Dr. David Muss developed the Rewind Technique from 1970’s research by Neuro-Linguistic Programming founders Richard Bandler & John Grinder. It was later further developed by Joe Griffin & Ivan Tyrrell (Human Givens Therapy).
Normally, the brain is able to separate emotions from memories. The Hippocampus gives the memory an event context and codes it in a way that it can be stored in the Neo-Cortex. This is a way of the Hippocampus calming the Amygdala down. The Amygdala’s job is to take in information through our senses and monitor whether we are in danger.
In Trauma (either a one-off event or an accumulation of smaller events over time) or high levels of Anxiety both the memory and strong emotional response become locked in the Amygdala. If the Hippocampus is unable to calm the Amygdala down the neurological pathways remain open and each time someone experiences a trigger (a reminder) the Trauma or Anxiety is experienced as though it is a present threat, with high levels of emotional arousal. This produces the body’s Fight/Flight/Freeze response. Flashbacks are the Hippocampus trying to talk to the Amygdala to store the experience.
The Rewind Technique is the brain’s second chance to store the memory or experience without the strong emotions by unhooking the emotional content. While in a relaxed state, clips of the memory of 3 events are played forwards and backwards and are changed slightly each time. Because our brains are unable to distinguish between real and imagined memories the Amygdala is tricked into letting go of the memories and emotions and they are stored safely in the Neo-Cortex. It’s important to face either the original fear or, if this isn’t possible, the triggers within 24 hours so that the brain can experience the event differently and begin to open up new neurological pathways.
The Rewind Technique is useful for PTSD/Trauma, Anxiety, Phobias, OCD and Past Experiences.