Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Power of the Mind

In HypnoBirthing classes, we de-hypnotize people about the idea that birth must be painful. The power of our thoughts (unconscious & conscious) is amazing & affects the way our body reacts. If we fear something, our body tenses up. If we are calm, endorphins are released & our body is more capable of doing the job it is supposed to do more comfortably. Mickey Mongan, the founder of the HypnoBirthing Institute, recently shared a powerful example of how the placebo effect can affect the body:

The account of this study is written in Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book, The Biology of Belief. It seems that Dr. Bruce Mosley of Baylor School of Medicine published a study in 2002 in the NE Journal of Medicine. The study involved patients with severe, debilitating knee pain. Dr. Mosley was convinced that there was no placebo effect in surgery. He knew that knee surgery helped the patients that he saw. In an effort to figure out which particular procedure in the surgery actually gave the most relief, he set up a study whereby the patients in the study were divided into three groups. In one group he shaved the cartilage; and in another group, he flushed out the knee joint, removing the material that he believed caused inflammation. Both of these procedures were standard for arthritic knee surgery. That third group received “fake surgery”. The patient was sedated, and Mosley then made three standard incisions. He then talked and acted in the very same manner that he would in any actual knee surgery. He even splashed salt water to simulate the sound of the knee-washing procedure. He spent about 40 minutes completing this “fake surgery.” He then sewed up the incisions, again, as if he had actually performed the surgery. The people in all three groups were prescribed the same post surgery care, which included a regimen of exercise.

The results showed that the people who received actual surgery improved; however, the placebo group that received the “fake surgery” improved equally as well. A couple of months later they assessed the success of both groups. There was no appreciable difference in the outcomes of the two groups. Pictures of the patients were shown on television news programs, with pictures of the people in the fake group playing basketball, running, etc. they didn't tell the placebo group for two years, and the doctor stated-"It is very obvious that my surgical skills had no effect on these people. The mind is a marvelous thing."

Just as the mind can heal, it can also create pain. HypnoBirthing classes teach moms-to-be (& their partners) how to be in control of their mind so they can have a more comfortable, maybe pain-free, birthing experience.

If you are interested in learning more about HypnoBirthing, please visit my website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net or www.HypnoBirthing.com. It is recommended by the HypnoBirthing Institute that moms-to-be take HypnoBirthing classes between their 5th & 7th month of pregnancy in order to have enough time to practice & re-learn to trust their body's natural ability to birth a baby.

Thanks Mickey for sharing this important example of the power of the mind!


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