Posts tagged #Hypnotherapist

Hypnosis for birth in the news

As a hypnobirth trainer working in Kidderminster I am always interested to read about hypnosis for birth in the news.

I'm not always in agreement with the articles I have read but this weekend I was smiling from ear to ear as I read about NHS hospitals providing hypnosis for childbirth.  The news piece asked:

             " Can hypnosis really beat the pain of having babies? The NHS thinks so"

As an easibirthing trainer I already know many hospitals were providing some initial training in hypnosis within their antenatal care package, but I was excited to read how many more were following suit.  The news explained how midwives are being trained to teach hypnosis for birth in Colchester, Wolverhampton, Stevenage and the Scottish Highlands. The next areas to get on board will be Exeter, Gloucester, Walsall and Bury St Edmunds. A midwife and hypnobrthing coach at Colchester hospital said a quartet of the women giving birth at Colchester general hospital were taking courses in the technique.  The hospital dropped the £250.00 fee after the results were so positive they felt it unfair to only provide it to those who could afford the fee. 

In the article Tamara Cianfini founder of Wise Hippo hypnobirthing explaines how the technique benefits women.

Staying calm reduces the “ fight or flight” response, which can result in adrenaline flooding the body and unhelpfully diverting blood away from the womb.
— Tamara Cianfini

The news paper article includes comments from Naomi Mogg who recently used hypnosis with the birth of her second child.  After a traumatic first birth she turned to hypnosis and found she felt much more in control and able to deal with the pain.

As a trainer in this powerful technique I am proud to be part of the empowerment of women and their partners  through hypnosis for childbirth. Birth has become increasingly medicalised over time which has removed control from women but the introduction of hypnobirthing displays a real commitment to handing childbirth back to women.  I am glad midwives are being trained but I am concerned that many midwives are already overstretched and do not want this training to become another burden they are not truly given time to deliver. At a local hospital in Walsall several years ago they trained midwives to deliver maternity reflexology but shortly after, despite great results, the service was closed due to lack of funding. I hope this is not the case with hypnosis. 

I am also excited by the great research opportunities available as the service is extended. The limitation of much hypno birthing research is the small subject numbers, but as the technique is rolled out to more couples the research could be much more robust.

Unfortunately Worcestershire does not currently have plans in place to introduce hypnosis for their antenatal couples. If you are based in Worcestershire and interested in Hypnosis for Birth training then please do contact me.

Anxiety and Childbirth; You are not alone with your fears.

tired pregnant.jpg

Anxiety in pregnancy and child birth fears

Child birth fears explored by Kidderminster Hypnotherapist. 

Pregnancy and child birth is an amazing time but for some it is blighted by fear and anxiety relating to child birth. It may be hard to express these as it is supposed to be a happy period. If you feel anxious and afraid please do seek help as there are many ways to manage your fears to help you enjoy your pregnancy and child birth. 

To truly understand anxiety disorders associated with childbirth it is important to explore the origins of these fears and anxieties. I feel the foundations for these can be viewed as falling into three themes: 1: loss or lack of control 2: negative expectations and 3: physical and mental distress. Birth is a universal experience existing since the very beginning of evolution, but for some the thought of birthing their baby evokes overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety. At its most debilitation tokophobia, intense fear child birth, can be diagnosed. Anxiety disorders associated with childbirth, their origins and effects will be explored taking into account the many degrees of anxiety and their response to hypnosis.

The term tokophobia was first used to describe an intense anxiety and fear of childbirth in 2000 by Hofberg and Brockington. A degree of fear of childbirth is fairly common, over 20% of pregnant women report fear, 6% describe a fear that is disabling  and 13% of women who have not become pregnant report fear of childbirth sufficient to postpone or avoid pregnancy. Other studies have shown much higher rates of fear in pregnant women . It is now widely accepted that pregnancy may be a time of considerable anxiety with symptoms worsening in the third trimester .  

