Hypnotic Regression in the Prenatal and Natal Period
Ștefania (Frigioiu) Ciucur1
Abstract: Many of our feelings existed before we were born. We came to this earth with a dowry of emotions and feelings that permeated our body cells and DNA with our first breath and became the pattern of all the beliefs through which we filter our lives throughout it. The beliefs we come up with are the engine that sets us in motion and will attract life situations that will confirm and validate those early beliefs, any future process depending on that fact. Our perceptions were activated in the first moments of life, regardless of the conditions at birth. In the first hours of life, depending on the positive or negative experience, we created the way we see the world today. The feelings we experienced during the birth are the basis of future perceptions. These perceptions were the foundation of our first beliefs that continued to be confirmed as we continued our lives and created the pattern we were guided by, accompanied by the thoughts and feelings generated by that pattern. If we do not become aware that these thoughts and feelings generate blockages that do not allow to be pierced by information that does not correspond to deep-rooted beliefs, we are doomed to live and relive those strong feelings that underlie the beliefs we established in the first hours of life. The wide scope of application of the regressive hypnosis treatment is the chance for cures that seemed, not long ago, to be the realm of the miracle.
Keywords: lockages; consciousness; hypnosis; behaviour; stress; hormones; emotions; emotional memory; memories; cellular memory; prenatal life; postnatal life
Exactly how do these blockages take place? We know that in order to achieve homeostasis, our body must be in balance and harmony. When the body experiences negative feelings and thoughts through fear, apprehension or anger, the body short-circuits and produces blockages that in turn will change the perfection of the cells and will underlie all the diseases, problems and traumas we will experience.
According to Freud, the child has no consciousness when he is born and begins to form his personality from the age of two. But the latest research has shown that from birth the child is endowed with many physical and mental abilities acquired in the prenatal period. From the time he is in the womb, the fetus hears, tastes and even learns in an extremely primitive form and has his own feelings. He develops his sensitivity to light in the sixteenth week of pregnancy, develops his basic reflexes starting with the fourth month, which allows him to have facial expressions. After another two months he becomes sensitive to touch like a newborn. She begins to hear from the third month of pregnancy, listening to the noises in his mother’s body but also the music and voices of people. In the fourth month, it develops his neural circuits and cerebral cortex, which allows him to support his consciousness. In the last trimester of pregnancy, his brain waves become distinct and he is perfectly equipped with all the physiological abilities of a newborn. But what is most important for the psychological development of the fetus but also for the actual birth experience is the mother’s attitude towards the child but also towards her partner.
The mother is the main source of emotional and behavioral stimuli that influence the fetus. This communication is unique and occurs on many fronts, physically, through the hormones secreted by the mother, through the behavior of the mother in the family and social environment, through feelings of love, attachment, protection and maternal instincts. The main tool of communication between mother and fetus are hormones that pass very easily from her to him, as well as food, alcohol or drugs. When the mother faces extreme stress, this negatively affects the development of the fetus.
Stress for a long time keeps the mother’s nervous system in a state of “fight or flight”. His adrenal glands are forced to release stress hormones, such as adrenaline or chortisol. Prolonged activation of the sympathetic nervous system prevents the parasympathetic nervous system and natural self-regulatory mechanisms from functioning. However, the fetus is endowed with a relatively high resistance, which allows him to cope with isolated negative thoughts and events, the problem arising when situations become serious. On the other hand, feelings of love, affection, acceptance, positive thoughts, form a very strong shield, which allows the fetus to cope with potentially stressful moments in the mother’s life, especially when these feelings are missing and the mother is not satisfying the emotional needs of the fetus, his body and soul begin to wither.
