Have you had a life-long issue that seems to follow you no matter where you go? Do you have a phobia that you just cannot get rid of? Many people have issues that they seem to not be able to outrun. Some suggest that the causes of these issues may reside in the subconscious mind and are unable to be resolved through normal therapy. While others suggest that a past life experience could be the culprit for a present life issue. But no matter where your issues may be stemming from, some suggest that they can be resolved by forgoing traditional therapy, and instead working with hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that is conducted while a patient is hypnotized. The reasoning behind this process is that some therapists believe that this altered state of existence allows a person to rest their conscious mind that is normally in a beta state and lets it to move into an alpha or theta state where the subconscious or super conscious minds take over. It is in this less active brain state that the therapist can tap into a person’s hidden thoughts and pull out issues that have resided there for years or even lifetimes.
The two forms of hypnotherapy that many therapists use are hypnosis and past life regression. Both forms are used to help adjust behavior, emotions and attitudes and can help to find the reasoning behind phobias and addictions. However, one form of therapy focuses on issues formed in this lifetime, while the other suggests some issues can form in previous lifetimes. To help understand more about hypnotherapy, I will explore both hypnosis and past life regression.
The origins of hypnosis date back to the 1700s when the power of suggestion was being used to cure illnesses. Since then, it has been a quite popular form of hypnotherapy and has even been used for entertainment (ex. hypnotizing people to think they are animals or even celebrities).
There are many forms of hypnosis, including self-hypnosis, where a person is able to successfully place himself in a hypnotic state after being trained by a professional – however, most people are hypnotized professionally. Those who do use a professional are asked to explore their past while under hypnosis. Their past is normally where they will find the origin of their issues, whether it be from sexual abuse in early childhood, overweight issues, or even guilt from being treated differently than other siblings. After the issue has been revealed then the therapist can work to resolve it by suggesting new ideas of confidence and self-worth.
Some argue the overall validity of hypnotherapy. Because several forms rely on the power of suggestion, some say that the therapists actually plant ideas in the patient’s head through suggesting these ideas before hypnotizing them, therefore allowing them to wake up thinking certain thoughts, instead of them retrieving these ideas through their subconscious mind. But regardless of implied validity, those who have successfully overcome a fear or addiction say that suggestion doesn’t matter if their issues have disappeared.
Past Life Regression
Past life regression (PLR) is a form of hypnotherapy that allegedly allows a person to mentally travel to their past life experiences to recall information attached to various important challenges in a specific life – preferably challenges directly related to an issue in the current lifetime.
In order to believe in PLR, one must believe in reincarnation, the idea that we live dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of lifetimes on Earth, completing the birth and death process time and time again all for the sake of spiritual growth. Each lifetime has its own theme and set of lessons that work toward the over-arching goal of spiritual evolution. And each lifetime helps us evolve to learn and truly appreciate the essence of love.
According to past life regression therapists, we are able to recall information from a past life because our ethereal or spirit self that is always in contact with the universal consciousness that maintains records of all past lives for each soul. Also, we store all of our past lives in our super conscious mind, which is why there are 3 and 4-year-old children who are able to pinpoint the exact place of a previous death, or even know their own name in a past life, only to find in old records that the person did exist.
It is for this reason that past life regression is often used as a form of hypnotherapy for those who are suffering ailments or psychological disturbances in life and are unable to explain their issues. Many presume that the issue may be a directly connected to an unresolved issue stemming from a past life experience or even disturbing death.
To test the theory, a little over a year ago I went to visit a hypnotherapist who specializes in past life regression to see if I could look upon a past life to discover why I might have issues with self-esteem and a feeling of needing to prove myself to the world. I spoke to the hypnotherapist about my issue and concluded that since I had been struggling with those feelings since very early childhood that is was possible that they could be stemming from a past life.
After explaining that he would be hypnotizing me, and my agreeing, he had me lie down on a table then began making verbal suggestions of relaxation and then began counting slowly. Initially, I was mentally resistant to the suggestions, assuming they wouldn’t work, but before I knew it, I was in some place in the woods. I had white, hairy, masculine legs and a small girl with me. I felt that she was my daughter and that I had a wife somewhere. There was also a lake nearby. I felt that it was a normal day; there was no impending danger or conflict nearby. The next thing I remember was counting backwards then I woke up. When I saw the clock, 75 minutes had passed! It felt like 10 minutes at most.
After my hypnotherapy session, I realized that the experience felt very real and that it was possible to be just that. I am physically and ethnically very different than the person I seemed to be under hypnosis. Could it be that I was visiting a previous life as a Caucasian male? At this point, I’m not sure. But I am pretty open-minded and accept that explanation as a possibility. And as far as getting the answer to my question regarding a past-life’s influence on my self-esteem issues, I guess I’ll have to save that for another session.
Hypnotherapy through hypnosis and past life regression have yet to be successfully proven as 100% effective methods of curing emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral issues. But over time with more research, they may be proven as useful methods of reaching deep-seated issues previously undiscoverable through traditional therapy. Until then, using hypnotherapy will probably remain a suggestion rather than a recommendation.