Past Life Regression – Opening a New Door to Healing

Practices and traditions from the East have slowly been trickling into Western consciousness for decades. Over time, we have embraced such things as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, Reiki, Feng Shui and the latest to reach mainstream society, mindfulness (an aspect of meditation). Another idea that has grown in popularity and acceptance, albeit slowly, is that of reincarnation.

This latter concept might be more difficult for some as it seemingly conflicts with, and challenges, the beliefs we were brought up with. The mind will naturally dismiss ideas that contradict what we have come to believe. It does this to protect the status quo and maintain stability so that we can get on with our daily lives. 

While some of us are ready to explore new concepts, others feel decidedly uncomfortable and would rather brand it as nonsense. What makes some people more open? They are looking for answers to questions and perhaps experiences that can’t be explained by traditional means.

Books began to emerge on past life regression and reincarnation in the 1960’s. Written mainly by medical and health professionals, they left the familiar boundaries of science in order to leap into the unknown. Physicians, psychiatrists, PhD psychologists and others came forward, usually with great reluctance, confusion and skepticism, with experiences and observations of their patients describing what appeared to be past lives. The journey began simply by trying to understand the nature of these encounters. Dr. Ian Stevenson, once chair of the department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, released Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (1966). This book, and indeed the remainder of his 50-year career, was spent meticulously interviewing, documenting and verifying claims of very young children who remember details of a past life. Dr. Helen Wambach, in the mid 1960’s, began a 10-year research project which was intended to debunk so-called past life memories. She led 1,088 volunteers through hypnosis and asked specific questions relating to time period, gender, social status and so on. Far from finding evidence to contradict reincarnation, Wambach found that all the evidence she collected seemed to support it. Later, she conducted further research with an additional 750 subjects. This time the project went into greater depth of each person’s past life experience. Her results were astounding and enlightening. Wambach at this point, convinced of the merits of her research, spent the remainder of her career scientifically validating people’s journeys through their other lifetimes. Dr. Raymond Moody, an American psychiatrist, with an additional two doctorates to his name, conducted an independent past life study. As documented in his book Coming Back (1990), he regressed nearly 200 volunteers and found similar results to those of Dr. Wambach.

By the 1980’s and 90’s, health professionals and researchers were on to the next phase of understanding the significance of past life regression. Now familiar with the concept, they began to focus on the often rapid healing that followed as patients recalled past life experiences. One notable example is that of Dr. Brian Weiss who chronicled the healing journey of his patient “Catherine” in his first book, Many Lives, Many Masters (1988). Dr. Weiss, a graduate of both Columbia and Yale universities, enjoyed a distinguished career in academics and subsequently as Chief of Psychiatry at a teaching hospital in Miami. He spent 18 months using traditional therapy to help Catherine’s long list of issues, to no avail. Frustrated by the lack of progress, Dr. Weiss asked Catherine, while she was under hypnosis, to go back to when her symptoms first began. She regressed to a past life in ancient times and suddenly the doors were “flung open”. As the origin of her issues were slowly uncovered and explored through past life recollections, the healing process began. Dr. Weiss was finally able to witness her eventual and complete recovery.

Because of the untapped healing potential that seemed to originate from the recall of events and memories from other lifetimes, a handful of these professionals were open minded and curious enough to pursue this phenomenon in order to better understand what was happening. They risked their careers and reputations by going public with their findings, but did so with the belief that the healing benefits would far outweigh possible damage to themselves.

Experts often refuse to draw conclusions about the actual nature of past lives. Are people experiencing real memories or is the language of the subconscious dealing with problems through metaphor? Regardless, the memories/stories/experiences come from very deep within our subconscious….from our Inner Self. The one aspect of past life regression that is unanimously agreed upon is its undoubted contribution and potential as a tool for healing.

By: Elaina Curran, HPD, DSFH, DPLR, CNHCreg, AfSFHreg, MPLTA


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