Welcome to the Bring Birth Home resident expert series. This is the fifth of six guest posts from Mavi Gupta, M.D., C. C.Ht. Board Certified Physician, Headache Specialist and Hypnotherapist & Jeremy Dyen, C.Ht. Certified Hypnotist, professional musician and teaching artist.
Part 2: Hypnobabies Review
Part 3: Birth Hypnosis Case Study
After you’ve read the 8 steps to self hypnotize, find the email form below. If you’d like to learn more about Mavi and Jeremy’s product, the Birth Relaxation Kit, enter your email, and you will be redirected to a more in-depth presentation about birth hypnosis and the Birth Relaxation Kit. You’ll also receive more high quality free information about birth hypnosis.
I don’t know what childbirth feels like.
I cannot claim to know how painful or not painful it is.
I don’t directly know the joys, fears or excitement that a mother feels during birth. I never will.
I did get to watch my wife, Madhavi, birth our daughter.
It was inspiring to be a part of this rite of passage – to watch this sacred act that all mothers go through. Even more inspiring was how peaceful Madhavi was through each birthing wave, and how comfortable it was for her to birth in our home.
It was also amazing to watch Madhavi’s transformation during pregnancy. She went from wanting a hospital birth, including pain medications and interventions to embracing a natural birth at home.
Hypnobirthing was the catalyst for that transformation.
But this article is not about Madhavi.
I want to tell you about how I learned hypnosis skills from her hypnobirthing CDs, and how I used it successfully when I recently dealt with a really painful injury.
When Madhavi listened to hypnobirthing CDs, I usually practiced with her. I worked on my own scripts. I wrote my own affirmations. I learned how to self-hypnotize.
After the birth, we were so inspired by the experience that we studied and became certified in hypnosis so that we could help other expectant families with these awesome skills. That has been truly rewarding.
I spent way too much time on an ergonomically incorrect computer desk.
That, combined with a string of rehearsals and a long New Years’ eve gig tweaked my neck and back so badly that the muscles were squeezing a nerve running down my entire right arm.
I know, a computer/piano injury doesn’t sound intense.
But trust me, humans were not meant to be in these awkward, compressed positions for hours on end without a break.
I can’t remember experiencing such constant, excruciating pain before.
I spent the first couple of days of the new year nearly incapacitated.
I just wanted to lay down and not move. But my arm hurt the most when I laid down. I tried to breathe through the pain. That helped. Then I listened to some hypnosis recordings. That also helped.
It happened when I was getting cupping therapy by an acupuncturist (cupping therapy is a method of using glass or plastic cups to create localized pressure by a vacuum).
A couple cupping sessions did help to break up some of the acute muscle tension, but during the process the suction was really uncomfortable, and laying on that table triggered overwhelming pain waves down my arm. I was just counting the minutes until the acupuncturist came back in the room.
That’s when I started my own hypno-induction...
breathing slowly and deeply..
bringing myself down into a trance state.
I was then able use a technique to move the natural anesthesia to all the spots where I was feeling pain.
It was working!
It’s one thing to help others, or to watch your wife labor without pain. But to experience the effectiveness of hypnosis yourself is quite another.
All the while, my eyes were open.
I was staring at the hardwood floor.
I was hearing the flute and string music playing in the background.
I could hear voices in the waiting room.
But I was no longer counting the minutes until the acupuncturist came in to take the cups off and let me get out of this position.
I was not feeling the pain.
I used this technique several more times over the next month, each time with different degrees of success – sometimes helping me escape the pain briefly, and sometimes completely eliminating it.
Anyway, that’s my story of pain management using hypnosis.
I cannot say whether my discomfort was any bit like labor. But especially in those first two weeks of injury, I kept thinking about what childbirth is like.
I thought about what it feels like emotionally when you face an inevitably intense experience. You have a choice to either face it positively or negatively.
When I was negative, I started worrying that I would never heal. I kept wondering if I would have to deal with this pain every time I played the piano.
When I was positive, I self-hypnotized and visualized myself healing. I did things to improve my health. I made an effort to get more sleep. I explored different holistic healing methods like acupuncture and yoga. I could feel myself improving and knew that I would heal.
Having this technique for dealing with any intensely painful experience that may come along is both comforting and empowering.
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About Our Featured Experts
Mavi Gupta, M.D., C. C.Ht.
Board Certified Physician, Headache Specialist and Hypnotherapist. Mavi is a graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts and The University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee.
Jeremy Dyen, C.Ht.
Certified Hypnotist, professional musician and teaching artist. Jeremy is one of the most sought after keyboard players in Philadelphia. He has recorded on John Legend’s Grammy award winning cd, Get Lifted. He’s performed with G-Love, Digable Planets, Zakir Hussain, and has shared the stage with numerous national acts.