Hypnotic Age Regression
By Larry Garrett
Can we actually go back in time and recall events which occurred at an earlier time in our life with details—as though it were now? Is there such a thing as a past life and if so can we visit that past life with detail and vivid recall? Can everyone be regressed to recall past events?
Let’s travel back in time within a virtual time machine and explore what was as though it is.
Hypnotic age regression is a phenomenon which exists when a person is hypnotized and receives a suggestion or instruction to recall an event from the past. Depending on the degree of relaxation or depth of hypnosis the person will recall this past event as though it were occurring now.
In my opinion anyone can achieve a successful regression, although each person may have a different experience. My experience of hypnosis leads me to believe anyone can accomplish these experiences in hypnosis. I feel it is the education which allows hypnosis to be successful, not just if you think you can be hypnotized or not. I often hear, “I can’t be hypnotized!” Usually by a person who knows nothing of the subject. I use the analogy of observing hypnosis as a music lesson. Anyone can learn to play an instrument. To what degree of proficiency will be based on many factors of the music student and teacher. Some music students will be grand musicians and others will be able to play only a simple song. However all students can accomplish the knowledge of playing an instrument. Hypnosis is no different and regressions especially are no different than the music lesson. How much you put into the experience will determine how much you can get out of it. Instead of waiting for something to happen, allow yourself to follow through with the experience as though you are learning a skill. You are in fact learning a skill, the skill of letting go of who you are now, so you can go to who you used to be. You can get in your own way.
By understanding the phenomena of hypnosis and regressions you will have a better opportunity to regress well. There are a few guidelines which will assist you to regress well. By following these instructions, you will enjoy the experience of going back in time to relive your past as though it were now.
Let’s first explore the concept of using hypnosis to recall a memory. Obviously we recall events from our past quite often. At times we may have what is called sensory memory and like a fleeting moment the memory is gone. We may see a car pass and attempt to recall the car and we forgot what it was. Almost like a flash from a camera, it bounces in and bounces right out. When hypnosis is used, the memory can be frozen or slowed down and explored in detail. This would be much like viewing a video and as you choose, slow it down or stop it at a certain place in time to explore the details. There is another type of memory which we all know when we hear a song which was significant to us at an earlier age or smell the aroma of something special our grandmother used to bake. Both of these memories will bring us to the past as though it is now. So you see, you have been regressed many times just by experiencing this type of memory. Hypnosis has the ability to create a “time distortion.” This phenomenon of time distortion has many positive applications. The main application of time distortion may be to slow time down as we recall a past event. Can you imagine the application for police investigation when a witness is hypnotized and is able to slow down the crime and view every detail minute-by-minute? For many years I hypnotized witnesses to recall details of a criminal activity with excellent results. A slight detail like a facial scar or a license plate number was able to be brought to the surface of their memory aiding in the investigation. Often during a trauma of an attack or a robbery details can be vague because of the shock within the mind. This is called “over reactivity of the mind” implying too many thoughts recirculating within and difficult to recall what was occurring and when. I have even hypnotized criminals to recall what occurred during the crime they were committing. During all the excitement there is often an amnesia effect of what was occurring. One of my first experiences was with a murderer who shot someone in front of 32 witnesses, threw the gun down, ran out of the building and didn’t recall a thing after the shooting. I was asked to go to the Cook County jail and do a regression with this man to allow the courts to know why he shot a person. With all the excitement of the incident, the alleged shooter left the scene with his mind blank. The hypnosis was able to bring all the details to the front or his conscious state of mind, with such vividness it felt as though we were all there with him.
Time distortion of different types exists whenever we are in an altered state. Time is measured by how we are feeling, not always what is real time. This man who shot someone was at one point just sitting at a bar. The next thing he recalled was being outside on the street. He had no recollection of the time in between. Imagine you are at a party and having an enjoyable time. Doesn’t time seem to go much quicker when you are having a great time? This phenomenon exists because there is little logic existing. Conversely if we are in a boring lecture, time will seem to drag. Both examples, were instances of altered consciousness, the first by using less logic to measure time and the second by thinking too much and slowing things down. I was once in a lecture which I would have liked to have left. However I felt it appropriate to stay. My stress levels began to rise; I began thinking and thinking and time began dragging on and my desire was for it to be over. Eventually I had pain in my chest from holding on too long. My body wanted to move faster than my mind was moving. The two were in conflict. Have you ever observed someone shaking their legs? They are in time distortion. They want to move on and can’t. I learned my lesson and made a commitment to myself not to be anywhere I didn’t want to be. Time distortion can exist in many forms; it can speed up, slow down, or completely stop!
