Women’s health is an important topic for me. In my practice I love helping all people with all sorts of different issues, but I’m aware that there are certain things that us women have to deal with in particular. Certain issues come up time and time again with my female clients, and I’ve seen clients for such issues as coping with painful periods, anorgasmia and managing various symptoms of PMT and the menopause, not to mention helping women have peaceful and empowered births! Subsequently, I’ve compiled a list of five ways that hypnotherapy can help women* in particular:
*Although I refer throughout this article to “women”, I am aware that there are other gender identities for who this information is also relevant and important, such as trans* men and non-binary people who have biologically female experiences, but do not identify as women.1.Smear tests
1. Smear tests
This is probably the most important, so I’ve put it to the top of the list. Smear tests can literally save your life, but many women skip them because of fear or anxiety. Last month a news report noted that a third of women are missing their cervical screening because of fear, anxiety and embarrassment. with Perhaps you’ve never had one, and have put it off for so long that you have become fearful? Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with one before? Some survivors of sexual assault find smear tests very triggering and so avoid them. Smear tests are rarely painful or even uncomfortable when you are relaxed, but this is not always easy if the thought of someone examining you makes you tense and anxious.
Hypnotherapy can work to alleviate these fears and get you in the most relaxed state mentally and physically for a smear test. If past trauma has occurred, hypnotherapy can help overcome that trauma so that it no longer triggers anxiety, and help you prepare for a smear by reframing thoughts about it in the mind. I also teach self-hypnosis so you can relax completely during the procedure. If you have been putting off a smear because of anxiety then don’t wait any longer, get in touch!
2. IUD or implant insertion
There’s a wide range of contraception choices currently available for women, both hormone-controlled and non-hormone. Many of these give peace of mind as they last for months without you having to worry about having to take a pill every day, or running out, or them losing effectiveness if you have a tummy bug. However some women can be put off from choosing these effective, longer-term contraception options because of the procedures they have to go for them to be used. Similarly to a smear test, the fitting of an IUD can feel very intrusive to someone not comfortable with being examined in that way.
The implant is a small hair grip-sized device that sits under the skin of the upper arm, feeding hormones into the bloodstream for a certain amount of time. Fitting it is simple, but may be a frightening prospect for someone with a needle phobia, as may the contraception injection. Hypnotherapy can be used to treat existing needle phobias or overcome bad experiences with IUD fitting. Sessions can help prepare for an upcoming doctors appointment by reframing in a positive way and teaching relaxation and positive visualisation, so that the appointment goes as smoothly as possible with your feeling as relaxed and in control as you can be.
3. Fertility and childbirth
This is an area of hypnotherapy I am particularly interested in, as I am passionate about helping women have the best chances of getting pregnant (either naturally or as complementary therapy whilst having fertility treatment); and having a relaxed and positive pregnancy and a calm, confident birth.
Hypnotherapy can help women prepare for birth by teaching them how to truly connect between their mind and their body, engaging with the natural neurological and physical changes that happen at birth. Evidence shows that women who use hypnosis for birth statistically experience shorter labours, have less instances of intervention and quicker recovery time. Clients I have seen have all reported they have had very relaxed and contented babies as well! You can learn more about how hypnotherapy can be used for fertility, pregnancy and childbirth, here.
4. Post-natal depression
There is a period of a few days after a woman has a baby where the heightened hormones and neurotransmitters produced at birth drop, and she may experience “the baby blues” (information I cover in my hypnosis for pregnancy and childbirth sessions); but post-natal depression is something quite different. Post-natal depression is a sustained period of low mood following birth that is difficult to shake and can be really debilitating. In many ways it feels like any other depression, but because women suffering from it also have a new baby to look after it can be accompanied by feelings of guilt, helplessness, frustration and exhaustion, all which seem to make it worse. Solution-focused therapy combined with hypnotherapy is an excellent way to work through depression, and help women get back on track to feel more comfortable, in control and confident in their role as a new mum.
Some women sail through menopause, while others find it an incredibly difficult time. Symptoms can range from the physical (hot flushes, weight gain, night sweats) to the psychological (depression, anxiety, insomnia). Hypnotherapy can be really useful in treating the emotional symptoms of menopause, which often people find helps with controlling the physical symptoms as well. Solution-focused therapy can also help women work through their emotional reactions to the menopause, helping them move forward into the next phase of life with a positive attitude, feeling confident and in control.
If you want to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help with any of these issues, please get in touch either via the contact page or calling me on 0772044239.