Saturday, October 19, 2013

Clearing Trauma and Physical Pain with Hypnosis

I have been a hypnotherapist for 9 years and although I have had some hypnosis for myself, none of those sessions were as intense as the one I had just yesterday.  I just finished my Master Hypnotherapist training this week and we did sessions with each other as part of our class requirements.  Yesterday in class I experienced a profoundly healing hypnosis session.  I had wanted to find the root cause of left ear pain that I had had on and off for the past 15 or 20 years.  I really had no idea how long I had had the pain, or when, or how it had started.

I know that hypnotherapy is excellent for finding the root cause of physical problems in the body and for releasing trauma.  Just by visiting the originating stressor while under hypnosis, the trauma and physical symptoms can be released from the body.  I have done so many sessions over the years in which clients have released emotional and physical pain and trauma from their bodies, minds and souls.  These traumas can be from this current lifetime or from other lifetimes.  So, I had seen much releasing and removal of emotional and physical pain and had heard of the great improvements in the lives of my clients since releasing all of that.  And now I had the chance to go through that in my own session and it was very powerful.

When my fellow classmate guided me back to the origin of the ear pain, I could first feel lots of pressure in my head and a growing sense of a strong emotion with some pressure in my chest, although I still did not know what event I was coming upon.  I could feel the physical reaction of my body before my mind knew where I was going.  That was interesting.  Then I arrived at the origin.  It was 19 years ago when I was in Portugal visiting my then boyfriend, who lived there at the time.  It was the middle of the night and I was sleeping alone in a bedroom at his apartment that he shared with an elderly woman.  My boyfriend was not home.  He worked for a weekly newspaper and once a week, on the night before the paper was published, he worked overnight.  The elderly woman in the apartment was the owner of the newspaper's mother, my boyfriend's boss.  So, there I was sleeping when the woman came into my room yelling, "Fogo!  Fogo!"  Fogo is fire in Portuguese.  I slowly woke up remembering her words and wondering if it was really true, or a dream, while at the same time I started to smell smoke.  I got out of bed, not fully aware of what was happening yet and asked her if she really did say fire.  She was on the phone, hysterical, and said that YES there was a fire.  I ran back into my bedroom and opened the huge wooden windows that opened like two doors with a latch in the middle.  Immediately, thick, black smoke blew into my face, flooding the room and I couldn't breathe.  I quickly closed the windows and ran to the other side of the apartment and opened the windows on that side.  The same thing happened.  Thick, black smoke flew in.  I knew the fire was beneath us.  I thought I might die that way.  I did not want to imagine what it would be like to be burned to death.

I could hear that the fire trucks had come and could hear the fire fighters outside.  I could not understand why no one was coming to save us.  It was frustrating.  When I had opened the window that faced the street, I could not call out even for one second.  There was too much thick, black smoke rushing in making it impossible to breathe.  How would we get out?  I knew we could not escape from the windows.  I had to find another way out.

I ran back to my room and put on my clothes, got my passport and purse with my wallet in it.  I knew that being in a foreign country and trying to get home without my passport or money would be horrible, so I grabbed them.  I was in complete and total fear and yet I had my wits about me.  I was in survival mode.  I was also aware that I was wasting time by putting on my clothes, but I did not want to go out in public wearing my pajamas and no bra (dumb, I know!).  I think I instinctively knew I had enough time to do that.  At the same time I was having thoughts of my parents being angry at me for going to a foreign country and dying there.  I didn't think about them being sad, but instead only felt that they would be angry at me, which is interesting.  I went to the door of the apartment to open it.  It was locked from the inside and you had to open it with a key.  My hand was shaking so much that it was hard to get the key into the keyhole.  Finally, I got the door unlocked.  Meanwhile the woman was still on the phone hysterical.  She had called her son, the owner of the newspaper and he called the fire department.  Then, she was back on the phone with her son.  All I remember was her being hysterical on the phone, not wanting to leave the apartment, but I knew I had to find a way out for us.

So, I got into the hallway.  We were on the second floor and the staircase was pitch dark.  You could not see your hand in front of your face.  I did not know where the light was and didn't waste much time feeling around for it.  I had to go down the staircase in total darkness.  The stairs were unusually wide, so I had to feel my way down with my hands along the wall or bannister and I had to inch my feet along each step, feeling my way to the edge of each step and stepping down.  Making my way down this staircase in the pitch dark was a slow and scary process, especially since I was trying to escape to safety as fast as I could.  And yet, here I was slowly inching my way down a staircase in the dark.  I got to the bottom and realized that there was no fire in the staircase and that we could escape safely.  I had to go back up to save the woman.  I inched my way back up the stairs, still in the pitch dark and yelled at the woman to COME NOW!  "There is no fire in the staircase! Let's go!"  I yelled at her in Portuguese and convinced her to come with me.  She hung up the phone and came.  She knew where the light was and turned it on for us to go down the stairs.  What a huge relief I had that there was light and I could see my way down the stairs!  Running down those stairs, my legs shaking uncontrollably, I knew I was going to live!

