Releasing Fears and Phobias

Many of us are annoyed, hindered, or even incapacitated by our
fears. Perhaps these fears are generated by frightening childhood incidents
such as being bitten by a big, growling dog, or being left crying too long by
our mother. Many of our patients apologize for their fears and phobias,
discounting them as “irrational”. As part of our homeopathic interview with our
patients, we always ask about any spe- cific or general fears and find that
most of us are afraid of something. We are here to be liberated and anything
which holds us back from our freedom is best released. There are some
instances, of course, where our experience of fear is a warning to protect us
from danger and is extremely useful. The fear discussed in this article is the
type of fear which is unhealthy and is not in our highest interest. It’s one
thing to decide not to take an elevator to the 9th floor because you want the
exercise or to drive to the East Coast instead of flying because you enjoy the
scenery. It’s

another if you can’t ride in elevators because you become wildly claustrophobic
or can’t fly in an airplane because you are terrified it will crash. Many of us
think we’re stuck with our fears and phobias. Read on and you’ll see this isn’t
true.

Where do our fears come from? Through hypnosis it is often possible
to regress back to the time when our particular fear first originated. This may
be in our recent past, childhood, during our birth experience, in the womb, or
in a past life.

Take, for example, the fear of taking tests. One of our patients traced the
origin to a previous life as a ten-year old boy in a one room schoolhouse who
was unjustly punished for making a mistake in class. Because of his humiliation
in that experience, he carried with him into this life an unexplainable
performance anxiety. Another of our patients had a terrifying fear of
bridges. In hypnotic regression she was able to remember six other lifetimes
where she had had fatal or extremely frightening encounters with heights and
bridges. It is important not only to recall these prior traumas, but to relive
the trauma until it no longer has an emotional charge. These fears can then be
released for good.

Phobias in this lifetime can be generated by shocking or startling
incidents which make a profound and lasting impression on us. Thereafter,
whenever we find ourselves in a similar situation, this impression is
restimulated. Bob, for example, had a terrifying near-drowning experience at
the New Jersey shore when he was three years old. He was knocked over violently
by what he perceived as a huge wave and was under the water, unable to breathe,
for several minutes. This left with him a per-sistent fear of water which was
overcome only through private lessons with a very patient swimming
instructor.

Trauma in the womb or during our birth is a much more frequent cause of
fearfulness than most of us remember or imagine, but is widely recognized by
hypnotherapists and rebirthers. One of our patients complained of a lasting
fear of success and creativity which was traced to her mother’s labor being
delayed through medications until the obstetrician finished his golf game.
Another patient who suffers a generalized fear of people was born to teenage
alcoholic mother who told her baby in the womb every day that she wished she
would die. Many of us, when we retrace our memories back to the moment of our
own births, describe a tremendous fear of leaving the safety and comfort of our
mother’s body and the light from which we came. Reliving our births in an
atmosphere of safety and support can have profound effects on allowing us to
release fear and insecurity in the present and future.

Getting to know your fearful part(s). We have found various forms
of “parts therapy” to be extremely beneficial to help our patients understand
and overcome their fears. Assume, for example, that you have a fear of
attracting the wrong partner. If, consciously or under hypnosis, you talk with
the part of you responsible for that fear, it will probably tell remind you of
a past relationship in which you ended up feeling hurt and betrayed. This
fearful part will generally share with you, if asked, that it came into being
at the time of that emotional pain or at a particularly frightening moment in
your childhood. It will say, further, that its intention is only to protect you
and keep you safe from future relationships or events where you may be
vulnerable and hurt again. Through assuring the fearful part that you are no
longer in danger, that you now have a much greater power of discrimination to
choose a positive relationship, and informing it that you no longer need this
fear in your life, it may change its role. We often suggest that the fearful
part adopt a positive role of gently signaling the person, through a slight
shiver or twinge, for example, that caution is advised rather than filling the
person with fear and insecurity.

Using homeopathy to heal fears and phobias– We have seen that
single homeopathic remedies can bring about a profound, and sometimes very
rapid, release of fears. Since homeopathy is so specific to the individual,
different remedies are known to cure such fears as deep water, bridges, snakes,
death, cancer, ghosts, insanity, etc. Many of our patients tell us about fears
that they’ve never shared with anyone before because they feared embarrassment.
Once they understand that fears are part of a general state of imbalance, they
discuss them with us openly. Recently a woman came to us for a hypnosis
appointment. She happened to mention that she suf-fered from headaches in the
left temple when she woke up. When I immediately asked her if she feared
snakes, she looked astounded and replied, “I can’t even look at a picture of a
snake! How did you know?” I knew because the homeopathic remedy which most
clearly fit her headache symptoms is known to have also a terrible fear of
snakes.

