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A Psychiatrist Discovers Unsuspected Roots of Mental and Physical Illness
By Shakuntala Modi
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 1997 Shakuntala Modi, M.D.
All rights reserved.
When I was doing my psychiatric residency, there were times when I felt very discouraged because there was no single treatment which worked for every patient. Medication works, but not in every patient; and it can make some patients more dysfunctional because of the side effects. Traditional talk therapy helps only a small percentage of patients. I saw patients who suffered for years, going from doctor to doctor and from hospital to hospital, searching for relief from their symptoms.
During my residency, I strived to learn different types of available treatment methods. I learned individual psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, psychodrama, transactional analysis, hypnosis, and hypnotherapy so I could use these various techniques with different patients to suit their needs for healing.
Medication, in some cases, does correct the chemical imbalance in the brain; in other cases, however, it just pushes the problems back into the subconscious and covers them up. The patient feels better temporarily but the problems continue to surface. More and more medication is required over a long period, restricting patients' day-to-day functioning. In some cases, patients become addicted to these medications, creating additional problems.
With talk therapy, whether individual, family, or group, patients deal with only the conscious mind. They relate to the reasons of which they are aware, consciously and intellectually. As a result, months and years of talk therapy can work to some extent, but this is only a Band-Aid approach. The problems keep recurring.
Traditional talk therapy has its successes; it also has its failures. Unfortunately, the number of failures in any given period far exceeds the number of successes. Even when augmented by psychotropic medications, the success rate of traditional talk therapy remains low.
Dismayed by the lack of success of traditional talk therapies, I decided to utilize other techniques, especially hypnotherapy, in combination with the traditional talk therapies. Hypnosis allows patients to uncover the underlying subconscious reasons for their emotional and physical problems. The unresolved problems are brought from the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. By recalling, reliving, releasing, understanding, and resolving the unresolved traumas and issues, patients can be freed from their longstanding problems in just a few sessions. Very little or no medication is required and the time involved is relatively short. I have used hypnosis effectively for insomnia, anxiety, habit control, pain control, positive suggestions for day-to-day functioning, and in hypnotherapy to uncover the underlying problems to help people.
Over the years of my psychiatric practice, I always felt good about the quality of my work and the results I had with my patients. I was able to help people with combinations of treatment modalities depending on the patients' needs. But still, at times, there were patients for whom I could not do much except use medications and supportive psychotherapy. I continued to search for ways to help my patients.
My Accidental Discovery of a Past Life
About eleven years ago, I saw Martha, a thirty-four-year-old housewife and mother of three children who was suffering from a longstanding claustrophobia, which crippled her daily life. The problem was getting worse and as a result she was becoming severely depressed and at times suicidal.
She had severe panic attacks, several times a day, every day. During these panic attacks she had difficulty breathing, palpitations, dizziness, feelings of intense fear and apprehension, and fear of dying. I began to treat her with medication and traditional talk therapy. These helped her to some extent, but her claustrophobia and panic attacks continued.
During a session, I asked her about the last time she had a panic attack. All of a sudden she became anxious and said, "Doctor, I am having one right now," and she started to gasp for breath.
I asked her to close her eyes, focus on her emotional and physical feelings, and allow those feelings to take her back to another time, to the source of her problems when she felt the same way. Martha slipped into a self-induced trance state. I thought she would probably remember a childhood incident when she was being locked in a closet, attic, bathroom, or other small room from where she could not get out.
Instead, she said she was in a different time, different life, and in a different body as a young girl. "I am in a coffin," Martha cried. "They think I am dead! They are closing the lid. I am afraid to die but what if they close the lid of the coffin and I do not die? Then what am I going to do?"
I was taken by complete surprise, but I let her continue the story and release the emotions associated with it. When she came out of this self-induced trance, she looked puzzled but relaxed. I did not know what to make of that session. To my surprise, her panic attacks disappeared right after the session. In the next session she reported that she was free of her crippling claustrophobia, depression, and panic attacks.
I was pleasantly surprised. I had not had such a miraculous result before. Many thoughts went through my mind. I wondered if any other psychiatrist or psychologist had similar occurrences where a patient spontaneously regressed to a past life and had such dramatic results.
None of my patients had ever before regressed to another life. I had heard of an accidental regression into a past life during a hypnosis conference and had seen a person being regressed to a past life on TV. I found the concept interesting, but I had not thought of utilizing it in the treatment of my patients.