There were four significant aspects to tokophobia; intense anxiety and worry about childbirth; difficulties controlling this concern; difficulty concentrating  on work and family activities; plus at least  three  of  the  following  symptoms:  fear  of  pain,  fear  of  being unable  to  give  birth,  physical  disorders,  nightmares,  avoidance  of  pregnancy or request for caesarean section.  It is clear from this definition that tokophobia is relevant throughout the pregnancy, birth and postnatally. Tokophobia can be present before any pregnancies (primary), developed after a birth (secondary) or as a result of more underlying psychological disorders.

Tokophobia could be seen as a condition at the top of the continuum of anxiety related to childbirth.  Women and men can experience anxiety at many levels from mild anxiety that fluctuates and recedes right through to tokophobia.  A study in 2002 involving 329 pregnant women in Finland found that 78% expressed fears relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or both. This suggests, therefore, that anxiety and fear are experienced by the majority of women to some degree.  Any level of anxiety or fear in pregnancy has the potential to affect the woman, baby and wider family. Dick-Reid (2013) goes as far as to state that fear of childbirth over many generations has had a growing negative effect on civilisations  all over the world.

The movement of birth into hospitals began in the Seventeenth century in France when male doctors first stepped into the birthing environment.  This marked the start of the removal of power and expertise in the birthing process from the women herself. By removing the birthing woman’s sense of control and introducing many processes and techniques alien to her it is not difficult to see why fear and anxiety would increase.A study in 2008 found that lack of control featured as a cause of secondary tokophobia in all the women interviewed.  

A reason for the profound negative influence of loss of control may be understood by looking at our psychological development as a whole. From our birth onwards we move toward a growing sense of control over our environment, our choices and daily life. It is simply human nature to want a slice of life that we can control and that when this control is threatened anxiety disorders can develop. When a sense of control is lost it can be replaced by a fear o terrible things happening which cannot be stopped . This has clear implications for the process of childbirth. A woman and potentially a man who perceives a lack of control may it seems easily move into experiencing fear and anxiety about the new journey they are embarking on.

An individual’s expectations of a forthcoming event will influence how they feel about it. There are many influences present on modern women’s expectations of childbirth and the proliferation of negative views on birth is widely recognised.

The role of negative expectations in the development of anxiety disorders associated with pregnancy cannot be underestimated. Dick-Reid (2013) highlights the many pronged attack of negative influence on pregnant women; involving the media, literature, friends, mothers and partners.  Most importantly many of these negative frightening influences are from people who we hold as important and respected. This proves to strengthen the effects of their words, however well meaning. Research suggests that mothers who have unresolved trauma relating to birth can unintentionally pass this on to their daughters.

There is a growing recognition of the potential role that medical involvement has in the belief that birth is fearful and potentially dangerous and life threatening. The movement of birth to hospital settings, associated with illness and trauma, could feed women’s and societies belief that birth is dangerous.  The manner in which women are led to believe medical or surgical intervention may be needed e.g. during antenatal checks, even before birth commences increases the perception that child birth is dangerous. An expectation that child birth is dangerous is a powerful foundation for anxiety associated with child birth.

The third theme relates to physical and mental distress. Most obviously this relates to the fear of physical pain during childbirth.  A study in 2006  found that pain during contractions and pain during the passage of the baby from the vagina were both feared although some women feared only one of these. For some the fear of physical distress manifests as a fear of dying during child birth.

Mental distress can relate to many aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. If mental distress is experienced then fear and anxiety can reasonably be expected to develop. 
The origins of anxiety disorders associated with childbirth are clearly complex but an awareness of this allows both the effects of this anxiety, wherever it falls on the continuum, and potential ways to manage and reduce it to be understood.

If you are experiencing fear and anxiety during your pregnancy or even before becoming pregnant please do seek advise as you are not alone. Hypnobirthing is one way of lessening and managing this anxiety. Your midwife will also be able to offer you assistance.  If you feel your fear and anxiety is affecting your life please do speak to your doctor for support. 

Related pages : Hypnobirthing evidence.

For more information please contact me.

Posted on November 2, 2015 and filed under stress management, maternity, hypnotherapy.

Kidderminster Hypnotherapist gains CNHC registration.

