Today in New Delhi, India
May 26, 2019-Sunday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Feathered enemies

Dr Jyotika Chhibber, practitioner of alternate medicine, on the fear of birds.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 27, 2009 16:12 IST
Hindustan Times

Dr Patel, an eye surgeon, approached me for help three years ago. He suffered from ornithophobia (the fear of birds). At least twice a week, he would wake up panting and sweating. At times, he screamed because he had nightmares involving huge birds.

In a trance
In his dreams, flocks of birds either lay mutilated all over a field or chased him and pecked at him. They even clawed him till he was almost near to death. Then he would wake up in a panic. This had been going on since the time he was a kid. During trance sessions, he found it impossible to visualise an image of a bird with his eyes closed. Gradually, I helped him to overcome his phobia by making him comfortable with feathers and later with small birds.

Deep-rooted fear
Once we managed to do that, we moved on to larger birds. After this, we detected the root of his fear. It had to do with his past as well as his current life. In my attempts to help him look for the problem in his subconscious, I suggested to his conscious mind that he recall the first time he experienced his fear of birds.

This led us to a past life episode. He was a toddler and lived in a country where a war had just ended. He was lying in a field, surrounded by dead bodies, and vultures pecked at him. He was the only survivor in his family. The experience of watching his dead parents being gnawed at by vultures was traumatic. He was doubly traumatised because he had lost his parents and was left alone. This created a deep-rooted fear of birds.

Emotional blocks
The fear was also linked to his present life. As an eight-year-old, an eagle had grabbed food from his tiffin while he was walking around his garden, munching a sandwich. The eagle clawed at him and left some cuts on his thumb. The experience had triggered off his past fear of birds and manifested itself in the form of nightmares.

I helped to rid him of his phobia and removed the connected emotional blocks through clinical hypnotherapy and regression therapy.

(As told to Prema K)

First Published: Mar 27, 2009 16:09 IST