In 1980, my then wife, Kathryn, and I were on vacation in Hawaii. She began waking in the mornings with nausea, although she was otherwise healthy. We had been eagerly working on having a second child. After a couple of days of this, reality dawned and we became aware she was pregnant. We were thrilled, but the nausea persisted. We wondered about dealing with the nausea using affirmations. We wanted to explore the nausea as a possible psychosomatic response to the pregnancy. Was there a conflict between her conscious and unconscious thoughts about having another child?
We already understood that a possible emotional component to nausea had to do with “digesting new ideas.” We had worked with Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body, and were experienced with affirmations and their value in changing long-held beliefs. However, we had never tried using affirmations in order to resolve so immediate an issue like nausea. We were curious just how much influence they could have.
Kathryn put pen and paper next to the bed, and when she awoke with nausea the next morning, she began writing. She wrote an affirmation and then paused and listened in to see if she had a harmonious internal response, or not. Her writing was an exploration of her thoughts, feelings and beliefs—not just the inputting of words or phrases. She wrote that she was happy about the pregnancy; her response was not an enthusiastic yes. She wrote that this was the perfect time to get pregnant; she discovered inner conflict. She also uncovered residual fear, based on the possibility of repeating the traumatic experience of giving birth to our first child. She wrote that she really wanted another child now…but she discovered hesitation.
Keep in mind that Kathryn wanted another child. And yet previously unresolved issues were at work, unconsciously. Over the next few days she repeated this process first thing in the morning. Each day the nausea was less intense and dissipated more quickly. By the fourth day she awoke completely at ease and welcoming our new child.
I have recommended this technique to many mothers since 1980, and they have reported a very high rate of success and subsequently expressed much gratitude. This is one of many examples of how what we think can affect our lives, even if we are unaware of the thoughts. There can also be physiological components inherent in what is called “morning sickness.”
This is not to say that affirmations will be effective for everyone, or that they are to be considered a cure, but they are certainly worth a try. So let’s support mothers and their wellness, rather than the alternative.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #31.
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