is no recovery time.   You are alert and in control the entire process and nothing can be said or done to you without your permission.    It is vital that your physician or midwife is aware long before the birth that you will be doing hypnosis and you may even want to bring your Doula in for one of the hypnosis sessions.    Unlike other birthing methods, you are not taught to do a rapid breath, but a very slow breath, taking the exhale to at least the count of five for the relaxation comes on the exhale.   When you feel a contraction, it is simply a strong muscle tightening and forcing the fetus into a birthing position, ready to be expelled through the birth canal.  The contractions will continue until the baby’s head has crowned, or is visible.  Once you go into delivery, there are no strong contractions and it is necessary for you to push the baby into birth.   During this time you will also utilize the hypnosis by focusing on the face of your child as you imagine it to be and by this focus, you will be less intense and aware of the body’s changing in order to accommodate the birth.   One important thing to remember is this:  Your body knows how to give birth without any instructions from you.  So do your best to relax, to follow the sounds of your Doula, guiding you as the two of you have practiced.  Sometimes the client will want to record the hypnosis session and take it with her on her ipod to the birthing facility to listen to during the early part of the process.

Hypnosis is just as powerful for a C-Section as for vaginal childbirth  and an excellent aid for letting go of the memory of the a C-Section should you decide to do a V-Back.  It can also remove the memory of any fears or other issues related to prior birthing experiences.

The first session should be no later than six weeks prior to birth.  I suggest three or four sessions and the last one near the estimated date of birth.

Do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions whether this is your first birth or sixth…. There are no stupid questions.

The Private Hypnotherapy Session with Bette

THE PRIVATE HYPNOTHERAPY SESSION WITH BETTE

As you can see from the biography on Bette Epstein, she is trained in, and practices, many forms of mind-body work. Her client work in hypnotherapy is as varied as there are human conditions. Her desire is to continue creating new and more powerful methods of using hypnosis in her own work and to train the best hypnotists in the world.

When you call for an appointment with Bette, you will first have a telephone interview to determine if she is a match for you. Bette does not practice what is commonly thought of as hypnosis. She does not use scripts for any of the work and does not allow her students to use scripts during the course study. Every case is individual and every story has its own special twist. The telephone interview is light and easy, but important to make the client feel comfortable and assured that Heartsong is the right place to go for help to facilitate a healing.

Your private session experience with Bette will begin with a telephone call interview. She will not see a client who does not personally make the call (except in extreme cases). In this conversation, Bette will assess your needs and her personal connection to you. It is vital to your success that the two of you are comfortable with each other. She will explain the hypnotic process to you and what you can expect to experience when you relax and do your trance-work. At this time, an appointment will be agreed upon and the client will be informed that a personal or business check or cash are the methods of payment, and that those who do not keep their appointments and do not cancel within TWENTY-FOUR hours will be billed for the full amount of the session. If you would like a c.d. of your session, ask for it when you make the appointment. For those who would like to contract Bette to make a personal c.d. in lieu of an appointment, the cost would be the same as for a private session in person.

When you arrive for your appointment Bette will engage you in an hour-long interview where she seeks information to determine what makes your story unique. During this interview she will be making mental notes of the facts of your life as she plans how she can best guide you to release and re-program your computer/brain. She is direct, she confronts your fears, she gives “homework” and from her many resources, she may offer suggestions as to other therapies which might benefit you and your condition. She is generous with her time and will never end a session because “time is up” if you are in the midst of some important issue.

There is no proscribed number of sessions required and you pay as you go. One client may complete her work in one session while another with the same situation may take five. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis; Bette acts as your guide, but the work is your own.

Each session is customized to your personal needs. The cost is $200 per session if scheduled Monday through Friday, or $250.00 on Sunday. She is closed on Saturday.
Each session usually lasts about one and one-half hours. The length of your treatment varies from client to client.

Please read “Hypnosis, What Is It”… before making your appointment. Write to bette@heartsong.com or make that phone call to have your questions answered.

