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Your Ultimate Guide to hypnotherapy and its uses

  • Writer's picturePhilipa Jackson

I recently heard from a client that a friend of theirs had a poor experience with hypnobirthing. My client told me that their friend’s practitioner (who was not a Mindful Mamma practitioner) had made them feel guilty for not wanting a completely natural birth and for mentioning that they were looking into pain relief such as an epidural. The practitioner even suggested that they were not thinking of baby’s best interest.

This gives me the opportunity to address some of the misconceptions around hypnobirthing…

Hypnobirthing is not solely about having an undisturbed birth at home. It’s about letting women/couples know that they have choices. It is their decision as to how and where they want to give birth.

Hypnobirthing is about giving women tools of mindfulness and self-hypnosis, confidence and the ability to trust, allow and let go through labour and birth.

Hypnobirthing is about conditioning the brain so that the body will respond to labour with relaxation.

Hypnobirthing is about clearing the brain’s reference section around birth, which may have been influenced by horror stories, and leaving space for new positive associations with birth.

Hypnobirthing is about preparing the birth partner to be the mother’s best advocate.

Hypnobirthing is about learning how to get the environment right for birth, no matter where that may be.

Hypnobirthing is about empowering women and their partners so that they can make informed decisions, no matter what direction their birth takes.

When women are involved in the decision-making process, during their labour and birth, it is far more likely to lead to a positive experience for mum, partner and baby.

This is what hypnobirthing is all about.

At Mindful Mamma we support an undisturbed home birth just as much as we support those who choose to give birth in hospital, a birth centre or even free birth. Whether they choose an elective caesarian, epidural and assisted birth or physiological, undisturbed birth, hypnobirthing will be invaluable. If they end up having to be induced or an emergency caesarian, hypnobirthing will be invaluable.

Here’s a recent study on hypnosis and birth experience

Another assumption is that by using hypnosis somehow you will not be the one in control. Hypnosis is a state of heightened focus and concentration. It is a state that people go into regularly through the course of a day, like when you lose yourself in a good book and time has passed more quickly than you expected.

Its a very empowering process as you’re the one that is in full control. Hypnosis is used in preparation for birth, as mentioned above, to condition the brain to respond to labour with relaxation. We also use self hypnosis, if desired, to go that little bit deeper into your birthing zone. The use of hypnosis coupled with mindfulness during labour and birth allows you to calmly tune into your body and your baby, allowing you to trust and let go.

Many people are put off hypnobirthing because of the assumption that it is for “kaftan wearing Hippies” (this was an actual comment made to myself). However, as we’ve recently discovered, even the Duchess of Cambridge has used hypnobirthing for her three pregnancies, saying that she “quite liked labour” as many hypnobirthing mums do.

I have had a wide range of people attending my workshops from all walks of life including Engineers, Scientists, Teachers, Athletes, Designers, Midwives, Doctors and Psychologists, to name just a few.

When you choose a Mindful Mamma workshop, you will come away feeling stronger, armed with the right questions to ask should you come up against anything that doesn't sit well with your birth choices and feeling calmly excited about the birth of your baby.

For more information or to book a workshop please go to

  • Writer's picturePhilipa Jackson

A fantastic overview of research into using hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS

Irritable bowel Syndrome affects 10-20% of people, both men and women, in the uk.

IBS is the name given to a longstanding illness consisting of frequent abdominal discomfort and bowel symptoms that cannot be explained by any other disease.

It is an illness of the whole person, not just the body, but the mind and how you feel about yourself. Therefore hypnotherapy can be of great benefit as the research suggests.

The first Whorwell study in 1984 showed a significant decrease in distension, pain and bowel habit plus a marked increase in general wellbeing.
Another Whorwell study in 1996 compared 25 severe IBS patients treated with hypnosis to 25 patients with similar symptom severity treated with other methods, and demonstrated that in addition to significant improvement in all central IBS symptoms, hypnotherapy recipients had fewer visits to doctors, lost less time from work than the control group, and rated their quality of life more improved. Those patients who had been unable to work prior to treatment resumed employment in the hypnotherapy group but not in the control group. The study is notable in that it quantified the substantial economic benefits and improvement in health-related quality of life which results from hypnotherapy for IBS on top of clinical symptom improvement.

In this study in 2003, 204 IBS patients treated with a course of hypnotherapy completed questionnaires about symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression before, immediately after, and up to six years following the treatment. Of all the treated patients, 71% showed improvement in response to treatment initially, and of those, 81% were still fully improved when re-contacted up to five years later. Quality of life and anxiety or depression scores were also still significantly improved at follow-up but showed some deterioration. Patients also reported fewer doctor visits rates and less medication use long-term after hypnosis treatment. These results indicate that for most patients the benefits from hypnotherapy last at least five years.

Two studies taken in 2004 also showed that as well as improvements in IBS symptoms, patients also noticed improvements in general wellbeing, anxiety and depression.

To read the whole overview of research into iBS and hypnotherapy follow the link below...

  • Writer's picturePhilipa Jackson

A couple of research articles about the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for weight loss...

Hypnosis is more than 30x more effective for weight loss

Cochrane et al conducted a study into hypnosis and weight loss with 60 female participants who were more than 20% overweight. He divided the participants into 2 groups, one who received hypnosis treatment, and a control group who did not receive any hypnosis.

Results showed that the group who received the hypnosis lost more weight. Each participant on average losing 17lbs over the course of the study, compared to women in the control group losing only 0.5lbs

Cochrane concluded that hypnosis can make your weight loss efforts more than 30x more effective.

Hypnosis enhances weight loss substantially over time

Kirsch and Irving compared 100s of studies where either cognitive-behavioral treatment, or cognitive-behavioral treatment with hypnosis too was used (with weight loss being the goal) in a meta analysis.

Their analysis showed that on average after the final follow-ups, the average weight loss was 6.03 lbs. (2.74 kg) without hypnosis (with just cognitive-behavioral treatment) and 14.88 lbs. (6.75 kg) when hypnosis was used.
They concluded that when hypnosis is used it is likely to lead to more than double the weight loss than if just cognitive-behavioral treatment alone was employed. They also summarized that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time.

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