The word regression means to “go back” or to return to something. Past Life Regression is based upon the belief that the history of every soul is stored in the unconscious mind. That means that whether you’ve experienced 10 prior lifetimes, 100, or even 1,000, your entire soul history is forever stored in the recesses of your mind. The mind, then, could be regarded as a pathway through time, with a vast storehouse of information, which can be explored to bring lessons from the past into present awareness.
Past Life Regression (PLR) is a technique that uses hypnosis to uncover memories and events of a previous life. It is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of processes and experiences.
Past Life Regression Therapy assumes the existence of the subconscious mind. Here mental processes take place without our awareness. The subconscious operates like a tape recorder; it records and stores every experience, both positive and negative. Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious never turns off; it can remember anything from any time. It is not bound by the limits of time, logic, or space. It assumes that we are not born as blank soul, but as a soul rich with both the wisdom and scars from many lifetimes.
It also assumes that we all carry memories from past lives into this life– subconscious memories that carry an energetic charge and continue to affect us. They can be things left undone, vows made, accomplishments, failures, mistakes, success, emotional debts, guilt, gratitude, traumatic and sudden deaths, wisdom, and love. These charges from the past set up patterns that are continually triggered and repeated in our present life. These patterns can be positive or negative. They can affect our relationships, behaviors, motivations, and even our physical bodies and health. Positive patterns can feed talents, bestow wisdom, influence tastes, and energize life’s purpose. Negative patterns fuel destructive, compulsive behavior, cloud judgment, cause injury, and block our pathways. By making these memories conscious, we can release the patterns that no longer serve us, freeing us to live more fully in the present as beneficial patterns are reinforced and negative patterns are neutralized.
Past Life Regression therapy typically does not follow a historical timeline. Focus is not on that person’s role in history, but rather their psychological and emotional development. Once entered into an altered state and past life memories accessed, the client enters the first stage of regression called identification. As the name suggests identification is the process of the client identifying with the memory imagined. It is the therapist’s job to help the client connect emotionally and mentally with the memory. The therapist is responsible for effectively moving the client within the time frames of the past life memories to help the client identify the subconscious or the unconscious patterns which are for sure affecting the current life. As the memories are frequently traumatic in nature, the therapist assists the client process the experience.
The degree to which the session is therapeutically beneficial is related to the degree the client identifies with the memory, not whether or not they believe it really happened. Despite evidence for or against reincarnation, however, the purpose of past-life regression therapy is not to verify the authenticity of past-life images, but to use them to change the present state of the client and enhance his or her quality of life.
What is remarkable about this technique, first employed at the turn of the twentieth century by a hypnotherapist and follower of Freud called Colonel de Rochas, is that the patient does not need to believe in reincarnation or past lives for it to be effective. He or she is simply encouraged to relive a distressing scene from some other historical time frames if it were real and to temporarily take on the “other life” personality as well as the body image and sensations of the “other” personality for the duration of the “regression”. The therapeutic effect of realistically reliving a “past life” trauma in the imagination — whether a story of an accident, abandonment, betrayal, violent death, rape, or physical abuse — is similar to the emotional releases experienced with post-traumatic stress therapies used for current life traumas. The reliving is like a fictional psychodrama that leads, as Moreno wished, to an intense cathartic release of blocked feelings, most commonly of frozen fear, grief, rage, shame, or guilt.
The current popularity of Regression Therapy is a result of decades of work dedicated to past-life exploration and research. A variety of explorers and researchers specifically experimented with past life recall and memory processing in order to develop and refine therapeutic intent. Individual therapy sessions brought help and healing to many people in a wide range of situations: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and even financial.
These therapists realized that inner, deep-level work tended to go beyond the superficial symptoms of the presenting problems. Unlike some clinicians who focus on helping clients alleviate symptoms, the regression therapists wanted to identify and heal the underlying cause of the problem which then leads to symptom removal. In other words, PLR is designed to probe the root causes. Finding the originating event or root cause and changing our perception of that event (or learning its intended lesson) can have a profound and positive impact on a person today. That is what lies at the heart of PLR.
A client’s unconscious mind may have held painful memories and information for years, but now, the deep memories are ready to be processed at a conscious level. PLR opens a locked door from the past in order to gain entrance through a locked door in the present.
The real work in past-life therapy, then, is in:
- Understanding, appreciating, and learning the lessons from past experiences.
- Utilizing and further developing skills acquired in a lifetime.
- Allowing healing of the past and the building of a better future.
Past-life regression brings forth healing stories from one’s deep memory that focuses on soul lessons learned in that lifetime. These lessons and memories can help the individual become a wiser, kinder, and more balanced person.
PLR and Therapeutic Effects
Marquez (1999) found that remembering pre and prenatal experiences can significantly benefit one’s life. The author conducted a study on 7 adults, in which some of the benefits experienced were changes in vision, healing of arthritis, and relief from asthma. The subjects felt empowered and felt greater control over their lives.
