TikTok users feel 'paralyzed' after attempting to access their past lives: 'I felt anxious the entire time'

Katie Mather
·3-min read

A new, rather unusual trend has cropped up on TikTok within recent weeks. It’s not a dance, prank or food recipe — people are trying out past life regression therapy on themselves.

Although it’s not supported by psychiatric associations, past life regression therapy is a technique where a patient is hypnotized in order to recover memories from previous lives. This form of therapy — although, again, “therapy” is used loosely here — suggests that we carry “evidence” from our former lives in our current self. In order to access these memories through hypnotism, the patient must totally be open and believing in the idea of reincarnation.

When the patient is being hypnotized, they’re asked to pay attention to whatever “visions” they see. The theory is that these images and feelings are from what your spirit was doing before your body was on Earth.

While those who practice past life regression therapy claim that understanding your past lives can help with things like mental illness, mainstream psychiatry rejects this assumption.

It’s unclear how past life regression therapy became popular on TikTok, but a lot of users are following the steps provided in a video by Dr. Brian Weiss, who is arguably the most prominent promoter of past life regression therapy and who wrote a best-selling book on the topic in 1988.

This is the 36-minute video of Dr. Weiss talking on YouTube that many TikTokers have been using to tap into their past lives.

According to various accounts of being hypnotized for this type of therapy, when done correctly, you sink into a relaxed and conscious state and images and sensations begin to appear as the hypnotist starts asking you questions.

The videos of people recounting their success with the therapy have generated millions of views across the platform. The hashtag #pastliferegression has 13.2 million views as of July 30.

A lot of users remain skeptical about how well this hypnotism works, but several TikTokers shared emotional follow-up videos about their experiences.

Some couldn’t get the hypnotism to work on them because the idea of past life regression stressed them out.

“I felt anxious the entire time,” one person commented.

“Couldn’t finish it,” another wrote. “At like 16mins i felt like i left my body. like my actual body was paralyzed and i was floating.”

Others were nervous that they could get “trapped” in the trance, although Dr. Weiss says there’s no possibility of that happening.

“I did this today thinking it would be a hoax but it was strange,” a user posted in the comments section in response to skeptics.

Those have been successful at seeing their past lives advise doing it alone and in a space where nothing can interrupt you or distract you.

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