I was impressed with Martha's cure. I started to search for literature on the subject of past life regression. To my surprise, there were many books written on the subject. There were many psychologists, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists, and a few psychiatrists who were using what they called "Past Life Regression Therapy."
I was upset with myself, thinking, "Where was I all this time? Why didn't I find out about it before?" I began to utilize this method in combination with other traditional therapies, often with fast and dramatic success in relieving patients' crippling symptoms.
What amazed me even more was that later, while working with other patients with claustrophobia, "being buried alive" is one of the most common themes presented by my patients and by recalling, reliving, releasing, and understanding the event, they were free of their symptoms too.
I realized that past life regression is an extension of age regression, only it takes the patient back into another life to a traumatic event that caused the problems in the current life.
Another patient, Connie, suffered from asthma. She also could not stand anything close to her neck. Under hypnosis, I asked her to move back in time to the source of her problems. She instantly found herself regressed to the time of her birth. The cord was wrapped around her neck and she could not breathe.
During the next session, Connie told me that her asthma was better but she still could not wear anything around her neck. I asked her, again under hypnosis, to go to the source of her problem and she found herself in another time and another life, when she was a man who was hanged. After releasing the emotions and the physical feelings associated with being hanged, she was completely free of her asthma and was able to wear necklaces and button her blouse all the way up to her neck.
I found that when I ask patients, under hypnosis, to "go to the source of the problem," they find themselves going to a trauma in the present life at a younger age or at the time of birth or in the womb. At other times they find themselves regressing to another time and another life. I realized that a person's subconscious mind often has the answers to his or her problems and if I allow the patient to recall, relive, release, and resolve it, he or she can be free of the symptoms.
This realization marked the beginning of an exciting journey, looking deep into the subconscious and seeking the reasons for mental illnesses. I began to understand that there are several sources of patients' problems, i.e., present-life traumas, including birth traumas and traumas in the womb, and also traumas from one or more past lives. The process is like an onion: we need to remove the reasons for the problems layer by layer.
My Discovery of the Earthbound Spirit (Entity)
After Martha was regressed into her past life to find the source of her claustrophobia, I began to use past life regression therapy effectively for treating patients with emotional and physical problems.
One day Breana, a fifty-year-old female, came to me for treatment of depression and chronic abdominal pains, which she had suffered off and on for several years. Her physical examination, laboratory tests, and gastroscopy were all normal. She wanted to try hypnotherapy to see what was causing her abdominal pain.
Under hypnosis, when I asked her to go back to the source of her abdominal pain, she found herself in another time and another life. When patients find themselves in another life, I usually ask for identifying information, such as the name, age, sex, what year it is, and what country they are in. When I asked Breana these questions she said, "I am a fifty-five-year-old white male, I live in Pittsburgh, and this is 1974."
I realized that this information could not be correct because Breana was fifty years old and was born before 1974. So it could not be her past life. I asked Breana to check again and see what was going on. She became emotional and said, "This is my father John. He died in 1974 of stomach cancer. His spirit is here with me and I can see him clearly." I was very surprised. While reading different literature on past life regression therapy, I had noticed Irene Hickman, D.O., mention in her book, Mind Probe Hypnosis, about the spirits of deceased people possessing her patient, but till now I had never come across one.
I was curious about why and how he came into Breana. So I asked him the following questions.
Dr. Modi: "John, why are you here?"
John: "I love my daughter. After my death, she was having problems so I came in to help her."
Dr. Modi: "How have you helped her?"
John: "Not much; she does not even know I am here. She is suffering with my stomach pain because I died of stomach cancer, but she thinks it is her pain."
Dr. Modi: "Tell me, exactly how did you come in?"
John: "After my body died, she was sad. I just came in to comfort her but then I couldn't leave her. I got stuck here."
Dr. Modi: "Since you are here, look inside her, and tell me who else is there."
John: "There are many people here inside her, but I do not know who they are."
Breana could not recognize them either. They were strangers. I wondered what to do with these spirits of different people in her. During past life regression therapy, my patients had often reported seeing angels and their departed loved ones in the bright white Light coming to help them after the death of their physical bodies. So I asked John to look up and tell me what he saw.
John [surprised]: "I see a bright white Light filling the entire room and my deceased mother in it wearing a white flowing gown. She does not look sick or old as she was when she died. She is smiling and asking me to come with her. There are also many beautiful angels in the Light."
