An Evening with CSS Taiko

I had the absolute pleasure very recently of spending an evening joining others in watching a performance by Peter Hewitt of CSS Taiko and his fellow Taiko drummers on a visit to the Camphill Village Trust at Newnham on Severn.

Having attended one of the Saturday morning workshops which Peter holds at the Colwell Arts Centre in Derby Road, Gloucester I did have an inkling of what to expect.  However, I had not been prepared for the sheer exuberance and energy which the performers put into their gig, or the relaxed and easy skill with which Peter engaged his audience and drew them into the performance, not just in between pieces but while each piece was played as well.

Peter Hewitt leading CSS Taiko in a performance

The concert was sectioned into two parts.  During the first half, Peter and his fellow performers played a set of around 4 or 5 different pieces, with evocative titles such as Stepping Stones and The Edge of Magic.  Each piece was introduced with some background to its origin and comments by the audience were welcomed, if not actively encouraged.

Following an interval of around ten minutes it was the turn of the audience to experience drumming at first hand when they were invited up on stage to try drumming for themselves.  This opportunity was welcomed with much enthusiasm.  So many people wanted to take a turn that it was necessary to organise them into two groups.

Peter took the lead in introducing the eager participants to the basics of Taiko, breaking down the different elements of a simple piece and then encouraging them to put the elements together before telling them they had just learned a piece that had been played during the first half of the concert.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to try their hand at something new and I’m very sure took away positive memories of the evening.  Of course, the great success of the evening other than bringing this wonderful performance art to a wider audience was the wish of some of the members of the audience to become involved in the workshops which CSS Taiko1 run.


1 CSS Taiko is a non-profit making charitable organisation which works to integrate special needs children and adults within the local community, bringing people from all backgrounds together in a common enjoyment of Taiko.  Peter Hewitt, together with his wife Angie, daughter Vashti and son in law Nev devote much of their spare time to bringing Taiko to as wide an audience as possible.  CSS Taiko operate an open door policy at their workshops which are held on Saturday mornings at the Colwell Arts Centre, Derby Road, Gloucester.  See their website for more information: or drop by between 9.30am and 12.30pm to come and see what they do.


Regression Therapy

Past Life Regression

Past life regression holds a fascination for many of us and indeed many people associate regression therapy (hypnotic life regression) with mentally travelling back to a former life (or lives) to uncover their identity and/or any significant events which happened to them in that life time.  It may be that they are experiencing “flash backs”, dreams or intuitive insights that they believe to be connected with a previous life experience.  It might be the case that an individual is experiencing problems in their present life which they strongly believe are the result of influences carried over into this life time from a previous one.  The apparent lack of connection between what they are experiencing and their current reality may cause a sense of cognitive dissonance.  

Regression therapy is an invaluable technique, widely used by both hypnotherapists and psychotherapists, for helping to uncover the roots or triggers for emotional or psychological issues that we may be experiencing in our daily lives.  Sometimes it may be that an otherwise mystifying or seemingly random unwanted behaviour or response pattern that we exhibit has its roots in our younger, formative years and as a result of some kind of emotional or psychological trauma that has long since been lost to our conscious mind.  It is important to recognise though that what is perceived by a child or teenager as traumatic may appear to an adult as irrelevant or unimportant.  It is not how it may appear to us, as adults, that is critical but how it felt to the child who experienced the event.

Regression therapy, whether it is past life regression or present life regression, can be helpful to us in exploring and understanding our own thoughts and feelings, allowing us to gain a new insight into who we are and what motivates and drives us.  The desired outcome to regression therapy is of course to achieve a new and beneficial sense of wholeness, of mental and emotional wellness.

Inner Child Healing

One of the typical ways in which regression therapy is utilised is to facilitate healing of the “inner child”.  This therapy enables the person undergoing regression to re-visit or reconnect with aspects of their childhood psyche that have been affected or damaged by events beyond their control at that point in their lives.

Allowing these hidden triggers to be brought back to the surface, to consciousness, gives the individual concerned the chance to re-evaluate the event(s) in question and apply their understanding as an adult to the situation which they were unable to process as a child.  Communicating directly with their child self under hypnosis is able to bring about healing and a feeling of closure, allowing the adult to move forward leaving the longer term lingering effects of the historical trauma behind them.

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A good therapist will guide but not lead the process, being careful not to make any suggestion which could lead to their client constructing a false memory of something in their life which never really existed or took place.  Ideally the therapist should have undergone training and have experience in supporting a client through the regression process and be able to facilitate their client’s resolution of any material which arises as a result of that regression.

Resolution of past trauma is commonly experienced as restorative and transformative. It is important, however, that anyone considering regression therapy, whether past life regression or current life regression understands that uncovering trigger events and historical trauma can be an emotionally draining experience as negative feelings are uncovered and explored as part of the process of healing and resolution.