Today I am very happy for you to meet a very talented Hypnotherapist, Lynsi Eastburn. Lynsi has become internationally recognized for her pioneering work in the field of helping women effectively address the challenge of infertility.
Read here in her own words about what brought Lynsi to this work, and how she is bringing her program to the world as author, trainer, hypnotherapist and as a founder of the The HypnoFertility Foundation.
Lynsi is shown here in the picture with her family, as described in the interview.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com: Lynsi, thank you for sharing your time with us today. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers.
LE: Hello! My name is Lynsi Eastburn and I live in Arvada, Colorado with my wonderful husband, Drake, and my amazing sons Kelly Brûlé, age 20, and Dylan Brûlé, age 15. With hypnotists for parents I’m sure you can imagine what my sons’ childhoods were (are) like—they used hypnosis to help with Little League, with music, with hockey, with sleep, with injuries, and, of course, for entertainment. Both boys took stage hypnosis training when they were 15 and 10 years old, respectively, and they both have a good command of the hypnotic process. Kelly used hypnosis to overcome migraine headaches a few years ago, and Dylan did the same more recently.
My husband has been in the field of hypnotism for about 30 years, and he has authored six books on the subject. We were both hypnotists when we met in 1999 and it’s fun to be married to someone who loves hypnosis as much as I do.
We have two adorable dogs we rescued from the Boulder Humane Society, Scout, a cattle dog mix, and Boo Radley, a black lab/Rottweiler mix (named for characters in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird). We also have an elderly little rescue cat named Tinsel, a classy dame who keeps Scout and Boo in their place and never lets them forget who the boss is. (The children are also outranked by the cat.)
I am a huge fan of continuing education and graduated summa cum laude from Regis University last year with degrees in English and psychology. I am in the process of working on my MA in creative writing. I am a member of Alpha Sigma Nu (The Jesuit Honor Society), and I have been president of the Denver Chapter of the National Guild of Hypnotists for ten years.
I have recently started a non-profit corporation The HypnoFertility Foundation which takes up a lot of my time these days.
I love my kids and I think motherhood is the most profound experience of my life. It is such an opportunity for learning and for spiritual growth. I adore babies and I thoroughly enjoy helping people to walk their fertility journeys; to bring babies into their lives in just the right time and in just the right way. I can’t think of a better way to spend my days on this planet.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com: Thank you Lynsi. Now tell us if you will, how long have you been a hypnotherapist.
LE: I’ve been a Certified Hypnotherapist since 1998—NGH Board Certified since 2000.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:And what was it that first got you interested in hypnosis as a career?
LE: It seemed to be the next natural progression. I had been doing a lot with meditation, guided imagery, and eventually became a Reiki Master Teacher in 1994. I thought hypnosis would complement or enhance Reiki but one hour into the hypnosis certification class I knew I had found my calling.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Now, I know there are limits to how much time you can give us in this interview Lynsi. The problem is that I have a multitude of questions to ask you! That's because in addition to all the wonderful “regular” hypnosis work you and your partners do at your hypnosis offices Denver, Colorado, I know you also have a very important specialization; that of helping people successfully resolve the issue of infertility. Perhaps you could first tell us what brought you to this specialization and the creation of your Hypnofertility® program.
LE:I met my husband, Drake, at the NGH Convention in 1999. When we got married I relocated to Denver and joined his fulltime practice. Of course, I had to establish myself again (I’d had a practice and taught for a hypnosis school in the Chicago area).
Initially I did general hypnotherapy—smoking, weight mastery, etc. One day I got a call asking if I could assist with a needle phobia for a woman undergoing another in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle who had developed a crippling aversion to the necessary shots.
Not only did I help her with that, she ended up having what she called a “night and day” response to the entire process and felt noticeably more relaxed. She became pregnant with triplets (as she had hoped), utilized hypnosis during the pregnancy and, although she was a mandatory c-section, elected to use some hypnosis techniques to enhance her birth and recovery.
Several years later she told me she felt the hypnosis helped her on so many levels, and that it contributed significantly to the health of her babies (as she put it, they beat the national standards across the board).
In the meantime, more and more women came in for hypnotic assistance with fertility. Initially a lot of it was for help with medical procedures, but eventually women who had been told they would never conceive naturally, had been rejected as IVF candidates, or had been given grim statistics became pregnant naturally while undergoing hypnosis sessions with me.
The reports of “night and day” IVF cycles began to stream and then to pour in as more and more women experienced what I came to call “HypnoFertility®.” It made sense to me that if hypnosis could assist with childbirth and other issues, that, by its very nature, it should be effective for infertility.
I began to search for literature, books, research—anything I could find about hypnosis for fertility. There wasn’t much at all. Most of what I found referred to “mind/body” rather than hypnosis even though the techniques used definitely fit the hypnosis definition.
From what I could find, hypnotists had done fertility work from time to time but no one had pursued it such as had been done with childbirth, etc. There were no training programs or books that I could find.
I really felt for these women. Babies are dear to my heart and I have such compassion for women who are struggling with this issue. To me, infertility is very similar to catastrophic illness but is not recognized as such in our society.
I found I was often the only one who listened to these women, and I had the tools to help them deal with their tremendous stress levels. I soon was seeing fertility and birth clients almost exclusively, and by 2002 I had plenty of material and experience with hypnosis for fertility to create a program. I taught the pilot HypnoFertility® certification training in 2003, and since have trained approximately 600 therapists in my methods worldwide.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:I know that you have had innumerable successes resolving the fertility challenge for many clients. You describe some of these very eloquently in your book “It's Conceivable.” Can you describe one of these success stories that come to your mind for our readers and tell us a little more about your popular book.
LE: Yes, I’m going to need to write another book at the rate the amazing stories are accumulating! Actually, I am in the process of revising It’s Conceivable!
Recently I received a fun e-mail attachment with the photo of an out-of-state client’s healthy embryos (prior to transfer)! She has since called to tell me her IVF was successful, then to update me when she and her husband heard the baby’s heartbeat.
I am always so happy to get these calls and e-mails. I had another recent out-of-state e-mail informing me of the birth of healthy twins. Right this minute I am awaiting news on the upcoming births of twins of a client of mine in Canada, and the little girl of a client from New Zealand.
Locally a client who had suffered repeated miscarriages passed the 15 week mark and came in excited to tell me she had bought a pair of maternity pants. This may not sound like much but, believe me, it is a big deal in these situations, and is something to be celebrated.
I’ve got several 42, 43, 44-year-old clients at the moment, pregnant both naturally and through IVF. Considering women are basically written off or pressured to use donor eggs after age 40, that’s noteworthy. And I do work with donor egg, surrogacy, and adoption—but it needs to be when it’s right for the woman and not because she feels forced. Part of the process is helping women to regain a sense of balance so they can make those kinds of life altering decisions.
My book It’s Conceivable! chronicles various client experiences and explains the hypnotic process; but ultimately what I’ve been told is that it provides hope. I’ve had calls and e-mails from around the world thanking me for writing the book and bringing the option of hypnosis for fertility to light.
I’ve been approached countless times after lectures, classes, or presentations with incredible stories from women with years of infertility who got pregnant shortly after—or even before finishing—reading the book. I had a call from a California woman some time ago who had recently read my book and wanted to fly out to see me. By the time my office could get back to her (the next day) she was already pregnant!
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:When you refer to helping people overcome infertility, is there a specific type of infertility that you are referring to?
LE: No, not really. Hypnosis is helpful for all infertility issues. There is such a thing as “unexplained infertility” where no physiological cause can be found. This diagnosis is particularly devastating to women because they feel hopeless—like there is nothing they can do because there is nothing the medical profession can do.
I like to hear that diagnosis, however, because to me it says subconscious block and that is the domain of hypnosis. That’s what we do. And I love that hypnosis offers hope in what people think is a hopeless situation.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Hearing you tell of the success people have had using hypnosis to address fertility challenges is I know very encouraging for many people. Is there any research that supports the use of hypnosis in this area?
LEI’ve conducted a thorough literature review in this area, and though there is not a lot of research, what is available is favorable. These studies conclude that further research is needed in the area of hypnosis for fertility, and that’s exactly what I’ve found.
Probably the most well known is the Israeli study that found that women who received hypnotherapy during the embryo transfer portion of IVF had double the success rate as those who didn’t.
We have a research page on the HypnoFertility Foundation, Inc. web site that includes more information about that and other studies, and I provide students of my training with abstracts of some excellent related work.
Some of the research may never be done. When it comes to research studies, we have to ask ourselves who is paying for them and what their intentions are. A public health research scientist who has been involved in an infertility think tank told me that, for example, no one will ever do a study to find out how many women conceived naturally after multiple failed IVF treatments. So it’s important to keep that in mind.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Lynsi, I know that you spend a lot of your time training people around the world to use the Hypnofertility® program. Can you tell us what you consider to be the unique aspect of this successful program?
LE:I don’t know that there’s really a unique aspect per se—more like a combination of things. Certainly there is time-tested suggestion patter that is unique. Trance depth is paramount, and I have always stressed the need for hypnotists not only to be able to hypnotize clients, but to effectively manage trance. We have recently revamped the program to include a step-by-step process that makes it even easier for HypnoFertility® practitioners to apply the methods and assist their clients through conception, pregnancy, and birth.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Once people have conceived, are there additional ways in which hypnosis can help them during their pregnancy and the birthing process?
LE: Absolutely. And in this area it doesn’t end with a positive pregnancy test. Clients who have experienced infertility often develop fears or anxieties that extend far beyond conception.
We recommend 12 sessions on the front end of the pregnancy and we use those sessions to support the conception process and then to reinforce the pregnancy itself. Part of the work we do with conception serves as a foundation and we build upon that for healthy pregnancy and birth support.
Each client is different of course. Those desiring to conceive naturally may well come in for 12 sessions before they even become pregnant, while others may conceive in a shorter time frame. Although I have seen women become pregnant after only one or two sessions I still recommend they continue with the hypnosis during the pregnancy, and it is not uncommon for women to make hypnosis a fundamental element of their conception/pregnancy/birth journey.
I recently put together a Birth by Hypnosis™ program that includes techniques for addressing issues that tend to accompany infertility, including multiple births, mandatory c-section, lactation, pre and post natal bonding, and so much more.
Hypnosis for childbirth is definitely not new and some great work has been done by Dr. Ernest L. Rossi, Dr. David Cheek, and Dr. William S. Kroger to name a few. Our Birth by Hypnosis™ program evolved out of the natural progression with my fertility clients and is based on thousands of hours of my personal clinical experience, and also incorporates some state-of-the-art techniques developed by Art Leidecker over the years. Really, the fertility and birth hypnosis work I do is not separate, but complementary.
The chapter “Conscious Parenting” in Bruce Lipton’s book The Biology of Belief is well worth reading to learn more about the importance of preconception/prenatal hypnosis.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Of course, a woman is only one half of the conception equation. In your experience are there any ways in which hypnosis can help men during the conception process?
LE: Yes. Hypnosis can help men with the stress of infertility, it can address sperm count and motility, and in some cases hypnosis is needed to support sexual anxiety that can arise from having to “perform” on schedule or where sex has become mechanical, routine.
And men can have subconscious blocks as easily as women can. I work with men separately sometimes, and I work with couples. There are so many applications for HypnoFertility®.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:I am aware that your work is now conducted internationally as well as in the US. I believe that your co-founding of the non-profit Hypnofertility Program plays an important role in the “internationalization” of your work. Can you tell us some more about the Foundation and its mission?
LE: The HypnoFertility Foundation is a non-profit organization that I formed with my longtime friend and colleague Art Leidecker. I actually trained with Art at his hypnosis school back in the 90s. HypnoFertility® was growing so quickly that I just couldn’t keep up with all the demands by myself.
Art has developed many businesses over his lifetime, is a marketing specialist, and a skilled hypnotist and instructor so I asked him if he was interested in helping me take the work I started to the next level. I was thrilled that he was, and we’ve been expanding rapidly ever since.
Our goal is to take Fertility (and Birth) by Hypnosis™ (HypnoFertility®) to critical mass. We’ve already got program graduates doing splendid work in many parts of the world but there is still so much to do. We have launched a search for qualified trainers so that we can better serve the areas I have been unable to get to in the past, including Africa, Japan, Germany, etc. not to mention a broader scope in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
We are thrilled with our Australian National Director, Alan Patching, and our U.K. National Director, Karen Riley, both of whom have been on board from the start, and have extensive experience and talent in the field.
Our California Regional Director, Teresa Van-Zeller is another wonderful asset, and her excellent new book Birth as Nature Intended is an integral part of our Birth by Hypnosis™ training. Our Caribbean training cruise yielded several new trainers—quality professionals we are proud to have in our organization.
We’ve barely begun but we hope to eventually fund further research into hypnotism and the mind/body connection, to more effectively promote public education about hypnotism and infertility, and to assist with little known fertility issues in third world countries.
Did you know that in some of these very poor countries women who need to enhance their fertility and cannot afford conventional medical procedures will go without meals for days or weeks to save enough money to pay a medicine man who, in many cases, literally has sex with them?
In countries where there is no social security system these women are desperate—it is imperative that they have children—not to is to have no one to care for them in their old age. You can imagine how this contributes to the rampant spread of AIDS as these medicine men have unprotected sex with countless women who are willing to run the risk, who are frantic enough to do whatever it takes to become pregnant.
