USING PAST-LIFE REGRESSION TO CONQUER PHOBIA
by Mary Elizabeth Raines, CH
Hollywood, California

© M. E. Raines, all reprint rights reserved

Astonishing success stories are a part of every competent hypnotist's repertoire. Clients call me to exclaim, "You saved my life!" or "You are amazing!"

I always remind these clients that the answers and healing they received from their session emerged from their own inner selves and from a higher power, not from me, and caution my hypnosis students never to let such compliments go to their heads. The greater expertise we have, the better we can guide a person's hypnotic journey to be powerfully effective. Yet hypnosis is such an profound tool for transformation that miracles are an everyday occurrence, even for the average hypnotist!

Sometimes awesome results are achieved after just one very simple session. Linda's* story is an excellent example of this. (*Not her real name) Like so many others, Linda called me only as a last resort, after exhausting all other resources. She wanted to have a past-life regression, hoping she that could discover the source of her ongoing panic attacks.

Linda told me that she had never experienced hypnosis before, and explained that she had become interested in past-life regression after reading a book. The book stated that what we have experienced in previous lifetimes is often at the root of our present-day issues. Unresolved events from our past lives can influence things like our inexplicable emotions, relationships, difficult situations and even physical symptoms. This made sense to Linda, and she wondered if it could help with her problem.

Since past-life regression is one of my areas of expertise, I told Linda that I would be happy to work with her. Many of my clients have found deep healing through the powerful modality of past-life regression. While current-life regression can be helpful, the initial sensitizing events-including memories from a person's infancy and early childhood-can often be traced even further back to patterns which actually originated lifetimes ago. Once we access the bottom-line source, the troubling issue can heal and vanish.

When she arrived at my office, Linda impressed me as a very pleasant woman in her late 30s. Living in Hollywood, California, she was soft-spoken and intelligent, had a healthy relationship, and was employed as a schoolteacher.

Linda related that she suffered from unexplained anxiety attacks. These could occur at any time, and were accompanied by stomach pain. She also described additional incidences of waking up in the middle of the night in a severe panic state, accompanied by stomach distress. Linda's anxiety did not appear to have any obvious trigger. Except for the described events of panic, she was in good mental health.

She had been thoroughly checked by a medical doctor, who had ruled out any physical causes for her anxiety and stomach pain, and who had prescribed medication to calm her. Unfortunately the medication had no effect on her attacks. By the time Linda came to me, she was feeling helpless and limited, trapped in the grip of a problem that nobody had been able to solve.

My clients have the option of sitting in a straight-backed chair, stretching out in a recliner, or lying down. Linda decided she would be most comfortable lying down. She agreed to suspend her critical mind and followed my directions willingly, which is the best way to experience hypnosis. Thus she was able to enter into a past life easily.

Frequently people experience deep emotions during their past-life recollections-the tissue box is always at hand-but Linda's regression session was quite calm. After achieving a medium trance state, she simply and somewhat hesitantly related a few key events as they played themselves out, without displaying any tears or particularly strong responses. The details she accessed, while startling, were neither complex nor spectacular, and her session by no means encompassed the kind of exciting melodrama that one reads in popular books on reincarnation or sees on TV shows. Yet her memories proved to be very potent indeed.

As Linda's story began to unfold, she found herself experiencing a lifetime as a young sailor on the deck of a ship at sea. (Having a past life as the opposite sex is not out of the ordinary, for we have all experienced being both male and female.) There was a battle going on, and much confusion on the ship. Suddenly something like an explosion ripped through the decks, and the bewildered young man was killed, hit in his stomach by the blast. His emotions as he died were agitated and fearful.

On some level, Linda could sense what this sailor was feeling. Her facial expression and voice, however, remained detached as she related these events; she seemed to be more of an observer than a participant, as though she were watching a movie about someone else.

Usually after such a revelation I will guide my client into a deeper and more personal exploration of the details, emotions and meaning of the lifetime just experienced, including a life review. Before I had the opportunity to do this, Linda suddenly began describing a completely different past life. In this existence she perceived herself as a large hairy male, very primitive, living in ancient times. She described running in panic from a large animal. She later concluded that she must have been a caveman. Her/his existence ended when a spear was thrust into his stomach.

Once again, before I could take her through the usual steps of deeper understanding, she launched into yet a third lifetime. This time she described herself as a nondescript, balding, middle-aged Englishman named Harry. (Curiously, the image of Harry had floated into my mind moments before Linda described him out loud. I often enter into a light trance when working with a client. Since the brainwaves of two individuals in close proximity tend to synchronize, slowing mine down helps the individual enter hypnosis. Being in light trance also offers me an empathic sense of their journey.)

Harry lived in the early 1900s. He had an ordinary job and an ordinary life, except for his wife. He was married to a very strange and unkind woman named Melba. She berated him constantly. Her nagging behavior became increasingly bewildering and crazy. One night while Harry was sleeping, his wife took either a knife or a gun (Linda was unclear about the weapon) and attacked him...in the stomach. He awoke in shock and pain as he was being murdered.

There are many different ways that past-life regressions can effect healing, and often more than one session is advisable. Sometimes healing occurs when clients re-experience former events with vivid recall and lots of emotion (those tissues!). Others need to confront the damage of the past and apply this information to begin a slow but informed process of healing their deeply-rooted patterns and responses. As in present-day regression, the ultimate healing ingredients are unconditional love and forgiveness; most people who experience past-life regressions have numerous instances of needing both to forgive and to be forgiven.

Sometimes, however, one simple session which helps an individual understand what has happened in the past is enough to heal present-day symptoms. Such was the case with Linda.

After emerging from hypnosis, Linda connected the dots easily. There was a link between all three of the lifetimes she remembered: in each one, she died in panicked circumstances after being horribly wounded in the stomach. She readily recognized that her anxiety attacks were replays of these scenes, and were no longer necessary in her life. Linda left my office feeling relieved that she had finally discovered the source of her anxiety.

The night after her session, Linda reported having one brief and diminished incident of panic. After that, her anxiety attacks and stomach pains disappeared completely. More than two years later, I had occasion to talk with Linda again. I asked how she was. She happily reported that the severe panic attacks and stomach pains which had once dominated and limited her life had vanished for good.

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