8/26/09

Childbirth Hypnosis

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.

8/11/09

Get Fit with Word Power

I hate to exercise. I always have. But... I love to ski, I love to swim, I love to take long walks and hikes. Just don't call it exercise! That word takes all the fun away for me. Why is that? It's because I think of exercise as work but skiing as fun. The subconscious mind moves away from pain towards pleasure, so we naturally choose to do things that are fun and avoid those that aren't. We are hard-wired that way. That's why many people who hate exercise will walk around a mall or a museum for hours. That's fine; they are still exercising! They just aren't calling it that.

If you need to exercise, but don't like the images or feelings that the word exercise conjures up, then stop using it. Use the name of the sport or activity you enjoy, such as racquetball or hula dancing. Each time you say exercise, you are undermining your will power. Each time you say hula dancing, you are reinforcing your will power. This strategy puts the hard-wiring of your subconscious mind to work for you.

This word game is also effective for making healthy food choices. Many restaurants have dressed up ordinary dishes by giving them a fancy name, and many mothers have disguised vegetables by using funny names. Studies* have shown that people are more likely to eat chicken or spinach when they're called slow-roasted free-range chicken or Popeye Power. If you don't like salad very much, then calling it rabbit food will not make it more appealing to you. On the other hand, calling it a fresh green salad or a crunchy garden salad might.

The most effective word substitution for your fitness plan is changing the word have to choose. If you have to do something, it generally isn't fun any more. If you choose to do something, then you can motivate yourself more easily. If you make a regular habit of saying choose to instead of have to, you'll find that you can overcome your resistance and feel purposeful and proactive.

Word choices are important. When you begin to use positive word choices, you will find it easier to move towards your goal and stay on the path to success. Here's to a healthier you!

* Please see the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink.