Hypnotherapy for Bedwetting (Enuresis)
Despite the fact that bedwetting is a common problem, it is one of those things that cause deep anxiety for parents and children alike.
For the child or teenager, an end to bedwetting is a whole new lease on life – they can wake up dry every day; feel normal like everyone else; sleep better which means better focus and better grades; no longer have to keep secrets; enjoy sleepovers with friends as well as camp stays and trips without anxiety and, best of all, there is no more blame!
For the parent it means a whole lot less work and a huge release of anxiety, irritation and blame – both toward the child and towards themselves.
What is it?
Nocturnal Enuresis (the medical term for bedwetting) is the inability to maintain urinary control during sleep beyond the age of 5 (when most children would be expected to have control). To be diagnosed as sleep enuresis, there has to be at least two episodes per month in children 3 to 6 years and at least one episode per month for older individuals. Sleepwalking can also occur during an episode.
Primary Nocturnal Enuresis (PNE) is when the child has never had control at night and Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis is when the child had control for at least six months and then began wetting the bed again.
A Visit to your GP
Because of possible medical problems it is a good idea to check things out with your GP in order to exclude medical problems, even though this is a rare occurrence. Even if there is no underlying cause , some GP’s prescribe medication while other GP’s will advise you to simply wait as the child will eventually outgrow the problem.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a meridian therapy which works by tapping on the body’s acupuncture or meridian points. In many cases it is successful, particularly where stress or anxiety is involved. It is a technique the child can use for themselves, or with parents. It is very useful to uncover and deal with underlying issues as well as the emotional anxieties that result from bedwetting itself.
I generally teach the both the parent and the child how to use EFT and suggest that it is used every night before bed. It is also very useful for eliminating the deep emotional upsets that bedwetting can cause both the parent and the bedwetter.
Hypnotherapy for bedwetting
Hypnotherapy works exceptionally well for children as they have a natural ability to use their imaginations. Their creativity is used to help them mentally prepare the subconscious mind to a) hold the urine and b) wake up fully to go to the toilet. The advantage of this method is that they are completely natural and safe, no drugs are involved and children enjoy listening to them as they drift off to sleep..
Many children respond well to hypnosis cd’s which they can listen to as they drift off to sleep. I include confidence building and self-esteem into my cd and private sessions.
I also teach the parent to use their subconscious minds and imaginations to help the situation.
Some practical advice if your child has Enuresis
Keep a diary or chart of your wetting pattern and any relevant factors such as foods, drinks or any particular stresses or worries – these can help to spot any potential ‘triggers’. Try to discover any pattern which is related – note difficulties at school (for SNE sufferers), note bed-times, drinking habits, whether being busy during the day causes a deeper sleep etc.
Don’t restrict fluids – It is important to drink enough fluid throughout the day (2 pints is about right), but don’t leave all your intake until the evening. Some liquids are natural diuretics and so will cause more urine production.
Treat your child as perfectly normal! Your child is not doing it on purpose and will possibly be more disturbed by the wet bed than you are, even though in some cases they may seem not to be bothered. Never shout or punish the child as this will simply cause more anxiety and make the problem much worse. It is important the child realises that they are not alone, and that it is not abnormal – probably two or three other children in their class have the same problem!
Use a mattress protector rather than protective pants. The problem with protective pants is that they keep the body so comfortable that the child is unaware if they are wet or dry.
Leave a light on if there is the slightest anxiety concerning the dark so that they can get up to go to the toilet easily during the night. (Remember that your child may sometimes deny they are scared of the dark for reasons of saving face)
Encourage the child to help with changing the sheets to the degree that they are able, but do not make it seem like punishment! They will feel more involved in trying to help with the problem and be less likely to think that you are annoyed with them because of all the extra work they are causing you. Treat it as a normal household chore and part of their growing up process.
Remember that there is no blame involved. Tell your child there is nothing wrong with them – they simply sleep too deeply, and their subconscious minds just need to learn to wake them up. Because of the deep sleep, bed-wetters are in a situation where the bladder is not communicating with the brain. The bladder empties spontaneously without the brain knowing it. There is help available and you will work together until you find the solution.
Lifting – Done carefully, this can cause a subconscious habit to wake up and go to the toilet at a regular time, but if the child is simply lifted without waking up, it can have the opposite effect of extending bladder development time and is not recommended as a long term treatment.
Bladder Training – Some clinicians recommend strengthening the bladder by holding urine in for longer periods, but research has shown that it is more effective to teach the child to respond immediately to any feeling of bladder fullness, thus setting up the habit to respond to the signals at night.
For one to one help (with parent present) contact Gayle in Brookwood, Surrey.
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