Research on Hypnosis

Research on Hypnosis

Finally, after a history of being thought of as something used by charlatans and entertainers, hypnosis is being researched, and receiving respect from Neuroscientists. However, everything I have read tells me that there is still the misconception that hypnosis is something that is not available to everyone because it is a neurotransmitter condition, and not a choice to receive a suggestion that will constitute change. There are always the “statistics” showing that only a certain percent of the population can be hypnotized. For our world of “regular” people, and by that I mean those who have not been made to believe otherwise, hypnosis is a heightened state of relaxation and concentration during which time the subject willingly receives a suggestion which has already been agreed upon before the session began. Should the therapist attempt to change the suggestion to something disagreeable to the subject, it will not be received.
The choice to be hypnotized is available to everyone; the willingness for change is another subject indeed. In my twenty years of clinical practice I have facilitated a hypnotic trance state in clients from the age of three, in those of extremely high I.Q. scores, those borderline retarded, the very elderly, bi-polar not on meds, and have found only one group who are not hypnotizable…. Those who really do not want to be. The most difficult sub category in that group are those who just never stop talking and/or thinking. Success in hypnosis is a lot like dowsing; you have to stop thinking and just let it happen.

One of the more interesting conclusions to come out of the recent research is that in the subjects who are extremely willing to accept a suggestion, their brains show profound changes in how they process information. The suggestions literally change what people see, hear, feel and believe to be true. They found that people who were hypnotized “saw” colors where there were none. Others lost the ability to make simple decisions. Some looked at common English words and thought they were gibberish.
And I am astounded that these “scientists” found their research to be worth writing about. Anyone who has ever seen a good stage hypnotist knows that a good subject can make the show simply by taking the suggestions of the entertainer and responding. Every one of my students has seen films of Gil Boyne telling his subjects that they cannot remember their name, can’t get their foot unstuck from the floor, see everyone in the audience naked. Oh, why am I whining; at least the scientific/medical world is researching our world and writing about us.
Said Michael I Posner, an emeritus professor of neuroscience at the University of Oregon, and an expert on attention, “Now we’re really getting at the mechanisms”.
“The idea that perceptions can be manipulated by expectation is fundamental to the study of cognition”, Dr. Posner was quoted as saying in a recent New York Times article.
The use of hypnosis in medicine has come and gone over modern history, determined mostly by the religious state of mind of the country or community. Without any scientific research written openly about it, hypnosis has been used in the U.S. since the l950’s for pain control and anxiety, and in more rural areas, for childbirth. Before the discovery of ether, hypnosis was commonly used for anesthesia.

It is unfortunate that psychologists and psychotherapists are so poorly trained in the use of hypnosis for it has become common for them to use it to treat anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders and even irritable bowel disorder. More comprehensive training would give them a broader scope of issues to work with and greater success.
There is still no scientific evidence that a STATE OF HYPNOSIS actually exists and it continues to amaze me that something that cannot be defined by science can still be forbidden by so many religions, states, countries. (Actually, I’m delighted by this because if it can’t be defined, it can’t be “owned” by any one group.) There is still a lot of disagreement among those who accept it and work with it as to what it really is. Some believe it is just a desire to please the hypnotist; just as psychotherapy in many forms works because the patient has a desire to please the therapist. But, hey, whatever makes it successful and facilitates change, can’t be bad when the desired outcome is achieved.
Some fear the hypnotic state because one becomes oblivious to their surroundings while lost in thought. Perhaps they should also turn off their televisions and play stations, stop reading novels, attending sporting events and stage performances.
I will end this with a bit of hypnosis history. Dr. Franz Mesmer, a German physician, devised a “miracle” cure for people suffering unexplained medical problems. (With a strong focus on menopausal women suffering from hysteria.) Under dim lighting and music played on a glass harmonica, he used the same magic as t.v. evangelists use today: EXPECTATION. He “Mesmerized” them and they were cured. He was the first to show how powerful the mind/body connection is and how easily it can be implemented.
In the mid l800’s enter Dr. James Braid, an English ophthalmologist who put patients into trances by an intense stare, not having a clue as to how it worked. He called his work, hypnosis, from the Greek word, sleep….. which, of course, it is not.

On The Hunt For Grave Sites

On the hunt for grave sites
By TRACY MOSS
© 2004 THE NEWS-GAZETTE
Published Online July 12, 2004

