Hypnotherapy is a way to influence your health and well being through the power of suggestion. This can be in a variety of forms and for a variety of reasons. Basically it helps block pain receptors and puts the patient in a more calm, receptive and Zen-like state of mind. Hypnobirthing lets the mother's body relax, lets nature more or less take over and do what human beings have done for thousands of years without drugs or C-sections.
Marie Mongan (and MEd and MHy, a hypnotherapist and hypnoanesthesiologist) is the founder of HypnoBirthing, a process she developed now called the "Mongan Method". Dr. Mongan says that we've convinced ourselves that labor is risky, and because of fear we tense up, which causes all sorts of bad things to happen.
When we're in fear, our fight or flight reflex is activated. This sends stress hormones through the body (these are called catecholamines). These hormones are good when we're truly in danger for our lives but not during the birthing process. They make digestion slow down, the heart rate speed up and cause blood to flow to the arms and legs, preparing us to run or do battle with an enemy. This is bad because ultimately that blood isn't in the uterus where it's needed, which leads to uterine pain and really throws a monkey wrench into the whole labor process.
The HypnoBirthing process soothes the woman in labor. It's all about relaxation; rather than the hormones created by fear we get different chemicals like oxytocin, prostaglandins and endorphins. These awesome hormones combine to give a feeling of ultimate relaxation which is sorely needed during labor. Not only do they relax muscles but they give the woman an overall feeling of comfort and safety.
The Mongan method involves breathing and visualization techniques as well as soothing audio. Training sessions happen well before the delivery of the baby where affirmations like "I relax and my baby relaxes" are a repeated mantra. Each session the woman can get into a deeper and deeper relaxation, making it easier to get into that state once labor happens.
Contrary to traditional birthing where nurses encourage people to keep pushing, HypnoBirthing is about the mother going with the flow of her body. After all, pushing can cause a tear. With HypnoBirthing much of the time the mother can feel the contractions but they "go with", eading to shorter contractions.
Many mothers that go through labor in this way say they would do so again, that it is the best way to do it. It's not easy, and it's not for everyone, but we (and many mothers) feel that it's one of the most natural and best things you can do for your baby.
Here is one such testimonial:
"This was by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," says Wall, who admits she did feel intense pain during childbirth, though it was not sharp. "But my experience was perfect. People see my son at the grocery store and say what a peaceful baby he is, and I feel HypnoBirthing contributed that to him." [Full Story]
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