Get yourself into a comfortable position and begin to observe what is in front of you. Now take a deep breath through your nose, filling your abdomen with air. Feel it blowing up like a balloon. Good. Now, as slowly as you possibly can, exhale through your mouth and send the breath all the way down your spine. Now, just focus on your next three exhalations. Don’t alter them in any way; just observe them. Well done.
Now, contract your feet and your ankles and gently release them. Contract your calves, your shins, and your knees. and relax them. Take another deep breath in through your nose . . . and exhale as slowly as you can through your mouth, sending the breath into your right big toe.
Contract your thighs, and then relax them. Inhale through your nose; exhale as slowly as you can through your mouth, sending your breath into your left big toe. Focus on your exhalations. Now turn your attention to your abdomen, placing your hands gently on your belly. Silently explain to your uborn what you are doing and why you are doing this. Now become aware of any feelings that you maybe holding in your belly. Label these feelings as a point of reference, not in judgment. Make a decision to deal with these feelings later. For now, take a deep healing breath and breathe all of these feelings (that may disturb you) out of your abdomen.
They have no place in a body that is trying to relax. In hale deeply and breathe out, sending your disturbing feelings way out into the universe . . . Again, take a deep, healing breath and release your feelings, sending them way out into the universe…
Now contract your chest and your shoulders and relax them. Now take your arms, cross them, and rest them gently on your chest. Place your hands gently on your breasts and begin visualizing your breasts nourishing your healthy baby; your milk flows freely, and your baby latches on and suckles well and easily. . . Now contract your right arm, and your left arm. Make a fist with your hands, and now extend them and let them relax and fall wherever they are comfortable.
Now contract your spine until your entire back is arched with tension . . . and release it. Good. Take a deep healing breath and send it all the way down your spine. . . Contract your face, your jaw, scrunch it up like a prune. . . and now open your mouth and your eyes as wide as you can. Stick out your tongue and try to touch your chin with your tongue. Imagine that you are an animal in the wild and that you are releasing your energy through a grand stretch of your body and a great release of sound from deep in your being.
Practice your sounding now. (Sounding during labor could use the vowels or the mantras explained in the following bold text:
Many women have found great comfort in chanting their own mantras during pregnancy (or anytime, really). Many religious traditions use chanting to induce a trance state or simply to sing praises or say prayers. The prayers commonly used with the rosary in the Roman Catholic Church might be considered mantras, for example. Catholics repeat these mantras while keeping track of how many times they are said. Gregorian chants have been recorded in cathedrals around the world, and the sound is relaxing and empowering.
When I talk about labor and birth I suggest a mantra that fathers/partners can use to calm the mother and to help her remember the things she should do to remain calm and focused. You can create your own mantra, based on the things you most want to remember to do, or use prayers you already know. In meditation classes I have learned these simple mantras, and even though I did not understand the language I used at first, they have proven effective to help me enter a state of peace and to quiet the mind.
● Hebrew mantra: “Yod hey vav hey.” This is actually the spelling of the name of God, Yahweh, in Hebrew.
● Christian mantra: “Ma ra na tha.” This means “come, Lord in Aramaic. Try one or several of these mantras in your meditation practice. They can sound like music, and they can become a signal to your body to enter the meditative state.
● Buddhist mantra: “Nam mo a di da phat.” This is calling the name of Buddha.
● Nonreligious mantra: “Pa cem ma.” This means “peace” in Latin (plus an extra syllable – ma – for fluidity.
Try one or several of mantras in your meditation practice. They can sound like music, and they can become a signal to your body to enter the meditative state.
(The mother makes these controlled sounds, which can facilitate the birth through resonating in various parts of her body as the baby moves through the birth canal. It helps to practice these sounds, to avoid screaming or out-of-control sound.)
The more you practice sounding before labor, the more comfortable it will be for you during labor. It is part of your nature to make wonderful, contributing sounds to the birth of your baby.
Now feel your entire body letting go to the force of gravity. Now imagine yourself climbing down a safe and sturdy wooden staircase that leads you to your own personal healing place, a birthing place. It is a lovely, late spring day. The temperature is perfect. It is midday, and the sun is almost directly overhead. There is a gentle breeze, and you can hear the soft sounds of nature. Enjoy the sounds. Now, keeping your eyes gently closed (after you read this to yourself, do it again from memory with your eyes closed), focus on your eye and eye socket. What do you see as you look at your closed eyelids? Now create a perfect birthing place in nature through your sense of sight alone. Note the colors, the patterns, the shapes, the movement, the stillness.
