What is hypnotherapy? How does it work? Is past life regression real? Hear it from Hypnotherapist Rachna Murdeshwar

Editor

Meet Rachna Murdeshwar. Rachna is a certified Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Family Constellation Facilitator, Past Life Regression Therapist, NLP Practitioner & Access Bar Practitioner. She has been healing since 2008. Before that, she taught health sciences at Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, Pune.

Rachna, walk us through your journey of becoming a hypnotherapist. What prompted you to choose this offbeat career as a hypnotherapist or a life coach?

During my many professional assignments and interactions, I saw that patients of issues such as mental health were treated mostly with medication.  But many times, I felt that more than the physical, patients needed emotional & mental healing. I always wondered whether there could be any alternate way which could play its part in healing where regular medicines couldn’t be of complete help, where there existed a therapy which is supported through a holistic healing approach which identifies root causes and treats them. To me the patient’s mind was as important as their body. So that’s where my journey with hypnotherapy began. From then on, I kept learning new skills and methods of healing as and when I felt the need and heard a calling

When I was at my lowest, I felt I wouldn’t want to consciously express/talk hence was looking at my options and sought your contact as a hypnotherapist. I had a completely different notion of hypnotherapy until I had a session with you. Please shed light on what is hypnotherapy and how it works?

There are a lot of negative notions connected toward Hypnosis. Due to its misrepresentation in common media, people tend to associate hypnotherapy with loss of control. They assume that hypnotherapy is a way for the therapist to control them to make them talk about things they wouldn’t normally talk about such as their ATM pin etc. If that was true, hypnotherapists would all be sitting on hordes of stolen wealth but this is far from true.

During hypnosis used for therapeutic purposes, you never lose control. In fact, you remember almost everything that happens during the session. Most sessions focus on relaxation and follow a conversation-like format. The things the patient says come from one’s subconscious, which many a times you don’t even remember or your mind is not ready to accept or when it’s in denial. Once it’s in your awareness, you know what needs to change, what baggage to release and with that, half the battle is already won.

Although Hypnosis is not a ‘panacea’, it is a very powerful tool and can impact your thoughts in an amazing way. It has helped thousands of people in many areas of their lives be it professionally or personally.

How are hypnotherapy sessions different from traditional psychological counseling?

Ordinarily, hypnotherapy includes elements of counselling. One of the main advantages of clinical hypnotherapy is that its results are achieved far more quickly than those of more traditional counselling.

Traditional counseling is where you consciously discuss issue while in hypnotherapy, you interact with a client’s powerful subconscious mind. Consciously our mind accounts for only 5-7% of cognitive power while our subconscious mind accounts to 93-95% of our cognitive power. Our self-worth, identity, experience, and our behavior has its roots in the subconscious beliefs, assumptions, and values.

As a hypnotherapist, we deal directly with the subconscious beliefs a client may have about themselves, other people, events in their life or their world view, which has an impact on their life experiences and their behavior. With hypnotherapy, we directly deal with the client at a subconscious level which has a positive effect on their underlying beliefs, assumptions, and values, which ultimately results in faster outcome. We do not require as many sessions with a therapist over a prolonged period of time.”

According to the American Health magazine and leading hypnotherapist Alfred Barrios (PhD), the client success rate after six hypnotherapy sessions is 93%, compared to 38% success rate of 600 sessions of psychoanalysis.

Another big advantage is, during a hypnotherapy session, a client need not talk about things in detail, if they are uncomfortable to do so. If a person has issues due to hidden memories or because they are consciously suppressed or they are not aware of the impact of a particular event on their life, it is fine to not talk about it. But during a hypnotherapy session, all that comes up and can be released and situations from the past and present can be viewed in a different light. That brings change.

 Is past life regression real? Can you share a story on your experience with past life regression?

I can share a lot of amazing Regression stories! I would like to share my personal experience with Past Life Regression. That was the 1st regression I experienced which was one of the main reasons for me to choose to learn this skill.

I approached a Hypnotherapist after suffering from Migraines for many years. The frequency had gone almost up to once a week. Someone recommended Past Life Regression to me. I didn’t know much about it but I went with a very open mind. I had tried everything else; so it wouldn’t have hurt to try.

