One of the most common requests when working with hypnosis and children is to help them overcome bed wetting. Anyone who has had experience with this condition can appreciate that the impact tends to be more far reaching than the child.
Before considering intervention it is important to have the child checked to see if there are any underlying medical reasons for the issue. Many then utilise bed wetting alarms, medication, pull ups etc. These often help, however if the symptoms persist hypnotherapy seems to be a last resort.
It has been my experience that children experiencing nocturnal enuresis often have low self esteem, feeling like there’s something wrong with them. They often feel ashamed, embarrassed, and/or angry. They can also be anxious about the issue or indeed about life in general. In reality, many children sleep too deeply to recognise the pressure of a full bladder and they continue sleeping as the bladder releases the stored urine.
There are many ways that hypnotherapy can help overcome bedwetting. These may include:
- Use of imagery – For example, going into a control room and making adjustments such as increasing the volume of the ‘alarm’ to awaken , tightening the muscles of the bladder so they can hold on all night, making the bladder larger so it can hold more urine etc.
- The mind and body work together – perhaps by strengthening communication between the brain and the bladder and making sure the signals are easily received.
- Use of metaphors – lock the ‘gate’ (valve) in the bladder to hold urine all night
- Story telling – for example about others who overcame fears
- Forgiveness of their younger self, as they often hold anger
- Release fears or negative emotions associated with bed wetting
- Direct suggestions – to awaken if they need to use the toilet
- Self esteem building and empowerment
- Utilise inner resources – like recognising the ‘full bladder’ signal whilst they are awake and generalising this to sleep
- Mental rehearsal – practice feeling the bladder being full and waking up and going to the toilet
- Psycho education – for example how the effort to wake up is worth the reward of waking up dry!
The reality is that hypnotherapy can help children overcome bed wetting in many ways. It is my hope that as hypnosis becomes better known for its effectiveness that it will be the first and last resort when dealing with nocturnal enuresis.