– Stan Pentecost doesn’t believe in ghosts, or UFOs, because he’s the kind of guy who needs to see something to believe it.
So, when he read that dowsing – using two rods to find underground water – could also be used to locate graves as well as determine the size and gender of the deceased, he had to try it.
“I still can’t explain it, but it works,” said Pentecost, a member of the Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society, and resident expert on Vermilion County’s 138 cemeteries.
Dowsing is a centuries-old practice of using wooden sticks or metal rods to locate underground sources of water, metal and graves.
More commonly used for and associated with locating water sources, also referred to as “water witching,” members of the Illiana historical society decided to test the practice Sunday afternoon northeast of Catlin at Pate Cemetery, an old plot where the perimeters are uncertain and headstones have been destroyed or removed.
After a brief orientation on the technique for the 20 people – some skeptical, but all curious – who gathered at the cemetery, Pentecost demonstrated dowsing, and then passed out pairs of rods for everyone to try.
To dowse, a person holds lightly, by the short ends, two L-shaped metal rods in front of them with arms at a 90-degree angle, elbows at the waist and forearms extended parallel to the ground. When crossing a grave, or water, the two rods will move from their parallel position to a crossed position, and back to parallel when moving away from the grave.
Pentecost’s own words, “I can’t explain it, but it works,” were heard over and over again Sunday as people walked around the cemetery and watched the rods cross in front of their own eyes.
“I had a chill come up my back when they crossed,” said Sally Powell, genealogical and historical society member and coordinator of Sunday’s activity, who admits she was skeptical before she tried it. Powell got the idea to dowse Pate Cemetery when she read about another genealogical and historical society in southern Illinois that successfully used the practice to locate some unmarked graves.
Pate, an old, small cemetery near a creek that has headstones dating back to at least the 1800s, has some unmarked graves and some headstones tossed to the side with no idea where they go.
Powell and some other members hope to carefully and methodically dowse the entire area, determine the cemetery’s perimeter and any unmarked graves, and possibly specify some of the unmarked graves by referring back to old records and maps of the cemetery.
During Sunday’s activity, participants found some unmarked graves in a wooded area adjacent to the cemetery, where old graves most likely became overgrown through the years, eventually obscuring the true perimeter of the cemetery. Powell said she and other members will soon return to dowse.
“It’s strange, but it works,” said Powell, who explained that about 10 percent of people who try dowsing cannot do it. “There’s something there though; an energy or something.”
Through the years, some have associated the practice with witchcraft, or demonic activity, but most who believe it works, point to unexplained scientific reasons. Some scientific theories claim the rods pick up a disturbance in the earth’s magnetic field or gases emitted by decaying bodies. But according to Brenda Marble, another historical society member in the U.S. and practiced dowser with her own Web site, the rods also work when passed over a living human, so she believes the body itself emits a magnetic field that remains even after a person dies.
It’s from Marble’s Web site that Powell gleaned dowsing instructions for Sunday’s activity, explaining techniques for not only locating graves, but determining size, general ages and gender of the buried.
By walking the length of the grave, and marking when the rods cross and uncross, the dowser can determine if the person was an adult – even a tall or short adult – or a child or infant, but determining the difference between a short adult and an adolescent would be more difficult. For gender, the rods are held in a different manner, but rotate clockwise if it’s a male, and counterclockwise if it’s a female.
Russ Burgin of Danville, who practiced the technique Sunday, is less concerned about gender and more concerned about locating possible unmarked graves in Johnson Cemetery on West Newell Road north of Danville. A board member of that cemetery, Burgin wants to dowse at two separate areas that contain no marked graves. But people claim graves once existed in both spots.
“It think it will work,” said Burgin, who explained that the almost-5-acre cemetery is getting full, and the board would like to expand into the two areas if they can determine that no unmarked graves exist. “We could extend the life of the cemetery by about 10 years.”
Burgin was familiar with dowsing for water, but never knew about searching for graves until the genealogical and historical society planned Sunday’s activity. Walking through Pate Cemetery with dowsing rods proved to him it works for both purposes, but he knows some won’t believe it.
“Some people, they just think you’re crazy,” he said.
You can reach Tracy Moss at (217) 443-8946 or via e-mail at tmoss@news-gazette.com.

Hypnosis For Weight Loss

HYPNOSIS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

The first question everyone asks when they call for hypnosis for weight loss is, “How does it work?” and  ‘Will it make me stop eating”?

Hypnosis is a technique for reprogramming your brain for a behavioral change, exactly as you reprogram your computer.  And, no, it will not make you stop eating.  You must eat, but hypnosis can be the power tool you use to implement a change in your eating habits.

First I explain what I expect of you as the client before you come in for a session.  I will not work with anyone who does not call personally for an appointment.  And I will not work with anyone who does not come to me with a plan.  All of this is explained in the telephone interview.  HOPE IS NOT A PLAN.  A lot of folks say, “I sure hope this works’.  Hypnosis  works if you work the program.   When someone tells me , “I’ve tried every diet out there”, I know I have a lot of explaining to do.  And  usually it is safe to assume that this person is looking for a quick fix.

