I became interested in teaching hypnosis for childbirth when a fellow hypnotherapist was preparing to give birth to her third child. Her hypnotherapy practice specializes in childbirth, so she had studied both the HypnoBirthing (Mongan Method) and Hypno-Beginning programs. While she liked both programs, she felt that neither one had all of the elements she needed for a peaceful and comfortable childbirth experience. She drew largely on her own knowledge of hypnosis for pain management, which we had learned in hypnotherapy school.
After learning of her experience, I researched other childbirth hypnosis programs and discovered HypnoBabies. HypnoBabies is unique because it aims to be a comprehensive childbirth education and hypnosis program. While some women may take a childbirth education course from a midwife and a hypnosis course from a hypnotist, HypnoBabies combines all of the information into one long, detailed, information-packed course. Course content includes the stages of pregnancy and childbirth, bonding with the baby in utero, support for the birth partner, hypnosis for pain management, and more. There is so much material to cover that it requires a substantial time commitment to learn it all. Unfortunately, that does not permit any opportunity to deviate from the material or to tailor the content to individual needs and concerns.
Since I have a background in curriculum development as well as hypnotherapy, I wanted more control and flexibility in designing and teaching a childbirth hypnosis course than any of these programs would allow. I also wanted to empower my students by teaching them how to hypnotize themselves without relying on CDs to talk them down into hypnosis. I decided to become certified in the Painfree Childbirth Program, which is the hypnotic component of HypnoBabies. I combined the Painfree Childbirth Program with other hypnosis techniques to create an original childbirth hypnosis course that can be tailored to the individual. In the past 18 months, I have continued to revise and improve the course based on feedback from fellow hypnotherapists and former clients.
There are many self-study programs besides HypnoBirthing, Hypno-Beginning, and HypnoBabies. The advantages to studying childbirth hypnosis at Tokyo Hypnotherapy are that you can ask questions, you can tailor the content to your needs, and you can learn skills that you'll be able to continue using long after your child is born.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires motivation and dedication. While most people have plenty of both when they embark on a weight loss plan, many give up before reaching their goals or stop paying attention to their health as soon as they do reach their goals. After taking a little break and gaining as much or more weight back, they try again with another program, diet, or workout plan... until they give up again. Does this describe you?
One reason that people give up is that they focus on weight loss. If you keep telling yourself you need to lose weight over and over like a mantra, your subconscious mind takes this literally. Subconsciously, you start to think, 'Oh, I lost something; I had better go find it!' This can lead to weight gain. It's better to focus on returning to the best weight for you. This is an idea your subconscious can support without undermining your conscious efforts.
Another reason that people give up is that they may use food to comfort themselves or their weight may serve as a protective barrier. Sometimes this is conscious, but often it is not. If your subconscious mind wants to eat large amounts of comfort foods or maintain that protective barrier, your conscious efforts to eat right are going to be overruled. To lose weight, these subconscious beliefs must be released. Once those are gone, it's easier to stay on track and achieve your goals.
Weight loss is one of the top concerns of most people-- and one of the top three uses of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy can release the subconscious beliefs that are sabotaging your weight loss efforts and bring your conscious and subconscious mind into alignment so that you can achieve your goals.
When I was suffering from chronic pain a few years later, I looked for a non-medical way to manage the pain. After quite a lot of research, I developed high expectations that hypnosis would be effective. I had read a number of articles from various mental health journals, medical websites, and newspapers like the New York Times, had watched a number of news programs about hypnosis, and had spoken to a doctor who had witnessed a surgery performed with hypnosis in lieu of anesthesia. By the time I saw a hypnotherapist for pain management, I was convinced that hypnosis would work, and --surprise!-- it did.
This is not to say that the results were instantaneous, but I knew that if hypnosis could work for other people, then it could also work for me. I was also much more motivated to stop feeling pain than I had been to stop biting my nails. I realized I couldn't take a passive role and expect to be cured. I had to be proactive. I had to participate in my treatment by using self-hypnosis and doing the exercises assigned to me by the hypnotherapist I saw. When hypnosis worked for the chronic pain, I realized that I had given up too easily and too early on nail-biting. I hadn't really believed hypnosis would work for that, and I hadn't really wanted to stop. However, I knew that hypnosis would work for chronic pain, and I really wanted the pain to stop. Different expectations--and different levels of motivation--produced different results.
Since becoming a hypnotherapist, I have worked on a number of personal issues. Using hypnosis, I have overcome allergies, asthma, and chronic pain and have set and achieved many other personal goals. Ironically, nail-biting was the most difficult behavior to stop. The main problem was motivation: there didn't seem to be any penalty to continuing a behavior I had been doing for over 30 years. If you don't have a clear reason for changing your behavior, then chances are good that you won't. Finally I thought, "I'm a hypnotherapist, what message does this send to my clients if I bite my nails?" Shortly afterwards, I stopped!
Trained in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Trained in Vipassana meditation
Conference presentation on How Hypnosis Can Help You and Your Students for Women Educators and Language Learners conference
Joined an EAP provider as a workshop trainer and EAP therapist
Conference presentation on Learned Optimism through Meditation for International Mental Health Professionals of Japan conference
Joined Tokyo English Life Line as workshop trainer
Newspaper article for Daily Yomiuri, Fresh Perspective ColumnOctober: