Issuu on Google+

News Weekly October 2012/ issue 1.

Althaia: The place to be!


The child of caesarian section.

Hello! I just came into the world by –how they call it? – A caesarian section! They cut my mom’s belly and here I am. Clean, rested, happy and ready to feed myself. All think that I am fine. But actually I have some additional needs comparing with other babies that were born in a natural way. First of all I need more hugs. More physical contact. More physical boundaries. Actually I need to be in touch with my mom and dad almost continuously if possible. Why is that? You may ask. Coming into this world by the “natural road” is a tiresome procedure for a baby as well. Do you know how a baby that is born naturally would describe his/her birth? “ I extend my head forward, I push with my legs , I expand my body, I turn as a corkscrew and I contract, one step lower. Once more: I stretch, I extend my head forward, I push with my legs, I expand my body, I turn as a corkscrew and I contract. One step lower. Once more… At the same time my mom’s body has all these contractions that caress and press and squeeze gently my body and make me feel that I exist. And when I am finally born, all this squeezing and pressing and caressing has energized my body and has given me some clues to feel and know that I exist. Because as a newborn baby I have no idea where I start and where I end. Only your hugs and touching gives me identity (at least for the first months)”. So where I stand, me, as a caesarian baby? No push, no squeeze, no caressing! It may sounds easier but actually it is not good. How can I feel myself? How can I know that I exist? How I understand myself? By you touching me. When you touch me and hug me and I am comfortably tucked in your arms I feel my body. I feel that I exist. When you stare at me, smiling at me I exist through your eyes. When you talk to me smoothly and calmly I exist. When you surround me with your love and acceptance I learn to exist safely. So I need your care and milk and my sleep. But even more I need your hug. I need the contact with your body. I need the calm pulse of your breath and the constant beating of your heart. I need hour quieting smell and the sound of your voice.


I need all of them even more than babies that are born naturally. For at least my first year of life. So talk to me. Smile at me. Keep me close to your body. Please, do all these so I can feel safe and secure to start exploring the world. Thank you mommy!

Antigone Oreopoulou B.Sc., M.Sc., M.A. Biologist, Body Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist


My happy child Years ago, a father came to my office. He was very hesitant and he was biting his leaps. Finally his anxiety became unbearable. “I am in a panic! I am afraid that my son is not exactly a man… I am afraid that he is turning into a gay”. “How old is your boy? And what makes you think that he is becoming a gay? “ “He doesn’t like football, he doesn’t’ like go to the football arena with me and he doesn’t like to come hunting with me”. “What does he like?” “Painting and listening to the music and watching movies”. I asked him to bring me some of his son’s paintings at our next meeting. When I saw them I was speechless: colors and shapes were erupting harmoniously from the papers. I am not a paint critic but the boy was a physical talent. I asked the father: “do you like your son’s paintings?” “They are OK.” He mumbled unwillingly. “Have you ever shown to him your appreciation for his talent?” “What appreciation? What talent? Are you listening to me? I am afraid that he is turning into a gay!” “Are your boy happy?” “No he is miserable and grumpy all the time. I work day and night to offer him an easy way of life and he is so miserable. Never happy, never smiling…And…” at this point his voice reached a shrilling tone “…he never does staff with me. He is an ungrateful brat”. This father was in pain and his son was in even more pain. What would make this father happy? But more important: What could do his boy happy? Recognition! Acceptance! Appreciation for what he really was and for what he really liked. Of course easier to say than done. We all talk about these words and the unconditional love. But as parents we have to train ourselves to:    

see our children as they are (and not as we wish them to be) realize their talents, inclinations and good points that exist there (and not to expect talents and good points that we favour) Accept and love our child for what he/she is and not for what we want it to be (and I am not referring here to behaviors) Appreciate and show our appreciation for those talents and inclinations.


We often strive to offer our children a comfortable way of live, a head start in terms of education, possibilities in learning so he/she can be competent in our world. But in reality the best education, the wealthiest way of living doesn’t make a child happy if he is not accepted and appreciated by his parents. A child has to be loved unconditionally from the first moment that he/she enters our word. But in other to achieve this unconditional love, to offer from heart this recognition, acceptance and appreciation , we have to train ourselves, to overcome the way we were raised, to continuously try to see our child as an independent existence with her own characteristics, (which are not the extension of ours by default!), to make conscious efforts to follow him to the paths he desires to walk. Our children are happy not when they have a room full of toys. They are happy when we really see them as they are. When we recognize their negative feelings. When we accept their fears, insecurities, agony, anxiety, crying and we act as a safe port to unload them (of course we have to show them with our behavior and not with our words only) how to deal with them: how to accept them, how to let them free and how to deal with the factors that created them. When we share their positive feelings and let them flood into the room. When we see their efforts and we praise them. When we respect their way of dealing with a situation. When we give them time to adapt and adopt in a situation. When we offer them time and presence. When we sit down with them and listen (without offering our experience up front). When we tell them (yes! They want to listen to that) how much we love them and how important are in our life. When we give them a smile and an appreciation for no reason. When –even when they believe that their case is lost- we believe in them and trust them that they will reach their goal. When we give them the freedom to have their goals (and not ours). When we never insult them and degrade them (in private and in front of other people). When we make them to feel safe, important and free. When the family boundaries are clear cut, stable and not overwhelming in numbers. When as parents we follow and live our everyday life the way we preach and teach them. When we never compare them with others, but only with himself and his/her possibilities and choices.


Happiness is an inner state of mind and soul. Happiness is about choices Happiness is about inner resources.

So a happy child is the child that has offered from the day we held it in our arms, the means to feel safe and accepted for what he/she is and not for what we want it to be and be able to reach inside him and find happiness.

Antigone Oreopoulou B.Sc., M.Sc., M.A. Biologist, Body Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist


(in) Fertility. A road to mind!

You started a fertility treatment. Full of hope and ready to beat the statistics… The anxiety about the results skyrockets as the deadline for the positive result approaches. 11 -15 days of agony. Few hours of heart beating until the first test gives the result. Desperation and pain, when it shows negative. Your mind is wrecked: “why it went wrong? It was something I did or I didn’t? The chosen doctor was a wrong choice? Maybe was the embryologist? Was I too anxious? Too quiet?” You need answers. And the next minute, you are ready to go for another cycle…

For the majority of couples fertility treatment starts suddenly without any psychological and mental preparation, since all the focus goes on the body. Terms like natural cycle, egg (or sperm donation), in vitro fertilization all of a sudden get attached to the everyday conversation. The pain for the “failure of the body”, the agony, the possible anger and the anxiety get pushed at the edge of the mind. The sexual life can be compromised; the secrecy that can accompany this treatment is a huge burden. Step by step the couple may start a cycle that unconsciously but steadily erodes the everyday life in all levels. All discussions turn around the “situation”. The woman’s life gradually obtains only one dimension: this of the fertility issue. And the man’s life gets easily overturned, trying to find resources in the work or the hobbies.

If the result is positive a new cycle of anxiety can augment because of fears (will everything go Ok?). If the couple has experienced earlier a miscarriage the fear gets multiplied. If the result is negative, the couple and especially the woman may go through a mourning and depression period. But more often than not, those mourning feelings don’t have an outlet because the next treatment preparation may be around the corner. The woman’s life revolves more intensely around “The only issue that matters”.


Anxiety often leads to eating foods that do not help the body, hinders movement and exercise, and reduces the laugh. For every unlike result or miscarriage more fear, anxiety, pain, anger, sorrow adds in.

These emotions, thoughts and behaviors can have an accumulative negative influence on the results of IVF treatment, if they go undetected and untreated. Unfortunately, in most cases, the couple and the doctor think that there is no time to deal with the thoughts and feelings. The important field is the body and the medical history. Psychological and mental support is offered only when the woman is so devastated, that she is not able to respond to the medical treatment. And in many of those cases she is offered pharmaceutical help in order to relax.

Conception and pregnancy are all about joy, happiness, fulfillment, relaxation, endorphins (the hormones of joy and happiness), and calmness. They are all about body harmony and welcome of the pregnancy. But when the negative emotions that often start residing in mind and soul from the moment of the diagnosis, get untreated, the couple is trying to produce a child in the middle of mourning. And the more the time and the efforts, the heavier the difficult emotions. In addition, before even a therapy starts 30% of infertility cases are often without a strong medical diagnosis. What can be done then?

Preparation before medical treatment is the secret. The systematic, gradual, focused psychological and mental preparation produces miracles on body, literally maximizing the medical possibilities. Beliefs and emotions are in reality chemical and electrical signals into our body. Positive beliefs, thoughts and feelings create neurological, endocrinal and chemical paths into the body that literally uplift the whole cellular and histological function. (On the contrary, negative beliefs, thoughts and emotions result in a decrease to cellular function).

Consequently, when we start a medical therapy “well primed and prepared� our whole system can create the best possible –and even miraculous) results. But what is this preparation?


The preparation consists of (re) discovering the strength, power and unlimited possibilities that are housed into our body. Because our body is a miraculous organism. Given the opportunity, it can unleash this power, be healed and be radiantly healthy. The therapist’s and the doctor’s role is to facilitate the body to find its own strength and possibilities.

We do have to remember that in Greece the country of Asclepius and Hippocrates, therapy and treatment was a holistic experience. In Asklepia, the healing medical places, the people had to undergo first an emotional, mental, spiritual and body healing and reformation and then to undergo the actual medical action (if ever needed!).

So in order to have a functional body we have first to respect it and be harmonized with radiant positive thoughts and feelings. Our body needs the support and obeys the quality of feelings and thoughts. Changing the feelings and thoughts we change the function.

Because fertility starts from the mind!

Antigone Oreopoulou B.Sc., M.Sc., M.A. Biologist, Body Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist


October 1 articles