[Excerpt from 3 Keys to Conception—Pregnancy Against All Odds, by Lynsi Eastburn]
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I often talk about damage control and I have recently decided to focus my entire talk on that aspect of HypnoFertility® at an event for hypnotherapists to whom I’ve been invited to speak in Las Vegas. I’ve done a lot of what I call damage control over the years, much of it in cleaning up after uninformed hypnotherapists. This may sound a bit harsh but there are many people practicing hypnobirthing or other such techniques that have not taken hypnotherapy training and are relying on a syllabus and/or written scripts to work with clients. I end up with their traumatized clients in my office (or on the phone) and I have to undo what has so carelessly been done.
This happens with other professionals as well, and with the general public. It bothers me most, though, when it’s someone who should know better: hypnotic languaging, waking hypnosis, painted words, and impact on the subconscious mind, etc. The average person wouldn’t be expected to know all that, but a hypnotist of even the lowest caliber should. On the bright side, I can release trauma caused by insensitive and even cruel remarks that breeze by the critical faculty and cause the formation of subconscious blocks. What has been done can be undone by a properly trained therapist.
Years ago, I had a client come into town to see me and to visit one of the Denver-area reproductive clinics. She had been traveling back and forth and had elected to come to the Denver clinic originally because she wanted to work with me, and we were both located in the same area. I worked with her in office and by phone. One weekend she came into town and booked a session with me. At my office she asked me if I could recommend an acupuncturist. I said I would call to get a referral near where she was staying but as it turned out, by the time I had the number for her she had already found someone to try. A couple of days later my client, an MD with a highly regarded specialty, came in and told me about the horror she had experienced with this acupuncturist.
First of all, the woman got my client on the table and then, while my client was lying there with needles protruding from every which way, proceeded to ask my client if she wasn’t scared to do IVF? The acupuncturist had, she told my client, done it once herself, and it was “such a horror” that she decided not to do it ever again. She decided to remain childless. My client told me she had begun the cancel, cancel technique the minute the negativity began spewing from the so-called healer, and that she had used it well over a hundred times in this acupuncturist’s office. She was very grateful to have had the technique so she could do some damage control herself, preventing the insensitive, unprofessional, and inappropriate (if not unethical) words of the acupuncturist from seeping into her soul. That day we had to focus the session on formally clearing that horrendous episode.
A contact that I work with at one of the reproductive clinics told me some time ago that they were going to have to remove one of their acupuncturists from their referral list. The woman had been a nurse prior to becoming an acupuncturist (this is actually quite common) and had begun to let her western medicine ideas intrude upon patient sessions. An acupuncturist is there to be an acupuncturist, and he/she should not be giving you western medicine advice: that’s for your reproductive endocrinologist to do. No acupuncturist should be telling you your eggs are no good, or that the doctor shouldn’t be allowing you to do IVF. That is the doctor’s decision—the doctor’s and yours (and your partner). If you don’t trust your doctor, then by all means get another one, but don’t pay a specialist all that money to listen to someone who has no business giving you western medical advice.
I have had some clients encounter inconsiderate medical personnel including nurses and doctors, and also embryologists. Recently, a client was on the table awaiting her embryo transfer: she had one frozen, four-cell embryo but she was in good spirits. Until the embryologist walked in, looked at the embryo, and said, “I’m sorry.” If the clinic has elected to do the procedure, then this type of input is totally unnecessary and unhelpful.
One nurse looked at another of my client’s embryos and told my client she couldn’t understand why the doctor was even bothering. Well, the doctor IS bothering so why would you say anything to the contrary? That is down and out ego and it has no place in this process. There is a saying: if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all. Truer words were never spoken; however, since very few people seem to adhere to that adage, I have my hands full with damage control.
Simply entering a fertility clinic can subject you to potential emotional damage. One clinic has a reputation for practically insisting that their patients do donor eggs. The issue isn’t the donor eggs, it’s that these people are usually not ready to jump that far ahead and have had no time to process such an unexpected direction. Many times women go into a fertility clinic with the hopes of having some tests run and getting the go-ahead to start trying to conceive naturally. Barring that, there are other options such as medication and/or IUIs, and IVF to be considered before donor eggs. Donor eggs are also, for many women/couples, on par with adoption or choosing to remain childless so it is no wonder women who receive a premature donor-egg prognosis feel so shattered. This type of thing happens far too frequently; finding out we can release it brings great relief to such recipients.