Hypnosis is a communication to the mind which allows the mind to accept what is suggested with little or no logic. During a regression while in hypnosis, logic will be removed or reduced and the person begins to believe they are at that time in life. Time becomes altered. When a person is hypnotized usually it seems like less time has passed than it actually had. Unless the person being hypnotized is asked to slow time down or even stop the event, then it can seem much longer.
Hypnosis is safe. It cannot hurt you or cause you to lose control. When you are hypnotized or being regressed you are not unconscious or sleeping. It can feel like the feeling of being between sleep and awake. This is why many people who are hypnotized feel like they are not hypnotized as they are waiting for something to happen or change. Actually on a subconscious level many things change. But like an emotion it isn’t always noticed consciously. Even when a person is hypnotized they will often open their eyes after 2-3 hours of being regressed and feel they have made up all they were speaking of. The feeling of being hypnotized or even regressed is a feeling of just lying in a comfortable place just thinking. However, less thinking is really going on and more feeling of the experience. Much like the great party the enjoyment is a feeling not a thought. You will always have the ability to conclude the experience by just a thought. You need only to open your eyes and it is over. Imagine the experience of being hypnotized is much like thinking. Change the thought and the experience changes as well. When you are hypnotized, your mind is active with feelings not thoughts. It feels like you are thinking, but most of the activity in your mind will be more subjective with a feeling of what you are experiencing. If you like the feeling, it continues and if at any time, you feel uncomfortable, the hypnosis will cease. It is your choice! To describe the feeling of being hypnotized it is much like describing the smell of a rose. Some would say, it smells sweet, others rich and smooth and still others might say like nice perfume. Each individual has their own idea of what the rose smells like and how to describe it. Each individual also has their own definition or interpretation of hypnosis.
To explain to you what you will experience can be done, but it has many variables depending on your entry to the experience. It is best for you to have an open mind as to what you will experience when hypnotized and regressed. This will give you the optimum experience. By being open, you have a clear path to reach the subconscious mind. You might view the subconscious as a very sensitive component of your complete person. It is always protected by your logic. To be hypnotized well and regress, you will want to remove or put aside your logic. There is nothing logical about hypnosis or regressions and there is no value in using logic to define them. This is why many will attempt to intellectualize they haven’t been hypnotized or they made up the story of their past. I recall the first time I was regressed and I signed my name at different ages and at 6 years old I began to print. I thought I was making it up and just doing it to please the hypnotist. My mother was present and in a very surprised voice she said, “That is exactly the way he printed when he was young!” I still felt I was making it up. This process of being hypnotized is a delicate situation and some individuals will resist this entry to their subconscious mind because of a discomfort they may feel as they let go. Letting go is like falling, there is a fear of hitting bottom. You never hit bottom with hypnosis. You just keep drifting until you find your balance and then magic happens. My greatest suggestion to everyone I hypnotize is, “Do nothing but follow my instructions!”
The variables I mention are based on the ability to let go as you begin the journey into the mind. It is much like taking a journey into an unexplored area. We begin almost immediately wondering what we will experience. Please don’t wonder yet! You will be surprised as to whatever you experience. Most likely if you haven’t been hypnotized it will not be as you had expected. Disappointment comes from expectations which were not fulfilled. Allow the hypnotist to create your expectations. Through suggestions while hypnotized you will begin to experience what the hypnotist is telling you. When we begin to think ahead of what will exist, we attempt to think of what we will experience before we experience it. It is not possible to know what will happen as your mind is in an altered state and thus moving around without structure. By thinking too much you will create some stress toward the experience. The experience needs to be almost stress-free. Even a small amount of stress will inhibit your success. This stress can be reduced by feeling assured the experience will be good! Trust and allow are the words to recall!
