Monday, 12 September 2011
Hypnosis Can Stop Bedwetting
Bedwetting at night, or nocturnal enuresis, is very common in children under 7 and more so in boys than girls. There are medical conditions which cause it eg cystitis or diabetes, or by some children's inability to produce enough of the antidiuretic hormone, ADH, which controls the production of urine at night.
However, for most, it is just a case of developing good bladder control later than others.
Some drugs help to reduce the amount of urine produced during the night but that does not teach the child good bladder control and only works as long as the drug is taken. Alarms wake the child if the bed is wet but then the deed is already done!
Unless there is also a regular problem with daytime wetting (apart from the odd accident), the problem is “in the mind” as are many problems. Our mind controls everything including sending a message to the bladder to contract the muscles and hold the water.
Psychological stresses may also play a part, sometimes temporarily eg a death or divorce in the family, moving home or school or low self-confidence.
Who decided that the child should stop wearing night-time nappies? Usually the mother just wants to reduce her workload perhaps when a new baby comes along, or decides “it is time”. This may be too soon for the child who should have some say in choosing the moment. My younger son decided to stop on the same day as his older brother and has never had a wet night.
Night-time nappies give a false sense of comfort as they keep the child snug whereas waking up to a cold, wet bed is unpleasant and so a motivation for the child himself to stop. Lying on a waterproof mattress protector minimizes the laundry. If the child has to further help with the laundry involved, this will also add to the motivation to stop bed-wetting but this should be done as a responsibility rather than as a punishment. Dry nights should be praised, recorded and rewarded to reinforce the positive.
If the child is invited into the warm parent’s bed each time, rather than having to help with the immediate laundry change, this could set up a “secondary gain” which will unconsciously encourage the child to keep wetting so be firm.
Leave a night light on somewhere so that the child is not scared to walk to the bathroom at night.
The child will usually feel too embarrassed to want to do sleepovers. I find a good motivation is to talk about the fun of being a scout and going on weekends away and the summer camp, or on activity weeks.
Often their self-esteem is low as no child likes to feel “different” to his peers. Find out who their TV heroes are. One boy told me he likes Mr Bean because he is funny and silly whilst his TV hero is Ben 10. Relating them to bed-wetting, he thought that Mr Bean would have wet the bed as a child (sorry Rowan Atkinson) whilst Ben 10 would not because he is strong and capable.
It is now thought a mistake to keep asking the child to empty its bladder as it is important to strengthen the bladder muscle. On the contrary, the child should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluid, not fizzy or unnaturally coloured drinks. Parents are advised not to wake the child when they go to bed to have him urinate. The muscle should be developed to hold water for many hours and release when appropriate.
Hypnosis is very effective in helping children overcome bed-wetting. They enjoy the whole fun idea of relaxing and hearing a story. By no means should they be scared or worried by the idea of hypnosis, or in fact even told that hypnosis will be used. Just emphasise hearing a story.
There are several approaches. One is the idea of locking up the bladder with a large, strong and colourful key and standing sentry outside it. The sentry sends powerful signals from the bladder to the brain for the child to wake if necessary, or to keep those muscles tightly closed until morning.
Another approach is used in this hypnosis MP3 download for bedwetting where the child is taken on an imaginative journey with a spaceship captain inside another child’s body. The use of the third party child is deliberate as we often learn more by looking at someone else than from our own experience. The astronaut does not refer direct to the bladder but rather to holding on to a ball and releasing it when appropriate. I used this with a seven-year old boy who explained to me what it meant as bedwetting is not mentioned. The use of a story or metaphor is typical of Ericksonian Hypnosis. The unconscious mind which accounts for 90-95% of our brain understands creative, child-like ideas which often make little sense to the grown-up, rational conscious mind.
Again using the third party, I have used a child’s middle name in hypnosis as the helper to wake him or keep the bladder closed.
Whilst some children understand the message in a single hypnosis session, many benefit from repeated listening to the same message which is why this hypnosis MP3 download for bedwetting is so helpful. The cost is probably the same as a week’s worth of laundering wet bedlinen and pyjamas so it must be worth trying.
© Antonia Harrison 2011 is the English Hypnotherapist in Belgium and recommends Download Hypnosis Mp3s for immediate access to positive life-changing hypnosis sessions.