We have all heard of the placebo effect; we’ve heard stories about sugar pills, surgery performed on the wrong knee healing the injured one, drug studies where one group gets a placebo pill rather than the actual drug and does just as well. We can leverage the placebo effect with hypnosis depending on the situation. The nocebo effect (a negative placebo effect, a self-fulfilling prophecy) can be as powerful as the placebo effect, if not more. I tend to lean toward the more side as I’m aware just how much harder something negative impacts us than something positive.
Dr. Bruce Lipton validates exactly what I have seen and repeatedly stated for years in my own practice: that both the words and demeanor of a physician can easily convey hope-deflating, frightening, distressing messages that inadvertently convey to you the belief that you are powerless (Lipton, 2005). Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Bernie Siegel, and other medical doctors who regularly integrate mind/body medicine often mention various case studies that identify the phenomenon of patients dying from cancer or other issues that they didn’t even have. This shows us just how strong the power of suggestion can be.
I received a distress call from a woman overseas who had been to see one of my own graduate students. She was about to undergo an IVF frozen transfer with two embryos. Not long before the scheduled transfer, the hypnotherapist told the client that she should really just get used to the idea that she wasn’t going to have any more children. The woman, who had read my book It’s Conceivable!, told the hypnotherapist flat out: Lynsi wouldn’t say that! She walked out of the office and telephoned America.
My assistant scrambled to move my appointments around so I could schedule a Skype session with the woman from the UK. Not easy to do on limited time and with a seven-hour time difference! We managed it, however, and I was able to work with the lady to undo what someone who had even taken my training had done. (I can’t control those I train; they take their hypnotherapy certification training elsewhere most times and I can only give them a protocol and teach them to follow it. I can’t ensure they will honor it, and I can’t control for ego.)
In yet another example, I recently spoke with a client who conceived her baby a year or so ago—the little sweetie slipped right in while mom was on an IVF waiting list. Feeling the presence of another baby, and wanting another child, my client decided to have a couple more sessions with me. Between our Skype meetings, my client went to a “well-respected” psychic soul reader in her area. The woman told my client that she had karma for multiple pregnancies and that there was a male spirit that didn’t come through (due to miscarriage) who was interfering with her energy now. The reader said that sometimes such spirits would think of this type of thing as punishment for her or for himself and could then come through handicapped.
She told my client that such spirits punish the mothers by being handicapped or out of alignment. The soul reader then gave her a meditation to do to clear the interference. A couple of months later my client went back for a follow-up session. The woman told her that she was now fine, and that her creative talent is to have babies. However, the woman advised my client that, “I wouldn’t take a chance on getting pregnant again if I were you.” She proceeded to tell my client that if she conceives under stress the baby will be handicapped, and that she could have stopped after four pregnancies since, in this woman’s view of things, this baby is a choice rather than karmic. Above and beyond all of that confusion, the reader then told my client that if she does IVF she will have twins.
That reading was a chaotic disaster. The back and forth of it is ludicrous—the woman was constantly contradicting herself. My client was seriously distressed—though “emotionally trashed” might actually be a more accurate word choice—because this soul reader apparently has a good reputation. Fortunately, she knew enough about this type of thing to immediately get in touch with me. I told my client that the woman had been unable to accurately read her (my client is an energy worker and spiritual healer) so she had allowed ego and personal opinion to color the reading. Even on Skype I could see the damage in my client’s aura, and her energy was down significantly. I reinforced what she and I both know about spirit babies, and I proceeded with the necessary clearing and repair right away.
Virtually every client I have ever met has been traumatized in some similar way to the above examples. The harmful effects of negative suggestions that can damage one’s health are the nocebo effect. This is one of the most insidious problems I find myself working with in the fertility world. Simply navigating our own world leaves us open to such experiences; they are more frequent the more we deal with traditional western medicine, and certainly the more we deal with infertility. Knowing how all of this impacts your subconscious mind arms you with emotional, spiritual, and physical protection. Knowledge is power—this is true. And now you have it.
The issues here are also what we refer to as waking hypnosis. With waking hypnosis, the critical faculty is bypassed without formal hypnotic induction. If you consider that emotion is the language of the subconscious mind you can see how effective a statement given to someone in an emotional or vulnerable state can be—this is evidenced in the above examples of the unethical acupuncturist, the soul reader, etc. Ads and commercials are also examples of waking hypnosis—think jingles, for example. Waking hypnosis is a fascinating phenomenon and often used by people who will swear they don’t even know what it is, let alone use it. The cancel technique is the best counter for waking suggestion—if a doctor, nurse, embryologist, librarian—whoever—gives you information that is out of harmony with what is essential to your success: CANCEL, CANCEL!