Still In Vietnam

Still in Vietnam

Ed. Provo, UT. 1984

I watched as Ed pulled up on his Harley. He made the bike look like a small scooter, due to his enormous size. I was shocked to see that a petite woman was sitting behind him. He was an affable client, who followed directions easily. As soon as he sat down, he appeared ready for whatever I planned to do. It was refreshing to have such a compliant client.

He began by stating that he weighed 420-pounds, and that he was a truck driver. His assigned route took him from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, up to San Francisco, and back to Salt Lake. He acknowledged that he knew every fast-food restaurant along his route. Ed had never experienced hypnosis before, and had been referred to me by another client.

Within minutes after I asked him to close his eyes, and to think about relaxing deeply, I could tell he was in a very deep trance. He had left this world from what I could tell.

Without hesitation, I decided to find out what it was that had caused a 36-year-old to be so terribly overweight. Here is that session.

T: Ed, it’s easy to see that you are drifting along with the sound of my voice…and you’ll find that with each and every breath you take…and every word that I say…you are going down deeper and deeper into a profound state of relaxation or…as some call it…a deep hypnotic trance…and now…as I ask you a few questions, you’re going to find a fascinating thing is going to happen. After I ask each question…you’ll be able to answer me just as you would normally do…except you will remain in this deep state. Is this alright with you?

C: Yes.

T: Okay…thanks, Ed. You are doing extremely well. Now, I’m going to lift your left arm, and you’ll find an astounding thing is going to happen. When I let go of your wrist…your arm and your hand will drop back down to your side. At that instant, you’ll be able to see yourself as a teenager in your senior year of high school. I’m picking up your arm…NOW. (Lift/drop.)

There you are, Ed, you’re a senior in high school. Tell me, are you athletic? I mean, are you involved in any sports?

C: Yes, I’m on the varsity football team.

T: That’s great…and being a varsity football player, take a good look at yourself in the locker room mirror. Are you overweight?

C: No, I’m at my best weight ever.

T: You’re at your best weight ever…as a football player in high school. I’m going to pick up your arm again, Ed, and when I drop it this time…you’ll be twenty-one years old. (Lift/drop) There you are, Ed, your twenty-one. Take a good look around. Where are you?

C: I’m in Vietnam.

T: You’re in Vietnam. As you take a close look at yourself now…are you overweight? I mean, do you see yourself carrying around a little extra fat…perhaps preventing you from moving around like you did when you played football? (The verb tense can now be past, since he is looking back at his football years from his—hypnotic—age of twenty-one.)

C: No…I’m not overweight.

T: Ed, I’m going to tap the back of your left hand with my finger…and the very second you feel my touch…it will be the first time you noticed some extra fat on your body. (Tap) There you are, Ed. Take a good look this time and tell me if you’re carrying any excess weight.

C: I see some fat. Yes, I do see extra fat.

T: And you now see extra fat! When I stop talking, you will be able to tell me what’s been happening to that healthy football player that’s causing him to put on some extra weight while he’s in Vietnam.

C: Well, we keep going out on patrol every day. Some of our buddies never make it back to camp. We’re afraid we’re going to be next, so we eat whatever we can before we go out.

T: And  now we see one reason for a healthy young ex-football player who is putting on some extra fat…because he thinks this might be his last meal…a last snack. Is that what it is, Ed?

C: Yes. We’re all afraid of not coming home.

T: And you’re all afraid of not coming home. But, you did make it home, didn’t you? It was that fear…all that death and danger around you…that became deeply embedded in your subconscious mind…that part of you I’m talking to right now.

You see, at this very moment, Ed…your conscious mind has drifted away to do whatever conscious minds do at times like this…so I can speak directly to you…to Ed…that part of you…where all your feelings and emotions are located.

Ed, on a conscious level you came to realize that you did survive…you made it back from all that death and destruction. Let’s refer to that other side of your brain…your conscious mind as ‘him,’ as I like to say. The problem with ‘him’ is that even though he knows of a certainty that he made it home safely, you’ve been keeping fear locked away…so afraid that he won’t be able to handle things if you were to get back to your football-player shape.

I think it’s time you let him know he’s okay now…and that he won’t need to protect himself any longer with a layer of fat, so afraid of dying. Do you think you can do that? (I am not speaking to Ed’s conscious mind. I always ask the subconscious to answer my queries.)

C: Yes, I can do that.

T: Alright. Here’s a few ideas that will help you win this game. First, look across that scrimmage line at the word F A T, printed on those jerseys. You have no intention of letting them win this game. Next, you can now give Ed…your subconscious…permission to let him…over there…that supposedly rational part of your mind that’s been misleading you…let him know that he really did survive…that he did make it home…and third, as he drives his regular route…you’re going to make him feel totally satisfied by stopping to eat only at those restaurants which offer soups and salads. You have his best interests at heart…and you are going to help him survive better by wondering how much excess fat he will release from his body each and every week.

All that we just discussed will be strictly between Ed and me. If you, by chance, feel it important that he should know what we’ve been talking about…that will be up to you, Ed, to decide. In any case, it will not be important if he doesn’t get to know anything more than that you reminded him about surviving that frightening experience.

With that, I told Ed to come back to full conscious awareness in his own time. We set up a session date for two weeks out because of his driving schedule. When he arrived at that appointment, he was elated, stating that he’d already lost 12 pounds. I reminded him that weight loss may not happen like that all the time, and that he could level off at some point, then release more of his weight. He eventually came by for four additional reinforcement sessions.

Ed called me three years later. He’d tracked me down after I’d moved away. He wanted to let me know that he weighed 206-pounds and felt better than he had since his old football days.

I am not ashamed to admit that when I was doing this session, and hearing of the reasons why veterans fight such lonely battles, I had a lump in my throat. This is how you help people!

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