There is an old technique in hypnosis used 100 years ago of testing a person to be hypnotized and knowing their susceptibility. The hypnotist would have asked the person to be hypnotized to close their eyes and stand in front of him or her with their back to the hypnotist. Then the hypnotist would ask the subject to fall backwards into the arms of the hypnotist. The conclusion was that how far back the subject will fall would determine the success the hypnotist was going to have. This technique is no longer used, but it is an excellent demonstration of how it is a necessity to allow you to enter into the state of hypnosis with calmness, confidence and trust.
Depending on this entry into hypnosis and the experience you are having as you are traveling into deeper levels of hypnosis will determine your success. Be patient, feel safe and the reward will be well worth your efforts. Just lie back, close your eyes and allow whatever occurs to be. The process is very automatic and smooth. It is nothing more than a collective process of one step following another. Much like following the instructions on an item you purchased that requires assembly. In most cases, following the instructions will create the success that you seek.
I suggest you view hypnosis as having three basic levels. Each level has a counter part of regression. The first is the light level, often called the “hypnoidal” level. The regression counterpart is called the “recall.” You might imagine when you are not hypnotized, you remember an event. In the light level, you will be more relaxed than you usually are much like meditation. Your mind is still very much aware, but because you are relaxed, there is less logic used. This is much like beginning to doze at night or the feeling of first awakening in the morning. When using hypnosis to be regressed in the light level your memory will be extended a little more than when not hypnotized. An example of regressing might be that you can recall an event from your childhood of about 5 years old.
The ability to experience the memory might be vague at first, but enhanced in a light level compared to not using hypnosis to recall the same event. The scenario might continue with you recalling a friend you played with in the sandbox. Without the hypnosis, you might only recall the friend, but not the sandbox. In the light level, you will enhance that memory to recall more details such as the sandbox because you are less distracted by the present moment. When you are not hypnotized, you are more distracted by what exists in the present moment. This weakens the attempt to recall a past event. Too many thoughts in the mind reduce the ability to focus.
Even when attempting to recall where a misplaced item is, the present moment’s distractions will weaken the ability to locate it. The importance of locating it, the rush you might be in to find it now or the frustration of not recalling where the item is will increase the inability to locate it. Pause for a moment, take a deep breath and often you will recall where the misplaced item was last seen. The same principle is available in the light level of hypnosis. This level of relaxation of the light level of hypnosis will allow you to focus more on the moment that existed at that time that you are attempting to recall and not be as distracted by the present moment. In some way, you have regressed to recall when you saw the lost item last as though you are there.
There is a way to enhance the memory beyond what is available in a light level of hypnosis. Imagine in a light level of hypnosis what you have done was to extend the memory of a past event beyond your normal ability to recall the same event in a regular level of awareness without hypnosis. When you enhance or increase the depth of hypnosis, you increase the ability to recall more details of that memory as there is less logic.
In this next level of hypnosis which I will call the medium level of hypnosis, you are in a very relaxed level of consciousness and you become less aware of your body. This level of regression is called a “pseudo” regression. This would almost seem to imply you were making up what you are speaking of or experiencing. The appearance of regression in this level of hypnosis is expressed as though it is a story and appears as though it is being made up as you relate the experiences you are having. In this second level of hypnosis, you become more focused on each detail and your mind wanders less. Your logic lessons and you accept more of what your mind is experiencing.
In the medium level of regression, often you can actually see or feel the experience as though you were watching a video of this past event. In this level, you are very aware of your present moment, but focused on viewing the past. The present moment is here, but put this moment aside and the regressed moment is prominent. You might imagine you are watching a movie with a very exciting scene. You know you are sitting in your living room, but feel the excitement of the chase scene as though you are in it. It isn’t real, but you feel as though it is. In the medium level of hypnosis as you recall the earlier event with your friend at 5 years old in the sandbox, you can feel the excitement of the child within you without the logic of your adult telling you to act your age. You may feel you are making it up as you logically know it is only a memory. You can feel and see the sand running through your hands and yet know you are sitting in a recliner being hypnotized.
In my opinion this is the most exciting level of hypnosis. The control at this level is powerful to you. You can as if you were a camera zoom in or move around at will. You are able to spend more time with a certain memory or if it is unpleasant you can move on to another more memory maybe more positive. You can smell odors or hear sounds. You might see the images as though you are watching the movie or feel as though you are there at this very moment. In both the first two levels of hypnosis, you will remember everything you spoke of and never feel a lack of control. In the medium level of hypnosis, you will feel as though you are listening to a story about your past as told by you!
