Mind/Body techniques such as hypnosis have been proven to enhance fertility.
Most research to date has focused on using hypnosis to reduce stress. Hypnosis addresses this and other important emotional phenomena that we believe can improve conception.
It stands to reason that, if stress depresses fertility, enhancing positive expectation may also have a positive effect.
Providence Hypnosis Center Hypnosis and Fertility
Hypnosis offers a number of valuable approaches to fertility. While research shows the benefit of using hypnosis for stress reduction, experts within the field use techniques that reach beyond simply reducing stress. The body is highly responsive to all emotion. This phenomenon is beautifully explored in the respected and very readable book The Biology of Belief by cellular biologist Bruce Lipton.
It stands to reason that, if stress depresses fertility, enhancing positive expectation may also have a positive effect. A complete approach to ‘hypnofertility’ involves 1. reducing levels of stress (particularly the worry and urgency that can build during fertility treatment) and 2. refreshing the natural anticipation and readiness for pregnancy and a baby. This second step has the pleasant benefit of again further reducing stress.
Beyond these factors old emotional thoughts and feelings that can impact a woman’s reproductive health. Dr. Cheek’s work (briefly referred to above), regularly involved using hypnosis to loosen the impact of complicated feelings and information that women accumulate reaching sexual maturity. In many cases this type of clearing can also be very valuable.
We find in all of our work that every person has very different needs.
No single approach works with every challenge faced. The techniques used for any person are adapted to their particular situation.
Research on Hypnosis and Fertility
Mind/Body techniques such as hypnosis have been proven to enhance fertility. Most research to date has focused on using hypnosis to reduce stress. Hypnosis addresses this and other important emotional phenomena that we believe can improve conception.
Israeli professor Eliahu Levitas’s team from Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, found that hypnosis can double the success of IVF treatment. Levitas’s study of 185 women found that 28% of women in the group who were hypnotized became pregnant, compared with 14% of those who were not.
Dr. Gayle Peterson uses a technique called Body-Centered Hypnosis. Dr. Peterson has found that high anxiety states must be reduced in order to normalize pregnancy and birth. She cites several research studies that suggest a positive link between fertility and treatments based on hypnosis. She is a pioneer in the field of mind/body states and their effects on fertility, pregnancy and birthing. Click here to To read more about Dr. Peterson and her work, Click here.
Dr David B Cheek OB/Gyn was a pioneer. He used hypnosis in many aspects of his practice. His explorations yielded a great deal of insight into the relationship between a woman’s life experiences and her reproductive health. There is much valuable information in his book Mind Body Therapy co-authored with Dr Ernest L Rossi another brilliant theorist at the mind/body frontier.
Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.
A Synopsis for Harvard Medical International and their Centers of Excellence and Constituents.
The Mind Body Centre for Women’s Health at Boston IVF
Mind/body treatment of infertility patients has been shown to both increase pregnancy rates as well as reducing psychological distress. In a recent study conducted at the MBMI, 185 women who had been trying to conceive for one to two years were randomized into either a 10 week mind/body group, a ten week support group, or a routine care control group. The birth rates during the one year follow up period were as follows: – Mind/body 55%, support 54%, and controls 20%. In addition the mind/body patients reported significantly greater psychological improvements than the support or control patients. Patients in the clinical Mind/Body Program for Infertility show benefits as well; in four published studies on several hundred women with an infertility duration of 3.5 years, 42 percent conceived within six months of completing the program and there were significant decreases in all measured psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety and anger.
Infertile women report elevated levels of psychological distress and this distress may reduce their chances of conceiving. Mind/body treatment has been shown to be effective in both significantly increasing pregnancy rates as well as reducing psychological stress.
Selected references on the Relationship between stress and fertility:
1. Domar, A., Clapp, D., Slawsby, E., Dusek, J., Kessel, B., Freizinger, M (2000) Impact of group psychological interventions on pregnancy rates in infertile women. Fertility and Sterility Vol. 73, no.4 April
2. Domar, A., Zuttermeister, P., Friedman, R (1999) Distress and Conception in Infertile Women: A complementary approach. Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association. Vol. 54, No.4
3. Demyttenaere K, Bonte L, Gheldof M, Veraeke M, Meuleman C, Vanderschuerem D, et al. (1998) Coping style and depression level influence outcome in vitro fertilization. Fertility and Sterility. 69:1026-1033
4. Domar, A (1996) Stress and Infertility in Women: Is there a relationship? Division of Behavioural Medicine, Deaconess Hospital Mind/Body Institute, Harvard Medical School. Psychotherapy in Practice2/2:17-27
5. Domar, A., Zuttermeister, P., Friedman, R (1993) The Psychological impact of infertility: a comparison with patients with other medical conditions Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetric Gynaecology. 14 Special issue 45-52
6. Wasser, S., Sewal, G., & Soules, M. (1993) Psychosocial stress as a cause of infertility. Fertility & Sterility, 59, 685-689
7. Domar, A., Seibel, M., & Benson, H (1990) The Mind/Body Program for Infertility: A new treatment program for women with infertility. Fertility and Sterility, 53, 246-249
8. Pennebaker, J., Kiecolt-Glasser, J & Glasser, R. (1987) Disclosure of traumas and immune function. Health implications for psychotherapy. Journal of consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 239-245
Books by Alice Domar, PhD:
CONQUERING INFERTILITY, A Mind/Body guide to enhancing fertility and coping with infertility. By Alice D Domar and Alice Lesch Kelly. Published by Viking (2001)
SIX STEPS TO INCREASED FERTILITY: An integrated Medical and Mind/Body Program to promote conception. A Harvard Medical School Book. By Robert L. Barbieri M.D, Alice D. Domar and Kevin R Loughlin, M.D. Published by Simon & Schuster (2000)
HEALING MIND, HEALTHY WOMEN, using the Mind Body Connection to manage stress and take control of your life. By Alice D Domar PhD and Henry Dreher. Published by Delta trade Paperbacks (1996)
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