Birth Hypnobirthing

Creating a “special place” to help you relax

A technique often used in hypnosis, meditation and relaxation is to encourage you to go to a “special place” in your mind.

This is like having your own personal inner refuge, based on a real or imaginary place that you associate with relaxation, comfort, security, and peace. Maybe a room in your home, a cabin in the mountains … a corner of your garden … the warm sand of the beach, where you can hear the ocean waves coming to shore … an open meadow full of wildflowers … a soft, moss-carpeted spot in a peaceful woodland grove near a gentle brook.

By going to this place routinely when in hypnosis, meditation, as you fall asleep or just in the bath, it becomes easy and familiar to go to that place when you feel the need to relax and “get away” for a while.

My special place has always been a secluded beach I went to in Thailand many many years ago.  When I first created my “special place” I spent time just thinking about that beach – everything I could remember – the route to get there, the colours, the sound of the sea, the feeling of the water, the texture of the sand.  I did this with intention – not connected to any hypnosis or relaxation – just thinking about my beach.

Then as I started to learn Self Hypnosis, that was my “go-to place” to focus and switch off my conscious thinking brain.  Very soon it became automatic – when I focused my breathing, counted to 10 and gave myself permission to go into hypnosis or deep relaxation I automatically “went there”. 

Over the years I have been on the beach as a pregnant woman, with my babies, with my husband, with my teenage sons around a camp fire, even with my grand children.  I just let my subconscious send me the image  – no thought or planning.

For me it is a place of pure joy and utter peace and happiness – a great comfort when the real world is throwing you a few curve balls.

Many women who have practised this during their pregnancy find it a great tool to use during the birth.

You can use it to “step away” from what is happening around you and to help focus your thoughts.  You may find your special place stays the same or it may change – there is no right or wrong. 

“My special place was a Cornish cove near where I grew up. At the beginning of each contraction, I imagined myself lighting a small tea candle and then walking slowly down each step cut into the cliff, until I reached the shore. I then placed the tea light on the beach and made my way back up the stairs for the end of the contraction. Without being aware of what I was doing, I found that as the labour progressed there were more and more tea lights on the beach, until the whole beach was alight with tiny candles – it was so beautiful and serene. Even when the contractions became more intense I almost looked forward to each one, as it meant that I would add another light on the beach.” Mandy, UK

Maggie Howell

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