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» Listings for February 2017

  1. pregnancy

    You and your baby deserve the most wonderful birth you can achieve, Sharing that first beautiful moment with your new baby in a confident and relaxed way is something that you will never forget. Make it a precious experience, relax and celebrate the miracle of birth. Enjoy your pregnancy and have a confident birth with the help of hypnotherapy techniques to help you to understand your body to get the best experience, relax and enjoy.

    Tobys Mum says "The hypnotherapy really helped me prepare for and during the birth. I felt very in control and relaxed and did not require any pain relief"

    See also

     Andrea Lowe, Senior Hypnotherapist at The Mind and Body Centre offers a Hypnotherapy session for birth preparation on Mondays 6 - 7.30

    Cost is £35 for 5 weeks.  New sessions starting13th March 2017


    In the Mirror 25/3/1917

    'Hypnobirthing' mum who shunned pain relief so 'chilled out' delivering twins she almost fell ASLEEP in birthing pool

    Josie Penn claims the final hour of her delivery was merely ‘uncomfortable’, as opposed to outright ‘painful’

    Josie Penn with husband Thomas and their twin girls Margot and Devon

    A first-time mum has told how she ditched pain relief to give birth to twins naturally using ‘hypnobirthing’ techniques.

    Proud Josie Penn was so chilled-out at points during her 14 hour labour she almost fell asleep in the hospital birthing pool.

    She also claims the final hour of her delivery was merely ‘uncomfortable’, as opposed to outright ‘painful’.

    And now the 31-year-old has urged other mothers to follow in her footsteps, saying birthing twins doesn’t have to be traumatic.

    Josie Penn and husband Thomas

    Nutritional therapist Josie, who welcomed gorgeous, non-identical girls Margot and Devon into the world on January 27 this year, said: “Would I recommend hypnobirthing to other mums and dads? Definitely. Absolutely.

    “Having twins through hypnobirth, totally naturally and without any pain relief, certainly seems to be fairly unusual. The midwives definitely appeared fairly surprised!

    “And whether you’re planning a home birth or you’re having a C-section, I definitely think that it gives you so much confidence going into the labour.

    “It enables you look ahead to childbirth with real positivity, rather than feeling like it’s something scary, looming on the horizon.

    “Discomfort is unavoidable when you’re giving birth, but it doesn’t have to be excruciatingly painful.”

    Josie Penn

    Hypnotherapy for childbirth - first discussed by scientists in the 1940s but which has only recently gained real weight - is the art of allowing yourself to sink into a deep state of relaxation whilst in labour so that your body does everything it needs to do quickly, easily, comfortably and sometimes even painlessly.

    Josie’s husband, advertising director Thomas, 31, explains: “When we went for our three month scan, the sonographer said, ‘I’m glad that you’re both sitting down because I have some news - you’re having twins’.

    “Initially I had a real sense of fear and found myself thinking ‘How on earth are we going to manage? Everything is double, everything is twice as expensive, are we ever going to sleep?’

    “We went through a month or two of real anxiety. Josie was getting worried about the birth itself, and I was just blown sideways.

    “And that’s when we started thinking about hypnobirthing more and more.”

    Luckily for Josie and Thomas, Josie’s sister is Emily Street, one of the UK’s leading hypnobirth practitioners and acclaimed midwife with Cheshire’s Reproductive Health Group.

    Josie Penn and Thomas

    Emily explained the benefits to Josie and Thomas who then undertook an evening class with London based HypnoBirthing Practitioner Michelle Pearson.

    Michelle taught them how to utilise relaxing music, light touch massage and calming visualisation techniques.

    She also shared positive affirmations and scripts that Josie used leading up to the birth such as, ‘My baby’s in the safest position possible’ and, ’I was made to do this. My body is designed to do this. There’s nothing to fear’.

    Thomas - like many others in the UK - admits that he held scepticism about the controversial technique considered by some to be ‘New Age’.

    He admits: “If I’m being honest, initially I was quite sceptical about hypnobirthing. When we first started learning it, I thought, ‘Hmmm, Is this a bit of a nonsense..?’

    “But Josie and I had already found that it was often best not to talk about our birth with anyone else. Because when you tell people that you’re expecting twins, everyone says, ‘Oh, you poor things. How are you going to cope?’

    “All that negative energy builds up a sense of real anxiety, and we were desperate to get rid of it.

    Josie Penn

    “As a result I was willing to try anything to help Josie feel more confident and empowered about our situation.”

    That, however, was at odds with NHS specialists advising them.

    Due to the increased risk of complications with twins, Josie, from Hackney, east London, was told that the home birth that she'd hoped for was out of the question whilst the idea of a birthing pool for twins was frowned upon.

    Josie’s doctors also continued to raise the spectre of an emergency Caesarian section and of the potential need to have an episiotomy - a surgical cut in the area between the vagina and the anus to help the baby’s delivery.

    Josie says: “We were getting more and more nervous. It felt like we were losing control of our own birth scenario.

