Thursday, April 2, 2009

Have I Been Hypnotized, Mesmerized, By What My Eyes Have Seen?

OK, so there have been lots of questions about how my first session went, on the blog, in my text inbox, and on FB chat, so without further adieu, here ya go:

My first HypnoFertility Session was 2 hours, and I didn't go to the "table" once. By table, I mean a really comfy looking massage table that is used for the hypnosis. Instead, I sat on an equally comfy couch, and spoke with the hypnotherapist the entire two hours.

First we went more in depth into all of my infertility diagnoses and treatments to date. She took extensive, and I mean extensive notes, which made me feel really important :) She then explained to me how hypnotherapy can help me; she quoted a few research articles, which revealed that of all of the different types of therapy people use (psychoanalysis, behavioral, and mind-body), that mind-body has been proven to be much more effective in much less time than either of the other forms of therapy. Relating to fertility, they have also found that while 20% of couples going through IF treatments can get pregnant eventually (broad, national statistic), 42-50% of those who try hypnotherapy get pregnant. So, while she cannot by any means guarantee that I will get pregnant, the studies certainly suggest that hypnosis can only help matters.

Next, we discussed my current situation- current medications, current living and work situation, just life in general. (We talked a LOT about my in-laws, and the boundary issues since we live at the same address and DH works with/for them.)

And finally, factoring in those outside life stressors, we identified as many fears that I have concerning getting pregnant, fertility, carrying to term, being a mother, labor & delivery, etc. that we could. (She said often times there will be more that come up in later sessions, because it's like turning over a rock when it comes to the fears of the subconscious mind.) This part was really fascinating. At the end of my identifying a few fears, she really had a good "read" on me. She began to tell me about myself (speaking, too, about the fact that I'm a LEO? It was cool, because she is a Leo, too, and things she was saying made total sense to me since I've studied the sign a bit). She said that this is probably the first time in my life that I've ever not succeeded at something (correct), and that is what really bothers me (correct). She said I most likely am a perfectionist (correct), got really good grades in school (correct), and have a need to be autonomous (correct).

OK, are you ready for this part?? You Surrendered Wives are going to LOVE this...

She commented that I have much more yang than yin, making my energy more of the masculine than feminine. For fertility, this is not too good- she said I need less Diana, the Huntress, and more Demeter. In other words? I need to SURRENDER to my more feminine instincts, in order to become more RECEPTIVE as the female fertility partner.

As a fire sign, she also recommended that I need to surround myself with lots of water. Since Leo rules the heart, I also have to beware of getting sluggish in terms of movement. To increase my blood flow and make sure my lymphatic system isn't sluggish (which can really pollute the pelvic area, especially), she recommended exercise. Specifically a trampouline!! My SIL has one that she doesn't use, so I may ask her to borrow it... I just need to bounce on it while watching tv, she said :) Or, at least a 30 min walk 3-4 times per week.

After hearing about my antibiotic treatment after the infection diagnosis, she asked if I was on a strong probiotic, and I admitted that I wasn't. She said I may want to look into seeing a nutritionist, which I've been thinking about doing already. But in the meantime, today I went to the health food store and picked up a probiotic specifically geared toward the "lady parts" - it increases the good flora in the hoo ha :) It had better, anyway... it was $42.00!!

After these suggestions, she then helped me to delve a little deeper into those fears I had outlined. She asked about my childhood, and the fertility in my family, etc., and in doing so we actually did discover yet another hidden negative thought concerning myself and my fertility. When I told her I was the youngest of 4 girls, but that there was a 7 yr gap between me and my next oldest sister, I smiled and joked, "Yup, I was a mistake." This is something my sister always used to tease me about growing up. I never thought it bothered me much, because they ALSO used to complain that I was/am my mother's favorite (hehe). But, she said the fact that I reiterated this "chant" from my childhood shows that it IS ingrained on my subconscious mind, and that it is causing a negative feeling- - either about my existence in this world, or perhaps even about how I was conceived on contraception and now I am experiencing infertility. (A very ironic dichotomy.)

She also addressed my concerns about the living/work situation with DH and his parents. She said this is ABSOLUTELY a valid cause of concern for me, and that young marriages early on often struggle with the IL/boundary issue. But for us, it is even worse of a struggle. Being in a family business, she said, is particularly difficult, because it is virtually impossible for the parent figure to separate his authority as the parent from his authority in the business- inevitably, they will always treat the business "partner" as a lesser, because they are the child. (I knew all of this already, but it was nice to have someone else back up my fears and validate them!) She said we really should make a plan to move to the house we are working on as soon as we can, possibly within a year. I told this to DH already, and he is definitely working on it.

I was also given homework for the next session. I am to go through my list of fears (which she wrote down for me), pick one of them, and then turn it into the opposite, most positive statement. For example, one of my fears is that I am scared to share my plans for a baby with many family members and friends, because when I'm not pregnant for so long, I will feel stigmatized and embarassed at my body's failure. So, that fear becomes the statement: "I am confident in my ability to become pregnant, and I will share my plans to have a baby with all of my friends and family." Across from the positive statement, then I will start to list out all of the gut reactions that I have to that statement. It will be like a stream of consiousness exercise, where I just write down everything that I can think of to "negate" that confidence, without censoring any of the thoughts.

What will happen, she said, is that it is like wringing out a wet towel; except I'll be wringing out the fears of my subconscious mind. At a certain point, I will notice that the "reaction" statements are reaching a turning point. One of the statements will go something like, "Well... I DO have a lot of fertility in my family, so maybe I CAN get pregnant quickly." And after that turning point statement, I will notice a shift in the reaction statements- instead of negating the original positive statement, they will begin to concur and support the positive statement.

