What’s Einstein got to do with hypnobirthing?

What’s Einstein got to do with hypnobirthing?

Pregnancy coach Suzy Ashworth’s recent blog shares how Einstein’s words of wisdom can be related to birth hypnosis. For example, Einstein encourages us to “look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better“.  Suzy says we can learn a lot about the primal act of birth from other mammals who birth calmly and without fear.   A sentiment shared by extensive birth researcher Dr Sarah Buckley who believes we birth best and don’t disturb the important hormonal physiology of childbirth (e.g. we produce optimum levels of hormones that benefit childbirth, bonding and lactation) when we are able to birth like how our mammal cousins chose to birth: that is, finding somewhere they feel private, safe and unobserved. The impact of a disturbed birth, one where the elements of feeling private, safe and unobserved are interrupted, is perhaps most clearly demonstrated in births where labour stalls or even stops.  Countless labours proceed really well in the comfort and privacy of a woman’s own home, yet these same women that were progressing so well experience a stalling or stop in labour when they arrive at the hospital, a less familiar environment, or when an unknown medical attendant enters the room. Another Einstein insight Suzy relates to hypnobirthing is: “imagination is everything, it’s the preview of life’s coming attractions”.  This key neuroscience principal is the force behind many hypnotherapy techniques, including birth hypnosis.  Our ability to build neural pathways of what we want to have happen (e.g. feeling calm and in control during birth) is accessed via our imagination.  Using hypnotic imagination to rehearse an outcome is like creating a blueprint of how...
Worry is a Wasted Emotion

Worry is a Wasted Emotion

Like many kiwi’s I too was up cheering on with pride at 5am Sunday morning as our boys won the Rugby World Cup… again!  I loved what All Blacks Coach, Steve Hansen, said:  “worry is a wasted emotion”.  Hansen understands a key element of success is directing your focus on the results you want and planning to achieve those results. What happens in the brain when we worry From a neuroscience perspective, when we worry and imagine a bad outcome – like losing to Australia! Or something almost as scary, such as knowing we have to do a presentation at work – we often start strengthening the neural pathways of what we don’t want to have happen by worrying about it and what may go wrong.  And guess what?  The strongest neural pathways will win out, a little bit like when you’re walking, it’s much easier to take the well trodden path than beat a new one through the bush.  Our brain is the same – it likes taking the well trodden neural-pathways. So when that little ticker tape of inner chatter or self-talk starts up with thoughts about that presentation “oh no, what if I stuff it up, what if I get tongue tied, or stage fright…. “  through this worry you are misusing your imagination, and essentially programming your brain for what you don’t want to have happen! And if you hold onto that mindset what result do you think you’ll get?  After all, you’ve been priming your brain to expect that negative result.  Turning this around and imagining and focusing what you do want will generate...
Don’t Let your Past Steal from your Future

Don’t Let your Past Steal from your Future

Life happens, both the ups and the downs.  But we have a choice.  We  can carry the negative stuff with us, like dragging heavy baggage,  making it difficult to move forward or preventing us from achieving our goals,  OR,  we can identify the limiting or sabotaging beliefs  and change them. Hypnotherapy is a powerful ally to change beliefs Forget about the entertainment hypnotists you’ve seen on dramatised TV or stage shows – I’m going to share with you what a powerful ally hypnosis can be when used in a therapeutic setting, where there is no need to cluck like a chicken or dance like Elvis! I use hypnotherapy to help you overcome challenges in life – including limiting beliefs, phobias or infertility challenges – that are holding you back from achieving your true potential or from living the life you truly wish to live. I use hypnotic techniques to help you identify and provide insight to the events that shaped your beliefs and which have formed unconscious blocks or self-sabotage, so that you can overcome past events, giving you more freedom, more success and, for my fertility clients, fulfilling your dream of becoming parents. How beliefs are formed The perception you have about the things that have happened to you, as well as the opinions of others, have shaped your beliefs. Most beliefs are formed when you were young, before your brain’s critical capacity to evaluate information was fully developed.   Up until around 10-12 years old you take almost everything quite literally and as fact, especially if it came from someone in a position of perceived power – such as...
Neural Pathways to Happy

