America's volunteer soldiers have given many years to the protection of our nation and its freedoms. Unfortunately despite the best efforts of the Veterans Administration, sometimes they pay all of their lives for their service to this country with physical and emotional pain. Many veterans have told us that Alchemical Hypnotherapy has helped to heal the physical and emotional scars of war far better than traditional therapies and drugs combined. In this article David Quigley describe unique strategies that can be used in conjunction with medical treatment to assist war veterans troubled by their memories and injuries.
The five most common problems that are helped by hypnosis
Bodily pain from war wounds may persist long after medical doctors have done everything they can. Phantom limb pain in amputees is just one of many examples of the physical residues of pain that can continue for years after the injury.
Terror from wartime experiences can be locked in the subconscious mind and manifest as nightmares, night terrors, excessive startle reactions, physical pain and tension, generalized anxiety, severe relationship problems and phobic reactions.
Guilt over the things one did in wartime can haunt the surviving veterans of war. This guilt is especially serious in every client where there is a moral ambiguity of that conflict. This guilt is often accompanied by unresolved anger against the military officers who gave the orders and the political leaders who created these conflicts.
Physical illnesses caused by exposure to WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) are a major problem for veterans of modern wars. The United States remains the greatest promulgator of WMDs in the world. For example, hundreds of square miles of Iraq are now contaminated by the radioactive dust of Uranium 238, brought over in tanks, bullets, and artillery. In Vietnam, thousands of square miles were contaminated by Agent Orange, a potent herbicide and deadly poison. Most veterans were in the middle of these activities, and thus, like the native populations, will be paying all their lives with chronic illnesses caused by these agents of mass destruction.
Because of all the physical and emotional pain suffered by veterans, drug and alcohol addiction are a major epidemic among war veterans.
The wounds that occur in wartime are not terribly different, physically, from the wounds caused by a car crash or other accident. Hypnotic movement has proven to be a powerful adjunct to medical treatment in dealing with the long term effects of such injuries. By reliving the incident in the body, and permitting the body to move in its own unique way in trance, the body is able to release much of the trauma residue, including chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness. Walking and other physical movements become much easier as we learn from our subconscious wisdom how to hold and move our bodies in new ways. Once a client learns the basics of hypnotic movement, they can perform these simple movements on their own every day, accelerating the benefits and saving time and money that would have been spent on years of physical therapy and pain medication.
The hypnotic technique called the "Rescue Mission" is the most powerful for the relief of terror stored in the body and is frequently recommended for traumatic childhood memories. The concept of the rescue mission for childhood memories is simple but powerful: We enter the client's traumatic childhood memory in the highly suggestible state of hypnosis, bringing with us the strength, wisdom, and compassion of the client's adult self and the therapist. We encourage the adult client to use their voice and their body to stop abusers from hurting this child. This helps release emotions, including terror, that are stored in the body around this incident. Then the client lifts the child in their arms, using a stuffed animal to represent this child physically, and promise to save the child and protect it from any further harm. This helps implant in the body deep feelings of safety and being loved.
A very similar process can be used for wartime trauma, although in these traumas it is usually necessary to bring in other helpers, like more soldiers or a tank. One client who survived the blitz of London as a child in 1941 called in Winston Churchill to rescue her family!
Guilt over the mistakes one has made in combat can haunt a soldier for a lifetime. This feeling can be overwhelming for many returning veterans and isn't made easier if one was obeying orders. Sometimes fellow soldiers died because of ones poor decisions or a clumsy rifle shot. Sometimes innocent civilians died when orders were obeyed to kill enemy soldiers at a certain location, but unarmed families were found in the burning huts of the "enemy." Some soldiers become horrified by the blood lust that took them over and turned them into killing machines. This guilt is complicated when the soldier sees plenty of evidence in their daily rounds that innocent people are suffering and dying for a war whose purpose is at best unclear.
An extremely powerful hypnotic approach to these guilty feelings is available through what is called the "remorse process." This requires the veteran to return in a hypnotic trance to the scene of devastation which created the original guilt. Then the soldier must imagine crawling on his knees from person to person among the burning and bleeding bodies, begging each one of the victims for forgiveness. Through this process, the soldier can explain how he didn't mean to hurt them. He can tell them what his orders were. He can tell them how he suffers from guilt over their deaths. For those whose forgiveness is not available, he can offer to make amends for his deeds and those of the commanding officers, and political leaders.
Such atonements offered by the soldier to these victims could include: active campaigning against this or any war, returning to the country to help families suffering from the war's effects, developing a lifestyle of peacefulness and spiritual work to share with family and friends, learning and practicing healing arts as a career, or investing in businesses that are committed to helping third world citizens rise from poverty and oppression. These offers of atonement must not be empty promises and must be followed with real action. But such promises when followed by dedicated action will bring an experience of forgiveness to the soldiers wounded heart.
The use of weapons of mass destruction in warfare did not begin in the 20th Century but the modern military strategies of destroying entire landscapes and poisoning the land itself for thousands of years is a unique feature of modern warfare. And the American soldiers, who deal with the chemicals of such destruction, pay a terrible price for their involvement, a price the US military is reluctant to acknowledge.
Removing these deadly toxins from the body is primarily a challenge for medical science. Hypnotherapy can help as an adjunct to medical treatment by introducing the methods of Somatic Healing to assist with the removal of these poisons from the body.
>> Click hear for more information on Somatic Healing
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Drug and Alcohol addiction are very difficult to heal for war veterans when the physical and emotional pain of these wartime traumas are screaming for some kind of relief. Fortunately, hypnotherapy has proven to have enormous value in releasing addictions because the emotional sources of these habits lie in the subconscious mind, the place where Hypnosis works. However, in these cases it is especially important to find a hypnotherapist who is familiar with the many unique challenges that war veterans face during their efforts at recovery.