I am about to work on this project right now, and I HIGHLY SUGGEST it for all of you, too! Start by identifying some fears, first. And remember, don't censor anything!

All-in-all, it was a great 1st session. I am going to post some links below that talk more about hypnosis, for those of you who were interested and/or concerned about it. I should stress that hypnosis is not something that is DONE TO you. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis (hence, why women can use it for hypno-birthing even without a therapist present at the time). On this website, they have a great link with common questions regarding hypnosis, which really put my mind at ease before deciding to try it:

And here is the link for the woman I am working with:

I should mention, as well, that she was very respectful of my moral and religious code. She told me right up front that she comes from an Interfaith background, and that is how she approaches all of her therapy- - and that if she said something that really went against what I believe in, or that I just "didn't buy it," to please feel free to dismiss it. (I think it's really cool of her to say that, because a lot of New Age types just sort of expect everyone to accept ALL beliefs; but she came right out and said I could ignore her if she says something I think it stupid or contrary to my own belief system.) I really don't think this will be an issue, anyway. For example, the whole metaphor of telling me I need to be more like Demeter rather than Diana, the Greek goddess, totally makes sense to me. I don't have to BELIEVE and worship in Greek gods in order to benefit from that advice, kwim?

If you haven't already, please check out the links, now! They really do explain a lot. More than I could in this blog entry.


Sew said...

That is interesting, but why would you need to be hypnotized to work on these fears?

Just wondering?

Because therapy with the right doctor is very healing. I think discussing them in a frame of mind that you are able to have control over. It might take you longer to consciously get those fears out in the open, but for a trained dr. they won't have a problem picking up on what binds you.

I was doing accupuncture and though I didn't believe in what the accupuncturist believed in. She still said some off the wall shit! ;) Seriously, it was scary.

She suggested I take my negative energy and throw it into the middle of the earth so that the earth could energize them to good vibes. I was like WTF lady, are you joking?

I just wonder what she will suggest when you are in a hypnotized state of mind. Since you are hytpnotized by the power of suggestion, what will she suggest when you are in that state? Just wondering?

Will you be able to disagree with her then? Or how would that work? Or what is it that she says when you are hypnotized? I am too much of a control freak for that! ;) I think you can tell by this comment! ;)

I am glad it helped. I really think that any sort of therapy will help, hypnotizing and the yoga stuff I get a litte weary about. :)

I know my last comment was all over it, I would love to see a therapist who didn't think I was blocking myself from getting pregnant. :) That is how my last therapist was. What a dork! She told me to meditate and started talking about Buddha! Great! Whack job!

But the hypnotizing part doesn't make sense. That's all.

Sew said...

I want you to know I am just asking questions because I don't understand. Not because I am jumping all over you! ;) I am not I promise! I have to spend the weekend with you soon!!!! hahahaha

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Lol, I know you're just curious. You whack job :P
That's why I provided the links. All your answers can be found there.

Basically, what I'm hoping to achieve is the ability to use self-hypnosis whenever wherever I want, to combat the stress and fears in my life that are either surface level or subconscious.
We all go into hypnotic trances on a daily basis- we have to in order to cope, because this day in age there is way too much info streaming through us so quickly. Some call it "daydreaming." But we call do it!
So, her expertise comes in in teaching me HOW to do this for myself; she will not be in control of me, but rather teaching me how to better control myself and how I process my emotions.

Does that make a little more sense?

(Seriously, go read the link about "Who can be Hypnotised?" - - it answers a lot of those common misconceptions, like what if I'm not "brought out of" hypnosis, or will I reveal my darkest secrets, or will my moral code be put in jeopardy, etc.)

JellyBelly said...

i'm so intrigued! when i did an internet search on hypnofertility in my area i found one place that did it. it seems much more popular on the west coast.

perhaps when i'm laid up next week i'll have to do more research!

E said...

FASCINATING!!! I REALLY think that this is worth the $$. I, too, have way more Yin(!?!?!) and need more femininity. I think that the met is working, I am dressing more girly. :) Did she give you any other suggestions? I really this that this is going to help you greatly. I am a big believer in therapy. :)

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Thanks, E :) I agree... I think our minds are SOOOOO powerful, and they have the ability to rule over how our bodies work (or don't work).

Karey said...

I agree about the probiotics! My mom caught c-diff while on a very strong antibiotic for an absessed tooth and it has been one of the worst experiences ever. It keeps coming back and she's on medication for it that she'll have to take for like a year. She is a big advocate of probiotics now. If you have to take antibiotics, anything you can do to protect yourself from that and other super bugs is a must.

Hafsa said...

It sounds interesting but as a lot of people have already said (and as I'm sure you know) to tread carefully, the power of suggestion can overtake us when we're put in vulnerable situations. Also have you thought of sharing these fears with a spiritual advisor? I never knew how much I would love sharing my thoughts with a complete stranger before. I am seeing a priest and our first session was almost exactly how you described your hypno session minus a few things obv.

Hopefully I haven't offended you and please don't think I'm crtiticizing you or trying to be a parent. I'm just curious/concerned but interested to see how the next session turns out. Keep us posted.

prayerfuljourney said...

Hoo ha? That's a first for me. My practitioner told me to get on some probiotic too. I haven't done it yet.
I liked your thoughts on being more feminine. I've been thinking more about embracing my feminity. When I work preschool, I'm all about jeans and casual wear but other than that...why not dress more feminine? My husband always takes a second look when I put make up on (which I don't do often enough) or wear a skirt with heels. When I was dating, I took more time on myself and what I wore...why did that change when I got married? So, as I try to lose this weight...I am going to try to embrace who I am...I know it will make me feel better and that will help with the fertility. Thanks for the reminder! God Bless.