Many of us struggling with infertility yearn to feel a sense of peace again.
Our every waking moment seems to be consumed with trying for a baby.
The emotional roller coaster of fear, worry, frustration and grief can be overwhelming.
The constant "what if's".
What if it doesn't work?
What if I'm not meant to be a mother?
What if I never get pregnant?
What if its all my fault?"
These thoughts replay over and over again in our heads.
Making us sick with worry and self doubt.
What if there was a way to quiet those thoughts and not only cope, but also thrive with the emotions surrounding infertility?
There are a number of ways to access inner peace and serenity and one effective tool is hypnotherapy.
What is Hypnotherapy?
If you're like me, when you think of hypnotherapy you instantly think of someone being hypnotized and clucking like a chicken.
During a stage hypnotism, participants are transformed into chickens, right in front of our eyes.They cluck, fidget, and behave exactly like a chicken!
In that moment when they are on stage, they actually believe they are a chicken.
We liken this state to a trance or a waking dream state.
What is a dream state?
When we're dreaming, we actually believe our dreams are real.
In hypnotherapy when someone is placed into a trance they actually believe they are having a real experience, just like in our dreams.
What exactly is a trance state?
A trance state is when the physical body goes to sleep, but the mind stays awake.
An example of a trance state is being in an elevator with a few people.You stare at the elevator numbers and get lost in your own thoughts.People start to get off the elevator and before you "wake up" you get off the elevator, only to realize it's not your floor.You acted on a suggestion, while being in a trance! 1
I bet you're wondering how the trance state actually works!
First the trance state allows us to access the subconscious mind.
What is the subconscious mind?
The subconscious mind takes care of all the stuff you do automatically.You don't think about how to breathe, your subconscious mind takes care of that for you.Doing everyday tasks, such as having a shower, brushing your teeth or getting dressed are done with very little conscious thought.You're essentially on automatic pilot.
"Psychiatrists theorize that the deep relaxation and focusing exercises of hypnotism work to calm and subdue the conscious mind so that it takes a less active role in your thinking process. In this state, you're still aware of what's going on, but your conscious mind takes a backseat to your subconscious mind. Effectively, this allows you and the hypnotist to work directly with the subconscious"2
Here are some tips that you can do at home to help awaken the subconscious mind and cope with the emotions surrounding infertility.
Self-hypnosis is a simple process that can be very helpful to reduce stress and anxiety.
We'll start with a thought or statement that you may be having regarding your journey to conceive.
You may believe that you will have difficulty conceiving.
1) Get curious about where that thought came from? Take a few moments to think about how you came to that conclusion (this can be very painful, especially if a doctor has told you that you'll have a hard time conceiving or if you have experienced miscarriage or loss). Acknowledge that pain and take a moment to honour your journey.
2) Next take a moment to explore the notion that this thought no longer serves you. The thought only serves to make you more anxious and more stressed.
3) Close your eyes and begin to empty your thoughts of worries, stress or anxiety.If uncomfortable thoughts keep coming, don't try to fight them, observe them momentarily and simply let them slip away.
4) Take some slow deep breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth) and feel the tension melting away.Imagine your worries and fears slipping away too.
5) At this point you can practice a visualization exercise such as the Guided Fertility Visualization exercise.Slowly relax every part of your body and imagine you are in the fertility garden planting beautiful seeds that are preparing your body for a baby.
7) Enjoy the feeling of peace and tranquility.
As you emerge from your hypnosis state, remember that although any feelings of skepticism are normal, they may also impede your progress.
Believe in the power of our subconscious mind and open your mind to the possibilities.
If you are still not convinced.There are a number of studies that show the impact of hypnosis and enhanced fertility.
This study in Fertility and Sterility found that the use of hypnosis during embryo transfer may significantly improve the IVF/ET (Embryo Transfer) outcome in terms of increased implantation and clinical pregnancy rates.Furthermore, it seems the patients attitude to treatment was more favourable.
This study found that an approved visit by a medical clown increased the chances of successful pregnancy by 36%, compared with 20% for women whose embryo transfer was comedy-free.Proving your emotional state does have a great impact on your ability to conceive.
Remember this process takes time.It's like a muscle and requires strengthening.With continued practice you will begin to tap into your body's relaxation response and experience a sense of calm and serenity.
Thank you to Amira Posner for her wisdom and tips! Amira is a certified hypnotherapist as well as a professional therapist with Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Social Work. She can be reached at Healing Infertility.
Do you want to experience the power of hypnotherapy?
We are pleased to announce the launch of our online Mindfulness Fertility Series.
Our online series launches in January 2017 and is limited to only 10 participants.
Learn how to cope and ultimately thrive with the emotions surrounding infertility!
Jump on the wait list here to learn more and receive updates!
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!