Alternatives

Published: Sunday December 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday December 15, 2013 MYT 10:37:06 AM

Facing your fears

A psychologist comes up with a combination of yoga, hypnosis and auditory vibrations to help people bring their minds, bodies and spirits into balance.

IF possible, most of us would want to live free of drugs and pain. We want to be physically, emotionally and mentally balanced.

When something moves out of balance, our mind and body go out of sync, too. That’s when we need healing.

After much research on different healing modalities, Dr Lennie Soo, a psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist, has come up with a unique, non-invasive method called the Full Moon Vibrational Gong Healing.

By combining simple yoga postures, hypnotherapy and gong healing – three modalities with proven track records – she has seen positive healing results in her clients.

“With medication, the pace of recovery may not be so fast. The body may heal, but not the mind.

“Vibrational healing is among the fastest ways to achieve results with daily problems, such as confidence and stress, as well as ailments, such as fertility and irritable bowel syndrome, which are very much affected by stress,” she says.

Dr Soo calls it vibrational healing, but the Chinese call it chi healing, the Indians, pranic healing, and the Japanese, reiki.

The energy is the same, but is introduced and harnessed in a different manner.

According to Dr Soo, research reveals that the vibrational sounds of the gong help reduce stress, stimulate the glandular system, strengthen the immune system, clear negative energies, increase intuition and cleanse negative karma.

It also helps activate and tune your vibrations, aligning and balancing your chakras and energy grid.

These vibrations focus and slow the mind, moving the body into a deeper, slower state of vibration. It is in this deep state that healing and realignment can occur.

“I am constantly looking for ways to put my patients into a trance state, where I can access their subconscious and deeper unconscious minds.

“I found that different people respond better to different types of inductions, for example, physical induction (kinaesthetic types), narrative induction (visual types), emotive induction (feeling types) or waking induction (nervous types).

“I started to experiment with techniques that involve all the senses within a person.

“By combining bodywork (yoga) and the gong (auditory), most patients are able to relax more deeply and become less resistant to hypnotic suggestions.

Dr Soo starts beating the gong as participants enter a deep state of relaxation after a session of gentle yoga stretching and breathing exercises. ¿ Photos by RICKY LAI/The Star
Dr Soo starts beating the gong as participants enter a deep state of relaxation after a session of gentle yoga stretching and breathing exercises. – RICKLY LAI/The Star

“Many experience cathartic releases in one session, which accelerates their healing,” she explains.

Getting relaxed

This writer was invited to try out a recent session held at BE Urban Wellness, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur.

I had experienced gong baths before, where you are surrounded and immersed in the sound of gongs, but this was completely new and I didn’t know what to expect.

The objective of the session was for Dr Soo to address deep-rooted fears, phobias and anxieties in participants.

While the sessions do not have to take place solely during the full-moon period, Dr Soo says research has strongly indicated that the moon affects human behaviour.

She says: “Extrapolating the conclusions of this research, I felt that the biggest positive effects that therapy can have on a person is when that person is at their peak negative state.

“It is for this reason that I have the group therapy session during the full moon.

“It can bring out the worst in people, and allow therapy to be its most effective.

“Naturally, it has to be well-controlled, and at no time must the people be exposed to actual danger.

“The perceived danger for phobias, for example, comes mainly from their own irrational fears, and not from exposure to real danger.“

The motley crew of participants were in a sea of whites, except yours truly, who didn’t know there was a colour code. White emits all colours, easing the way for heavy and dark emotions to be discharged.

We started off with some yoga breathing and gentle stretching, led by lawyer-turned-yoga teacher Balraj Pannu.

The breathing helped induce us into a state of relaxation, and as we lay on the floor, face up (relaxation pose), Dr Soo started beating the gongs.

It was therapeutic, and when we had a sharing session later, everyone reported having had different images in their mind.

Dr Soo says: “This form of therapy is very safe for all races, ages and background.

“Most people sleep through the entire session and wake up feeling transformed in ways that feel ‘natural’.

“When they wake up, they forget the stress they brought with them to the session.”

An unexpected guest

What came next was totally unexpected.

Dr Soo went to the corner of the room, grabbed a basket and announced: “I’ve got a guest in here. Just sit quietly and feel your fear. I’m going to count down to ten, then you’ll open your eyes and you will have no fear.”

There were hushed whispers all around; some participants started uttering profanities, some cried, others smiled, while I sat frozen.

Earlier, we were asked to fill a questionnaire on our fears, and I had noted down “snakes and leeches”, giving it a five on a scale of one to 10 (10 being “absolutely terrified”).

Some had mentioned fear of sharks, cockroaches, rats, drowning, confined spaces, etc, but the majority had said snakes.

As I suspected, she took out a three-year-old python, Samson. Someone screamed and started sobbing hysterically, whereupon Dr Soo went to calm her down.

Dr Soo then told us to close our eyes, immerse ourselves in our fear, while she counted down from 10. When we opened our eyes, our fears would supposedly have disappeared, or subsided.

My heart started to race as Dr Soo then invited a participant to carry the reptile (this participant had rated her fear as a nine).

The woman coolly cradled Samson in her arms and said he felt “expensive”.

I was up next.

No, no, I can’t do it, I pleaded.

“Just try,” urged Dr Soo. “Come and give Samson your hand. Let him smell you.”

I just about managed, but couldn’t bring myself to touch him, even though he seemed like a friendly fellow.

But, it was a start.

Self-directed healing

What do Dr Soo’s results from her new healing modality reveal?

“You have observed for yourself that quick results can be achieved with phobias for some people, and for others, it might take a few more sessions.

“All benefit from it at a cellular level because it does affect the para-sympathetic and nervous systems in a positive way.

“Vibration healing is non-directive and non-suggestive. You take from the session what you need.

“The role of the therapist is to engage with all your senses at a subconscious level, and it is entirely up to your body, mind and spirit to direct it towards whatever your physical, mental, emotional or psychological parts need and want.

“Thus, with phobias, we direct you towards your phobia and give you the resources to deal with it hypnotically.

“Then, it is up to you to release it whenever you feel ready to do so.

“The degree of release is determined by your own subconscious mind, or perhaps you might want to examine your own fears within the safety of the therapeutic setting.

“Our fear affects us very deeply and controls our psyche.

“Fear is the product of the story you tell yourself.

“When you can conquer your fears, it opens you to courage, strength and limitless possibilities,” she says.

Hence, the kiasu part of me decided I could indeed conquer my fear, and I asked Dr Soo if I could try again.

She gladly obliged, and this time, I managed to hold Samson for a few seconds.

It didn’t seem that bad, but I was feeling squeamish the whole time.

So, did I conquer my fear?

I don’t know yet. If my stomach woes improve, then Samson must have done me some good.

As for Samson, he accompanies the doctor during her sessions.

“Samson likes the vibration of the gong. Snakes are very sensitive to vibrations - their entire length is a vibration antenna.

“The sound of the gong relaxes them, so I bring him along for meditation sessions, gong sessions, healing sessions, etc.

“He seems to enjoy it,” shares Dr Soo about her pet snake.

But not to worry, Samson only comes out of his basket when Dr Soo needs his help to assist clients to conquer their phobia of snakes.

* The next Full Moon Vibrational Gong Healing Session on chronic illnesses will take place at BE Urban Wellness on Dec 17 at 8.30pm. For more information, call 03-2095 1999.

Tags / Keywords: Health, gongs, healing, yoga, hypnotherapy

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