In the intrauterine period, the experiences to which he is subjected create vulnerabilities, predispositions but also susceptibilities to various personality traits. The increased level of stress hormones such as adrenaline, oxytocin or noradrenaline, intensifies his degree of biological susceptibility to personality disorders, but also to other functional disorders or reduced cognitive abilities. Chortisol passes through the placenta and causes physical and neurological changes in the fetus. Thus, the mother tells him that he is preparing to come to a world considered by her as dangerous, risky, programming the child to be hypervigilant, aggressive, possessive and very vulnerable to environmental factors. But the most devastating for the fetus’ development is the mother’s attitude of denying him or her lack of love and support. Whether this is due to illness, trauma, or hostility to an unwanted pregnancy, the fetus in this situation falls into a depression that can last a lifetime. There are mothers who, at some point during pregnancy, wanted to have an abortion. Children born by them are unable to attach, they are neurotic, because their conscious self has fed on the fear, anxiety and unhappiness of the mother, reaching adulthood anxious, unhappy, suspicious. Loving mothers give birth to children who are much better developed in all respects, physically healthy, with a strong nervous system, with a self fueled by love and affection.
Another important influence for the prenatal life of the fetus is exerted by the quality of the couple’s relationship and the father’s attitude towards pregnancy. Research has shown that the risk of giving birth to children with physiological or psychological problems increases by 237 percent in conflicting couples, compared to harmonious and happy families. Impressive is that this growth rate is much higher than those caused by smoking, physical illness, alcohol consumption or very heavy physical work. The birth process itself is also of overwhelming importance. Memories during birth remain imbued with profound details in the memory of children. The more traumatic the experience the greater the risk of psychological and physiological problems, including serious illnesses such as schizophrenia or psychosis. Under these conditions, it is obvious that what will help the birth process to take place in favourable conditions is the mother’s attitude towards the idea of motherhood, as well as her level of stress and anxiety. Birth trauma can be reduced if those involved, namely doctors and nurses, show understanding and sensitivity, especially since prenatal and postnatal experiences are perpetuated for a long time in adult life. Thus, every time the mother is stressed, the hormone ACTH (adenocorticotropin), which regulates the flow of stress hormones enters the child’s system and causes him to keep a clear and vivid picture of the mother’s anger and the effects it produces on him (Truman, 2009, p. 46).
Under these conditions, it becomes more than opportune and necessary to regularly practice hypnotic regression in the numerous patients who turn more and more often to find answers to the helplessness, despair and endless suffering. Research has shown that experiences during regression go right back to conception, suggesting that there is a form of intuitive memory, stored at the cellular level, that allows even the egg and sperm to record and store memories (Truman, 2009, p. 47). When the two cells meet, they combine their genetic programs from two distinct people, mother and father, to which are added the feelings recorded individually and in pairs by the two parents during conception and throughout the pregnancy period. The fetus feels everything that happens to the mother and father and is dramatically influenced by their thoughts and emotions throughout this time. If the life of the two were to run smoothly and harmoniously, the newborn would be influenced in the best possible way. Unfortunately, how many people can afford such a lifestyle?
Most face stress and challenges, financial or family problems during their nine months of pregnancy. Leaving or abandoning one of the couple’s partners is common. Hence resentments and suffering that can make the fetus feel unwanted, rejected, unloved. The effect of these emotions can be a decisive factor in the later life of the child and the adult later. If during the nine months, the baby cannot think, he can feel instead. When preparing to be born, the child goes through a state of maximum stress. His brain enters a state of “fight or flight”, preparing him to cope with dramatic changes. The mother’s fear and anxiety during childbirth reaches its peak, which joins the inevitable pain. His adrenal glands secrete a massive number of steroid hormones, the child’s body also continues to secrete hormones, and after many hours they are both equally exhausted. Unfortunately, medical interferences are added to these. Let us remember that during communism, births took place in conditions far from human, mothers, reached the birth time, after being undressed and lined up like animals, were left for tens of hours together, in a huge room, feeding one to each other the horror, the fear, the humiliation, the shame. The medical staff were absolutely indolent, devoid of empathy, humanity, kindness. What is the result? Two generations marked by fear and sadness, the first resigned, the second struggling to save something. Because, if it’s too late for the first generation, there’s still a chance for the second. Fortunately, today we have access to a wide range of techniques that reconfigure painful memories of the prenatal period and birth, the traces and causes of patients’ suffering appear on the surface, they finally understand why they have low self-esteem, or why they blame themselves and why they feel so desperate. Discovering these implications and connections is the starting point for healing them.
