Friday, August 27, 2010

Try by Not Trying

In hypnotherapy I see all kind of people, but they fall into two main categories, one category will melt into my couch at any such suggestion. The other kind will feel more tense if I tell them to relax because it implies that they have to do something--to try. So for these roughly 50% of people, I use a different approach. It is amazing how much better results I get when I tell them they don't have to try, but just allow. Gravity is one force that we are all subject to and it will help us, if we allow it. If we don't allow and resist gravity for too long, it will eventually force us down to earth--but that is a whole other topic.

I have several pregnancy clients right now and one of them told me that when she took her Hypnobirthing class she felt frustrated because she didn't feel she got as deeply hypnotized as some of the other couples in the class. "And I was trying so hard," she said.

When I realized that she was a trier, is when I gave her permission not to try--in fact, not to feel any pressure to listen to anything I was saying because her unconscious mind was hearing it all and she could just drift and float away. If was after this, in our last session that she got very very deep. I'd say she got to somnambulistic state. Not that depth matters so much for hypnotherapy--some people don't feel they are deep, but they are very receptive and the therapy works and that is what matters. But for medical hypnosis, depth does matter somewhat because the deeper you go, the more hypno-anesthesia is in the body.

I'd say that the same try by not trying concept applies to birthing, even if you don't use a hypnosis for childbirth method, labor is a naturally hypnotic state. If you feel that you are fight-flight mode, or are trying to figure out what to do--or how to do it "right", this is when you need to think about giving yourself the suggestion: "Try by Not Trying." This will allow you to escape into the hypnotic or trance state some people call Laborland.

The truth is that the body-mind knows what to do. It has a check list of things that is already doing and has done since day one without your having to tell it. The conscious mind just needs to get out of the way. This is not a loss of control. In fact, when you are overloaded and in fight-flight, you have a limited number of options and responses, but from a calm place, you are able to be more flexible, make better decisions and be more open to spiritual promptings.


  1. Funny, when I saw the title of the post I thought it would be about not trying to go into labor, because boy have I been "trying" to go into labor (just with long walks and sex, stuff I'd want to do anyway, well okay, the sex is getting awkward :P) for what feels like forever (I am 41 wks today, and it is VERY hard to resist the siren song of induction, but I am trying :P).

    My friend Andrea went unmedicated for her fourth birth, and what she said has been in my mind a lot -- she told/reminded herself that she didn't have to DO anything hard, she just had to ALLOW something hard to happen, there was nothing she had to actually DO about it. -- Which sounds a lot like what you're suggesting here.

    I don't know how helpful Hypnobirthing will be to me in labor. I am probably one of those people who think they cannot be (self)hypnotized but are really very suggestive. But it was all fascinating, and I like that so much of it seems to be applicable to all potentially stressful/difficult situations.

  2. Ugh. Waiting is so hard. It is the bane of my existence. But often it is when I surrender to whatever, when i toss all attachment into the abyss, that the learnings or the changes or babies come. :)

    And you CAN be self-hypnotized because you do it every night on your way to sleep and upon waking and every time you get caught up in a movie. It's a natural state. It will happen. Just make sure you give yourself love--positive suggestions and all that. You are going to do great. Baby, you are going to do great, too. Give your mom a kick if you think so.



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