Ed: Still in Vietnam

CASE #273

Lost in Vietnam

Date: 1984. Place: Provo UT.
I watched as Ed pulled up on his Harley. He made the bike look like a small scooter, due to his enormous size. Then, to my surprise, I noticed a petite woman sitting behind him. He was an affable guy 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 route took him from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, up to San Francisco and back to Salt Lake. He confessed 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 according to what I could see.
   Without hesitation, I decided to find out what it was that had caused a 36-year-old to be so overweight. Here is that session:
Therapist: 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…you are going down deeper and deeper into a profound state of relaxation or…as some call it…a hypnotic trance…and now…as I ask you 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?
Client: Yes.
T: Okay…thanks, Ed. You are doing extremely well. Now, I’m going to lift your left arm and you’ll find an amazing thing is going to happen. When I let go of your wrist and your arm and hand drop back down to your side…you’ll be able to see yourself when you were a teenager in your senior year of high school. I’m picking up your arm…NOW. (It drops)
There you are, Ed, you are a senior in high school. Tell me, are you athletic? I mean do you play 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. Are you overweight?
C: No, I’m at my best weight ever.
T: You’re at your best weight…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 will be 21-years-old. (lift/drop) There you are, Ed, you’re 21. Take a good look around…where are you?
C: I’m in Vietnam.
T: You’re in Vietnam. As you take a good look at yourself now…are you overweight? I mean, so you see yourself carrying around a little extra fat…perhaps preventing you from moving around like you did in football?
C: No…I’m not overweight.
T: Ed, I’m going to tap the back of your left hand…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 see if there’s any excess weight.
C: I see some fat. Yes, I do see some extra fat.
T: So, you see extra fat? When I stop talking, you will be able to tell me what’s been happening to a healthy football player that’s caused him to put on some extra weight while he’s in Vietnam.
C: Well, we go out on patrol every day. Some of our buddies never make it back. We’re afraid we’re going to be next, so we eat whatever we can before we go.
T: Oh, so now we see one reason for a healthy young ex-football player to put 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: But, you did make it home, didn’t you? It was that fear…all that death and danger around you…that is still hidden deep in your subconscious mind…that part of you I’m talking to right now.
   You see, at this very moment…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 feelings and emotions are located.
   Ed, on a conscious level you know that you did survive…you made it back. Let’s refer to the other side of your brain…your conscious mind…or, him, as I like to say. The problem with him is that even though he knows he’s back home, you’ve been keeping his fear locked away…afraid he won’t be able to handle things when you 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 fat…afraid of dying. Do you think you can do that?
C: Yes, I can do that.
T: Alright. Here’s what I suggest. First, allow Ed…your subconscious…to know that he survived the war…that he did make it home…and second, as he is driving his truck along his route…you are 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 you and me. If you, by chance, feel it important that he 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 does not know anything more than that you remind him that he did survive.
   With that, I brought Ed back to full conscious awareness. We set up a session date for two weeks out because of his schedule. When he arrived, he was elated, stating that he’d already lost 12 pounds.