    “And what hypnobirthing did was give us a way of learning how to keep relaxed despite the stress that was building up around us. It empowered us.”

    Determined to maximise her relaxation levels, Josie also took part in a pregnancy yoga class and standard antenatal classes.

    And on January 26, at around 11pm, Josie’s contractions began as she cuddled hubby Thomas in bed.

    Bizarrely, Josie felt a sense of ‘bliss’ rather than blind panic

    She reveals: “It’s funny, it felt like the most blissful moment, heavenly even.

    “It’s so strange. The contractions were quite intense and close together, but all I could think was, ‘We can do this! It’s only two babies, for God’s sake. Let’s stay at home, run a nice warm bath and forget about all the doctors!’

    “There wasn’t a moment where I thought, ‘Oh crap, what happens now?’ I wasn’t scared of what was coming. I definitely attribute that to hypnobirthing.”

    Thomas eventually took Josie to Homerton University Hospital at around 2am and by 7.30am she was in a birthing pool.

    But Thomas laughs: “Josie was so relaxed, she started nodding off and her contractions stopped!”

    They eventually exited the pool in a bid to get the contractions started again and by mid afternoon Josie’s labour was in full swing - and she was still desperate not to have any pain relief.

    In the hours previously she’d had a few gulps of gas and air, but in the final few hours she went without it entirely.

    Josie, originally from Hale, Cheshire, said: “We were never going to put either myself or my babies at risk. We just wanted a chance to prove that hypnobirthing could work without drugs or intervention.

    “There were points early on where I was in pain. A handful of the contractions were horrible.

    “But I honestly didn’t have that feeling when I was pushing during labour.

    “The feeling was more… discomfort, and confusion about what my body was doing, rather than extreme pain and being stretched.

    “And what’s really important is that I didn’t feel scared. I was just completely focused. I was calm. At no point did I think my body couldn’t do what it was trying to do.

    “And that was a powerful thing, something that really surprised me.

    Margot arrived first, followed by Devon ten minutes later.

    Josie beams: “I just couldn’t believe it. I was stunned, and beyond happy to have done it without an episiotomy or a C-section, which I thought we’d been destined for.”

    Meanwhile Thomas adds: “Because of the hypnobirthing techniques, Josie had gone somewhere deep inside herself. She’d shut off her fear reflex, and was just allowing her body to progress with the birth naturally.

    “There was no screaming.

    “Despite the fact that she was exhausted, it was as if something primal had taken over and was delivering our babies for us.

    “And I’ll never, until the day I die, forget the look on Josie’s face after Margot was born.

    “It was like she was on a beach somewhere, with the biggest smile I’d ever seen in the world.”

    Reproductive Health Group Hypnobirth expert Emily says Josie can be proud of her amazing achievements.

    She adds: “Any pregnancy involving twins is higher risk than with one baby.

    “And with added complications comes added stress. That’s not good for mum or the babies.

    “We are also conditioned to believe that labour is going to be hell. ‘The worst pain you have ever imagined, times ten.’

    “Because of this, mums-to-be have a huge amount of fear about giving birth. So when we feel that first twinge of labour, our body tenses and our muscles tighten.

    “Imagine the bottom of your uterus as a clench fist - it’s gonna hurt to get a baby through that!

    “Hypnobirth teaches you skills so that instead your muscles relax, soften, open and babies are born easily and euphorically.

    “And it’s not just about the days leading up to giving birth, it’s about your entire pregnancy and beyond.

    “Giving birth to twins means you might have a lot more scans that normal. And while those scans can offer reassurance, they can also be stressful as you ride on a rollercoaster of emotions.

    “The last thing you want is for twin babies to be swimming in their mother’s adrenaline.

    “And hypnobirthing techniques can help mum to stay calm and collected throughout the process.

    “It’s about making people feel safe and with the fundamental belief that birth is normal and our bodies work.”

  2. anxiety3

    Having someone who is a pathological liar is to say the least difficult to live or work  with. 

    The effect of being on the recieving end of an onslaught of lies can eventually leave you vulnerable (is it me or was that actually a lie) suspicious, not just of your liar companion but of others too and very, very frustrated.  You can either argue and if you are arguing with an accomplished liar then they are the ones who can talk their way out of a paper bag and leave you dizzy and even more frustrated, or you can swallow it and carry on building  up your frustration within.

    Being able to spot the lie with reasonable accuracy must be like the answer to a million prayers..... but is it.  If you were pretty certain that someone was lying to you how would that change what you did about it.  Of course, it depends on who it is who is doing the lying and if the lying is damaging to you.

    Types of Liars

    Some people lie for effect - shall we call these the fishermen telling about the one that got away.  They are fairly harmless and often entertaining too.  If you live with them it may irritate after a while but no real damage or gain.

    There is absolutely no point in 'tackling' this type of liar as they don't even realsie they are doing it.  They are just entertaining.