We got outside and no one noticed us.  It was as if we were invisible.  There was a huge crowd of people watching.  The firemen were working hard to get all the cars out from the underground parking garage.  This apartment was on top of a gas station.  The fire fighters were worried that if the fire got to the gas tanks, there would be huge explosions of fire and the cars would start exploding as well.  Their main concern was to prevent the fire from getting to the gas tanks and cars.  I can understand that.  Their handling that part of it, could have saved my life because the fire did get close to the gas tanks.  However, isn't the fire fighters first job to rescue the people?  Yes, it is.  It did not even occur to them that there were people upstairs. The woman and I were the only ones and that was the only apartment up there. The lights were on though and no one even bothered to look up and see that there were people up there that needed rescuing.  All these thoughts were going through my mind.  In complete disbelief that we were not even seen coming out of the building, I made my way through the crowd and walked across the street.  I stood watching all the action in complete shock.  I think at that moment all that fear that had come up within me got stored - encapsulated in the cells and muscles of my body - and I went into shock.  I was alive.  That was what I was feeling now.  I got out.

It occurred to me that my boyfriend would hear of the fire at work and be so scared as he rushed home to see his apartment building on fire, realizing that I was in there.  I felt his fear.  As an empath, it's what we do.  I went into a desperate feeling of hoping I would see him right away as he came down the street to alleviate his fear.  My worry and fear turned to him.  So, I stood there waiting for him, watching for him.  He made his way through the crowd, saw me, ran to me, and we hugged.  It was like a scene from a movie.  We were both so relieved to see each other.  "You're alive, you're ok."  "I'm alive, I'm ok."  Our hearts pounding as we embraced.  We were deeply in love.

It just so happened that we were standing in front of a 5-star hotel and they told us that we could sleep there that night for free.  What a godsend.  There was no way we could sleep in the apartment that night.  I don't think I even slept that night.  I was still in shock.

Can you guess what was on the front page of the paper the next day?  Yep.  Remember that was the owner of the newspaper's mother up there with me.  He wrote a full-page article blasting the "dumb" fire fighters for not rescuing the people, including his mother.  There was some justice in that.  Just having some recognition that we were completely forgotten felt right to me.

So, when my subconscious mind led me to that event under hypnosis, I was surprised that this was the origin of my ear pain.  As I was reliving it, I momentarily felt the piercing pain in my ear, but I also felt so many other things.  I cried and cried.  I relived each moment of this event again and again.  In hypnosis there is a method of guiding a client through a traumatic event over and over again.  Each time there is less emotional charge and the scene is visited repeatedly until there is no more emotion left.  I had to go through that scene so many times and there was still so much emotional release each time.  My body was also releasing the fear that had been stored in it all those years.  It trembled and the muscles spasmed and vibrated.  I could feel it all over my body in specific places, my jaw, my solar plexus, my lower back and my legs.  I felt pain and pressure in my head.  I had stored the stress in so many places in my body.  I needed to tremble and shake a lot to get it all out of my body.  I had stored the emotional trauma, too.  I had no idea it was in there.  No idea at all.

When animals undergo stress or the fight or flight response, they shake, tremble, jump or run around to allow the stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to finish their course through their body to be fully released. When I stepped outside and realized that I was safe, I prematurely interrupted this process.  My body stopped shaking and trembling.  There obviously was so much more releasing of the stress hormones that was needed.  I was 22 years old then.  One thing that is interesting is that I developed severe adrenal fatigue later on in my 20s.  I wonder if this accumulation of adrenaline and cortisol contributed to my illness just a few years later?  There is a link at the bottom of this post, which discusses this topic in more depth.

I described each thought I had in my description of this event on purpose, to illustrate that when going through a traumatic event, it is not only the emotions that are stored in the body-mind-soul, but also the thoughts that we are having at the time.  Who knows how these things affect us years later?  I still don't know how the releasing of this traumatic event will shift me and my world.  It's only been one day.  I do know that I have no pain in my left ear.  I feel that I have released a lot of tension from my body.  I know I released fear that I didn't even know I had.  I don't know why I had stored the trauma in my left ear.  Was it because I didn't want to hear what I was hearing (Fire! Fire!) in my sleep?  Did that trauma go into my ear and stay there?  Was it from the tension in my jaw?  I don't know all the answers.  Our bodies absorb things and we hold onto them until we release them.  

I have so many stories of my client's healings from undergoing hypnosis and going back to the origin of their pains and traumas.  Their stories are dramatic and their symptoms are relieved.  Now I know from my own experience how intense it is!  I felt like I had been hit by a truck last night and I was exhausted.  

I love hypnosis, because it is so easy to get to the root of problems and it is such a fast method to clear them out.  One session of hypnosis is equal to 10 talk therapy sessions according to research, but in my own practice, my clients have told me that one session has been more effective than 10 or 20 years of therapy.   

Below is a link to some information about how trauma affects the body and how animals respond.  We can learn a lot from them.  It is important to feel each trauma to its completion - allowing the body to shake and tremble until it naturally stops and if we are frozen into shock, to find a way (hypnosis for example) to go back to the event to shake it out.

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