By Life Positive March 2001 The frenetic pace of modern living creates a strong undercurrent of stress, strain and trauma that could disturb one’s mental equilibrium. Some New Age therapies to help you connect with your life in the past, even as you hold the fort in the present, while journeying on the high road to future success Past Life Therapy By Anupama Bhattacharya Born with a constitution that vacillates eternally between imagination and cynicism, I approached my first past life session with mixed feelings. Is there really a life beyond this? Can we cross the frontiers of this lifetime? Wouldn’t it be scary? But Poonam Uppal, a past life therapist and psychic conducting the session, calmed my nerves. Most people experience past life regression (PLR) as a gradual unfolding of images. In fact, your conscious mind continues to wonder if you are making everything up. Only a minority experience total involvement and fewer still have amnesia about the session. “A PLR is never at random,” says Poonam. “You go back to understand and live this life better. So you glimpse only those events that might have a positive effect on you. Even if you experience trauma, it is to release the negativity of your past.” PLR in its present form was developed early last century by Albert de Rochas, a French colonel who practiced hypnotism. PLT entered India less than a decade ago through the seminars of Karl Everding, a German therapist. PLR can be induced through many methods, the most common being hypnosis. Though each therapist’s hypnotic suggestions have slight variations, the skeletal frame remains the same. You visualize a dark tunnel with a white light at the end, which apparently connects you to a different reality. The rest is up to how well you can regress. According to Poonam, I went on an astral travel the first time. But do we really regress to past lives? Attention seeking, information stored in DNA, hallucination—there are many explanations for past life memories. A patient is also said to develop a telepathic link during regression and reveal unconscious thoughts passed by the therapist. Most regressions confirm a therapist’s particular beliefs. Aparna Jha, past life therapist and meditation teacher based in Delhi, feels that PLR is questioned because very few can put in the effort required to find a proof. “It’s a very long process. A person has to undergo many sessions, much research and traveling has to be done before you even begin linking up the past life images. And since regression often leads you to parallel lives, you may come up with facts that are not in accordance with what is known. So the debate is bound to continue,” she argues. But what is certain is that it helps, particularly in curing phobias. Transactional Analysis By Pearl Drego Transactional analysis (TA) was developed in the 1950s by Dr Eric Berne who called it a theory and method of social psychiatry. In theory, we all have three sets of behavior or ego states: Parent, Adult and Child. Dr Berne defines the Parent state as the set of feelings, attitudes and behavior patterns that resemble those of a parental figure; the Adult adapts to the current reality and is not affected by parental prejudices or attitudes left over from childhood; the Child is a relic of the individual’s own childhood. The analysis of these states helps us understand how people communicate with each other and why they behave the way they do. And that leads to better relationships and a better you. Game analysis is an important part of TA practice, for studying the games people play is a step towards breaking negative patterns, many of which are unconscious. TA is not, however, just aimed at analysis. While clarifying the emotional and thought content of a situation does build inner strength and release your potential, the aim of TA is to empower you with options for change. Hug Therapy By Parveen Chopra Reaching out and touching someone—and holding him tight—is a way of saying you care. Effects are immediate, the hugger and the person being hugged, both “feel good”. “Touch is an important component of attachment as it creates bonds between two individuals,” says Dr Achal Bhagat, a Delhi-based psychiatrist. “Cuddling and caressing make the growing child feel secure and aids in self-esteem.” Babies recognizes parents initially by touch. Hugging is being used as an aid in treating some physical illnesses following research that it leads to certain positive physiological changes. For example, touch stimulates nerve endings, thereby helping in relieving pain. “Therapeutic touch” that involves placing the hands on or just above the troubled area in the patient’s body for half-an-hour pushes up the hemoglobin levels in the blood, increasing the delivery of blood to tissues, a study at the nursing department of New York University showed. Tactile contact is very important for people