When Carol Bowman's son, Chase, was a little boy, he was very afraid of any loud booming sounds, like fireworks. He also had a skin rash on his wrist. There was no explanation for either of these problems. Ms. Bowman had a friend who was a hypnotherapist, and he agreed to hypnotize Chase to see what was causing it. Under hypnosis, Chase, who is a freckled, red-haired boy, remembered being a black soldier in the American Civil War, who had been first shot in the wrist, and then fatally wounded. The amazing thing was, after Chad remembered these things and felt the old fear connected with them, his fear of loud sounds disappeared--and so did the skin rash on his wrist.
This made Carol read the research by Dr. Stevenson (see Ian Stevenson's section), about children in India who remember details about their past lives. Ms. Bowman wondered if the same thing might be happening with American children--and maybe a lot more often than anyone suspected. She began talking to parents, and she found that it is actually very common for a child to have memories of their past life before the age of 7, and most often around the age of three. After seven years old, the memories usually start fading and are completely or mostly forgotten for adults.
Ms. Bowman teaches parents that it's important not to make fun of a child when he talks about his or her past life, because then he will shut up about it. If there are fears left over from the previous life, those fears that the child can't talk about can become phobias, or irrational fears, like her son's fear of loud sounds. These fears can go on through a person's life and interfere with being able to live life in a normal way.
In one very interesting case, a little boy kept telling his parents about his "shot", pointing to his neck. His parents thought he was talking about a hypodermic needle shot. When he got a little older he developed a rare kind of lump or cyst in his neck, which grew to the size of a lemon. The boy's father was a doctor, and he knew it had to be removed. But, the day before it was scheduled to be taken out, the boy had a very realistic dream. He dreamed he was a soldier in WWII, walking through the mud somewhere in occupied France, in the cold, among bare trees. Suddenly he was hit in the neck by a bullet from behind, fell, and died.
After the boy had this dream, he told his parents he didn't need the operation anymore--and after that the lump shrunk and disappeared.