Hypnosis for a Root Canal?

I got this comment on my birth video on You Tube.

Would it have been SO awful if you used pain relief? The only person that would have been put out would have been you. Why is there such a culture against pain relief in childbirth – I’ll bet the next time you have a root canal you won’t be opting for hypnosis, but all the narcotics you can get your hands on. Why the difference in childbirth?

Here is my response.

Would it have been SO awful if you used pain relief?

No, it wouldn’t have been SO awful if I had used pain relief.  But I didn’t need or want it, so why use it if I didn’t need it?

Why is there such a culture against pain relief in childbirth

Where is this culture against pain relief in childbirth?  Most women in our culture worship pain relief in childbirth.  I am not against pain relief, I used it with much joy in my first 2 births, but it was even more awesome not to want or need it with Brysons birth.

My Hypnobabies tools really helped me stay calm and comfortable, so why would I have an epidural I didn’t need.  (Epidurals do carry risks which the worshipers of pain relief tend to ignore or at least downplay)

I’ll bet the next time you have a root canal you won’t be opting for hypnosis, but all the narcotics you can get your hands on.

AHHH, what a great lead into my video

Also a wonderful post by Tonya – Using Hypnobabies Tools at the Dentist where she uses hypnosis instead of drugs at the dentist.

Why the difference in childbirth?

Just in case you didn’t take the time to watch the video.  Birth is a natural process.  Similar to a tooth falling out, you don’t need narcotics for that.

A root canal is a dental surgery, so most people would need drugs for that.  So if you are having a surgical birth (cesarean) I can see that most people would need drugs for that.

However many people use hypnosis to stay calm and comfortable during a root canal.

(you can see the other videos on my Birth and Teeth page.)  

Hypnosis works even easier for moms using it for vaginal birth, because it is a natural process. (And there are actual accounts of moms using hypnosis instead of anesthesia for cesareans, having a medical trained hypnotherapist in the room during the surgery.)

So thanks for this comment, because it brings up some interesting points!

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19 Comments on “Hypnosis for a Root Canal?

  1. I had a natural birth the second time around because the epidural made it so that I was unable to push my first child out without the help of a vacuum. Yes, the epidural was horrible for me and it led to a lot of issues in the 6 weeks following birth. And it not only affected me, but my son (physically) and my husband (emotionally) as well.

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    enjoybirth
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    I am sorry that you experienced that. Thank you for sharing with us. Indeed epidurals are not risk free.

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  2. I think it was pretty amazing that you gave birth without the need of epidural and pain relief drugs.

    And that comment was pretty rude, honestly, just because it’s so easy to comment and say our piece on things, doesn’t give us license to be rude, a little respect should be a priority in this Internet world.

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    enjoybirth
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    What comment was rude? I don’t see any rude comments on here???

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    Girl Gone Healthy Reply:

    oh no, i meant how the yt commenter worded his reply on the vid. i guess, on the offset it is a normal response, but slightly stronger than the usual.

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    enjoybirth
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    I see what you mean… I agree I was a little surprised about the intensity of their comment. I wasn’t sure why they were so upset I went un-medicated, like somehow I offended them.

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  3. Thank you so much for this! I’ve often cracked jokes about childbirth and dental work. I tell people I can handle childbirth without medication, but I can’t handle getting fillings put in, and they think I’m crazy. But it’s true. I’ve actually used my deep breathing I learned from birth when I noticed myself getting anxious while sitting in the dentist’s chair. It helps, but it’s more difficult for me to focus. After my last baby was born I needed several fillings and I got them all done at the same time. I was in severe pain with a mouth migraine for over 2 weeks afterward, and the dentist’s office told me it was because of the sheer amount of work they did and that some of the fillings were very close to the nerves. I’ve never been in that much pain after having a baby!

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    enjoybirth
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    I agree, I hate getting dental work done! I have used my Hypnobabies CDs to stay calm during a dental implant. It reallly helped me not freak out!

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  4. When I first found out I was pregnant with our third, I also had a cavity filling for the first time in nearly a decade. My brothers and father don’t use any form of numbing when getting their teeth worked on, so I thought, “If I was able to push out two babies, I can do this, no problem!”

    And it wasn’t! The dentist kept thinking I had this super high pain tolerance, and at one point for a few seconds there was some minor discomfort, but it wasn’t unbearable. It was temporary and that thought calmed me.