The HypnoFertility Foundation, Inc. is holding the first World Conference on Unexplained Infertility in March 2011 in the Chicago area. This event is open to all professionals in the fertility and birth fields as well as to the public.
We’ll be putting out a formal call to presenters but we already have had great interest from U.S., U.K. and Australian fertility clinics, holistic centers, birth organizations, authors, etc. This event will be the place to be for anyone serious about the infertility epidemic.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:You have the opportunity to talk with many people about hypnosis. What do you find is the most frequent misunderstanding about hypnosis among the general public or new clients for that matter?
LE: I would say the definition of hypnosis—just what is hypnosis? There is still some concern as to whether or not people can be hypnotized and I find misconceptions in both the public and within the medical field.
Actually, a lot of hypnotists don’t have a good understanding of hypnotism and inadvertently promulgate some of the misconceptions themselves. John H. Gruzelier of the Imperial College Medical School has written a well worth reading article on redefining hypnosis, and my husband, Drake Eastburn, found it necessary to write a book called What Is Hypnosis? in an attempt to set the record straight.
If people don’t understand what hypnosis is they cannot really understand the benefits hypnosis can provide. I have encountered self-professed hypnotherapists who say they themselves cannot be hypnotized, medical professionals who think it only “works” on a small percentage of the population, and I even had one poor client tell me a hypnotist had told her years ago that she could not be hypnotized because of the way she swallowed!
I will say though that I am finding hypnosis to be more and more readily accepted in the mainstream and encounter far more people who are well informed than those who are skeptical or afraid. Public education is the answer and I feel we all must take every opportunity to dispel the myths.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:As we both know, Hypnosis as a healing and helping modality has existed for hundreds of years now. However, it is more widely known and more accepted in some areas more than others. How would you rate the public acceptance of hypnosis/hypnotherapy in the Denver region?
LEI don’t know that I would rate public acceptance by region, only because I find the attitude of the hypnotist has a lot to do with it. Surely being in the vicinity of Boulder, Colorado contributes to its acceptance in the Denver area, but, then again, the Boulder influence could also shine a bit of a “woo woo” light on hypnosis depending how you look at it. I think it is interpretation.
New York, for example, is considered to be a progressive city, or on the leading edge, yet I know a woman there who insists she can’t get any clients because hypnosis is just not accepted. I also know many hypnotists that do very well in New York.
One thing I will say about Colorado specifically is that hypnotherapists are considered psychotherapists and are regulated by a government agency. We have some high standards we have to adhere to, but I think that’s a good thing.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Beyond your own book, “It's Conceivable,” Do you have a favorite book Lynsi on hypnosis that you would recommend to others?
LE: Well, I have to say that I do like my husband’s book The Power of the Past even if I might sound a bit biased. It was written for hypnotists but it caught on quite unexpectedly with the general public. I have had extremely positive feedback from so many people who have read it, both hypnotists and non-hypnotists alike. Even my teenage son’s girlfriend is reading it right now!
So, I’ll have to say two. I also love The Art of Hypnotherapy by Roy Hunter. Anything Roy has written really—he’s very talented and explains things well. We use two of his books as texts in our hypnotherapy certification training and I recommend Roy’s books to people all the time.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Based on your wide ranging experience, what do you see for the future of hypnotism in the US as therapeutic modality?
LE:I believe hypnotism has a very bright future as a therapeutic modality, especially thanks to PET, fMRI, and other technology that enables us to see/experience concretely what we once could only propose.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:And as an experienced trainer of future skilled Hypnotists with your partner, Drake Easturn at the Eastburn Institute of Hypnosis in Colorado, what advice would you give to someone who is interested in developing a new career as a hypnotist in America?
LE: Well, I would have to say that the field of hypnotism is virtually untapped and that there are unlimited opportunities for a motivated person to build a successful career. You have to believe in yourself; get good, solid training; and keep working at it. Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. As my friend Art always says: Success is a decision that you make every day.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Is there anything else that you would like to expand upon or add that we have not covered?
LE: I would just like to say that infertility is a sensitive subject and that those suffering from it need compassionate people to help them through. And HypnoFertility® is not just a modality for women—male hypnotherapists can do very well in the field as well. The work is so incredibly rewarding for those who care to become involved.
Ask-the-hypnotist.com:Thank you Lynsi. Can you tell our readers who are interested in learning more about your hypnosis work, which is the best way to get in touch with you?
LE: Sure, my three different web sites are:
My office number is 303-424-2331 and my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Return from Lynsi Eastburn Interview to the Hypnosis Interveiws Page here