Pregnant women flocking to classes on self-hypnosis births

September 21, 2015

Steady increase in antenatal classes teaching alternative relaxation techniques, with more NHS trusts either subsidising the courses or offering them for free

Rachel Chilver, who used hypnotherapy for the birth, with her six-month-old daughter, Winnie.

It is the alternative birth method that midwives predict will be standard antenatal practice within a decade. Hospitals around the country are reporting a steep rise in the demand for classes in hypnobirthing, which focuses on relaxation and self-hypnosis during the birth process.

When Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust in Essex began offering hypnobirthing classes in 2012, it was running one class a month, teaching about 48 women a year. After steady increases in 2013 and 2014, the trust made the decision to offer the course for free. They now run 10 hypnobirthing courses a month and predict they will instruct between 720 and 960 women in hypnobirthing in 2015.

Almost 25% of women who give birth at the hospital and birthing units in the Colchester trust took a hypnobirthing course prior to delivery and almost one in six of the trust’s midwives are trained hypnobirthing instructors.

“It seems like the whole world wants to hypnobirth,” said Teri Gavin-Jones, a midwife and hypnobirth trainer at the trust. “Hypnobirthing is where water-birthing was 20 years ago. Back then it was considered a bit weird and there was a lot of scepticism from the medical community. But now every trust in the country does water births. Give it 10 years and hypnobirthing will be standard antenatal practice. It’ll be mainstream.”

At Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust the numbers are less dramatic, with about 5% of mothers using hypnobirthing, but the trust has seen a threefold increase in the number of women taking classes in the past five years.

Couples at hypnobirthing classes, which are subsidised by some NHS trusts and cost about £300 for five sessions from a private teacher, are taught visualisation, deep relaxation and breathing techniques, as well as self-hypnosis.

Rachel Chilver, 35, first encountered hypnobirthing while doing research when pregnant with her first child and despite being “quite sceptical” decided to take the course at Colchester hospital.

Chilver, a performing arts lecturer from the town, said hypnobirthing made the process of giving birth to her daughter, Winnie, now six months old, “absolutely amazing”.

“There was a sensation, but I wouldn’t say it was pain. It was pressure, I needed to use a breathing technique to handle it, but I didn’t ever go: ‘Ooh, pain.’” For a short period during labour she stopped feeling contractions altogether – “It must be the slightly hypnotic state I’d put myself into” – and while it got “intense” towards the end, she gave birth within two hours of arriving at hospital without the assistance of any pain-relief drugs. Most importantly for her, Chilver said that at the end of the process, she felt “really proud and empowered”.

Some women have reported feeling no pain at all.

Katharine Graves, the founder of KG Hypnobirthing and author of The Hypnobirthing Book, said she has encountered many women – including her own daughter-in-law – who had pain-free births.

“Hypnobirthing works on the premise that it’s unnatural to have pain [in labour] in the first place. The root of the problem is fear because everybody ‘knows’ that birth is painful so people have a bad experience and they pass it round. If you’re in my world you frequently get reports of women saying birth was the most empowering and wonderful experience and no drugs were needed,” said Graves.

She calls the growth in hypnobirthing in the UK a revolution and said it has grown so rapidly primarily because of Britain’s “strong, independent midwifery profession” and word-of-mouth advertising.

Scientific evidence is inconclusive about hypnobirthing’s impact on pain. Some NHS trusts have begun collecting data, with Wolverhampton Trust reporting that 80% of hypnobirthing mothers have normal births with no analgesic treatments, compared with 60% of the general population who have a normal birth. A small-scale 2006 study in Australia found that women who were taught antenatal self-hypnosis techniques reported fewer epidurals (36%) than the control group (53%) and lower use of other forms of pain relief.

However, the biggest study into the subject, a randomised trial of 680 pregnant women in the UK known as the SHIP trial, reported that self-hypnosis made no difference to either the method of birth – normal, instrumental or caesarian – or to the use of analgesic treatment between the group who were taught self-hypnosis techniques and the control group, though the hypnosis group did report a reduction in anxiety about birth.

Gail Johnson, education adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, said women should not be spooked by the method. “It’s not ‘one, two, three, go into a trance and wake up with a baby’. The hypnobirthing process is not necessarily about hypnosis, it’s often about focusing on something other than the pain of labour and that’s not something that’s particularly new.

“It’s always important that women are confident the people running the courses are competent and they seek out reputable trainers, but we think anything which offers women a wider choice in their pain relief is good. We’re not saying it’s right for all women, it’s part of a wider spectrum of support and care for women.”