Let’s go back to the time of birth and take for example a troubled birth. Sometimes doctors use tools such as vacuum cleaners or forceps. The baby’s frail head is brutally pulled, the vacuum cleaners are inserted into the baby’s mouth and nose, he feels suffocated, his umbilical cord is cut, he is weighed on a cold and hard scale and placed in a crib for newborns. Completely exhausted, drugged, he struggles to breathe normally, while his muscles, which have been extremely stressed, live in a state of confusion and poor coordination. If he is less fortunate, he is taken half dead to an incubator. In other words, after leaving the warm, safe and quiet place of the womb, he is assaulted, abrupt in every way possible and subjected to severe physical pain. And that wouldn’t be so bad, but he’s isolated from his mother. All this time, the child’s body activates the so-called reticular activation system that allows the brain to regulate brain functions, receives information from different parts of the brain and sense organs, coordinates these messages and helps regulate brain activity. Controlled by the reticular system monitors the excitability of the spinal cord, but also the position and tension of the muscles. In other words, this reticular system decides to what extent the child was born experiencing the feeling of love or fear. This feeling is formed during and immediately after birth. It is imperative that the child be placed next to the mother immediately, in order to feel her heartbeat with which he is accustomed and to be caressed for at least 45 minutes. Thus, he has a much higher chance of adopting a behavioral pattern based on love in adult life.
Unfortunately, in our country only in recent years these things have been realized and only recently they are considered. A newborn who has been brutally separated from his mother for several hours immediately after being born has at least six months to reconnect with his mother, during which time he has frequent bouts of crying and crying, non-acceptance of the mother. And that’s because, immediately after birth, the child becomes receptive, even desperate to receive any emotional stimulus to reduce stress. Research that has been done has shown that the mother is genetically programmed to caress and continuously stimulate the child’s body, creating an extremely important and strong connection with him. In a study on childhood autism, Zaslow and Breger showed that the child’s hug, words of comfort, smiles, nourishment are absolutely necessary to create a very strong connection with his mother (Internet Source).
At the subconscious level, we all want to relive that state and that life that we experienced in the mother’s body. The impossibility to find the state of comfort and inner peace makes us sick little by little. No matter how hard we try, we go even deeper, feeling unconsciously drawn to disorder and a dysfunctional state, because we feel the need to confirm our beliefs, even if they are not correct and are caused by the wrong perceptions we have had at the time of our birth. Many people become more and more frustrated, marked by unhappy and disharmonious experiences, as they work harder to find peace and tranquility. They conclude that they have lost control of their lives and that all they have to do is give up the fight. It is not surprising that many of them strive to discover the cause of their discomfort, lack of self-esteem, suffering and inner emptiness. Increasingly used in specialized practices, hypnotic regression manages to bring to the surface the memories and feelings that were buried in the prenatal and natal period and brings healing, opening new perspectives on the human being and managing to transform the feelings and beliefs of the people who brought so much suffering into their lives.
Numerous researches have revealed the connection between the moment of birth and the period before, on the one hand, and the appearance of several psychological problems, on the other hand. The causality of some pathologies was thus identified and appropriate treatment methods were issued. It has also been unequivocally demonstrated that the newborn is fully conscious and cognitive, capable of communication, affectivity, wisdom, perceptions and other manifestations. There are many examples of such memories related to the time of birth, obtained by hypnotic regression. These are consistent evidence that validates the existence of memories of birth. Over time, famous psychoanalysts have written about the experiences they have had with their patients who have revealed memories of their own births (Rochas, 1911; Kelsey, 1953; Le Cron, 1954; Cheek, 1975; Chamberlain, 1981-1988, Scott & Scott 1984). David Cheek (1975, 1986) applied hypnosis to 500 people, recreating specific moments, involving movements in uterine life and during birth. Memories stored at the muscle level remained imprinted and were very well reproduced during hypnosis. Another Russian psychologist in 1982 identified in patients undergoing deep regression a series of true neonatal reflexes that could not have been simulated (Internet Source). The bottom line is that these reflexes remain stored in cellular memory, so they can be recovered. The findings also showed that memory is just one of the incredible abilities a newborn has.
