In hypnosis/NLP there is a process called the Rewind technique used for PTSD, phobias and other ‘shocks’ to the system. When we think of the words ‘trauma’ and ‘hypnotherapy’, we often assume that emotional trauma is the issue. However hypnotherapy can also help with physical trauma, because a physical shock will impact on the nervous system and carry with it an emotional response. Using the Rewind technique, we can essentially become desensitised to the shock so that our nervous system does not respond to the memory in the same way, any longer. So, Rewind can reverse emotionally charged memories, and it can also reverse the body’s memory of the event, as these two are interconnected.
You may have heard the catch cry, “the body remembers”. When the shock remains in the body, the body experiences blockages to healing. So, reversing the physical shock, and its emotional counterpart, is one of the most essential elements to physical healing. How do we do this? By reversing the memory. This does not mean that the body then forgets, but that it is no longer blocked off from healing.
The Rewind technique can be done as soon as possible after a physical trauma, such as a car accident, so that the body has the best chance of healing. Once the emotional impact of the physical shock is dealt with, the body can move forwards with its healing plan. But even when done years afterwards, the body can still begin to heal after the emotional impact is resolved.
The technique essentially works by reversing the sequence of events, in a particular way. We also place the event within a broader context so that the shock itself is not an isolated, hypersensitised incident, but an event within a sandwich of more ‘normal’ occurrences. The client will have control over the event in this technique, and will be able to manipulate it so that intensity of the event is dramatically diluted. All of this reframing tells the unconscious mind that it no longer needs to focus on this issue.
The Rewind technique is also called the Phobia Cure, and it is often used for phobias which are triggered by single events, such as seeing a snake near the house or getting stuck in an elevator. Other examples of trauma which may be positively impacted using the Rewind technique include physical accidents, some drug reactions, warfare events, or one off instances of abuse.
The process is best suited to events which have a clear beginning, middle and end, and which are relatively short lived. For example, a soldier experiencing PTSD as a result of witnessing or performing a killing could benefit from the Rewind technique if the incident was a standout, or a one off. However, if this physical shock were a regular occurrence, there would be other approaches that would serve him better.
Rewind is only one of a toolkit of devices I use with shock and trauma. It is always an individualised approach and depends on the person and their own unique story.