The third or deepest level of hypnosis is a very interesting state of consciousness. It is a level of consciousness where very few conscious thoughts exist. Actually in this level of hypnosis, you feel a sensation of dozing or almost as though you are asleep. The expressions of your memories during a regression in this level of hypnosis are almost like a dream. You might at times speak very slowly as though you are partially asleep.
This third level of hypnosis is called the “somnambulistic” or deep level. Somnambulism is the characteristic of sleepwalking. This is an excellent example of the mind being so relaxed the person is asleep, but awake enough to walk in their sleep. It might be a notch above sleeping and yet not awake. A phenomenon of regression called “revivification” meaning to relive is available in this level. In the somnambulistic level of hypnosis, your voice characteristics may even change to match the time you are recalling. You might use phrases you have not used since you were a child. You may write as you did at that age or even take on facial expressions of the time you are recalling. Many experts doubt this phenomenon is valid and feel it is only our imagination at work. Imagination or not, it is a very interesting experience to have. Put aside the idea of proof and logic and just enjoy the experience.
In this 3rd level of hypnosis you might not recall all of the events which occurred after you are finished, but much like a dream when you awaken, you will recall some of the details and feel the emotions as though you had lived the experience again. For this reason the third or somnambulistic level is not as appropriate for a fulfilling a regression. It is a great level to touch upon for some sensationalism occasionally during a regression, but then move back into the medium level to be aware of what is occurring and recall it in detail. It is always a great idea to record the regression experience, so you can hear your voice changes and characteristics at a later time. It is also a great way to stop doubting what you just experienced.
In any of the three levels you can discontinue the hypnosis. You need to only want it to stop and like turning off the movie, it stops. Regressions are safe and there are no ill effects if you do not linger on sensitive or uncomfortable memories. When the hypnotist is aware they know and can move you away from the discomforts of the past. Choose your hypnotist well. Your intuitive self will know immediately if this hypnotist is for you.
Past Life Regressions
Past life regressions are only different than age regression, because you continue beyond this life into a time before you were born. Maybe you are a little skeptical about such a thing as a past life existing. How could you recall something that supposedly happened before you existed? Could it be possible that you lived before? How could memories of a time you have never experienced be in your mind as though it really did exist for you?
There is no doubt when a person is hypnotized and regressed they will often express memories of another time as another person. This does not in any way imply there is such a phenomenon as a past life, but it does suggest when a person is hypnotized, they will express without inhibition whatever comes to their mind when given a suggestion to go to a past life. Remember as I had mentioned earlier, when the hypnotist offers a suggestion the person being hypnotized, will follow it. This also does not suggest there is not such a phenomena as a past life. It only shows there is a power in the subconscious mind far beyond our ability to understand. So open your mind to the fact anything is possible when you put aside logic and allow the subconscious mind to be free of any restrictions.
There are explanations for past life regressions. It could be because of a story you have heard as a child and long forgotten or maybe it is something you have made up. Possibly you like furniture and life styles of the turn of the century, thus you regress back to the turn of the century. The final thought is possible it is actually a past life and you are recalling it because hypnosis distracts the logical part of your mind. When there is no logic to dispute what you are saying, you can recall events from another time without hesitation. Have you ever had the feeling you have experienced something before which was not possible, or you have a kinship with something in life you have never known? Are you aware one third of our population believes in past lives?
False memories obviously exist in a past life regression as well as age regression, maybe even more. At times we may be too anxious to see what we would like to see, not necessarily what is real. The creative part of your mind will usually not intellectualize, only say what it is experiencing at the moment. If there is such a phenomenon as a past life, then it will be available to you under hypnosis. When you are hypnotized, it is best for you to have the logical part of your mind be a witness to the events, not the critic. Remove any thought of criticism of what you are experiencing or saying. Remember, it is not an issue to prove the validity of a past life, only to view what the subconscious mind thinks is a past life. Besides it is such an exciting venture, you really wouldn’t want to spoil it by saying, “I think that I made that u!”
