The Tree of Knowledge
Healing the body by healing the mind
It is well known that the mind can strongly influence the body causing symptoms, disease, and even death. All physicians know of hospital patients who gave up on life for one reason or another. Despite the best medical treatments and technology available, these patients wither away and die. Patients who possess a strong will to live usually fare much better.
Early data from Stanford University indicate that support groups significantly increase the quality and quantity of life in breast cancer patients. Harvard University researchers have found that some types of meditation can prolong life in the elderly. In his excellent book Head First: The Biology of Hope, Norman Cousins carefully documented work at UCLA and elsewhere that has helped to develop the new area of medical research known as sychoneuroimmunology, the interaction between the mind-brain and the immune system. Bernie Siegel, M.D., has also described mind-body correlations and the profound healing potential that is accessed through this linkage in his best-selling books Love, Medicine and Miracles and Peace, Love and Healing.
Research at Pennsylvania State University has shown that hypnosis can increase the quantity of certain white blood cells in the system. Numerous studies document correlations between improved athletic performance and visualization techniques. Many researchers and clinicians have used hypnosis to eliminate addictions to tobacco, food, and even to alcohol and hard drugs. Meditative techniques have also proved effective in many cases.
Past life therapy under hypnosis can also achieve some of these same results. I have done hundreds of therapeutic past life regressions since my first experiences with one of my patients. I have seen that physical as well as psychological symptoms can rapidly resolve as a result of past life therapy, even without the use of medicines.
I am still not able to identify the exact mechanism of the physical cures that take place as a result of the therapy, although I do have some ideas. The cure might lie in the simple act of remembering and re-experiencing an initial trauma, just as the act of re-examining a childhood trauma during conventional psychotherapy results in an emotional cure. Or, the knowledge that the soul never dies, only the body does, could be the great healer. Healing may also occur as the patient acquires an understanding of the factors that precipitated the illness in the first place. Or, the secret may lie in a combination of all of these processes, all of which are typical of past life therapy.
Past life therapy is particularly effective in treating musculoskeletal pain, headaches that do not respond to medication, allergies, asthma, and stress-induced or immune system-related conditions such as ulcers and arthritis. In some cases, it appears to improve cancerous lesions or tumors. Many patients of mine have been able to stop taking pain medication for formerly debilitating conditions after they experience past life therapy. It also resolves deep, underlying emotional issues as the relationship of the emotions to the physical discomfort and its past life source is revealed.
The medical exploration of this field is just beginning. However, it is safe to say that past life therapy must be seriously considered as a potent and cost-effective addition to the roster of effective holistic therapies, that is, therapies that concentrate not on alleviating a single symptom or condition but on healing the whole person, body and mind. Wherever the secret lies, the therapeutic effects and benefits can be startling.
The healing process that occurs during regression sessions is not always all-encompassing. Sometimes it is a simple matter of discovering the past physical origin of a present physical pain. A patient who does not need to explore complex emotional issues as part of the source of current physical discomfort will not do so during past life therapy. The healing can be simple and direct.
Chronic headaches are one of several conditions that respond particularly well to past life therapy. My wife, Carole, had been suffering premenstrual migraine headaches for many years. Every month like clockwork she would develop severe and disabling migraines, and she would often have to rest for a day or two until the pain and nausea subsided. In addition, a neck injury suffered in an automobile accident in 1976 not only exacerbated these headaches but also resulted in a similar migraine whenever she served a ball on the tennis court or made certain types of overhead movements with her right arm. The menstrual periods and the overhead motions invariably precipitated a migraine headache. Gynecologists and neurologists had told her that nothing could cure the problem, that only medication could ease the pain.
In the late summer of 1988, Carole had a series of particularly severe migraine headaches. Meditation, which sometimes lessened her pain, did not alleviate the severity of these headaches. She did not want to use narcotic-like drugs, so she made an appointment with a hypnotherapist to learn hypnotic techniques to deal with the pain. I had once tried to hypnotize Carole, but our closeness interfered with the distance needed in a therapist-patient relationship.
Carole had no expectations as she dreamily drifted into a trance state. After a period of relaxation and stress reduction, the therapist told her to ask herself why she was getting these headaches. A scene flashed before her eyes, and Carole suddenly watched herself running from a mob. She was a poor peasant male who was wearing filthy brown or black burlap clothes. The time was about one thousand years ago, and the scene was taking place somewhere in Central Europe. The mob caught up to her and began to club her, punishing her for unacceptable beliefs and heresies. A blow caught her above the left eye, the very spot where the pain from the migraine was most severe.
Suddenly, in the hypnotherapist’s office, Carole began to experience that stabbing pain over the left eye, a pain that rapidly spread to the entire left side of her head. Carole knew that she had died as a result of this clubbing. The therapist said, “You no longer need this pain; let it go.” Immediately the pain disappeared. There is no way to prove whether this was an actual past life memory or not, but Carole has not had an incapacitating migraine headache since that session. Fantasies and daydreams do not cure such severe symptoms. Past life therapy very often does.
This case and so many others show that there is more than increased strength deriving from the clear awareness of our inherent divinity and the higher power guiding each of us throughout our lives. There is more than the immune system boost from living life more joyously and completely, with hardiness and power. There is also recovery through understanding the true root causes of our symptoms, our fears, our impairments, our dependencies. When the core reasons are seen and experienced, understood and resolved, the symptoms disappear. The illnesses improve. The splinter has been removed, and the pain is gone. The recurrent drama has finally ended, and the dance is over. There is no need to project, to defend, to anaesthetize, to use drugs, to be sick any more.
Perhaps this is why therapy conducted in this state, from this higher perspective, seems to be extremely effective. Learning occurs at a highly accelerated pace. Sometimes regression to childhood or to a past life is not even necessary. When therapy is done in a relaxed, meditative, “higher” state, learning, acceptance, assimilation, and improvement frequently take place quite rapidly.
The benefits of the “higher” state can be experienced in forms of therapy other than past life therapy. I have been incorporating some of its elements into traditional psychotherapy with some of my non-regression patients. I tell the patient to gently close his or her eyes and to take a few deep breaths, letting the body completely relax. We then converse therapeutically. The patient’s vision is directed inward instead of outward. There are many fewer distracting sights and thoughts. Concentration is focused. The subconscious mind can be accessed and influenced in a positive, healing manner.
Extracts from ‘Through Time Into Healing’ by Dr Brian Weiss
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