John and the spirits of other people who were inside Breana were sent into the Light with John's mother and angels, after saying goodbye to Breana. After the session, Breana and I were both surprised. Breana was very emotional about seeing her father and grandmother. On one hand, she was sad, but on the other hand she felt happy and at peace, knowing that they were really not dead and that they both were in heaven. Breana had no doubts whatsoever about what she saw during the session. She did not think that she was making it up.
During the next session, Breana reported that she was free of her longstanding depression and stomach problems. She recalled that her father had cancer of the stomach and he had been very depressed after he learned of it.
I was surprised to find that spirits of deceased people can come on board in patients and affect them physically and emotionally. Many questions ran through my mind. Breana's father and the other people in her: were they real or was she fantasizing about him because she missed him? Maybe this was her way of grieving and letting go of her father? But why the strangers? And if it was all her fantasy, then how was it that her longstanding depression and stomachache were completely relieved after that session?
If the spirits were real then why was it that none of my patients ever reported them before? Could it be there were spirits in other patients too, but we had not recognized them? I did not know. All I knew was that my patient was free of her longstanding symptoms in just one session, and that was good enough for me.
After that session, many of my patients, under hypnosis, reported having spirits of deceased people inside them. Some they knew and some they did not. Releasing the spirits released their emotional, mental, and physical symptoms in just a few sessions. Sometimes in just one or two hypnotherapy sessions patients' long standing psychological and physical symptoms started to disappear.
About one and one-half years after I began to work with these earthbound spirits, a psychologist, Edith Fiore, published a book, The Unquiet Dead, which had information and techniques similar to those given by my hypnotized patients.
I do not know whether these spirits are real or not, or if my patients' subconscious minds made up these fantastic stories. It really does not matter to me. All I know is that releasing these so-called spirits relieved my patients of their symptoms. As a psychiatrist working with patients who are suffering with their psychological and physical symptoms, results are more important than the proof.
My Accidental Discovery of the Demon Spirit (Entity)
A few months later, I was surprised and shocked when a patient under hypnosis told me that he had a demon inside his head. It would perhaps be logical for a person raised in the American culture to describe his problem as being demoncaused because of cultural and religious beliefs; but I was at a loss. How do you deal with a demon? The only exposure I had was through the movie The Exorcist and my patient was not acting and behaving like the character portrayed in that movie.
This patient, Nick, a thirty-five-year-old man, had a history of frequent migraine headaches since he was a teenager. He also described suffering from depression and chronic fatigue for several years. I explained to Nick about hypnotherapy and the different reasons my patients in the past have given for their physical and emotional problems, including the problems caused by the current and past life traumas and the earthbound spirits. Nick was willing to try it.
As we began the session, Nick started to experience severe headaches. I asked him to look inside his head and tell me what he saw. As Nick looked inside his head he said he saw nothing except darkness. As he continued to focus on the darkness inside his head, he said that it was kind of moving around and it looked like a black blob. I thought there might be an earthbound spirit in his head trying to hide, as I had found this phenomenon many times in the past with other patients. So I tried to communicate with the one who was moving in his head. The following is the transcript of what happened.
Entity in Nick's head: "I am a foul one. Why do you want to bother with me?" Dr. Modi [in an effort to establish a dialogue with the entity]: "Tell me, are you a male or a female?"
Entity [arrogantly]: "Why would I want to be a human?"
Dr. Modi [surprised]: "What do you mean? If you are not human, then who are you?"
Entity [laughing arrogantly]: "I am a demon. I am a disciple of Satan. He is my master and he sent me to torture this person."
I was shocked and surprised. The only change I saw in Nick was a change in the tone of his voice and angry expressions and arrogance on his face. Nick normally spoke softly and was gentle and polite. At this point the only logical step, it seemed to me, was to continue the dialogue to find out more about this so-called demon.
Dr. Modi: "How old was Nick when you joined him?"
Entity: "Fifteen, when this dumb kid was using drugs. This opened him up and I came in."
Dr. Modi: "You said you are here to torture Nick. How did you torture him?"
Entity [laughing]: "Now lady, why do you think he is having the headaches? I am doing it. I also siphon his energy so he feels tired and drained all the time. I can create any type of problem for him. It is fun."
As this so-called demon talked more, Nick's headaches became worse. Nick stated that the whole room was filled with brilliant white Light and many angelic beings were there. He saw the angelic beings surrounding this black being, the so-called demon in his head, with the Light. The being was reacting very violently to the Light and screaming, "Take this Light away from me. It will destroy me; it will kill me."
Excerpted from Remarkable Healings by Shakuntala Modi. Copyright © 1997 Shakuntala Modi, M.D.. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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