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Learn about the power of our extraordinary mind and its ability to influence everything from our beliefs to our fertility

Let’s talk birth ~ part 2 of my Birth Hypnosis Interview

Here’s the 2nd part of my interview on If Only They’d Told Me, with Natalie Cutler-Welsh. We talk more about hypnosis for birth, and how it can help regardless of whether you are feeling reasonably relaxed about the prospect of labour or if you are terrified or if you have had a previously traumatic birth experience. If you missed part 1 let’s talk phobia’s you can read it here. So let’s talk about labour. What are the women that you work with afraid of and how do you change that for them? R. Well, pain is the biggest one, and it’s not surprising. We’re conditioned to believe through everything we see on TV, everything our well-meaning friends tell us, is that childbirth has to be painful. So pain is probably the biggest fear. I mean, there are some concerns about, you know, that their lifestyles are going to change, they’re going to be a parent, what are they going to do with the baby – but in terms of confidence, the biggest fear I see is the childbirth pain, and it’s a real thing. We are conditioned to believe it has to be painful, so our subconscious mind has that belief. For some people they might feel quite relaxed during the pregnancy about the prospect of giving birth, but because it’s something that’s been conditioned and tagged and imprinted on our subconscious mind, occasionally what you find is that someone, when in the onset of labour, it’s suddenly triggered and they become very, very fearful. Now when we’re fearful we’re producing things in our bodies, some chemicals and stuff,...

Let’s talk phobia’s ~ part 1 of my Birth Hypnosis interview

During my interview on If Only They’d Told Me we touched on phobias and a client I worked with who had aquaphobia (a fear of water) who now happily finds being in water a pleasurable activity, and is enjoying the freedom that brings. A phobia is a high anxiety response such as fear or panic to an object (e.g. snakes), a situation (e.g. public speaking) or even a thought (e.g. if the plane hits turbulence I’ll panic). Fears and phobias are learned responses that are formed as an imprint by the part of our brain designed to keep us safe.  When it perceives an experience to be a threat it learns to create fear and anxiety symptoms next time we encounter a similar situation with the aim of acting as a warning system to keep us safe.  All of this happens outside our conscious awareness – it has to because if you are in a situation that your survival depends on quick action, you don’t have time to consciously ponder your options, you need to be mobilised for action (i.e. fight or flight). Sometimes this process means we can learn to have an out of proportion response to things or situations.  Fortunately because phobias are learned, when you access the part of your brain that is responsible for creating the phobic imprint you can just as easily unlearn the phobia. So here’s part one of the transcript from my Birth Hypnosis podcast interview with Natalie Cutler-Welsh on If Only They’d Told Me, which includes us talking about phobia’s… N. Hi, I’m Nat and welcome back to another episode of If...

Working with a Hypnotherapist

Working through a phobia has helped me experience more freedom and stress relief by Vanessa Davey, CEO Venus Network, as featured in the Venus Magazine, Winter 2014 Before working with Rebecca ~ the problem An incident when I was eleven years old left me with a phobia of staying home alone overnight. My 15 year old sister and I were home alone one evening when I heard a noise outside our lounge window. Not thinking what I’d actually see if I looked, I went and checked out what the noise was. As I opened the curtains I saw a prowler running away from the deck, and the chair that he had been sitting in watching us had been pulled up to the window and was rocking from his swift departure. In that moment I made a very unconscious decision to not stay home alone, again, ever. At 39 years old it had finally become rather inconvenient to feel this way. No matter how many coaching conversations I had, I couldn’t seem to get to the heart of the matter. My husband was spending more nights away tramping as he’d recently picked up this new sport. I now needed to overcome this so I could enjoy my time home alone and not dread it. Working with Rebecca ~ the experience It was around this time that I was having a RAVE with Rebecca and she talked about phobias and how we just live with some of them thinking the fear is normal. In that moment I clicked that the petrified 9/10 crazy-scared feeling that comes over me staying home alone, isn’t actually normal...

