Dr. Brian Weiss is a professional psychiatrist. By the time he was 35, he became well published and well respected. He was elected as chairman of the psychiatry department at the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami in 1979 and was regarded as a star in his field.
A new patient named Catherine changed Dr. Weiss’s life forever. “She was suffering from panic attacks, phobias, fears, nightmares,” he says. “She had begun sleeping in a large closet in her apartment because of fear.”
At first, Dr. Weiss used traditional psychiatric treatment for Catherine. But a year passed, little progress was made. Dr. Weiss decided to try a new hypnosis therapy he’d used successfully before. Amazing things happened! When Dr. Weiss asked Catherine to go to the source of her pain, Catherine could easily recall traumatic memories from her childhood. He was shaken to his core-Catherine regressed back and started talking about being a boy in Ukraine in the 1700s.
“I thought it was imagination or fantasy,” he says. “I didn’t believe in any of this, and neither did she.”
Catherine revealed more past lives with each new session and indicated that she had lived 86 times. Also, Catherine soon began to heal. “Her memories were so vivid and so emotional, and her symptoms were disappearing. But it still took more from me because I was so stuck in my left brain and didn’t believe in any of this.”
Dr. Weiss became a believer when Catherine told him about his own family. He says while Catherine was hypnotized she told him she was with his father, who died two years earlier, and that his daughter was named after his father. “This was all true,” Dr. Weiss says. “My father’s Hebrew name was Avram. He died two years before … [and] did not have an obituary. There is no place to look this up. And my daughter was named after him.”
Dr. Weiss says Catherine also told him she was with his son, who had died a decade before at just three weeks after his birth.
20 years later, Dr. Weiss wrote about Catherine in the book Many Lives, Many Masters regardless of the real professional risks involved. “I was chairman of the psychiatry department. I had tenure. I was clinical professor at the University of Miami. I had two more children after that. … A house with a big mortgage,” he says. “I could lose all of that. But that was so real and so detailed. You know how you get the feeling in your gut, in your bones? There was no trick to this.”
Dr. Weiss created a 45-minute past-life regression exercise. Click here to learn how past-life regression works.
“We change race, we change religions because we have to learn from all sides. Souls don’t have those characteristics. We’re all connected. It’s not about color or race. Sometimes we have to be nuns because we learn to live spiritual lifetimes,” he says. “We’ve all been black, we’ve all been white, we’ve all been brown, we’ve all been red. We’ve been everything because we have to learn from all sides. … You have to learn from all sides, and that’s part of our learning here on this planet.”
By focusing patients’ concentration while their bodies are relaxed, hypnosis helps people access their past lives. “It stops the clutter, the everyday mind, from getting in the way,” Dr. Weiss says. “You go right to the subconscious. You can go right to where the memories are. You’re still here, you’re safe, and you don’t go anywhere.”
Dr. Oz says this phenomenon can be explained medically. In the same way that a driver on the highway “on autopilot” can miss her exit, another person forgets her oldest memories. “What’s happening is this part of your brain, the cortex—the part that’s doing all the executive function—it’s continually repressing your reptilian brain—the deep part of the brain that has our most ancient memories in it,” he says. “But if you can free that part of the brain, you can express yourself and find out minute details of your childhood or maybe things beyond that.”
That part of the brain that houses ancient memories has a strong pull on our lives, Dr. Oz says. “We have spent so much time on these shows trying to get folks to change behaviors, whether it’s cigarette smoking or weight loss or addictions or whatever it may be,” he says. “You begin to realize that 90 percent of what drives us is not what we’re thinking about; it’s not the cortex—the part … that’s making logical decisions. It’s the emotional, decision-making quality, and that’s the reptilian brain.”
Although there is no scientific proof that past-life regression like the kind Dr. Weiss practices can actually access previous lives, Dr. Oz suggests keeping an open mind is important. “I feel very strongly about that because this has so much wonderful healing potential,” he says.