Now become aware of your nose; inhale and experience the air as you draw it into your nostrils. Now become aware of the scents and fragrances in your natural birthing place. Let them comfort and soothe you. Now become aware of your mouth, your lips, teeth, gums, mucous membrane lining of your mouth, your tongue and your throat, your saliva. Imagine luscious fruits growing in your natural birthing place. Begin to taste the rich, full, juicy taste of your own birthing fruit. This fruit will help you carry your healthy baby to full term. At delivery, your birthing fruit will help you to dilate easily, readily, and to allow you to have an easy, comfortable vaginal birth. Now become aware of your ears and all the convolutions of your ears. Become aware of the distant sounds and then the closer sounds, listening to only those sounds and being aware of nothing else but the sound of your breath and all the other sounds around you. Allow any sound that enters into your consciousness to deepen your relaxation; allow any sound that enters into your consciousness to deepen your concentration and focus.
Listen now to the sounds of nature that you hear in your birthing place or healing place. Enjoy those sounds. Let them comfort you and soothe you. Now experience your body in your birthing place. Feel your skin and your clothes, if you are wearing any. Feel the air, the current, and the warmth or the coolness. Feel the textures. You are more and more comfortable. Now experience your birthing place through all of your senses. See it, smell the fragrances, taste the fruits or the clear fresh water. Feel the air, the currents, and the coolness or warmth, the textures, the comfort of your entire being. Now focus your breath, observing both your inhalations and your exhalations but not altering them in any way. All will be silent while you do this. As you inhale silently, say to yourself, “so “; on your exhalation, silently say to yourself, “hum.” On the “so,” you are inhaling the life force of the universe, and on the “hum,” you are exhaling your ego-bound limitations. So, hum.
(Remain quiet for three minutes; then count the mother down.) “Ten,” and down deeper, “nine,” deeper and deeper, “eight,” down deeper, descending into your own boundless state of well-being, “seven,” down, deeper and down, doubling your relaxation. “Six,” down, and deeper, now down deeper; double your relaxation, “five,” and down, and “four,” deeper, and down again, doubling your relaxation. “Three,” letting go even more; you are safe and centered, and you have again doubled your relaxation. “Two,” and down, and deeper, and “on
Inhale. Begin to visualize the rest of your pregnancy exactly the way you want it to be. Relax your breath. In hale. Begin to visualize your first stage of labor at term exactly the way you want it to be. You are moving about, coin fortable, relaxed. Relax your breath and inhale. Begin to visualize your active labor at term exactly the way you want it to be. You move your position for your comfort. You easily use sounding. Your hands and your jaw are completely relaxed. You are completely in the moment. Relax your breasts.
Inhale. Begin to visualize your birth at term exactly the way you want it to be. Easy vaginal birth, stretching comfortably, knowing when to push. Relax your breath.
Inhale. Begin to visualize your postpartum exactly the way you want it to be. Your healthy baby is in your arms, the placenta arrives, there is little or no bleeding, and you are all joyous together.
Inhale. You will also naturally know the best position for pushing, and you will know when and how to push your baby out with ease. You will have the energy for your labor/work. It will be enjoyable and engaging. Your healthy baby who you just easily pushed out is now safely in your arms and at your breast. Your perineum is relaxed, and the placenta arrives; there is little or no bleeding, and, as before, you are all joyous together.
Inhale. Now focus on your breath, just observing it and not altering it in any way. With every breath, you go deeper and deeper and down deeper and deeper, deeper now, down and down and deeper. You are at your own center, your place of complete silence within . . .
Now, take the middle finger of your left hand and make a circle on your chest. This is your anchor. Anytime you make this circle once on your chest, you will immediately be able to focus on the task at hand. The more you make the circle on your chest, the more deeply into a trance you will go. When you are deep enough for you, just relax your hand wherever it falls and is comfortable. This will work for you anytime you use it. Of course, you would never use this anchor technique if you were the driver of a moving vehicle.
Now repeat all of the preceding exercise while listening to your Leclaire Smart Beginnings Music tape (see Store at top of this website). Listening increases the learning process by allowing other parts of your brain to be reached than were reached while you did the exercise without music.
