How’s Business: Pooja Sawlani

Hypnotherapist, The Third Eye, Dubai

Business is really good. But we don’t think of this as business. We’re here to spread light. We have a passion to reach as many people as we can. Dubai is becoming more aware each day.

People come to Dubai looking for something. And unlike most other cities, they become big fish in a small pond almost overnight. Suddenly, they get everything they’re looking for — status, money, fame. Then they say, “I should be happy. Why am I not happy?” So spirituality is the ultimate shift. It’s like the Hero’s Journey in a novel. Dubai is the perfect setting for the hero’s transformation. He comes looking for one thing and finds something completely different.

I had one client who was the quintessential Dubai housewife — married, two children, a successful banker husband, and a huge villa in Jumeirah. But she’s struggled to be happy all her life. When we did the first session of hypnotherapy, I found a lot of it involved just clearing out the negative energy of Dubai — the traffic, the noise, the mosque blaring in the morning.

Dubai is a very young place, a city that rose very quickly. There’s a lot of new energy here, many different types of energies trying to coexist. So much pent-up energy. No one is grounded. There are no roots here.

Hypnosis is how we get in touch with the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind has all the answers of your past, present, and future. It’s not we who venture inside the subconscious mind — it’s you who takes that trip. There’s a fear that I might make you do things against your will — bark like a dog or give me all your money. But I’m not a performer; I’m a healer. I help you heal yourself.

Let’s try it out. Take three deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale God’s love, God’s light. Exhale all your fears. Just relax with each and every breath. Imagine pure white light coming from above, as if it’s on top of your head. White light coming down on each and every part of your body: your chest, your hips, your thighs. White light is entering each and every cell. Focus on your eyelids. Breathe out all the stress and all the tension from your eyelids. When you feel you’ve gotten rid of all the stress and all the tension, nod your head and let me know. Now make yourself believe that your eyelids are sewn shut and you cannot open them. The state of relaxation moves up across your chest area. Feel the stress coming out, the relaxation moving up. As I count you down from five to zero, you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable.

The deepest state is the somnambulistic state, which is when the eyes roll up. That’s when the therapy happens. That’s when you’re in the deepest part of the subconscious mind. This is where the past lives are. Diseases come from past lives. Like asthma. Someone once came to us with incurable asthma. Under hypnosis, he learned that he died by drowning in his past life. We have a lot of clients who don’t really believe in past lives. One Emirati client once said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t take me away from my religion.”

You know, when I first started I didn’t think we were going to see any Emiratis. Our concepts are quite progressive and it is true that in some cases they are in conflict with the religion. But it’s just a matter of perspective. Actually, we’ve had more Emiratis and people from the region than Western expatriates. Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese… they take to it very quickly. Our method actually has a lot of similarities to Islam once they understand what we’re talking about.

I find that the issues we treat with Emiratis are very similar to those of Indians we treat. This is probably because they have a lot of similar cultural traditions. Among the Indian clients, a lot of women suffer from issues within the family — mothers-in-law, relatives, not being able to break free of tradition. It’s the same with the Emirati women. Under hypnosis, I can trace back many major physical diseases to prior generations when they were subjugated to nasty in-laws or elders.

I have Sheikhas who come to me, but they mostly work with crystals. Otherwise, we get the whole spectrum of social classes and income ranges in here. For people who can’t afford hypnosis, we or help out in some way. I had one client, for example, who found it difficult to pay for a session. She was associated with a company that made towel samples, so she sent a box of towels to our center, which we gladly accepted. The energy here is very free flowing. Otherwise, an average session costs 300 dirhams.

At times, we perform hypno-birthing — releasing the fears of pregnant women during labor. They have no pain in labor. They are complete novices to hypnosis, but their mind is re-programmed so they have no pain. If you are ready to be re-programmed, it is very easy. Everything is connected to thought.

Of course, the placebo effect is very strong. If your mind believes that the healing is taking place, then you see the difference. And this is good for us, because hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is the last resort; our clients tend to have tried everything else, they have exhausted the traditional therapies. So they think, this has to work!

And it does. So they keep coming back because, ultimately, we show them that they can make their own reality. And they get hooked on that.

Personally, I think Dubai is the spiritual anchor for the entire Middle East. Damascus and more ancient places are inherently spiritual and have always been so. But new spiritual movements will start in places like Dubai. Masses of people will get affected very quickly, and will start making big changes in their lives. I already see it. Dubai will be the start of big changes for the wider Middle East. Light bulbs will start going on everywhere at the same time. Like migrating birds. It’s synchronistic. And if this part of the world can find oneness, with its different cultures, religions, conflicts, and challenges, then anything can happen.