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Itchy during CDs? Here are 3 explanations and ideas

(Disclaimer: This is not an official Hypnobabies answer.
This is just from my personal experience as a Hypnobabies Instructor
and working with moms from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.)

Kerry's answer!

Q) I just started Hypnobabies Class #1. Nearly everytime I do a session I end up with at least one itch somewhere. Not sure whether I should just scratch it and move on or try to ignore it. I've tried ignoring them in the interest of staying limp and relaxed, but it's so distracting and eventually I end up itching so bad I HAVE to scratch it. Am I not staying relaxed if I simply reach down and scratch my leg (or whatever) and go on?

A) Here are a few things that will help:

1) You might consider doing some research on taking chlorophyll - it helps with pregnancy itching.

2) Before you begin a script or CD/tape, take 5-10 deep, slow abdominal breaths, letting your shoulders sink down and release tension with every *exhaling*. Then, begin your CD, just listening and allowing yourself to become more relaxed, maybe 3- 4 minutes. Then, no matter what else you are hearing on the CD, just say to yourself, "as I relax here right now, my skin, my muscles and all of my body feel more and more comfortable, better and better with every breath I *exhale*, and every movement that my body makes as I listen here brings me deeper and deeper into relaxation and comfort..much deeper.."

Say this several times to yourself and visualize a soft, comforting anti-itch lotion being spread, painted or sprayed on your skin, getting more and more powerful every time you *exhale*. If you should feel any itching during the tape/CD/script, just do the same thing over again. And always remind yourself that *any* movement that your body makes during your relaxations sessions just take you deeper into relaxation and hypnosis. Then let it be O.K. if you ever have to move at all, and use your Center switch when you do. (Once you have learned the Center switch) Know that when you settle back down you'll be even deeper. Remember that you cannot override your switch being Off. Just count to 2, put your switch in the Center, make yourself more comfortable, and move it back Off or keep it in the Center. Then go deeper; count yourself backwards, etc.

You are programmed that every time you move your switch to Off, you go deeper, so no matter what it feels like to you, you will. Your hypnosis is still working, and just keep listening to your CDs.

Please also be aware that some people simply kind of rebel against the "Off" switch, not liking to be told they can't move! Their bodies then react with a symptom of discomfort or itching or restlessness. Just knowing that can help tremendously, and it is a choice to just let go and relax into your sessions. (more on this below from Susan.)

3) You might listen to your CDs while taking a bath. Place towels under you in the bathtub, or even a piece of egg carton foam rubber for comfort. (You can have your dh wring these out after each bath so you don’t have to do it) Make everything as peaceful as you can, possibly lavender spray the bathroom, only candles as lighting, (or a nightlight) and place your CD player close to you (but not dangerously close and *never* on the side of the bathtub) so you won’t need headphones.

Then…start the CD with the volume on low, and *check out*. That’s right. *Disregard* what is being said on the recording. Just let your inner mind absorb the messages; it will. You do your own thing. You have the luxury of being able to let your subconscious do all of the work. So…think about what you’re going to do tomorrow, imagine what your baby will look like, visualize your beautiful birthing, whatever you want. Your inner mind is still listening to the CD. If you become aware here and there of what is going on in the CD, fine, listen for a minute with a “that’s interesting” attitude, and if you become restless, check out again and think of something else. Any time you feel like moving, scratching, whatever, do so with your Center switch and know it’s OK. Say to yourself, “Every time I move, I relax more deeply”. Don’t worry about your switch at all. Doing these things will eliminate frustration, which can cause you to tense up and be unable to relax, an important part of any birth experience.

4) Listen to your CDs when it is bedtime and you are completely ready to sleep. Once again, check completely out and don’t follow along with the CDs unless you feel like it here and there. Move when you feel you need to. Allow yourself to just be comfortable and go to sleep. Sleep programming is very effective since there is no “critical faculty” involved to block suggestions or relaxation.

There is some information on the link below about itching in pregnancy: (scroll down a bit to get to the first part, then past a few ads and there is a question with a lot of different answers about itching.)
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/enews/enews0501.asp
and more:
http://dermatology.about.com/library/blicp.htm
http://www.itchymoms.com/overview.html

And here's some advice that our wonderful Susan wrote about her experience with Hypnobabies:

Hi, Ladies!

I'm so glad some of you brought this up, because many, many women experience it and it's always nice to know that it's not a sign that hypnosis doesn't "work" for you, or something like that. I had the same problem - really badly! I came here completely annoyed, and described having my switch "off" as torture in one post. There for awhile, every time I did my practice, I would itch and twitch and shift around and fight to hold still for a few minutes at a time before using the center or on switch to move around and get comfortable. I thought I was going insane, and really started to lose my confidence. Well, luckily for all of us, we have this forum to ask questions, because Kerry and the BTDT moms assured me it was ok, I got over it, and I had an absolutely amazing birth. (Post 10385 if you're interested in reading about it.)

Here is how I look at it now - our subconscious mind is very childish. If you hear the suggestions that you can't move as an order, instead of a suggestion, your mind can start to fight it. It's like a toddler sticking his hand in his food, just because you asked him not to. Think of it as a show of independence. If you understand and accept the fact that you *choose* to be unable to move when the switch is off, and no one is forcing you to do so, it gets easier. Basically, you make a mental switch to view the *inability* to move as a sign of your control of the situation, so your subconscious mind works with you to make that your reality, instead of fighting it.

Ok, that's the mental side of it - but on the practical side I'm sure you're wondering what to do during the script to make yourself more comfortable and relaxed. Just go with it. If you itch - move your switch and scratch, if your legs get restless, use your switch and shift them around, etc. But do it without frustration or judgement. Don't let it bother you, even if it seems like you spend every minute of the script shifting around with your switch in the center. You'll find that the urges to move and discomforts will begin to fade away. It may take a few sessions for the change to become pronounced, but it will happen. Just like turning your back on a toddler who is up to his elbow in banana yogurt, your subconscious mind will realize that the distractions aren't doing anything anymore and they'll go away. And on the bright side, your itchy/twitchy/distracted scenario leaves significantly less mess to clean up. ;)

I hope that helps. And as you work your way through the program, just remember that while hypnosis is a natural state that we experience often without realizing it, conscious self-hypnosis is a learned skill. And like any skill, you will get better and better the more you practice.

-Susan

Re: Deepening CD - Itchy legs, or irritation idea

Here is a GREAT explination by Carole, Hypnobabies Instructor Extrodinaire!

Hi Ladies,

How a state of hypnosis causes the tingling sensation is...involuntary muscles are part of the autonomic nervous system, and when someone is VERY deeply in hypnosis like they are in the Deepening CD, those muscles relax. Since the little capillaries just below our skin are surrounded by involuntary muscles...part of the autonomic nervous system...when they relax, blood flows out of them and flushes our skin red. This is what happens when we blush, when our chest gets flushed when we are nervous, etc. The increase in blood flow to the surface of our skin feels pins and needle-like and that's the tingly feeling you experience.

As for tingly sensations or compulsive swallowing, or restless legs happening during one CD more than another, I would suspect that is because of the different depths we achieve while in hypnosis due to our personal circumstances during that session. We don't always go to the same depths of hypnosis each and every time unless we are "instructed" to do so during a post hypnotic suggestion, like Hypnobabies moms are when we tell them on the Deepening CD, "every time you use your finger drop technique you will return to this deep level of hypnosis that you are in right now...and even deeper".

Clear as mud?! : )

Yours in gentle birthing,

Carole Thorpe,

So indeed it IS proof that you are going Deeper! If you don't get tingly legs... it is OK! Everyone has different experiences. :)

Sheridan