At term, your cervix will easily, comfortably, and progressively efface and dilate, and your baby will continue to move down through the birth canal. The stronger your contractions (now known as rhythmic risings), the more deeply you will relax. You will participate one contraction (rythmic Rising) at a time. You will be able to find the proper position for yourself as your labor easily progresses. You will be able to rest or meditate deeply between each contraction (rhythmic rising). With every contraction (rhythmic rising), you will double your relaxation, concentration, and focus. You will remain comfortable and confident throughout your labor and birth. You will naturally know when to “so” and when to “hum.”
THE HYPNOSIS OF THE LECLAIRE METHOD
The center of the Leclaire Method is to keep the mind out of the body’s way so that the body can do its work, and this requires psychological, spiritual, and emotional preparation. Once some of that work has been done, you can let go and allow yourself to be hypnotized, making your labor easy and nearly pain free. Hypnosis for labor and birth is a state of deep concentration of your mind and deep relaxation of your body, which permits the easy passage of your baby through your gradually widening birth canal. Your mind and body can do amazing things, and when we take the time to observe and remain mindful of what they can do, we can harness that power to give the baby a magic carpet ride from womb to mother’s arms. For these reasons, I hope you’ll take the time to learn these techniques of hypnosis for pregnancy and labor.
The word hypnosis derives from the name of the Greek god of sleep, Hypno. It conveys the idea of the ease and rest of sleep, of letting go and allowing the body to do its natural work. Hypnosis also enhances the progress of your labor and allows you to positively participate and calmly assist in the birth of your baby.
With hypnosis, you can easily get through labor without chemical anesthesia. The choice is always yours, of course: You may ask for and receive drugs if you like. Be aware, though, that new evidence indicates that children of mothers who receive opiate derivatives during labor have a higher incidence of drug abuse later in life. In contrast, mothers who experience severe pain and feel out of control can later in life experience an increase in suicidal ideation. In contrast, hypnosis gives you full control.
The Leclaire Method of preparation is the best anesthetic for optimal short- and long-term benefits of pain relief and continued emotional serenity for both mother and baby. The hypnosis of the Leclaire Method offers demedicalization of labor and birth by creating a natural physical anesthesia in the mother. This allows her natural and instinctive ability to birth her baby to become manifest. Hypnosis also allows the mother to move about freely in a comfortable, natural manner. She is able to change her position as needed, which in turn increases her comfort and facilitates the progress of her baby’s birth.
It is important for you to begin preparing for birth by playing your Hypnosis and Pregnancy tape (see Store in this website to place your order) throughout your pregnancy. Practice will increase your confidence in your ability to imagine desired outcomes and to relax deeply. By preparing early in pregnancy, you will foster your expectancy for a comfortable, easy pregnancy, labor, and birth.
The Leclaire Method is your baby’s inherent way to come into your world, and it is your inherent right to believe that you can have a healthy, comfortable birth. You do not have to learn how to birth comfortably. You only have to be allowed to do what is the nature of your body-that is, to progress through labor unrestrained by chemical anesthesia, unrestrained by confinement to bed, unrestrained by continuous electronic fetal monitoring, unrestrained by the beliefs of the medical culture. All you need to do is to remember, silently, to reconnect to your nature. It is your body’s nature to know how to respond to your contractions, and it is the nature of your body to know when to push. If chemical anesthesia or the direction of others (except in a medical emergency) takes away your sensations, you are not honoring yourself. We have the right to vote; we have the right to work; we must now have the right to squat and move about freely during labor and to follow our bodies’ instinctive wisdom to know when to push. Hypnosis is your baby’s easy way out.
More next week.
While meditation may be defined as emptying the mind to make space for our inner self to speak to us, or clearing the mind of clutter, there are other ways to use the power of our minds. One way is through imagery. Imagery could be defined as a formalized approach to daydreaming; we’ve all used it, whether we are aware of it or not. Have you ever found yourself smiling as you think of a pleasant time you have had, for example? Have you had a very clear vision of the way you would decorate the baby’s room if money were no object? Both of these are forms of imagery. In the Leclaire Method, I have used imagery to help many women sort through and come to terms with negative thoughts or emotions about pregnancy, labor, birth, and motherhood.
Emotions and thoughts can have a profound effect on our bodies. Our emotions affect the flow of our blood, constricting or dilating our blood vessels. Likewise, our bodies can limit the expansion of our minds. Even if our minds want us to, we can’t necessarily “leap tall buildings in a single bound” or fly through the air, for example. If our bodies say stop, we can’t continue reading or working on mental challenges endlessly. We can’t memorize the encyclopedia. If our mind goes in one direction, then, will our body follow? If our mind does not want pain, how can we create that reality?