Swan technique

September 21, 2015

I have just been to a workshop on using the Swan technique, it was fascinating and am excited to be able to use this new technique that is getting amazing results …. so what is The Swan?

The Swan Protocol is a relatively new hypnotherapy technique for establishing direct communication with the subconscious mind. It uses no trance or eye closure, and Bob Burns (the originator of the technique) says it’s not even hypnosis.

But what The Swan does do is enable free exchange of information with the subconscious mind in a way that is visually compelling, unambiguous and genuinely useful for clearing blockages, resolving subconscious problems and enhancing the focus on positive goals.

10 reasons to stop smoking

September 11, 2015

  1. You’ll Be Less Anxious

Even though smokers may believe taking a long drag on a cigarette can help to calm nerves, a British study published earlier this year suggests that quitting can actually decrease anxiety more over the long-term.

“People who achieve abstinence experience a marked reduction in anxiety whereas those who fail to quit experience a modest increase in the long term,” researchers wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry study, as reported by CBC News.

Similarly, a 2010 study in the journal Addiction showed that perceived stress decreased for people who quit smoking for a year after hospitalization for heart disease, Reuters reported.

  1. Your Mouth Will Thank You

Quitting the habit could dramatically decrease your risk of dental problems like cavities and gum disease, and even more dangerous conditions like oral cancer, according to a study from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health Day reported that compared with former smokers, smokers have a 1.5-times higher risk of developing at least three oral health

  1. Your Sex Life Will Be Better

Here’s a bedroom-related reason to quit smoking: studies have suggested a link between smoking and decreased sex drives for both men and women. Studies published in 2008 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that nicotine can affect even men’s and women’s sexual arousal.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, well, there’s also this.

  1. You’ll Save Your Skin

If you want your skin to be at its best, then you’re better off quitting cigarettes. WebMD points out that smoking affects skin tone, promotes sagginess and, of course, causes those wrinkles around the lip area.

However, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery notes that just a month-and-a-half after quitting smoking, your skin will already begin to look better.

  1. You’ll Have More Locks

If you love your hair, maybe it’s time to put the cigarettes down. Research has linked smoking with an increased risk of male pattern baldness.

BBC News reported in 2007 on a Archives of Dermatology study, showing even after taking into account other hair-loss risk factors like age and race, heavy smoking (at least 20 cigarettes daily) raised the risk of baldness  and a 2011 study showed that smoking, stress, drinking and genes were all risk factors for baldness, WebMD reported.

  1. Your Mood Will Improve

Here’s a pretty good benefit: Stopping smoking could make you a happier person, according to research from Brown University.

Researchers there found that smokers were never happier than when they were quitting smoking, even if they went back to smoking afterward.

According to a news release:  The most illustrative — and somewhat tragic — subjects were the ones who only quit temporarily. Their moods were clearly brightest at the check-ups when they were abstinent. After going back to smoking, their mood darkened, in some cases to higher levels of sadness than before.

  1. You’ll Have More Birthdays

Stopping smoking may help women live a decade longer than they would have if they had continued lighting up, according to a 2012 study in The Lancet.

Researchers also found that the more the women smoked, the higher their risk of premature death, with even “light” smokers (those who smoked just one to nine cigarettes a day) having a doubled risk of death compared with non-smokers.

“If women smoke like men, they die like men — but, whether they are men or women, smokers who stop before reaching middle age will on average gain about an extra ten years of life,” study researcher Professor Sir Richard Peto, of the University of Oxford, said in a statement.

  1. You’ll Improve Your Pregnancy Chances

If you’re trying to conceive, one of the best things you can do is to quit smoking, research shows. NBC News reported that women smokers have a 60 percent higher chance of being infertile, compared with non-smokers. Smoking is also linked to more spontaneous miscarriages, according to NBC News.

  1. You’ll Enjoy Food More

If you don’t like bland food, then don’t smoke, research suggests. A small 2009 study of Greek soldiers shows an association between smoking and “fewer and flatter” taste buds, according to a statement on the research.

  1. Your Colds Won’t Be As Bad

Mild cold symptoms could take on a more serious form for smokers, according to a study from Yale University researchers. The findings, published in 2008 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed an overreaction of the immune systems of cigarette smoke-exposed mice when exposed to a virus similar to the flu.

“The anti-viral responses in the cigarette smoke exposed mice were not only not defective, but were hyperactive,” study researcher Dr. Jack A. Elias, M.D., said in a statement. “These findings suggest that smokers do not get in trouble because they can’t clear or fight off the virus; they get in trouble because they overreact to it.”

