Did you know the subconscious is the largest part of our mind, with the ‘neo-cortex’ – the rational/thinking/analytical part of the brain – being the literal tip of the iceberg. The purpose of our subconscious is survival, and it will always win over the rational, thinking conscious, especially at times of heightened emotions.
When a baby is born, their subconscious is pretty much a blank canvas apart from instincts and physiological functions. This means that everything else, beliefs, memories behaviours etc. gets added as that baby grows up, becoming very deeply embedded and very powerful in directing conscious thought.
This is especially important to remember when working with pregnant clients. Pregnancy is seen as a ‘condition’ in our culture – everything points to the fact that pregnancy and birth are dangerous and painful. Even if we do happen to have grown up in a family with mothers, sisters, aunts etc giving birth at home on a regular basis, the media and public opinion says otherwise. This societal belief creates huge fears and even though information from antenatal classes makes sense to the expectant mother, it is the embedded learning, beliefs, memories etc within the subconscious that are going to dominate.
Hypnobirthing* is a form of antenatal education that makes use of the hypnotic state, amongst other techniques, to change the pre-existing beliefs and memories into ones that are more positive and productive.
A hypnotic state is the same as a relaxed/subconscious/suggestive state and it is one we enter several times a day. Driving a familiar route, for example, or scrolling through our phones. In this state, suggestions (as long as they don’t go against our moral code) are easily accepted by the subconscious because the ‘thinking brain’ (neo-cortex) is out of the way.
When a pregnant client comes for a reflexology session, especially if they are familiar with you, they will instantly enter a state of relaxation. Therefore, you can cleverly use your language to reassure them about their body’s amazing ability to give birth and give suggestions that will create a sense of calm at a subconscious level. The more they see you and the more you make these suggestions, the more their subconscious will accept them.
It is important to keep language positive and avoid talking about negative birth stories because that will compound their deeply held negative beliefs.
As maternity reflexologists working with pregnant clients from early on in their pregnancies, you are in the perfect position to not only be working on their feet and bodies but also on their minds and subconscious!
If you would like any further information on hypnosis and hypnobirthing, please feel free to get in touch.
*Hypnobirthing has been associated with more positive birth experiences, shorter labours, less reported pain, less intervention, less need for anaesthesia and or analgesia, calmer mothers and babies and higher APGAR scores at birth.
Dani Diosi DipHe, DypHyp MHS founder of MamaSerene is a highly qualified and experienced Antenatal & Childbirth educator, hypnotherapist, Doula and NLP Master Practitioner.
Her passion combined with vast experience in all areas makes her uniquely qualified to train hypnobirthing practitioners and teachers, and it is her absolute passion to enable as many people as possible to pass on hypnobirthing techniques in a way that highlights their existing skill set.
For full details about the fully accredited CPD independent hypnobirthing practitioner training course please visit the MamaSerene website.