Neural Pathways to Happy

Would you like to know a simple 5 minute practice that could help you feel happier, enjoy better health and make more progress towards your goals?  There is a growing body of research that demonstrates the simple practice of gratitude has wide reaching positive effects on our well being.  In this post I’d like to share with you some of those benefits and the neuroscience behind practising gratitude. First, lets understand what gratitude is   Gratitude is not a Pollyanna style of being blindly optimistic about every situation.  Research shows that whilst gratitude enhances positive emotions, grateful people don’t deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.  Gratitude is about noticing and appreciating the positive in life, and it seems to be that the more you practice gratitude the more things you’ll have to be grateful for. So what are the positive benefits to our well-being by practising gratitude? Results of numerous research studies shows that people who keep a gratitude journal are more likely to: Have fewer health complaints Exercise more regularly (on average 1.5 hours more a week) Feel more optimistic Have higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy Display more pro-social behaviour – such as empathy, generosity and offering help or provide emotional support to others Feel happier and have overall more satisfaction with their lives Be more connected with others Make more progress towards their goals Get better quality sleep and awaken feeling more refreshed (this sleep study consisted of adults with neuromuscular disease – so people with clinical impaired sleep) Do you think that’s a pretty impressive list?  Well there’s more, gratitude has...
Trouble Sleeping?  How Hypnosis Can Help

Trouble Sleeping? How Hypnosis Can Help

To release the hormones involved with dropping off to sleep your brain needs to feel relaxed. We are wired for survival, and this can sometimes prevent us from sleeping This has been great for our evolution, because it wouldn’t have been very useful to human survival if our ancestors were able to easily drop off to sleep when there was a predatory tiger prowling around the cave. Unfortunately, worrying about deadlines or what we have to do the next day is no different to the prowling tiger in terms of how our brain works. The function of our brain’s protective limbic system is to interpret everything coming through our senses, including our thoughts, as either “safe” or “threat” – and if it’s the latter it sends signals that trigger the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight response.  So despite our evolution from cavemen, the primitive part of our brain still prevents us from sleeping even when the danger isn’t real. In contrast to the fight or flight response we have a “relaxation response” activated through the parasympathetic nervous system which returns our bodies to balance. We can deliberately activate this restorative mechanism through deep relaxation  And when we are relaxed the sleep-inducing chemicals help our brain to become more and more sleepy, and we gradually drop off to sleep.  Worrying or even excitement (anyone with kids on Christmas Eve can probably attest to this) can hinder this process as it triggers the sympathetic nervous system. Not feeling sleepy ?…Hypnosis helps you relax and improves the quality of your sleep You can learn to elicit this relaxation response, helping your...
Let’s Talk Fertility ~Part 3 of my Birth Hypnosis Interview

Let’s Talk Fertility ~Part 3 of my Birth Hypnosis Interview

In the last part of my interview on If Only They’d Told Me, I talk with Natalie about how hypnosis can help with fertility, and share the results of an amazing study where hypnotic relaxation alone increased the success rates of an IVF procedure by 50%! Trying to get pregnant?  Hypnosis helps Fertility N. And fertility – can we just talk about that for a little bit because there are obviously lots of people out there that are wanting to get pregnant and are just struggling with it, some people going down IVF and other routes.  So you can help people that are struggling with fertility? R. Yes.  I do.  Whether that is working alongside them when they are doing the IVF process – for example: there was a study done in Israel where, just at the time of implantation, purely by being in hypnotic relaxation (none of the other hypnotherapy that you do normally with fertility sessions, but just being hypnotically relaxed at implantation alone) had a 50% success rate over the control group, so in other words the women who had had hypnosis at the time of implementation, 50% more of them got pregnant through the IVF than those who didn’t have the hypnotic relaxation. N. Yeah it seems (I haven’t been through it myself but I’ve got a lot of friends who have been) and it seems to be quite a clinical medical experience and so, having something like hypnosis to… R. It is.  And it’s a very stressful process.  And the way stress works is, if you think back to the day where we had to...