Hypnosis is becoming a popular treatment option for everything from anxiety to addiction. However, it’s also being used as a way to manage the pain and discomfort caused by certain illnesses, ailments, or injuries.
More recently, some women have started to recognize the benefits of hypnosis when it comes to alleviating labor pains.
But, how does that work, exactly? Chances are, you aren’t going to want your hypnotherapist in the delivery room with you. So, how can you use hypnosis to relieve the pain associated with birth, and does it actually work?
Let’s take a look at three things you should know.
1. Hypnosis Has Lasting Effects
Again, you aren’t going to want to be hypnotized while you’re in labor. So, how can hypnosis help you with the pain of delivery?
Contrary to popular belief, you’re not asleep when you’re hypnotized. Instead, your mind and body go into an extremely relaxed state. That feeling of relaxation doesn’t just “go away” when your session is over. You’ll carry it with you for quite a while.
When you have less tension in your body, you’re less likely to experience a lot of pain. A state of relaxation can keep your heart rate low, boost your immune system, and send fewer pain signals to your brain, so you’ll feel better during the delivery process.
2. You Can Fight Your Fears
Many people use hypnosis to battle anxiety and fear.
What does that have to do with the pain of giving birth?
Multiple studies have shown that fear and anxiety can make you hypersensitive to pain. It’s normal to be nervous about having a baby. Maybe you’re even anxious about it, which can cause the pain of delivering to feel even worse.
Hypnosis can help you get to the root cause of those fears. For example, if you’re worried about the “unknown” when it comes to giving birth, you can use hypnosis to change your perspective.
Your therapist might tell you to visualize specific conditions or situations about the delivery process that have you feeling anxious. As you visualize them, the hypnotherapist can help you change your perspective on those situations, getting rid of the fear associated with them.
3. Hypnosis Can Change Your Perception of Pain
In addition to changing the way you see scary situations associated with giving birth, hypnotherapy can change your perception of pain, as well.
Most people have negative perceptions about pain. That causes the brain to keep producing “pain messages,” creating a vicious cycle of more pain and more negative thoughts.
Hypnotherapy can change your perception of pain by making it less of a “big deal”. It can also help to improve your self-esteem and confidence, so you’re more likely to go into labor with a sense of strength that’s bigger than any threat of pain you might face.
It’s not uncommon for women to have self-doubt as they go into the delivery process. Hypnosis can help with that as well. The stronger and more confident you feel, the less likely it is for the pain to completely take over your mind.
Does hypnotherapy eliminate pain? No. Giving birth isn’t easy, and it’s likely never going to be the most comfortable thing in the world.
However, by using hypnosis to relieve pain associated with birth, you can enjoy a better birthing experience. You’ll be more present, more focused, and you might not need to rely on medications administered by a doctor to help you with the pain.