Are Hypnosis-Assisted Birth Techniques For Everyone?


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Every woman has a unique history that will have an impact on her experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting. In many cases, a woman's history needs special attention in the process of preparing for birth so that her issues and dynamics do not impede the birthing process.

In our culture, preparation for childbirth is a ritual in and of itself. Women and their partners read books, listen to birth stories, watch videos, and attend a variety of classes. In an attempt to master the fears and anxieties associated with childbirth, women and partners seek out support, information and tools that will enable them to move through the birth process feeling knowledgeable and empowered. When deciding what kind of childbirth preparation to undertake, women and partners should consider how much time they want to commit to preparation. They might also consider whether the class or philosophy is a good match for their personality and whether their particular, unique set of issues and circumstances will be attended to in a way that will promote a good emotional experience of childbirth. There are many different models of childbirth preparation and many models of hypnosis and relaxation.

Hypnosis-assisted birthing techniques are one type of preparation, and for many women, are quite helpful. However, there are women for whom this type of preparation may not be a good match. For some women with histories of sexual, physical or emotional trauma, hypnosis as the primary form of childbirth preparation does not adequately address the issues and challenges faced by these women and, in fact, often creates more anxiety. This is because many forms of hypnosis, such as HypnoBirthing®, encourage dissociation from the bodily experience in order to decrease the experience of physical pain. Trauma survivors have often used dissociation as a way of coping with the trauma. In the process of healing, they are learning to be more present with their experiences rather that separating from them. Therefore, hypnosis that encourages dissociation can be counterproductive for some women, regressive for others, and just plain frightening for some.

For women with anxiety disorders, the instinct is often to gravitate toward some form of hypnosis that can foster deep relaxation. However, as with trauma survivors, some people can experience the dissociative state of this type of hypnosis as disconcerting rather than relaxing. Many women with anxiety disorders, especially anxiety that centers on body integrity and body boundaries, can experience the imagery used in this type of hypnosis as too vague and distracting rather than grounding.

There are some forms of hypnosis and relaxation that are less dissociative that can be helpful to pregnant women with anxiety disorders and trauma histories. In addition, there are other forms of birth preparation that can be personalized in order to incorporate individual style preferences, to integrate past and present life stressors, and to address unique and particular challenges faced by the woman and her partner. Remember that there is no magic tool that can take away the work of birthing a child. It is a rite of passage that requires physical and psychological work before, during and after the delivery. Childbirth is a unique journey for each woman and family.

Deborah Issokson, Psy.D., is a psychologist specializing in perinatal mental health in Watertown, MA, who also provides training and supervision for childbirth professionals. She can be reached at 617-926-5176 or http://www.reproheart.com.

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April 2018

Usui Holy Fire II Reiki I Prerequisite: a desire to learn Reiki Study includes the history of Reiki, the Reiki principles, the hand positions used to give Reiki to yourself and to others,...

Cost: $175 (pre-registration required)

Where:
The Studio at One Earth
191 Emery Mills Road
Shapleigh, ME  04076
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Sponsor: The Studio at One Earth
Telephone: 207-636-2500
Contact Name: The Studio at One Earth
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Cost: $75/5 classes; drop in $17.00

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Dragonfly Wellness Center
176 Jackson Rd
Devens, MA
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Sponsor: Dragonfly Wellness Center
Telephone: 978-227-8297
Contact Name: Anita Perry
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Cost: $60

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YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
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Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Telephone: 603-969-8968
Contact Name: Brian Serven
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Cost: $35

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Newtonville, MA


Telephone: 617-913-0683
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Cost: $18 drop in

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Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
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Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
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Concord, MA


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Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01835
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Cost: Free

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YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut Street
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Exeter, MA  03833
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Telephone: 603-969-8968
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Cost: Varies

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Balance Bethlehem
2087 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH  03574
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Sponsor: Ann Barker
Telephone: 603-897-9645
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Cost: $385

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Spirit Fire Retreat Center
407 W. Leyden Road
Leyden, MA  01337
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Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
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April 27 - 29, 2018 What if there were 5 love languages in the bedroom…and you had a secret decoder ring? Imagine the erotic satisfaction you could unlock…for yourself and for...

Cost: $1097*/couple; Early bird $997* by Feb 14, 2018

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Angel’s Rest Retreat Center
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Sponsor: Conscious Intimacy
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Cost: Varies

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Balance Bethlehem
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Cost: $20

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Bemis Hall
15 Bedford Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
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Sponsor: India Discovery Center
Telephone: 781-259-0029
Contact Name: Bijoy Misra
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Cost: Free

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430 East Street
Lenox, MA  01240
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Sponsor: Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
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April 28 - 29, 2018 Led by Marconics Teacher Practitioners:  Josh Brotherton and Nadine Muhammad To register:  From US:  Tel: 774-987-9449 Email: yourhealinglight@gmail.com...

Cost: $450

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230 Mountain Rd
Suffield, CT  06078
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Sponsor: Marconics
Telephone: 774-987-9449
Contact Name: Josh Brotherton
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Telephone: 508-230-3860
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Cost: Free

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Elm Park
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Sponsor: Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy of New England
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Taunton V.F.W.
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Telephone: 774-208-6195
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