A few months ago we saw a 46 year-old woman who complained of
agoraphobia. She rarely would leave home, especially if she were alone. If she
did have company and went to a movie, she’d sit on the aisle at the back of the
theater so she’d have an escape route if she got scared. Sometimes she would
become so claustrophobic in the supermarket that she’d leave her cart, filled
with groceries, at the checkstand and run out of the store. This woman was
visiting from California and there was no time for hypnosis, so we only used
homeopathy. We have had regular phone consultations since. She can now take
walks alone, is much more mobile in general, less claustro-phobic, and feels
she is well on the road to healing.

Ayurvedic medicine and fears– The air (Vata) type on body type or
constitu- tion is usually much more susceptible to fear, anxiety, and
insecurity. This is the type of person who is thin, has dark hair, is chilled
easily, and may have gas, bloating, dry skin, joint cracking, stiffness, or
pain, or any kind of muscular or nervous system symptoms. This body type may
have come with the person at the time of birth of may be a result of an
accident, an event which produced great fear or insecurity, or excess
stimulation through excessive travel (expecially by air), mental exertion,
meditation, worry, or use of caffeine, alcohol, or drugs. It is possible to
decrease the fearfulness and phobias through a dietary and lifestyle program
which balances the air element. Such a program would emphasize soothing
activities, oil massage and decreasing foods in the diet which increase air in
the system.

The spiritual basis of fear– Nearly any spiritual teaching
instructs that fear is associated with a lack of faith, trust, surrender, and
understanding of the nature of Self and the universe. Fear comes from
attachment and identification with the body, our desires, and the people and
objects with which we are familiar and are afraid of losing. For many of us,
the ultimate fear is that of death, which is perceived by some as the permanent
loss of everything. When we are connected with our Source, in whatever form we
experience it to be, we feel safe, protected, peaceful, and whole. We know that
we are more than the body, recognize that we are one with the infinite ocean of
Source. Most of us can remember a time when we felt wonderfully connected with
everything and everyone around us, when we felt totally loved, and nurtured,
or a past meditation where we found ourselves suspended in a timeless state of
serenity. During such a time, fear is out of the question. However, when we are
stressed by present circumstances, anxious and nervous about the future, and
feel separate from that knowingness of ourselves, fear arises. One suggestion
which we have found helpful is to remember that fear generally arises out of
the past or is projected into the future. In the present, we are usually safe.
Recently a friend told us a story about Paul Reps, a well-known teacher of Zen
now in his late eighties. Paul is famous for putting into practice the Zen
Buddhist teaching of living always in the here and now. As he was giving a
presentation some years ago in Seattle, a woman in the crowd asked him angrily
how he could be so happy and peaceful when we could have a nuclear war at any
moment. He thought for a moment, smiled, and simply retorted with another
question. “Are we having a war now?” he asked. Meher Baba was another expert
on dispelling fear. His motto was “Don’t worry. Be happy!” Gerald Jampolsky,
whose book Love is Letting Go of Fear is based on the Course in
Miracles, teaches that fear can only exist where love does not. Many shamanic
paths teach us to befriend our fear and accept it as an integral part of
ourselves.

Creating protection- Self-protection is important when we are in
the company of manipulative or harmful individuals, in healing work, and for
those of us who tend to pick up negative influences too easily. Here is one
technique which may be of help. First focus on a bright light in your solar
plexus area. Now begin to expand the light until it fills your entire body,
pervading all the cells and tissues.

Then continue to expand the light until it extends outward in all directions,
at least an arm’s length, producing a shimmering bubble of light. Affirm to
yourself, “Only light can come to me. Only light can come from me. Only light
can be here with me.”

Do this exercise frequently and you will experience a bubble of protective
light around you whenever you need it.

Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are naturopathic
and homeopathic physicians and cofounders of the Northwest Center for
Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, WA. They are coauthors of
The Patient’s
Guide to Homeopathic Medicine and Beyond Ritalin: Homeopathic Treatment
of ADD and Other Behavioral and Learning Problems. They can be reached at
(206) 774-5599.

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Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND MSW Written by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND MSW

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