Transform your words, transform your reality

How is it that a bunch of letters arranged into a word can carry so much power? Because the words we choose to use, or more accurately what we associate to these words, can evoke emotions and physical sensations that carry great meaning when we hear them. You see, the words that you hear or use to represent an experience ultimately become your experience. And these words we use to label our experiences also actually have the ability to increase or decrease the intensity of the emotions we feel. For example, imagine when something happens that angers you – if you said quite colourfully that it “really f$#ked you off and made you furious” – these become associations which most likely serve to intensify the anger you feel. On the flipside, you could decrease the emotion by saying that it “bothered you a smidgen”, or “tinkled you” – and these such frivolous labels can even change your emotional state completely because they’re rather amusing! Simple word substitutions like these alter our perception of things. For example, imagine the positive shift in your confidence if you classified the “nervous anxiety” you feel before a big presentation as “excited anticipation”. We’ve tagged associations to words at a subconscious level, and because of this people can link tremendous levels of pain, anxiety and even fear to particular words. I know with ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) clients, just hearing the word “snake” can make their skin crawl or even trigger anxiety symptoms. Another example is a client I worked with who had experienced two traumatic childbirths. In our first session, just mentioning the...

Lets talk Birth, Fertility & Phobias with If Only They’d Told Me

I was thrilled to be invited onto the popular Parenting podcast (radio show) from ‘If Only They’d Told Me’ to talk about birth hypnosis with Nat Cutler-Welsh.  Nat interviews me about using hypnotherapy to: overcome phobias prepare for a relaxed childbirth overcome traumatic previous childbirth experiences enhance the bodies natural healing mechanisms for speed healing where a c-section is required create optimum conditions for boosting fertility and conception – whether natural or alongside assisted reproductive technology such as IVF To listen to the interview click the play button below or click here download this episode from...

Creating Calm ~ tips for an ecstatic birth

It’s not often you hear the word ‘birth’ and ‘ecstatic’ in the same sentence. In fact, we’re more inclined to hear the birthing process illustrated in less-than-complimentary terms! You’re probably thinking that if you turned up to coffee group and described your birthing experience using words such as ‘gentle’, ‘pleasure’, ‘peaceful’ and ‘meditative’, that you’d likely get laughed right out of the cafe. However, contrary to birth stories from TV shows and well meaning friends , there is research to suggest that an ‘ecstatic birth’ is possible.  Sceptical?  You might want to hear more about what Dr Sarah Buckley had to say at her recent ‘Undisturbing Birth’ workshop in Auckland this month. Expectant mothers, celebrate! If you’re an expectant mother, then Dr Sarah Buckley has some good news for you. She believes birth can be gentle under the right conditions, and has invested considerable energy critiquing the current practices in pregnancy and childbirth birth and evaluating the scientific research and anecdotal evidence. As a result of her research and clinical practices, Dr Buckley believes that, like all other mammals, women need certain conditions to birth effectively – that is to feel private, safe and unobserved. When these conditions are met then our hormonal physiology creates an optimum orchestration of “ecstatic hormones” including Oxytocin, Beta Endorphins, Catecholamines, Prolactin, increasing and/or decreasing at specific stages to help both mother and baby to birth safely, easily and effectively – and, here’s the exciting part ladies, even with pleasure! Happy hormones In her book, “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering”, Dr Buckley comments that disturbing or “interfering with this process will also disrupt this delicate...

Do your beliefs support or hinder your success?

I was honoured and excited to be asked to be on the Business Women Panel in the Venus Magazine – a magazine for New Zealand women in business.  The focus of this issue is beliefs and how they can impact your business and career. I have worked with several business women who felt they were limiting or self sabotaging their success – helping them to uncover these beliefs and replacing them with ones that supported them to achieve their goals.  Here’s my interview about beliefs for the Business Women Panel:   Have you consciously examined your own beliefs as part of your development as a business woman? As a Clinical Hypnotherapist I recognise the benefits of aligning conscious thought and unconscious behaviours with my goals.  Beliefs are held at a subconscious level so hypnosis helps me identify and transform beliefs that can limit my success, and gives me the confidence in my ability to make a real difference in my clients’ lives. Do you believe it is valuable for every businesswoman to become aware of her own beliefs and self-talk around her business? Absolutely! We unconsciously act in accordance with what we believe, so our beliefs determine our behaviours and success.  If you’re not aware of your beliefs and self-talk, how do you know if they’re supporting, limiting, or self-sabotaging your progress? In your role, what kind of beliefs have you noticed hold women back in business? A fear of public speaking or presenting to groups is a common belief which often results in missed business opportunities.  Undervalued self-worth is also common, by changing these beliefs business women become...