Sigmund Freud revealed: “what the mind has forgotten, the body does not forget ... fortunately.”
There are two types of memory: the most conscious, namely explicit memory, and the least conscious, that is, implicit memory. The latter is divided into affective memory and procedural memory. Affective memory contains memories that cannot be deliberately evoked or accessed, they appear and disappear from time to time, crossing the border of our conscious knowledge and organizing around emotions. These emotions are felt in the body as physical sensations (Levine, 2018, p. 55). While affective memories are signals, procedural memories are internal impulses, movements, and bodily sensations that form our patterns of action. These patterns of action represent instinctive reactions and play an important role in the formation and development of traumatic memories and include fighting, running away, freezing, retreating, refreshing. To these are added the tendencies of approach or avoidance, of attraction or repulsion. Avoidance involves motor acts such as withdrawal, contraction, freezing, while the approach includes touching, expanding, extending (Levine, 2018, p. 62). These patterns of attraction or repulsion represent the motivational engine of life, the compass we follow in life. The ability to move between what is conscious and what is less conscious is an important part of the process of integrating traumatic experiences, finding out who we were, who we are and who we want to become. Hypnosis is a means of resolving these traumatic memories and consists in the gradual release of terrible pain and the restructuring of maladaptive and dysfunctional responses, restoring balance and well-being. During hypnosis, two types of regression can be induced, namely pseudo-regression, in which the patient behaves as he thinks and would like to have behaved during that period, and age regression in the true sense of the word, in which the patient he goes back in time, reliving those memories and emotions, in order to restructure his personality (Holdevici, 1995, p. 118).
In the process of personality restructuring, it combines, in addition to hypnotic regression, suggestions for self-strengthening, decreased anxiety but also increased self-esteem, an extremely important element in the production of healing (Holdevici & Vasilescu, 1993, p. 172). Self-image is the greatest psychological discovery of this century and means our opinion of ourselves. These beliefs about us have formed in the subconscious and come from what we have experienced in the past, especially fear, failure, humiliation and in general from the way others have behaved with us, especially in the first part of life. From all this, we have subconsciously built a self-image that has become automatic, we do not question its validity, but we even act as if it were real. Thus, everything we do, our feelings, our emotions, are in accordance with that self-image, no matter how much effort of will we make to consciously improve this self-image.
A person who thinks of himself as a victim of the injustice of others and is destined only to suffer will always find opportunities to confirm this view. This is because everything we experience, every emotion, thought or feeling, sends messages to every cell of the body, affecting the cells of the body in a positive or negative way. In other words, the DNA of cells is influenced by the quality of the messages transmitted by those thoughts, emotions and feelings. These messages are then imprinted in the cellular memory that will form each person’s self-identity. As it needs, the cell unconsciously and automatically appeals to this cellular memory that thus governs the beliefs that underlie our behavior (page 50, K. Karol Truman, 2009). As soon as a belief about us enters our DNA, we act as if it were real. The self-image thus becomes the basis from which the personality that generates behaviors is formed, but also life circumstances that verify and strengthen our self-image, entering a vicious circle from which it is difficult to get out (Maltz, 2017, p. 25). If the feelings we experienced while in our mother’s womb or those we experienced during our birth were made us feel unwanted and rejected, we will travel in life creating our own way, unconscious situations that make us feel more and more rejected, thus validating the belief impregnated in the subconscious. People want to feel in control of their lives, the ego must always be right, so the mind will create all the situations that are in line with those beliefs and our self-image.