    Giving birth is temporary as well. I’m not ALWAYS going to be experiencing birthing time, and if my body says I can do it, I CAN!

    Granted, my example was just a cavity filling and not a root canal (or birthing a baby), and this is my first hypnobaby that will be coming in a few weeks. My cavity filling was way before I even started using hypnobabies, and now I can think of a whole lot of situations in which positive-thinking and self-hypnosis will give me a better overall experience.

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    enjoybirth
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    I use my hypnosis tools all the time. I need to blog about how I used it snorkeling the other week.

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  5. I’m surprised that you didn’t address this statement:

    “The only person that would have been put out would have been you.”

    I’m not sure about other forms of pain relief, but an epidural does not only affect the mother. We are all careful while pregnant about the foods we consume and the drugs we take. We stop smoking, cut caffeine, and if we have a headache we’re careful not to take aspirin. As a matter of fact, if we’re going to talk about root canals, dentists don’t *do* root canals on pregnant women because the anesthesia could affect the baby.

    To me, that’s the main difference. I’m a bit of a baby, so if I’m in pain and not pregnant, I want pain relief! (Last time I was hospitalized for a very painful ailment, I was very happy to receive morphine!) But I don’t want to take anything that could negatively affect my baby.

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    enjoybirth
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    Thanks for bringing that up. I think I was just so excited to have a video to show about the tooth thing. :)

    But you are right, it would have effected my baby and shouldn’t it be about me? If I am happy why would I choose to do such a thing.

    Who do they think I was putting out by not getting it? My OB was fine with my going un-medicated, my nurse was fine with my going un-medicated, my doula was ok with my going un-medicated, my DH was ok with my going un-medicated. So as far as I know NO one was put out by me going un-medicated.

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  6. Well, I still have a ‘soft spot’ from the epidural I received 9 years ago with my first baby. In exchange for 2 hours of ‘pain relief’ I got a lifelong tender area that still sends shocks down my spine if touched. I feel like a much stronger human being learning how to work WITH my body instead of fighting it.

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  7. This post made me laugh because of my experience with HypnoBirthing. Which is basically, I didn’t get to use it. I took the class & practiced but when it came down to it my labor was 3 hours long and my contractions went from being 5-7 min apart for an hour to 2.5-3 minutes apart and then I had an unplanned home birth, which turned out okay in the end.

    BUT, I HAVE used the relaxation techniques I learned AT THE DENTIST. Ha. I don’t like needles or dental stuff and I get nervous, so while I was waiting for the dentist to come I put myself in a relaxed state. They actually COMMENTED on how relaxed I was during my dental work. So, you really can use it there! :-)

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  8. I’m going to assume that the YT commenter wasn’t purposefully being antagonistic. This person was just uninformed about all of the risks and implications of pain relief in childbirth. Like many people, s(he) doesn’t separate childbirth “pain” from other types of pain that can result from true medical/dental procedures and ailments.

    Most of us are not exposed to other alternatives such as hypnosis for childbirth. Most of us are not taught to have a sense of empowerment over our own bodies, but instead are taught that childbirth is a miserable, weak time in which we are at the mercy of our doctors and pain meds.

    Hopefully now this person has a greater understanding.

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    enjoybirth
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    Thanks for your perspective. You are right. I do hope that now she has a new understanding!

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  9. My birth was with HypnoBirthing, not Hypnobabies, but it appears that much of the idea is the same between the two systems. One of the premises of HypnoBirthing is that normal, natural functions of the body can be accomplished without pain. An uncomplicated birth is an example of something going *right* with the body, it’s a healthy thing, and thus *can* be done without pain. (Though when I say this to my friends it frequently doesn’t compute – sometimes they just can’t comprehend it, nor make the distinction between *can* and *will* and so they reject the idea out of hand.) A root canal happens as a result of an infection that is causing inflammation to a nerve – or at least, that’s what was going on with me when I needed a root canal. There’s nothing normal or healthy about that! I have always been puzzled by the assumption that they’re the same. Personally, I wouldn’t call my own childbirth experience a painful experience. The root canal…. ugh. That was exteremely painful, before the actual procedure (I was on vacation 1500 miles from my dentist!) and uncomfortable during the procedure itself. It’s just NOT the same.

    But so many people take any attempt to say something like that as a personal attack. I’m not sure why that is, but folks sure get defensive when I talk about natural childbirth very much!

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    enjoybirth
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    Thanks for sharing your experience. It is true some people get very defensive about natural birth!

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