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  • Writer's pictureShelly Hoekstra

Hypnotherapy, Past Life Regression, & Life Between Lives

Hypnosis is a trancelike state of mind, a level of consciousness detached from the surrounding environment, with an intense focus on the inner world. It is a state in which one becomes open to suggestion, perceiving what is imagined as real, and where we can tap into our higher knowing. Hypnotherapy is a trusting collaboration between hypnotherapist and client, where mental, physical, and behavioral conditions can be more easily addressed.

To enter a hypnotic state, different methods of induction can be used. This may include deep breathing exercises for relaxation; a visual approach, such as focusing on a specific object or guided mental images; an auditory process, such as music or chanting; or by means of progressive muscle relaxation.

The hypnotic state is much like some of the other states we are in when we lose track of time, such as daydreaming. It is similar to driving down a familiar stretch of road and suddenly coming to the realization that you lost external awareness. These are all normal states of being, and we can tap into them for our own best interest.

Many myths and misconceptions remain for hypnotherapy due to its use in entertainment. Audiences have been led to believe it is a form of mind control. That is not what happens during the hypnotic process, you are always in control. One cannot be manipulated into doing something that one would not normally do. It is a state of mind in which one becomes more open to suggestions that one is already aligned with. A state of awareness is always maintained during the process, and one always retains free will.

For those who are interested in exploring this modality on their own, self-hypnosis is an option. Identify the method of induction that you believe would work best for you and take a look at the how to options available online.

Depending on the individual, there may be rapid improvement with hypnotherapy, while it may take several sessions for others to experience serious impact. Typically, however, some improvement may be seen early on in sessions. It all hinges upon an individual's present state, history, severity of the condition, and the depths of the unconscious programming.


Hypnosis was introduced early in mankind’s existence and has been used for healing purposes for thousands of years by various cultures from around the world. In ancient times, this healing practice was often carried out during religious ceremonies. It was later used with animals, and it was not until recent times that it was introduced as a medically recognized treatment.


Research is still in its early stages but has shown some remarkable findings. Studies have identified distinct changes in brain activity during the hypnotic state, (Wolf, T. G., et al., 2022). Scientists have discovered that some of the connections between regions of the brain become stronger, while other regions of the brain become disconnected, (Jiang, H., et al., 2016). These findings, showing a different state of brain activity during hypnosis, seem to account for the altered state of consciousness, as well as the receptivity to suggestions.

An Interview with Chris Howard: The Secret of Hypnosis

Master teacher and trainer of Transformational Hypnosis, Chris Howard, reveals the hidden process of hypnotherapy in an interview on Gaia, Inspirations with Lisa Garr. (Liggett, 2014). Howard clarifies that hypnosis is really a form of self-hypnosis. It utilizes our imagination to create the reality that is desired, and it is our intention that is the crucial factor.

He explains that we see reality as being truth, but how we perceive our world is subjective and is conditioned from our family of origin, schooling, society, and personal life experiences. Therefore, our reality has been programmed, and may infringe on or conflict with the very changes we are looking to make in our lives.

With our conscious minds, we use a minimal percentage of our knowledgebase, belief systems, and programming. As little as 5%. That means that most of the wisdom we hold is coming from our subconscious minds, which is primarily running the show.

We have a firewall between the conscious and subconscious mind called the critical faculty. This wall is built around the age of eight and is meant to protect us, preventing data from automatically flooding in so that it can be assessed and discarded if it does not align with us. Before this age, we are open to, collecting, and absorbing all the information we receive in the world. As we move through our lives and meet challenges that wound us in a profound way, we continue to stack this data beyond our critical faculty wall.

Once the critical faculty is in place, it can pose a barrier to making changes easily. With positive affirmations, we can push through this barrier with repetition, moving information from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind. With hypnosis however, this critical faculty is removed, creating an openness to suggestion like children during the imprint stage.

A hypnotherapist is essentially helping people to reach through to their subconscious minds, so they have complete control over their own lives. This trancelike state provides access to and allows for change at the deepest level of our conditioned programming.

Howard expounds, that with repeated hypnotic sessions, people become better at the process. As one's ability to receive suggestions improves, one's outcomes also improve. The realistic images created during hypnosis lead to powerful emotions that fuel behaviors. Our behaviors then produce the results we get in our lives.

Conditions Treated with Hypnosis

  • Pain management

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Anxiety

  • Phobias

  • Weight loss

  • Smoking cessation

  • Stress management

  • Skin conditions

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Improved sleep

  • Asthma

  • High blood pressure

  • Migraine

  • Nausea & vomiting

And many others…


There are areas of specialization in the field, Past Life Regression and Life Between Lives hypnotherapies. Both of these modalities are currently exploding in their popularity.

Past Life Regression

Through each incarnation we have, we experience many trials and tribulations. Some of the unresolved issues can carry over from lifetime to lifetime. Past life regression is a form of hypnosis similar in state to the space between being fully asleep and fully awake. In this hypnotic state, through addressing past life trauma, karma can be released, medical issues can often be resolved, and we can progress in this lifetime with greater ease and acceleration.

There are mixed opinions as to who was the first to utilize hypnosis for past life regression. Nevertheless, one of the most popular forms used today is the Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique (QHHT), developed by Delores Cannon.

Delores Cannon is also an author. Through her extensive work with clients, she was able to gather snapshots of a final portrait occurring right now, the transformation of humanity to ascend. Her book, The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth, describes the shift we are presently in the early stages of.

Life Between Lives (LBL)

This form of hypnotherapy was developed by Michael Newton, who held a doctorate in counseling psychology, and certification as a master hypnotherapist. Newton accidentally gained knowledge of the spiritual realm as a practicing psychologist, with his clients' disclosures under deep hypnosis. What he discovered was profound, and he went on to become a globally revered spiritual regressionist.

Life Between Lives exploration is a hypnotic process where individuals can remember what life is like on the other side, between incarnations. This is where we exist as our true selves, as higher consciousness. Here, we can gain clarity on the greater picture for our soul's growth.

For more information on this treatment, to find a facilitator near you, or for training to become an LBL facilitator, please go to: Life Between Lives (

Michael Newton worked with 7,000 clients over 35 years. He was able to find commonalities among his clients that formulated a comprehensive picture of life in the spiritual realm. He describes our Life Between Lives in his books Journey of Souls, and Destiny of Souls, with numerous examples of case studies.

Reading these books changed my perspective forever. With a greater understanding of the profound suffering happening in the world, comes greater compassion. I highly recommend these books to all; despite any religious or non-religious beliefs you may hold. Michael Newton was an atheist until he stumbled upon what would become his life's work.

Special Considerations for Hypnosis

Currently, there are no standard regulations for hypnotherapy training. If you are looking for support with a serious condition, you may want to seek support from someone who has been certified by a highly recognized association, or from a licensed mental health professional who is also certified in hypnosis.



Jiang, H., et al. (2016). Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity Associated with Hypnosis. Cerebral Cortex Journal Article. Oxford Academic.


Liggett, J. (Producer), Howard, C. (Performer). (2014). Inspirations with Lisa Garr: The truth behind hypnosis with Chris Howard. [Documentary] Season 6, episode 26, Gaia Television.


Wolf, T. G., et al. (2022). Functional Changes in Brain Activity Using Hypnosis: A Systematic Review. Brain Sciences. National Library of Medicine.


Phone: (413) 569-8048


© 2021 Shelly Hoekstra, Life Coach & Alternative Healing

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