The goal is to become conscious of our behavior and thus to direct change and redirect our biological responses. I have observed that our unconscious reactions to our experiences are “habits.” It is necessary to redirect these habits at a time when we are not stuck in a situation, at a time when we are relaxed and are not pushed to alter our behavior at that very moment. The purpose of trying to change unhealthy mind/body responses during pregnancy is to allow for the free flow of blood supply to the brain and uterus and uborn.
Using imagery is one good way to do this. It seems that imagery can be used to train the autonomic nervous system so that its two branches do not act as antagonists. The first of these branches, the sympathetic nervous system, regulates the function of the body as a result of unconscious thoughts or involuntary or habitual reactions; it enables us to mobilize in reaction to emergency situations, creating the fight-or-flight syndrome we all have heard about. This system allows us to use our adrenaline instead of letting our adrenaline use us. It mobilizes our neuro-transmitters in a true emergency situation.
“I despise a world which does not intuitively feel that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Ludwig Von Beethoven
The Egyptians felt that music affected humans both by creating a physical sensation and by arousing a mental state somewhat similar to enchantment. The Chinese felt that music had a magical influence and was able to sustain Universal Harmony. They also felt, however, that if used improperly it could influence so greatly that it could destroy the harmony. To create harmony of mind, body and spirit, the ancients used music. Many cultures used music for healing, and the ancient Greeks honored Apollo as both the god of healing and of music. In the Old Testament we learn that it is the playing of musical instruments that heals King Saul’s psychotic depression.
Just as pain requires awareness and attention, so does sound. When we hear a sound, it also has a memory component to it. In the background I now hear chirping birds, a flute and guitar sonata on my stereo, some vague carpentry sounds, and my dog licking herself constantly. Each of these sounds affects me physically, emotionally and spiritually. The birds make me clear-headed and relaxed; the music uplifts me and fulfills some of my spiritual needs; the carpentry, as it is in the distance, arouses a very pleasant and soothing memory of a childhood summer long gone. Molly, the dog, constantly licking herself, is, fortunately, mostly in the background. When I attend to it and it becomes foreground, I become irritated, and my breathing becomes more rapid, and I am unable to concentrate.
The purpose of using music during pregnancy and in preparation for labour and birthing are: Certain kinds of music relax us physiologically and help us to focus on the present in a positive way. It is this music that we use during pregnancy – the long, slow movements of the baroque concertos. When played in conjunction with deep relaxation, the largo movements create a memory pathway that we now automatically associate with physiological relaxation and positive emotional feelings. This music is aesthetically very pleasing, and it is also spiritually fulfilling. Thus, it enhances the alignment process of mind, body and spirit, which is essential for a joyous and pain-free birth.
While the body is in a deep state of relaxation, the music enables the mind to concentrate on the task at hand. The mind/body is thus able to function at maximum efficiency, with the brain waves being maintained between 7 and 13 C.P.S. (cycles per second) (alpha wave).
The combination of this state and the music can facilitate the flow of energy throughout the body, thus eliminating the emotional stress and rear that can cause pain.
Hypnobirthing® – The Leclaire Method® Gallery
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Track 03 – Mass XII_ Credo VI (Mode 4)
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Begin by doing the simple meditation described in the previous exercise once a week, and increase gradually until you are meditating six days a week for twenty minutes a day. Write out a schedule for yourself. Make the goals easier to meet than not to meet. Do not set yourself up for failure. We human beings change slowly. Respect who you are. Make your goals measurable and doable.
Here is a sample goal chart.
My Meditation Goals
Week 1: I will meditate Saturday at 4 p.m. for five minutes. I’ll turn phone off.
Week 2: I will meditate Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. for ten minutes. I’ll turn phone off.
Week 3: Same as week 2.
Week 4: I will meditate Wednesday before dinner for twenty minutes; Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. for twenty minutes. I’ll turn phone off.
Week 5: Same as week 4.
Week 6: Same as week 5.
Week 7: I will meditate Monday before dinner, Wednesday before dinner, Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. for twenty minutes. I will turn phone off.
Week 8: Same as week 7.
Week 9: Same as week 8.
