Friday, 19 July 2013

Why everyone is talking about hypnobirthing

With the 'Royal birth' imminent towards the end of this month, the papers have recently been filled with stories about how Kate Middleton has been practicing hypnobirthing techniques to help her prepare for the birth of her child.

Despite the recent spark in interest, Hypnobirthing is actually nothing new and has been used by many celebrity Mum's in the past including Jessica Alba, Pamela Anderson and Cindy Crawford. Hypnobirthing should by no means be considered the latest celebrity trend however... women from all walks of life have been benefiting from using self-hypnosis to aid child-birth for many years. The NHS is now even funding research into how hypnobirthing could be used to help reduce the number of birthing complications and reduce the need for drugs.

The idea behind hypnobirthing is that women use specific breathing exercises and visualisation techniques at different stages of labour to relax the 
body, helping to combat pain 
and lessening the need for an epidural. There are many options for Mum's to be and generally training involves either a home-study programme working from support materials or alternatively couples can attend classes or workshops together so that the Father can also be involved in the process. Anyone interested in considering using hypnobirthing should of course contact a professionally trained hypnotherapist for more personalised advice and support when considering birthing options.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

French firemen testing hypnosis to help accident victims

Hypnosis has, for some time, had a less than favourable reputation which has mainly been borne out of the world of stage hypnotists getting people to do silly things on stage. In recent years however, hypnotherapy has become much more an accepted and respected form of intervention and even treatment in many different areas, including childbirth, smoking cessation and trauma recovery.

In France, the idea that Hypnotherapy can complement traditional first aid assistance is now being put to the test in the world of firefighting. At the Haguenau fire station in the Alsace region of France, 120 firemen have been trained in basic medical hypnosis which they can use to soothe someone trapped under rubble or in a car following an accident, or even a person suffering an asthma attack.

The basic idea is that while firefighters arriving on the scene of an accident get to work tending to the injured or cutting a victim free, those staff who have been trained in hypnosis establish a more personal link with the person and divert his attention away from the trauma of the scene.

The Haguenau fire station manager David Ernenwein says he is convinced that the method is useful. He says, "We have all noticed that when we hold someone's hand, things go better, even if we did not label it as 'hypnosis'. The first thing that we can do to help people is to calm them down, and this technique has given us the tools to be able to do that, to help people suffer less".

Whilst the firefighters have only received basic training in hypnosis so far, they have begun to be able to use simple hypnotic techniques so that instead of focusing on the person's pain, the emphasis is on his wellbeing. Typically the firefighters speak in a calm and measured voice and are careful to avoid any negative words.

Initial evaluations seem to be showing significant benefits and officials at the firefighters ministry are apparently "cautiously optimistic" about the Alsace experiment. Their results will be carefully monitored over the next 6 months - I personally look forward to reading the feedback!

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