HYPNOSIS WORKS BECAUSE your brain has no mind of it’s own.  It is just sort of hanging out waiting for you to give it the information it needs to tell your body and your psyche to change your behavior.  Every bit of information your brain gets is through your sub-conscious mind and a lot of that information is bogus.  By the time  your reach adulthood, your self-realization  is mostly the sum total of the opinions expressed by others and the mirror image of yourself.   As youngsters we don’t know that we have the ultimate tool  to reject the things we do not want to accept as truth.  Hypnosis is simply anytime your mind is doing one thing and your body something else….like reading a book, driving a car, watching a film or t.v.    It is a heightened state of concentration and relaxation.  Your vital organs run on a separate set of controls, called the autonomic nervous system and they do not have to be considered in this discussion.

When you focus on the voice of your therapist,, and this can be done with your eyes open if you prefer, you have made a contract with that person to give your brain new information, to reprogram it for new behavior.  In this condition, we are able to bypass the conscious, also known as the critical, mind.  The critical mind is the one that trips you up by reminding you of the many times you have failed in the past.

As you drift into hypnosis, you become hyper-aware of your surroundings and the noises in the room,  even the breathing  of the therapist. This is a good thing for it lets you know that you are safe, that you have complete control of your surroundings..In a little while, as you relax into the process,  those noises drift  away and you are able to focus on the sound of the therapists voice.  Unless you were a sleepwalker or sleeptalker, which gives you a greater ability to relax and disconnect,  the best case scenario for the client, is that you are in a state of feeling like parallel people.  One of you is the watcher and the other is totally into the process, accepting the new ideas and behavior.  Before going into the trance work, ask your therapist if the process is done with a pre-written script, or is the dialogue strictly spontaneous and created just for you.    It is very important that this work be individualized just for your needs.  When you are in a state of concentration and focus, whatever your brain experiences in this state, whether visually, auditorly or on an emotional level, it cannot tell the difference in this experience and a physical  one.  The brain reacts the same way and the brain synapses begin recording this new message just as it would if you were actually in the images physically.   That’s how it works, that’s  why it  works and now we need a plan.

THE PLAN.     I need to know from you what you are willing to give up to achieve your goals.  How much exercise are you willing to do.  What foods trigger an eating binge  How much water do you drink.  Is food your drug of choice when you are depressed.  Is your eating based on hunger or compulsion.   Are you fixated on chocolate or anything else.  What is your personal life like.  Who do you  share mealtime with.   Did any life event trigger the beginning of the weight problem.  What is the biggest lie you tell yourself  about your inability to lose the weight.   How much weight do you want to lose and why now.   Are you proactive or reactive in your life.

So you come to me ready to answer all of these questions and  with your new plan for sensible eating and exercising and a realistic goal.  This really is the first day of the rest of your life and your history is only as good as the lessons you have learned from it.  You have chosen the most powerful tool on the planet for losing weight: hypnosis, combined with your determination  and a sensible plan with a time-line goal.  A safe and realistic weight loss is between two and one half and four pounds per week and you will lose a lot more than this the first week because of water weight.  And even with hypnosis, you will plateau but the weight loss will pick up quickly again if you stay with your program.

I do not do a weight loss “program”.  We start with one session and when that has been in place for a couple of weeks, we meet again to re-evaluate the the results and assess if there is a need to change the plan or the hypnosis programming.   I will give you a tape of each session so that you may continue your work at home.

During our telephone interview we will set an appointment at least one week in the future and  during that week I will require that you keep a food journal of every bite of everything you put into your mouth.  This is vital.  So many times clients say to me, “I don’t really eat that much”.  And you may not be eating much at any one time, but you must become aware of  all the times when you unconsciously reach for one tiny morsel.  Such as… that left over French fry on your child’s plate, the sample of cheese or cookies being handed out in the grocery store, etc.    This diary also keeps you from cheating because you think you were good the day before.  Added to your daily intake, l050 calories  will put on an extra pound every three and one half days.  Another request that I make is that you go to a bookstore and buy a really good calorie counter, go home and glance through it and be shocked!    Even with hypnosis… bottom line is… YOU MUST BURN UP MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN.    Hypnosis takes the pain out of this resolve.

ALL HYPNOSIS IS SELF-HYPNOSIS.   This is your work.  I am your guide but I cannot do anything without your willingness for change and your cooperation and commitment to the plan.

I look forward to being your guide.

Hypnosis For Smoking Cessation