During regression, I found myself as a very poor young tribal woman around Bikaner in the 1870s. I saw myself living in a hut with my parents far from the village. We were outcast as my father and mother were from different castes/ religions. We made our living by selling wood, grass and doing odd jobs but we lived a life of extreme poverty. When my father died, we didn’t have any money to cremate him and as there was no other male family member with us, we simply had to leave his body in the hut, light it on fire and leave. In that life, I was always angry and harbored guilt because of that and died with that anger. So, in this life, that anger came up as migraines.

After the regression, surprisingly, my migraine headaches frequency reduced to almost nil, they had almost vanished. I had a few migraines after that too but now I could feel them coming and could take preventive measures. But slowly, they almost stopped. My father and mother of that life are my soul mates. They are with me in this life too.

I believe in Past Life Regression Therapy. Many people have verified and vouched about it too. I have never been to Bikaner in this life. But during the regression, I could very clearly see the type of clothes I was wearing, the type of round hut we lived in, the type of jewelry women wore at that time, the art on the doors and window of the hut etc. After regression, I googled and everything was almost the same, considering few changes with time and development.

India, as a society, is closed. We do not believe in sharing our vulnerabilities, especially in front of a stranger and hence often restrict ourselves from seeking help when it comes to our emotional wellbeing. What has been your observation?

I have noticed a change regarding this in the last few years. Nowadays, people are slowly opening up. People are more aware of their emotional needs and find help more easily from therapists to support groups. Till a few years back, if someone was seeing a Psychiatrist or Psychotherapist, there was a big stigma attached to it . But now things are changing as a society.

The problem arises when people try to talk about their emotional distress with their family or friends. Often they are told, “Don’t think too much. Are you fine?” They are advised to go out to meet friends, or take a holiday. Few parents are not ready to understand what their children might be going through. They think mental health troubles are excuses to not study or slack off.  But it can be difficult for family and friends to be totally non-judgmental. They sometimes take it as a personal attack as if the child is pointing finger at their upbringing.

In these circumstances, talking to someone who is neutral and non-judgmental helps. And for that, therapists are well trained for!

Our country is in a cultural cusp. There are a lot of issues revolving around youth, whether its relationships, sexuality, addictions, employment… What’s your take on this? Why do you think this generation is facing complications that are so different from the earlier generations?

When people stop loving themselves and try to be something else, the problem starts. Today we all have access to so much information, we know what is happening around the world!. But we are not connected to our basics.

There are clashes existing within homes. While there is one generation still living with traditional Indian values, one is not. Youngsters are in a rat race to make big career wise. That’s a lot of pressure.

Easy access to the internet, information and social media makes it easier for people to compare themselves with others all the time.

And often in nuclear families with one offspring, the child is growing up with no one else at home but parents. They are listening to their parents’ conversations and noticing their behavior. With no one of  their age is around, children tend to start talking and behaving like grownups. With hopes of a good life, childhood disappears very fast. But emotionally they may not be ready for adult life which they start living very young. With both parents working, they are not able to give much time to the child leading to a lack of emotional support. These kinds of situations push children to depression, panic & anxiety, addictions, anger issues, suicidal thoughts etc.

What are your recommendations for the youth?

More than youth, I will recommend parents to be friends with their children. Be there for them, understand what’s happening in their life. Listen to them. Love them the way they are and don’t have unreasonable expectations or demands. Accept their potential and guide them to achieve their best within their limits.

For youth, listen to yourselves. Focus more on life skills than social media. Things are not always going to be the way we want so learn to handle disappointments. They are going to be a part of our lives. Look for happiness in small things. Don’t pick up a career just for money. That won’t keep you happy in the long run. Learn the art of Gratitude, Forgiveness, Self-Love. Be You.

I regularly conduct workshops on overcoming barriers that prevent us from doing these and people from all age groups join in these workshops.

With work related migrations and hyper nuclear nature of family structures, we’ve seen many senior citizens are left alone to fend for themselves physically and emotionally. Do you think senior citizens could benefit from hypnotherapy? 

The way nuclear families affect young children, it affects seniors too. Many face ‘empty nest syndromes’ where they live alone because children are working elsewhere. Many times, seniors are not ready to move to another city with their children. Plus with age, physical issues also start. They are not as strong as they were. They can’t manage everything. That also gives them feeling that they are losing control over their life

I have worked with a lot of seniors to let go of their disappointments; fears related to health & health issues.  As the bodies become weak, many start losing confidence. They need help with rebuilding it.
They also need support to handle grief if a partner passes away.