    I used to work with someone like this.  He was always telling tall stories about what he had bought - on one occasional a massive colour tv bigger than big - or tales of accomplishments etc.  Underneath he was pretty insecure but his tall stories bigged him up in the office and were harmless and often entertaining once it was acknowledged that almost everything he said was a lie.

    Then are those who lie because they want to avoid conflict - we could call these the chickens as they would rather cluck cluck in agreement with you than say what they actually feel.  They are the ones who are likely to come across as cooperative and in agreement with you yet do what they want behind your back.  They are not malicious and wouldn't hurt you but want to do their own thing without discussion and want to protect themselves from criticism.  Children fall into this group and those who have not got much condifence or self-esteem. Nagging rarely works long term.

    "Yes. Of course I remembered to post the letter." whilst surrupticiously shuffling it deeper into their pocket to forget again and then denying culpability when the red bill comes.

    Following on from this group are the -garden fencers - these are the people that have to be calling seemingly everyone that they come into contact with.  They have nothing much to talk about of their own so they critise others.  Beware of trusting these people and be sure that if they are calling someone to you they will be calling you to others.  You are not special to them.  They exaggerate and try to cause  conflict for you as you take their apparent side in the dispute and enact their dissatisfaction.   They are looking to enhance their support and put others down.  Again people with low self-worth.  Only dangerous if they are able to rally support turning the while situation into a bullying excercise only to step in ans rescue their victim  leaving you seeming to be the bad guy.

    We all know people like this who call their best friend or relative  with venom only to be cosy and close the next time you see them together.

    Stretching the latter group a little further we get what we shall call  - the cheaters.  These are the ones who take that cooperative superficial veneer and cover up doing exactly what they want and as much as they can get away with.  So they would be unfaithful if you were their partner, they would gain at your expense if you worked with them or were their friend.  These are a very difficult group to deal with as they just don't seem to care whether you are aware or not.  The more you care about this group the more you get hurt.  The harder you try to understand them the harder you fall.  These liars are the ones who never appreciate what they have - occasionally and very occasionally at that until they loose it.  It is no use trying to reason with these people and unless you want to attempt  to rule them with an iron rod providing  you have something to threaten them with, like their job, then you may as well walk away earlier rather than later. 

    How to spot the liar.

    As with most things it 's easy when you know how!

    Preparing for your test

    In order to spot a lie with reasonable accuracy you have to first develop a habit of watching very closely and paying attention to everything about the person that you are observing.

    So you need to be aware of the body movement and subtle changes.  Don't go reading books about body language and what it tells you because everyone is an individual and  what might work for the majority may be very different for someone else. 

    Notice their facial expressions as they are talking, where they look, if their colouring changes subtly - again don't go reading books about eye accessing or assume that a blush means guilt as everyone is different although the person in front of you will be the same each time they communicate.

    Notice the tone of their voice, the speed of their talk, the rythmn of their speech and how these things change depending on the subject they are talking about.

    Do this until you feel you are becoming competent  and it is second nature.

    Now for the test.  .

    In order to carry out this test successfully you will need to prepare your subject.

    First develop a good understanding of all of the above in normal communication with them. 

    Now this may be a little harder but put them in a situation where you are certain that they are lying - if they are willing it could be a game (see below for suggestion).

    Notice the changes that take place when they are lying (and there absolutely will be definite subtle things that happen  - it is almost impossible for there not to be.

    Now make a note of these changes mentally and next time you suspect them of lying then just relax and look out for the subtlties of the lie. Voila spotted.

    I know someone who gets angry and defensive when clallenged and lie in response.  i.e. !How could you say that to me.  Don't you know me better than that?"  Given a similar situattion if they were being truthful they would be calmer and more reasonable.

    Another person I know changes the tone of her voice and it becomes like a story telling voice and sounds rehearsed when she is telling me a load of baloney.That of course is amplified when on the phone as the only clues I have are the voice and so it becomes more relevant.

    What you do with your knowledge is another matter. 

    You can see that in most cases reasoning or opening up a discussion does not solve the problem of the lies.

    There is no point arguing either as they wiull contniue to lie.

    Maybe a double bind is a good way to go such as "Now I know you will deny this and I know you are lying.  But just as long as you realise I know." "I don't need to discuss it."

    It will give you some satisfaction just informing them of this and eventually who knows they may decide for themselves that is't time to stop.

    A game could be let me see if you can fool me.  Hide a penny under one of three cups and by questioning you I will tell you which cup the penny is under. Tell them that the object of the games is to lie so that you don't know which cup the penny is under or they may choose to tell the truth.  For instance "is the penny under that cup?"  "Is it not under that cup?"  "Is it next to two empty cups?" etc  You won't know whether they are lying or telling the truth .... or will you. Proceed to question them and notice how the answer differently.  If you want to be super smooth and lull them into a flase sense of security then get the answer wrong but know yourself what the correct answer is.

    Andrea Lowe DHP NLP

    Andrea is a senior hypnotherapist with the General Hypnotherapy Register.She is also course tutor on the Mind and Body Hypnotherapy Practitioner Training course and Hypnotherapy  Foundation course.