Hypnosis, one of my new favorite tools

Hypnotism Concept

Have you ever found yourself ruminating about things, going over and over the experiences of your day, beating yourself up about the way you talked to your child, and not able to relax to sleep at night?  Well, I occasionally find that relaxing to sleep is difficult for me, but I have found a wonderful solution!  Self-hypnosis helps me turn off my mind and relax my body enough to go to sleep.  It has also been helping me handle the pain I experience during nursing.

I first learned self-hypnosis during my pregnancy through my Hypnobabies birthing class.  Through the use of guided CDs we created a “switch” that I can now use to turn off the muscles of my body and completely relax.  It’s one of the best skills I’ve learned in the past year.

So now, whenever I find myself ruminating or tense when I’d rather be relaxing, I simply “turn off” and instantly relax my entire body.  Amazingly, the process of turning off my muscles seems to naturally relax my thoughts too!

I have struggled with pain during my entire nursing experience.  For the first 9 weeks of my daughter’s life the pain was so excruciating that I would bite my hand in order to take my attention away from my nipples.  And now, more than 7 months into nursing, I still have days when my daughter’s mouth feels like a vice clamp.

It took me a while, but in the past few weeks I suddenly remembered what I learned in my birthing class and have been practicing “turning off” when I begin to nurse.  Wow, what a difference!  Instead of leaving a nursing session in pain and tension, I actually feel relaxed and refreshed.  And I’m certain that my milk is flowing more easily now that I’m more relaxed too.

So, how does this apply to you?  Well, you might think that self-hypnosis is difficult, takes lots of training, or wouldn’t be possible for you, but I’ve learned that we are in a state of hypnosis often throughout our day, we just might not recognize it.

Have you ever had the experience of driving somewhere routine, letting your mind wander, and then realizing that you’ve arrived but having no memory of the turns or lights along the way?  You were in hypnosis.  Your conscious mind didn’t need to pay attention to the driving because you’re already a masterful driver, so your consciousness was freed up to attend to other things.  Hypnosis is nothing more than a trance that we can consciously choose to put ourselves in for our own benefit.

Some people find the idea of hypnosis scary and fear that by allowing themselves to be hypnotized, they’re giving their power away.  That’s actually not the case, but even if it was, if you’re hypnotizing yourself, then you’re giving your power away to…yourself!  In my experience, self-hypnosis is simply the quickest and easiest way to let go of tension and fully relax and rest both my body and my mind.

What if you could use hypnosis to change your experience of something unpleasant you’re currently experiencing?  I’m using it to relax and enjoy nursing more.  Perhaps you could use it so that you can be present with your child during a tantrum without the anxiety that usually accompanies that experience.  Or maybe you could use it during household chores that you normally don’t enjoy.  You might just use self-hypnosis to get to sleep quickly at night, even after a busy day.

I’m curious, do you have an experience with hypnosis?  Do you find it to be beneficial or not?  I hope you’ll share your story with us here…

Have a fabulous week, Shelly

5 comments
MindfulBirthing
MindfulBirthing

If you are a Hypnobabies student, don't forget your "Peace" cue when nursing. This is especially good for the involution processes as the uterus is returning to normal. I also agree with the suggestions that if nursing is causing that must excruciating pain it would probably help a mom to get lactation support, have the latch checked etc.

Shelly
Shelly

Hey Newland, Thanks for your comment and suggestions. Yes, I've been working with my La Leche League representative all along the way. The only problem we've identified so far is that my daughter tends to have a shallow latch and sometimes pulls off without breaking suction first. I've done lots of things to help her focus and widen her latch and I have experienced pain free nursing a *few* times! But I can't seem to figure out any difference in her behavior between the times when it's painless and the times when it's painful. Perhaps I'll look into Raynaud's. Thanks for your helpful suggestions! Warmly, Shelly

Newland
Newland

The self-hypnosis idea is great. In a psychology class in high school, we used a self-hypnosis program that's used for crime witnesses. All these years later, it still works. When I remember to use it!

But the reason I came over to leave a comment is that I'm concerned that you're suffering through nursing. Congratulations on persisting for seven months in spite of pain! But after four kids and many, many years of breastfeeding, I firmly believe that "you just have to soldier on" should be attitude of last resort. La Leche League is a fantastic resource. Lactation consultants can also work miracles. Just of the top of my head, I can think of several possible issues--yeast, poor latch, Raynaud's syndrome (which can affect the nipple as well as the fingers and toes). And there are so many more things to explore.

Finding the solution can sometimes be more emotionally daunting than just bearing with the pain. But pain-free nursing is almost always possible and much more pleasant for mom (and baby too!). :) If you haven't already, I encourage you to look into some possible causes and solutions. (You know--in your copious amounts of free time!) In my experience, it's worth the effort.

Shelly
Shelly

Hey Anna, If you're pregnant, I highly recommend Hypnobabies birth classes (the class comes with a set of CDs and scripts to practice with). If you're not expecting, I would just google self hypnosis and look for free downloads. Sorry I can't offer a better recommendation, hypnosis is still new to me and I'm not sure who has the best stuff! Let me know if you find something awesome. Thanks, Shelly

Anna
Anna

Hey, thanks for your interesting post. Can you recommend a book or website where I can read more about self-hypnosis? Thanks! :-)