Your words influence the results you get

Words influence: what you say impacts the results you get.  By understanding how your mind processes the words it hears you can learn to phrase what you say in ways that will positively influence the results you want.   If I say to you “don’t think of a black cat”, notice what happens.  In some shape or form your mind had to make an association of what a black cat is to understand the sentence – maybe a quick image flashed into your mind of a black cat, or you thought of a black cat you knew, or maybe you thought about the superstition about black cats and ladders. Even if you were not consciously aware of this it happened at a subconscious level because the processes that are involved in comprehension had to think about a black cat even though I told you not to.  Therefore the use of words like “don’t” are negated in terms of how the brain comprehends.  In this instant “don’t” was filtered out and your mind obeyed the end of the sentence and thought of a black cat. So if you are consciously telling yourself “don’t eat chocolate” or “must not eat chocolate” you’ll be undermined by the part of your mind that comprehends what it hears and the part that controls your behaviours  – because it is getting the instruction to “eat chocolate”. How about what you tell your kids (or your partner!)?   When the kids are carrying a hot drink and you say “careful don’t spill it” – three things happen: firstly, their brain filters out the “don’t”; secondly, they have...

Smile and pass it on!

A lot of hypnotherapy is about accessing positive and resourceful states to help you be more healthy, happy and successful.  There are simple ways you can influence your biochemistry to feel less stress and boost your mood.  One of these is smiling. We know smiling is good, but what goes on outside of our conscious awareness when we smile? Smiling produces changes in brain activity that corresponds to a happier mood.  It activates our limbic system – the part of our brain responsible for processing emotions. The hypothalamus, which is responsible for how we physically respond to emotions, is also triggered.  In response to a smile feel good endorphins, serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters are released.  Endorphins make us feel good and act as a natural pain reliever, serotonin acts as an anti-depressant boosting our mood, and dopamine increases our feelings of pleasure and reward.  One study found that a smile can provide the same stimulation level in the brain as eating 2000 chocolate bars! Smiling also improves our stress levels, because when we smile our stress hormones (e.g. cortisol and adrenaline) reduce and our blood pressure and heart rate lower.  A study published by Psychological Science concluded that smiling while completing a stressful task lowered stress indicators such as heart rate. Besides making us feel good and reducing stress, smiling may help us increase our life span.  A study by Wayne State University reviewing baseball cards of Major League Players found that the players with wide beaming smiles lived on average 7 years longer than their non-smiling team mates. Smiling also positively influences how others perceive us.  Research from...

Receiving a Special Award!

I was honoured at the Annual New Zealand Hypnotherapy Conference in the weekend with a special award for dedication and persistence in overcoming adversity to graduate as a Clinical Hypnotherapist in 2012.  My journey wasn’t straight forward as I was recovering from illness whilst I was studying.  Part of my illness involved cognitive difficulties – which my doctor explained were similar to someone with a brain injury.  So reading and formulating my thoughts was at times difficult, and just a short amount of concentration could be exhausting.  I had to pace myself and take extra time to complete the course work, which was frustrating as I loved learning this stuff and wanted to absorb more and more of it! Study under these conditions was challenging but I was driven by excitement about what can be achieved when you tap into your powerful subconscious mind.  Hypnotherapy was instrumental to my recovery, and being able to help other people overcome challenges was something I was learning how to turn into a reality.  It was lovely to be recognised for the journey I took and honoured amongst my...