Fortunately, self-image can change, the many cases in which the moment of birth was restored, or the period before birth, in which forgotten psych traumatic memories were unearthed by regression, feelings of rejection, unloved, abandonment, are evidence of the possibilities of change of behaviors, beliefs and self-image. What should be emphasized instead is that, although techniques and methods that have been assiduously promoted lately, among which I would mention the so-called positive thinking, have emerged, they are in fact only a delusion. Many of us, although we have tried to use positive thinking in various life situations, or we have tried to correct some personality defects, “I will win this contest”, “I will stay calm”, “I will not be affected”, “I’m strong, I’m smart”), I didn’t succeed. This is because we have not tried to change our self-image, which is actually the basis of our beliefs and which we already know is in the subconscious. Only in this way and only in this way can we succeed in changing things. Jesus taught us that it is a utopia to put a patch of new quality material on an old garment or to pour new wine into old bottles. In other words, in vain would we think positively, if you have a low self-image, it is impossible to hope that you will behave like a winner as long as you, inside yourself, in your subconscious, feel like a loser. That is why techniques are needed to increase the level of suggestibility as a result of which patients are induced changes in thinking, sensitivity, memory, motor skills, affectivity. The absolutely spectacular changes that are made after hypnosis are the basis of self-structuring and healing (Holdevici & Vasilescu, 1993, p. 172).
Numerous experiments have shown that when the self-image changes, other situations and other things will happen because they will agree with the new self-image. Prescott Lecky, one of the pioneers of self-image psychology, believes that personality comprises a system of values that must agree with each other, at the center of which is the self-image, the ideal self of the individual, and everything that does not fit the system is rejected, because it is not believed, so it is not accepted (Maltz, 2017, p. 27). What creates a nightmare self-image are the emotional scars that prevent us from having a fulfilled life and a creative existence. If you were a child desired by your mother, you will feel welcome in this world, if instead your mother did not want you, you will feel all her negative resentments against you, which will remain deeply imprinted in your soul. Because, although it was not known before, the latest studies have shown that the fetus knows and feels everything since the uterine period, is aware of everything that happens outside, the relationships that his mother has, her joys or sorrows and in general if desired. Shockingly, he seems to know when he is in the womb that there was an abortion before him, information that will create a permanent state of fear and danger that he may suffer the same. It is even worse if an abortion was attempted on him but continued to be preserved. He will remain in the depths of his soul with the idea that he is unwanted, that this world did not want him, that he wanted to get rid of him. The relationship with the world is hostile, the relationships with others are not marked by cooperation, generosity, dedication, acceptance, but by fear, retaliation and protection against all. That person lacks empathy, compassion for others, but also for himself and manifests himself through frustration, aggression and isolation. No matter how hard I try, I don’t think I can show in the true dimension the monstrosity of this aggression on a human being, this crime against nature. Moreover, the isolation of the child at birth from his mother destroys any chance to connect emotionally, to recover after the shock of birth, the child’s body needing a long time to bring his sensory system to life, which is why all other natural stages of specific development are completely blocked, long delaying any learning process. The inability of the newborn to return to the womb he knows (the mother’s uterus) triggers changes that will never recover, except with specialized help.
There are many examples of this and suggest more than obvious that these memories of the prenatal period and birth occur in hypnotherapy sessions because there is an important link between them and personality formation, so it should be treated with caution. This understanding will lead to profound changes in the attitude, emotions and personality of patients, the traces and causes of their suffering being identified and healed, because if in the past the traumatic situation seemed hopeless, now the healing is not only that it is possible, but it also happens.