with certain handicaps and can be therapeutic. Hug means a lot. Try it, it works. Music Therapy By Sonali S. SokhalMusic therapy is based on the associative and cognitive powers of the mind. Sound creates certain vibrations which are picked up and amplified by the human ear. These waves are then picked up by the sensory nerve going into the middle of the brain and redistributed throughout the neuron network to other parts of the brain to distinguish the pitch, tone and frequency of the sound. Therapist Jon Monroe has recorded 12 musical tones whose vibratory levels stimulate certain organs in the body. Thus, certain vibrations and frequencies can soothe or disturb the mind and body. This has been demonstrated by psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Chugh. “Music therapy,” he says, “has helped me in treating many people with problems like dementia, dyslexia and trauma.” Dr Chugh recommended a mini-synthesizer to play on for a child who was withdrawn and unsociable with his peers because of slight retardation. Soon, he noted a marked improvement in the child’s social and interpersonal skills. Dance critic Ashish Khokar cites an experiment as proof: “Music is produced from sound, and sound affects our sense perception in many ways. Even fish in an aquarium were once made to listen to different kinds of music and it was found that their movements corresponded with the beat of the music. Mind you, fish do not hear, they only felt the vibrations of the sound through water. So you can imagine what a profound effect sound and music might have on the human mind.” Anand Avinash, founder of the Neuro Linguistic Consciousness workshop who has researched music therapy, says: “The mystics and saints have shown how music can kindle the higher centers of the mind and enhance the quality of life.” He cautions, however, that “all music is not soothing. Rhythm in any form induces anxiety or excitement”. So avoid percussion instruments. He recommends music by Bach, Vivaldi, Deuter, Kitaro or David Sun’s Tranquillity and Slow Ocean. Neuro Linguistic Programming By Ritu Khanna NLP connects our words, thoughts and behavior to our goals. Neuro refers to the thinking process, linguistic is language, how we use it, and how we are influenced by it, programming is our behavioral pattern and the goals we set. Knowing what you want and finding the means to get it are an important part of NLP. One way of achieving this is by setting specific goals. Make a list—a realistic one, though. Be sure to use positive language, avoid words such as do not, miss, fail. Your goals should fall into five categories: doing, getting and having, knowing, relating, being. Ask ‘what then’ questions, get ready to take action, keep your senses on alert and learn to notice the results of what you do. Be prepared to change your behavior till you get what you want. NLP can also help change a certain mindset. It is a comparatively new system founded in the 1970s by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. As with all new systems and practices, a whole new vocabulary has come up around NLP: Anchoring: The process of forming an association between one thing and another. Anything that reminds us of something, that triggers off a physiological response, can be called an anchor. The anchor helps bring about some positive associated image, thereby changing a person’s attitude. Mirroring: You can create a better sense of rapport by mirroring the body language of the person with whom you are trying to communicate. Modeling: NLP is against reinventing the wheel. Instead, it teaches you copying, or modeling, human excellence. Reframing: The context or frame of any event can be changed to get another meaning. This process is called reframing and helps you become aware of alternatives. The NLP skills briefly introduced here can get you whatever you want. Do not, however, expect it to help grow a luxuriant crop of hair on that bald patch. Hypnotherapy By Vanit Nalwa Hypnosis is a totally natural phenomenon and perhaps the best description is that it is a state of “altered consciousness”, a sort of guided daydreaming. The earliest evidence of hypnosis was found among the so-called witch doctors or medicine men. In the eighteenth century, an Austrian doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer, recognized this ancient healing phenomenon and used it with great success. The word ‘hypnosis’ was coined in 1843 by an English surgeon, James Braid, after Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep. Hypnotherapy works on the principle of cause and effect. Every effect (symptom, for example, fear, headache, palpitation) must have a cause. Hypnotherapy reveals the cause, and consequently removes the symptoms. In hypnotherapy, hypnosis is used for analyzing the origin of a problem in a focused w
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