Registered Hypnotherapist Kidderminster

I am proud to have attained registration for hypnotherapy with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.

This professional body had been established by the government to ensure you can chose therapists with confidence knowing they are well trained professionals.  The council sets high standards for hypnotherapy registration including the level of training and continuing professional development.

I would welcome a compulsory government register similar to the nursing register I belonged to as a practising nurse but unfortunately this is not in place. The nearest level of registration is an accredited voluntary register such as the CNHC.  Many therapists are now embracing this professional body and I am proud to be part of the movement towards a more regulated profession.

Due to the high level of standards required  for CNHC registration many health care insurance companies now provide cover for therapists registered in this way. The list of companies is growing so if you have a cash health plan it may include therapies such as reflexology and hypnotherapy.  It is important that the details of your particular plan are checked before booking treatments as there are many individual differences between policies and Breathe Holistic Therapy can not confirm if cover is provided.

I am registered with the CNHC for reflexology, therapeutic massage and hypnotherapy. These treatments are available at the Kidderminster treatment room DY115LB.  For more information please do contact me.


Posted on August 14, 2015 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Coping with Challenges using Reflexology and Hypnotherapy

My clients often say I must be the most chilled out relaxed person as I have so many techniques at my fingertips. In some ways that is true, I am far more relaxed than I was before I began to use complementary therapies, but life still throws challenges at even the calmest people!

During the last few weeks I have taken on a number of challenges, some by choice and others have arrived uninvited! I have to admit despite my love for holistic therapies my knee jerk reaction is often panic and fear just as it always has been. The difference is now I can eventually take a step back and use some of the wonderful techniques open to me.

My first challenges was updating my website to ensure it was compatible with mobile devices. I am not a techy person so my first reaction when I learnt I needed to do this was panic and anxiety. I had a very sleepless night before I took a moment to step back and calm down. I often talk to my clients about using the support networks around them, so many of us believe we have to cope alone. After getting advice from some techy friends I felt my website mountain was not such an impossible climb. I also took time out to use some confidence boosting self hypnosis and some mindfulness to encourage  kindness to myself. Gradually I began to enjoy the challenge and although there are still some things to iron out I am proud of myself for rising to the challenge. 

The next challenge was one I had chosen to embark on. Last year I tried twice to complete a 'leap of faith', this entails climbing up a tall post, standing on a small platform and jumping off ( you have safety equipment on of course!). I was so frustrated that twice i had reached the top and twice I had failed to stand up. I was determined to succeed this time. I used EFT to prepare myself for the task along with using the power of my imagination to really see myself succeeding. These both helped me to believe I could do it. And i did it!  The pride I felt was immense and I hope I've saved that feeling firmly in my memory to call on whenever I need a boost.

Leap of Faith at Condover Hall 2014...I couldn't stand up on the platform.

Leap of Faith at Condover Hall 2014...I couldn't stand up on the platform.

My third challenge was not something I chose at all. With a simple sneeze I damaged my back and have spent a frustrating week with little mobility and a fair dose of pain. As usual I spent the first day or so completely forgetting about the resources I have to help myself. After getting checked by my GP to ensure I hadn't seriously damaged any nerves etc I began using reflexology to help myself. Reaching my feet was hard at first so I just enjoyed some relaxing warm foot soaks with calming essential oils. Once I could finally get my hands on my feet I was shocked by how much tenderness I found. My spine and hip reflexes were all very painful but I did feel the discomfort was worth it.  I felt an improvement in my movement although I am still a long way off full mobility.  I also tackled my frustration with daily mindfulness meditation. This really has kept me grounded and held my annoyance at bay.

Challenges can be chosen or land in your laps when you least expect them. I wanted to share how a therapist copes with difficulties because I believe it is important for my clients to know two things 

  1. I am human just like them and I can be completely daunted by life's difficulties and feel that I do not have the ability to rise to the challenge
  2. After my panic passes I do practice what I preach because I believe truly in all the therapies I provide.


What is hypnotherapy?

I am currently working towards completing my training in clinical hypnotherapy. The most common question asked me is simply: what is hypnotherapy?