Top 20 Celebrities Who Love Hypnosis

August 28, 2015

Courtesy of Natural Hypnosis

Ever since Matt Damon went on national TV and told Jay Leno that using hypnosis was “the greatest decision I ever made in my life” it seems that everyone in Hollywood is now trying hypnosis.

Hyposis isn’t the underground therapy it was 20 years ago… hypnosis is becoming cool!

Read more…


I would like to thank you so much for all the work you have done and I’m so pleased I  came to you because I’ve changed so much. Thanks to the hypnotherapy I no longer have negative thoughts about myself and I’m eating healthier and more controlled and have more energy .

I can honestly say now that I like who I am

So thank you .

- L.St

Like almost everyone else (I imagine) I had very little idea what to expect when I first contacted Kim about hypnotherapy, but she put me at ease very quickly.  Kim has the rare gift of being highly professional in her manner but also treating you as a friend; she’s a genuinely lovely person.  My four sessions with Kim have, quite simply, changed my whole life.  I find that my way of thinking is completely different now, and it’s all positive!  The things which used to weigh me down are so much more manageable.  I really feel I’m a happier person, better mum, better wife, better friend, more effective at work…the list goes on and on!  My self-esteem is dramatically improved, and I’ve got more energy and motivation.  I’d have no hesitation in recommending Kim’s work to anyone.

- B.L

After one session with Kim for troubling sleeping and slight pain management I was so relaxed! Well aware of things going on around me but able to focus on the words without being distracted by it all. Amazing.

- L.S.

Kim has helped me so much with my nerve damage pain following spinal surgery. She listens to your needs and hopes and made me feel very relaxed and also gave me the confidence I needed to get through every day. Thank you Kim

- K.W.

Since having hypnotherapy my mind has settled, calmer way of thinking. My confidence is higher then before. I’m less stressed at looking for approval and constant reassurance for my ideas. I’m taking in pieces of information from lots of different sources and making my own decisions and not second guessing myself all the time. After the first session, I’ve already seeing results, waking up refreshed and full of good positive thoughts and energy.

- K.M.

Kim Rowan has helped me through hypnotherapy for depression and anxiety over the last 6 months and her technique has proved invaluable.

At first I was apprehensive at using hypnotherapy for my depression, but after the first session I knew this was definitely a way forward.

Kim gave me some excellent advice on how to calm myself when I became nervous that worked extremely well when on my own, previous to this I would become extremely anxious and would need to come home and take medication.

We talked through some tough periods in my passed life and my stresses of today, and after each session I always felt calmer and able to cope with my busy demanding lifestyle.

Kim is such a caring, calm professional person and is always on the end of a phone when needed – I would recommend her to anyone who has issues where hypnotherapy would definitely help.

- L.C

I had a number of sessions with Kim Rowan to help me with my anxiety prior to an operation. I felt this helped to relax me and get me through my operations. I would recommend Kim.

- I.W.

Although not vastly overweight, for most of my adult life my weight has fluctuated and I have always felt the need to diet to keep on top of it. Last year I was feeling on the heavy side and a bit fed-up with myself. I have always been a bit of a sceptic, so when Kim suggested hypnotherapy I was unsure. However, I thought ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ so decided to give it a try.

I had a couple of sessions with Kim, where she tried different techniques to establish which were most effective, with a follow-up audio track, which I try to listen to on a daily basis.

I couldn’t honestly say whether it has been the hypnotherapy, willpower or a mixture of the two but for the first time in years I have lost the weight I wanted to and, more importantly, kept it off. In any case, the hypnotherapy sessions are a really relaxing and enjoyable experience that I would recommend anyone to try.

- M.A

I approached Kim to see if she could help me overcome a couple of issues I had at the time. She was very welcoming and non-judgemental, putting me at ease with the situation.

She was professional at all times yet managed to make the experience personal to me. I do feel that I was helped to face and deal with my issues through this process and would have no problem in revisiting or recommending Kim to others.

- N.M

I have used Kim’s services over the last year. I feel we all have the ability to help ourselves but we do not always have the tools. Talking with Kim gave me the tools I needed in which to change my outlook on how I saw people, and how I thought they saw me. Kim’s therapy has given me the confidence to change my life in a positive way.

Kim had me feeling relaxed and comfortable at all times and the different forms of therapy that Kim has taught me I will always use or refer to.

I highly recommend Kim to help anyone overcome a change within themselves, a fear they have or to help with relaxation. Kim has changed my life and she could change yours too, thank you Kim

- E.A