Another significant issue I would like to dwell on is the importance of language and its effects on newborns. The dialogues that take place between the mother and her interlocutors in the environment in which she lives during the nine months of pregnancy on the one hand, but also the exchanges of remarks that take place between doctors, nurses and the mother during the actual birth, remain impregnated in the child’s memory, influencing his destiny. Many patients remember words under hypnosis, harsh remarks made by all of them that cause real long-term trauma. Here are examples of this kind of dialogue that occurred during therapy: “how weak is he, will he be able to be normal?”, “He is not important, to take care of the mother”, nothing, “it’s amazing that he was born, how many problems he has”, he was without oxygen for too long, he won’t be well anyway, “he will be a difficult child, a retard in all aspects of life “, I was hoping to be a boy, take her away from me, “ why don’t you wrap the cord around his neck to strangle her?” or words of the brothers: “we do not want a baby”. No wonder some people hate their mother or siblings, that they can’t find a purpose, that they feel like Venetians, that they don’t feel wanted, that they don’t feel important, they don’t belong to anyone and they live their whole lives as if they were in an endless war with an unknown enemy.
If until recently, it was believed that newborns are devoid of intelligence, emotions, personality and memory, today, thanks to innovative methods, but also tireless therapists who do not stop looking, to discover the source of our pain and trauma, change scientific opinions, raising humanitarian concerns and responding to our cries for help. Many people may think that hypnosis is magic, similar to witchcraft, but in fact it leads us to a rediscovery of our inner universe and gives us the opportunity to access our inner resources to consciously use instead. To be used by them. All the more fascinating is the fact that it does not involve a series of complicated steps, or an abracadabra ritual, but is a process meant to bypass the conscious mind and open the door to the subconscious.
Feelings of despair, helplessness, low self-esteem, guilt, frustration present in patients, are fingerprints that therapists categorize as programs, patterns that are automatically imprinted in their personality, until they are aware and changed. The dynamics of hypnosis allow these patterns to be altered and are a chance for healing. Moreover, perinatal patterns are extremely strong because the birth itself is a potentially critical situation, in which the newborn is powerless, vulnerable, and the adults he depends on can make decisions that are not necessarily good.
I would like to emphasize the purpose of this manifesto, this cry of awareness of the need to all have an attitude of support, empathy for unborn children, which would help them to consider themselves from the first whim human beings, not some simple superior animals. All the more, so as it would help us to prevent destructive tendencies of the personality and to have a healthier society as a whole.
It depends on all of us and each of us. If you have children, remember what feelings and thoughts you experienced during the nine months of pregnancy. You probably refuse to remember them, because today you realize that all those emotions had a decisive effect on the later life of your child and the adult he became. Think now about the feelings your parents experienced during your own pregnancy. Now everything seems clear, right? Abrupt relationships, poor self-image, depression, helplessness…
Most people are not aware that we have inner resources that once accessed will open the door to an intuitive, innate understanding of self-improvement both physically and mentally. This access is favored by the hypnosis process, but also by relaxation or self-hypnosis techniques (Holdevici, 1995, p. 31).
I would like to conclude by emphasizing that God has endowed us with a natural ability to be happy within ourselves, regardless of external things, having a cellular memory of perfection contained in DNA, which can never be lost. It is only covered by memories that distort it. Our wrong programs, our wrong beliefs have changed this pattern perfectly. The therapist discovers these memories that covered the perfection set by God, knocks on the door of the subconscious and asks him to make the necessary corrections, eliminate distortions and bring back the memory of cellular perfection throughout the body, realigning us with God’s laws.
Inner happiness is our nature, so there is nothing to learn but only to release, it has been put there by God, only it cannot manifest. So it is a utopia to try to learn or to learn. It’s like trying to teach a duck to swim. If it is afraid of water because of any trauma she has gone through, it will refuse to swim, so to fulfill its true nature, although it knows how to swim, it is inscribed in its genetic code, in its being, there is no need we learn it, we just have to help it forget the scare, the trauma. It is what the therapist does, he removes the veil of ignorance, which prevents us from manifesting our true nature, the joy and happiness of being, he sets aside what covers it, he cleanses the shining diamond over which mud has been deposited, but which has not entered the composition of the diamond but only covered it. Patiently clean layer by layer until it shines again.
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1 Graduated Student, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Specialization Psychology, Danubius University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd., 800654 Galati, Romania, Tel.: +40372361102; Fax: +40372361290, Coresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Trends in Psychology, Vol. 3, no 1/2021, pp. 7-18