The purpose of observing your breath is to keep you in the now. Your body knows exactly how to breathe, even during labor. All you need to do is be mindful of your breath. Observe it and observe it and continue to observe it. Continue to receive the next breath. Your jaw will relax. Your hands will relax. This practice of observing your breath will benefit your labor when you reach it. Using the breath to calm yourself will seem like second nature by then and you and your support person can use it to remain calm and focused.
This is all you need to do when you meditate. Many feelings will arise when you begin to focus on your breath. It’s okay. Feel them. They, too, will pass. Continue to focus on your breath.
Read through this once, and then go back and try it. Then decide how often you would like to practice this for the greatest benefit. If you are in your first or second trimester, I suggest doing the following for five minutes 3 times each week and gradually working up to the goal of twenty minutes 5 times per week. That may take you 6 weeks or more. If you are in your third trimester, I suggest starting this practice for twenty minutes once a week and working your way up to the goal of twenty minutes 5 times a week.
You are now ready to meditate for twenty minutes at a sitting five times per week. It is a good idea to sit in a comfortable chair with your back as straight as is comfortable for you.
Now let us begin. This is your Leclaire Method meditation:
1. Eyes: Become aware of your eyes, and become aware of what you see with your eyes. Become aware of the shadows, the light, the darkness, the colors, the shapes, the space, the objects. This awareness of what you see may bring up feelings. Feel the feelings, whatever they are. Gently close your eyes and move inward, into yourself.
2. Ears: Become aware of your ears. Listen to all the sounds around you and in the distance. Become fully aware of them. Feel whatever feelings may arise and move into your inner self.
3. Mouth: Become aware of your mouth, your lips, your tongue, the mucous membrane lining of your mouth, your saliva. Become aware of the taste in your mouth. Feel any feeling that may arise and move in you.
4. Skin: Become aware of your skin. Experience all that is touching you: the textures, the pressure. Again feel any feelings that may arise and move in you.
5. Nose: Become conscious of your nose and your nostrils. Become aware of any scents or fragrances, any smells. Feel the air as you inhale through your nostrils. Feel the feelings that may arise. Allow yourself to respond to the feelings, laughter, tears, a smile, a frown, a deep feeling. Experience what you are feeling. Don’t push the feelings away; just allow them. They will pass. Everything does. Everything changes.
6. Mind: Now become aware of your mind, your thoughts. Observe your thoughts, the objects of your mind. Let them come, and then let them go and let yourself feel the feeling that your thoughts may evoke.
7. Body: Now become aware of your body. Go wherever it takes you. Just follow it. Do this for about ten breaths (one breath equals one inhalation and one exhalation). Now deliberately turn your attention to your uterus and your uborn. Put your hands on your abdomen and just be with your uterus and your uborn. Be with yourself; be with your uborn. Be still. Be.
You are probably beginning to feel a stillness, a quiet, a relaxation. The object is to be in the moment, to feel all that arises, which paves the way for a quieting of the mind. Now focus on your breath. Don’t alter your breath in any way; just observe it. I’m breathing in. I’m breathing slowly out. In and out and in and out. Just rest and observe your breath.
Week 5: Continue as with weeks 1 through 4. Let these steps take you about 5 minutes. Use your own internal clock. Today and 4 more times this week, meditate for a total of twenty minutes each time. Conventional medicine has rendered you powerless. Our society is stuck. We have given the responsibility for our healing to our tribal doctors. That is because we respect them and have lost respect for ourselves. What aspects and details of your innate qualities do you not pay attention to? Take the time now to give consideration to your own intuitions. Remember past lies; allow present lies to come to the fore. You have the ability to use the energy of the authentic healer in you, this is your true medicine. Many illnesses can be cured through your own healing of your mind, body and spirit along with nutrition. Please see www.DRRau.com
Week 4: Earlier I said that the purpose of meditation is to still the mind. That can create another longing, however, another kind of pain. So for now, let’s look at the purpose of meditation as just to do it: Just to meditate. Close your eyes and focus on the area between your eyebrows (also known as “the third eye”). Do this for five minutes four times a week.
Week 3: Continue the same as in weeks 1 and 2. This week, begin to observe your breath. You don’t need to alter breathing in any way. Just observe your inhalation and your exhalation. Let this observation take precedence over the observation of your thoughts. Your thoughts may persist, but focus your attention on your breath.
In this observation of your breath, all else recedes. The breath, the now, the simplicity of the moment become effortless. Continue this focus for a few minutes, five times this week.