There are widely accepted to be  three main aspects to the process of hypnosis. These are relaxation, imagination and enactment. When someone enters hypnosis their conscious rationalising processes are reduced or quietened to allow access to their subconscious mind. This altered state of awareness is achieved when everything apart from what you hear fades into insignificance. This is similar to being engrossed in a television programme when everything else just falls into unimportance.

Whilst experiencing hypnotherapy the subconscious part of the mind continues to hear all that can be heard but is not subject to the same degree of rational conscious processing. You can hear everything that is said but you are not over thinking or analysing what is said. This allows therapeutic change to take place. During hypnotherapy you are not asleep or unconscious. 

The process of hypnotherapy includes deepening the state to enable the constant chatter of your mind to be quietened still further. The process is sensed as a deeper feeling of relaxation. Most people feel that hypnotherapy is wonderfully relaxing and calming. Some people may feel their body becoming heavy or alternatively quite light and floaty. When under hypnosis you are still able to move if you need to, for example to change position if you become uncomfortable.

Many people worry that they loose some of their control when going into hypnosis. This is not the case. A therapist cannot force a client to enter hypnosis but instead is only instrumental in helping the client to use an inability that we all possess.  Hypnosis can only be achieved with the co-operation of the client.

Another worry commonly expressed is that you are at the mercy of the hypnotherapist whilst hypnotised. This has largely been strengthened by stage hypnosis which often shows people performing ridiculous acts. A hypnotherapist cannot force someone to do something against their will. The people who participate in stage shows volunteer because they want to take part and they want to be entertaining. They are happy to be hypnotised to entertain the audience. If you chose to stay in your seat and not take part the hypnotist could not hypnotise you to get up onto the stage.  

Your conscious mind is quietened during hypnosis but it is not removed. If you received a suggestion that black was white it would intervene to ensure the correct perception was formed.  You are always protected by your rational and analytical conscious mind. 

Hypnotherapy sessions conclude with a reorientation to conscious awareness. This often takes the form of a count from one to five. People report feeling relaxed but alert and wide awake after hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is largely experienced as a calming pleasurable therapy which can have very profound results. The application of this therapy is wide ranging. Hypnotherapy has been used sucessfully for things from phobias to an anaesthetic for dental surgery. Even as a therapist experienced in hypnotherapy I was still amazed to see the open university video of a women having tooth extraction and replacment teeth pegs drilled and positioned with hypnotherapy and no anaesthetic.

I am excited to be completing my training in clinical hypnotherapy and keen to offer the service to my clients. I am consolidating my skills and will be offering hypnotherapy in kidderminster later in 2015. Hypnotherapy and reflexology have been combined by some therapsits and this will also be something Im excited to explore.

Posted on November 21, 2014 and filed under hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy and my arachnophobia

Reflexology and massage are fantastic treatments with many benefits but when appropriate I recommend other treatments to my clients.  For some of life's challenges there are other therapy options which work especially well alongside my therapies. I often discuss how beneficial hypnotherapy can be for tackling our unwanted habits and phobias. I have used hypnotherapy in the past and found it very relaxing and it definitely helped me kick my smoking habit many years ago. That really was a life enhancing change for the better.

I had until recently avoided tackling my spider phobia, but with another autumn approaching and the march of the big house spiders across my hallway about to start  I decided to try hypnotherapy.  I enjoy the relaxing process and knew I would benefit from the treatment but like many people who try to make big changes I wasn't sure I could shake this phobia. I made my appointment with hypnotherapist Mark Powlett and he promised me he wouldn't have any spiders hidden around to test me! He used a combination of hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique (the tapping therapy) to address my spider phobia. I had one appointment which lasted about an hour.

So.... did it work??


The spider is real and that's me holding it! So I would say YES!!!  I was amazed at how completely unafraid I was. I was curious about the spider but not anxious at all. I am so glad I decided to tackle my life long spider phobia and I will absolutely continue to recommend hypnotherapy to my clients.

Reflexology Kidderminster. Please contact 0753 1121199

Posted on September 5, 2012 and filed under hypnotherapy.