Woolger (2002) throws light on how regression to past experiences, in the present or previous lives can have significant therapeutic benefits. He discusses the case of a woman who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD) symptoms for 20 years since a car accident where she went through an NDE during subsequent surgery to save her life. When age regression was done on her to relive the incident, she described in detail watching her body being pulled from the wreckage, being taken to the hospital and then into surgery, ascending to a higher realm, and meeting deceased members of her family who shone with very bright light. When she returned to her physical body, she found her pain coming back. Before this session of regression, she had not remembered these details and the session profoundly altered her outlook towards death and dying.
Zahi (2009) discusses 3 cases of therapeutic benefit from hypnotherapy. The first of these cases was that of a woman who complained of high levels of anxiety, pain, and memory problems. Through hypnosis, she regressed to the age of one year and found that he father was being hostile towards her and despite calls for her mother, she did not come to her rescue. At this, she felt hatred for her parents and also realized that as a mother herself she did not protect her own daughter from her ex-husband. At this, she felt very guilty. For the next few sessions, she wanted her memory problems to be worked upon. She underwent past–life regression therapy. First, she found herself in Egypt where her baby was killed and buried with the Pharaoh. She felt extremely guilty that she could not save her child. She also realized that her baby’s soul was at peace and this brought her relief. In another PLR session, she found herself as a mother during the holocaust that died but saved her son. This memory surprised her and she said that she had never saved anyone before. She said that this memory filled in the gaps in her memory that she was struggling with and she did not have memory problems again. The second such case in which symptoms were removed completely through hypnotic suggestion was that of a Jew, who strongly believed in the idea of the soul leaving the body and accepted it without question. Interestingly, Zahi proposes that benefit from therapy can also be felt by non-believers or those whose beliefs oppose those involving non-material elements such as the soul.
Woolger (2002) also reports the case of Heather, who came for therapy as she suffered from ulcerative colitis since early adolescence. When no significant conflict emerged through age regression, PLR was carried out. In the session, she regressed to Holland during World War II at the time of the Nazi invasion. She found herself as an eight-year-old girl in a Jewish family who while fleeing from an explosion was captured and subsequently killed. She described her bodily sensations as she awaited her turn to be in front of the machine-gun fire and felt her stomach knotted in terror. When she is shot, she fell on a pile of dying bodies and eventually died of blood loss and suffocation. For all this time, she had not been able to express the shock and trauma of having lost her parents, seeing mass slaughter, and facing her own premature death, which may have resulted in bodily manifestations. In the session, she was allowed to release her anguish through cathartic sobbing, screaming, violent convulsions, and dry vomiting. After the session, her stomach problem improved significantly. Thus several cases point towards the likelihood of current pathologies in the present life arising from psychic residues of previous births.
Woods and Baruss (2004) conducted a study with 24 students. Each of them participated in a single guided imagery session in which they were given either a past life or open suggestion. Participants who were given the past-life suggestion had better scores on measures of psychological well-being than those given the open suggestion.
However, the research on increased well-being and/or cathartic release as possible benefits of PLR on those who do not suffer from any somatic or psychological problem has not been explored abundantly. There is a need to explore the benefits of this therapy for the non-pathological population so as to extend psychotherapy to this majority population to enhance the quality of life.
Experiencing the therapy
Past life regression is an amazing, full-sensory experience. You might experience the memory as a vivid movie, or see only vague flashes of images that prompt the narrative. You might hear gunshots or explosions on the battlefield or music at a dance. It is possible to recall smells too: smoke from a fire, leather from a saddle, or the sweat of a dirty body.
While being in a deeply relaxed state (light trance) with a guide/therapist, you experience each past life yourself. You see it, sense it, and feel it. You are the central character deeply involved in the past life story. (Regression therapy is not to be confused with a past life reading, which is a passive process and has a little therapeutic effect).
As the story unfolds, you feel real emotions appropriate to the story. You may cry when you re-experience deep sadness at the death of a beloved child, feel despair in the pit of your stomach as you witness a massacre, or elation at a long-awaited homecoming from war. And just as you can recall strong emotions, you feel the pain of an arrow piercing your body as you are dying, or the heaviness of a load you’re carrying on your back. These physical sensations and emotions are very real at the moment but pass quickly as you move through the past life story and death.
Depending on the person & the circumstances, these sessions of Hypnotherapy & Past Life Regression paves the way for helping to develop the capacity to have more fulfilling relationships, help u in making more effective use of your talents & abilities, maintain a realistically based sense of self-esteem, understand self & others in better & meaningful ways & face life’s challenges with greater freedom & flexibility. Such ends are pursued through a process of self-reflection, self-exploration & self-discovery that takes place in the context of a safe & deeply authentic relationship between therapist & client.
Past Life Regression Therapy facilitates access to your own storehouse of ancient memories – once tapped & navigated in just the right way, a treasure of love, wisdom & deep insight is revealed which can have positive life-changing results. Past life regression therapy can:
- Heal troubling emotional, behavior & relationship patterns that seem to have a life of their own, despite attempts to change
- Alleviate grief, depression & anxiety
- Release phobias
- Create more loving relationships
- Offer insight that may shift your perspective about significant events in this lifetime
- Deepen creativity & intuition
- Clarify your unique life purpose