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 Alternative Medicine

July 2009
Hypnosis for Coping with Fear of Death
Dr Blossom Furtado

Hypnosis is a scientifically acknowledged psychological and therapeutic discipline and is the most expedient way to access the Subconscious Mind. It is a method by which any person may be guided into an altered state of conscious awareness in which psychological and physical changes beyond normal conscious capability can be achieved.

"Our Mind controls absolutely everything about us." It creates every disease that manifests in the physical body as everything starts with a THOUGHT. According to the conventional medical world wisdom, a number of diseases are what are called psychosomatic, which means mainly in the mind.

How the mind works
The mind is divided into two parts – the Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind. The Conscious Mind is our logical, reasoning, thinking mind that we use all the time when we are awake.

The Subconscious Mind is a repository of all our experiences and memories. It permanently stores everything that we ever see – hear – smell – feel – every thought – every emotion.

Who we are - how we respond – and what we believe - are functions of the subconscious mind. The Subconscious Mind has all the information about us - knows everything about us, and looks after and protects us all the time. We however, do not have direct access to the information in the Subconscious Mind.

The Conscious Mind has access to the Subconscious Mind and uses this information to reach its own decisions, and many times, manipulates the information it obtains from this base. Our behavior is a combined response of our conscious and our subconscious mind. Our conscious mind has set up the 'rules' for our behavior, based on our belief system, which originates from our subconscious mind which has the memories of all our prior experiences, thereby telling us what feels good and what does not.

How hypnotherapy helps access and heal issues of the mind
In the Hypnotic State, deep Alpha or Theta, the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious mind is opened - memories become easily accessible and you can work on the issues or challenges that have stopped us in the past. We are able to access and heal all emotional, mental and physical issues, which enables us to return themselves to the positive state of mind, which will in turn, attract healing and positive possibilities into our lives.

This also provides us a unique opportunity to understand the complex workings of our own mind and empowers us to help ourselves, heal ourself and live a happy, joyful and more fulfilling life. Thus, hypnotherapy can be applied to modify human behavior and perception. Hypnotherapists help in self-improvement areas that are not severe enough to be considered psychopathologies, and they work as professionals in conjunction with medical doctors, psychologists, chiropractors, dentists, and other health professionals.

A case of coping with the death of a loved one
I will give you a case study for an emotional issue - wherein I used Hypnosis to heal a young woman who said that she was unable to accept the death of her brother. This is how she communicated to me in the first session.

"It has been three years since my brother passed away. I am unable to accept his death and move on. I grieve every waking moment of my life so much so that it has affected my work, my marriage, my home and now 'me'. I have a headache most of the days. Some days get even worse and I have to stay in bed with a 'sinking feeling'. I have no interest in my husband, my children, my home, my friends, my work. I have been on antidepressants for most of two years and am now almost at the point of breaking down. The 'sinking feeling' has become a part of my life and follows me everywhere."

On further deep cognitive exploration, she concluded that it really is her own fear of death that was the cause for the 'deep depression'.

In the next session, I used hypnosis to help her relax, bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind. I asked the subconscious mind for access to her first experience of the fear of death and this 'sinking feeling'. She instantly accesses this memory…

The first fear of death retrieved from her subconscious memory
She is at her grandmother's home – she is 8 years old and her brother is 11 years old. There are 9 children aged between 8 and 14 years and they are all playing. There is a huge rock and the children climb up the rock and enjoy the thrill of jumping down. They do this many times over landing on their feet all the time until her brother jumps off the rock and instead of landing on his feet, hits his head on the ground and a piece of stone jutting out causes a cut and he lies there bleeding. The older children rush to get help from the elders in the family whilst she and another cousin stay back to be with her brother.

As they are waiting, a servant from the locality comes by, looks at the bleeding boy, and jokingly says, "He is dead." He then looks directly at her and says, "Now that he is dead, you too will die soon." This is the first time she becomes afraid of death and experiences that 'sinking feeling'.
Her brother did not die then; they got help, the cut healed and he lived for 48 years thereafter with no recall of this memory. What she did not realize was that her subconscious had downloaded the servant's dialogue and associated her brother's death with her own death.
Now after her brother passed away, that memory and the association was triggered, and what came up was: "You too will die soon." This thought brought about anxiety and fear and caused all the symptoms that eventually lead to deep depression.

The healing power of hypnotic suggestion
I used the therapeutic tool of disassociation to get her to replace the earlier thought of "you too will die soon" with "I trust the process of life, I am safe, secure and protected. I live effectively, productively and remain calm peaceful and happy at all times. So now what happens is that every time she thinks of her brother and his passing away, she accesses the replacement thought and remains calm, peaceful and happy. It is now over three years and she continues with her job and remains committed to all areas in her life.
Dr Blossom Furtado is Clinical Hypnotherapist and Teacher Trainer, Regression & Past Life Therapy.

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