It really is not an issue if you think you made it up. You need only to flow with the experience and feelings. Just pretend and you will be back in time with such realism you will believe you are really in the past 200 years ago. You will smell the odors, see the sun rise over the mountains and hear the people around you. All at a time long before you were born. You will feel as though you have a time machine at your disposal and be able to travel to any time your subconscious mind believes you lived. Each and every time you are regressed you will go to the same life or lives as though they really belonged to you.
With all this information, is there any reason to go into this experience with doubt? Obviously you will gain much by accepting what you say without doubt. Is it so difficult to believe that we were born twice as to believe that we were born once?
It is interesting how easy we accept what we can prove and how we like to reject what we can’t. You cannot prove a previous life, but you can take a look at it and come back with a wealth of information. If you knew how to play a piano in a previous life you would not come back with the knowledge of playing a piano. However if you took piano lessons in this life, the confidence you had playing a piano in another life would follow you into this life. If you had an occurrence in a previous life of being killed by a runaway horse it may offer an explanation and later remove your fear of horses in this life. I once regressed a friend who had been shot in the back in 1923 before he was born. In this life he claimed to have backaches in the part of his back where he was shot. After the regression, he claimed his back felt better in that area. Long after the regression, he said he had not had any more backaches. Could it be his back was waiting for that time to be replayed and allow the pain to be released by acknowledging the violation to his back in another life?
As you can begin to imagine, a lot of benefit can occur from being regressed to a previous life. Use your imagination! Think of the lessons of life from another time and your life presently will begin to improve in many ways. All the lessons of life are very subjective of course and not because of any one event which had occurred, but because of the collective process of many lives to the present time.
You may want to be logical about this issue of past life regressions, but just use your interest in the topic, not your logic. Of course your interest is in itself not very logical. Pretend it is a movie and allow yourself to get into the movie with the emotions of a great scene. You will almost immediately become the person in this past life as the star in a great movie. From this moment on, you begin to relate the information as though you were there in this time. You will have the ability to see something you have never seen before. You can smell odors which are new to you and possibly be in combat with the enemy of a war from many years ago. You can live history through your mind as you have never known it before. It is all within your imagination. If you are a writer you would be able to write stories with the realism of living in another time. If you enjoy history, imagine the fantasy of actually visiting a place you have always had magnetism to. Maybe you did live there before and this is the reason for the attraction to this time and place.
You might even want to explore the possibility of researching the regression to see if such a place in time really existed. Did the people you saw really exist? Did you really exist as this person that you thought you were?
A number of years ago, I regressed an individual that claimed to be Glen Yates in Monroe, Louisiana. He died in 1915. I was involved in a documentary titled, “Present Dreams, Past Lives.” In this movie we used this same person for a demonstration of regressions. Everything he spoke of was there in Monroe, even the description of the town. He spoke of a cemetery that was outside of town called “City Cemetery.” When I arrived in Monroe, I asked about “City Cemetery” outside of town. The reply was, “There is no city cemetery outside of town, but there is “Old City Cemetery just before the new subdivision.” I guess since 1915 the size of Monroe must have enlarged. No I never found any trace of Glen Yates, but I did find a lot of history that was long forgotten he described to me during the regression. I did not prove a thing, but every moment of the regression was exciting. Even the crew was in awe as he spoke with a slow southern drawl and gave details as though he was living there at that moment.
In conclusion, a past life is not for everyone, but if you are an explorer and want to go where few have gone and returned to speak of it, then a past life regression is for you. When finding a hypnotist to assist you, spend time asking their style or technique. You might not know all the jargon or what they are speaking of, but you will pick up some feelings of comfort or discomfort. This will tell you a lot of what to expect. Regressions of any kind are slow and a lot of patience is needed from both the hypnotist and you the person being hypnotized. Have a recording made of the session and you will be able to listen to it later. You can share it with others, listen to it alone or lay back and take the trip again at any time. This time you can travel in the comfort of your own home. Regressions are a very personal experience and need to be treated with the utmost of respect. If you have any further inquiries on the subject, I can be reached at the Garrett Hypnosis and Wellness Center. Oh and by the way, if you are one of those that think that you can’t be regressed or even hypnotized, if you can pretend, you are there.
I hope this article has helped you in some small way to better understand hypnosis and regressions. Please feel free to contact me to discuss anything I have expressed.
Let me know of your interest in the body/mind improvements. I have written many articles on many topics of the body and mind.
I wish you well.