With Covid restrictions, children are confined to home, many addicted to gadgets, gaming etc. that’s causing behavioral issues among children. There’s also an observed growing anxiety too among children where they are scared to venture out of their homes. Is hypnotherapy recommended for children? How can it help children?

Yes. Hypnotherapy can surely help to overcome fear and anxiety. Anxiety and depression are huge issues nowadays. Even simple breathing exercises help.

As such, children are very creative. So, visualization exercises can be extremely helpful. They actually respond wonderfully to visualization techniques and meditations.

We’ve seen group therapies in Hollywood movies. You conduct similar group therapies for your clients. How does that work?

One to one sessions are best when you are working on very specific issues. But Group Sessions also work wonderfully, depending upon what you want to achieve and what kind of session you opt for. Few things get better healed in a group setting such as Family Constellations Therapy which works wonderfully and I have received brilliant feedback after all the 6 workshops that  I have conducted before. Similarly Reconnect is a workshop which is mainly an online thing where we work on overall wellbeing, where people are not able to pinpoint what’s not working and feel something is missing in life. That gives the best result only in groups. Also, with the movement restrictions nowadays, group sessions online are good options.

For these group therapies, I still have one-on-one discussions with every participant . In a few cases, there are group sessions but wherever required, I still conduct individual sessions for maximum benefit to the participant so that I can precisely understand the person’s need and know the progress.

Can you share a story of how your hypnotherapy sessions helped transform someone’s life?

The beautiful thing about Hypnotherapy is that it has no side effects and it always helps in some form or another. Sometimes these changes are very apparent and once in a while changes are only felt by the person. Hypnotherapy brings very quick changes with Anxiety, Panic Attacks and depression. I have worked with people who were on depression medication for years. With hypnotherapy, the dependence on medication reduces and with time people are able to stop medication.

It has helped people come out of traumas due to divorce, breakup, fear of failure, health, money etc. There are many ways of approaching a problem and many ways of treating it. One such form is Family Constellation.

I met a young teenager who had very bitter relationship with his father. He tried his best to avoid facing his father.  It was so bad that even when his parents lived in the same city as him, he chose to live in his college hostel. His father was also fine with it.

So, I set up Constellation for him. During the process he understood his father. He became aware of how his father actually felt for him and how his behavior was affecting the father. The session showed him what he must do and part he must play to fix things with his father.

After a few days of Constellation, he messaged me that his relationship with his father was much better and that he went on a road trip with his father and both had a really good time. 

Watching sad movies make you sad. You are literally at the receiving end of the emotions being vented out. What is your coping mechanism?   

“Me” Time.

Every day, I take out time to spend time with myself. It’s very important for me. I sit alone. Some days I meditate or sit on the terrace and just deeply notice everything around me. I focus on sounds of the wind or the leaves or just be with myself. I analyze my own thoughts, contemplate my own behavior to understand what made me behave in a particular manner, what was the trigger. And then work on that and bring peace. Also, when I work with people, that also heals a part of me

How do you evaluate a person’s emotional wellbeing? At what point do you conclude that a person is healed?

Emotional wellbeing is understood by the person first. If a person approaches a doctor for any physical issue, it’s easy to check and verify. If someone has pain, you can clearly know whether pain has gone or not. For example, if BP is not stable, you can check.

But for emotional and mental state, I have to depend on our talks. I or any therapist can talk to a person and understand or hear what person is not saying. That becomes basis of whole treatment. That skill develops with practice and experience. And how person a is healing can be felt by the person and those around them. They may start feeling interested in food, dressing up, start smiling a bit, start appreciating and noticing things around them. And then as therapy progresses, these changes become more apparent. It brings change to the way they respond to situations or people around them. This can be noticed through the course of counselling before every session. Depending upon that we progress.

But I have rarely worked for more than 6/7 session with anyone, except in few special cases. But that depends upon what we are resolving. There are people who are with me for longer duration as after therapy, they take periodic session just to maintain that “feeling good” thing.

Any final parting thoughts or advice for our readers?

My request to everyone, for feeling happy, positive, good about yourself; it needs efforts. Invest in yourself. It’s OK to feel sad, down, jealous, angry etc. But remaining in that phase for long is not right. It can be the cause of many physical issues and diseases too. If something is bothering you and you can’t handle it, please don’t ignore. Take professional help.

If you want to know more about Rachna's work or wish to contact her, visit her websites, www.rachnamur.com & www.mindmiracle.in

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