Understanding Hypnosis for Past Life Recall

Most often, past-life memories are explored through the use of hypnotic regression, which means you are put into a "hypnotic" or highly relaxed state, and then "regressed" (moved backward) to an earlier time.

If you have never undergone hypnosis before, you may have a number of misunderstandings about what it is and how it works. Quite simply, it is a way of entering a very relaxed state whereby your memory is enhanced and the limits and constraints of the logical, conscious mind can be bypassed and we can access the unconscious mind.  In this state it is easier to call up images and symbols, just like we do when we’re dreaming. In hypnosis, however, you are not "asleep." Other than being very relaxed, you remain aware and conscious of what is going on around you, while also being able to focus on inner images and feelings more completely.

For those who meditate, this feels familiar to a meditative state. You do not "give up control" to the therapist, in fact you give feedback and remain in control of the session at all times. And although the therapist can give you positive suggestions to help you in your normal conscious life, (for example, when hypnosis is used to stop smoking, or lose weight), no one can "program" you to do something that goes against your desires or beliefs. Those Las Vegas hypnotists who have people acting like chickens on stage are using volunteers who already have a major streak of exhibitionism in them, even if not consciously acknowledged. 

What if I don’t experience anything?

 Most people wonder if a regression will really work for them. It is only on rare occasions that clients do not bring up past-life material. In these rare cases, a memory from early childhood that seems pertinent to the issue of concern comes up, or we find that current life situations or anxieties intervene and need to be worked on first. What works best in past life work is to approach the experience with an open mind, not expecting anything in particular. (For example, if you approach a regression convinced you’re going to discover a lifetime when you were a fighter pilot, this might get in the way of what really needs to come up.) 

Many popular books on the subject might lead people to expect that they’re going to see their past-life vividly, in great detail. This isn’t always the case, especially when experiencing your first regression. Although some clients find they "see" things in their mind’s eye quite clearly, others may find the impressions somewhat vague, only portions coming in clearly. Information comes through in a number of ways -- physical sensations (like feeling hot or cold), hearing what people are saying around you, or just knowing something intuitively all of a sudden. The best approach is to focus on the images and feelings you experience, don’t worry about whether it makes sense or is "real" or not, and trust whatever comes up at the time. 

Typically, people who have a regular meditation or relaxation practice move most quickly into a past-life regression experience. This shows that this is a skill that can be learned. The more you practice, the more detailed your experiences will be and the more easily memories will be recovered. However, there are also people who have never done any relaxation practice that recover detailed information quickly and easily. The only way to know how it works for you is to give it a try. It is helpful if you have a specific question or issue you would like to explore, but it can also be left open to your inner guidance to bring up a memory that has pertinence for your current life.