Mind Over Blisters
Today’s medical doctors are threatened by the amazing healing power of Mesmerism.
Docs don’t like the competition.
Dr. James Braid (1795-1860) sapped away much of Mesmerism’s power by downgrading it to hypnosis.
Subsequent therapists (the rapists) kept weakening it until what remains is virtually nothing but an enhanced state of relaxation.
Hypnosis has been watered so far down it might as well be called “eyes closed visual guidance imagery,” according to clinical hypnotist Rick Collingwood.
Rufus Osgood Mason (Hypnotism and Suggestion in Therapeutics, Education, and Reform, 1901) wrote …
“The one important contribution which hypnotism has made to a rational system of therapeutics is its full demonstration of the influence of the mind over the various organs and functions of the body. It took a hundred years to put an end to doubt as to the truth and genuineness of the hypnotic condition and phenomena. Its effects were so startling and beyond scientific explanation that it was believed to be the result of fraud, of diabolical influence, of magic, of supernatural forces, of anything but the plain and simple truth; but, vouched for by such men as Charcot, Bernheim, Liebeault, and Voisin, in France; Braid, Esdaile, Gurney, Tuckey, and Bramwell, in England, and other equally well-known and reputable men all over the world, its genuineness and its usefulness were established in the minds of most candid and intelligent persons who really took the trouble to know about it.
“Scores of physicians were using hypnotism and curing forms of disease, organic and functional, and also mental — many of which had baffled their skill under any form of medical treatment, — by simply putting the patient into the hypnotic condition without suggestion of any kind. Then Bernheim added suggestion, with its mighty influence, to the results already achieved.
“Here also it was demonstrated that the deep hypnotic sleep was not necessary, and often not desirable, in order to produce the best results by suggestion, but simply a passive subjective condition, with the mind in harmony with the object to be obtained by the suggestion.
“It may here be fairly asked: Has it been definitely established, by experiments thoroughly carried out, that the mind can control physical, physiological processes in the body — the process, for instance, of digestion or lactation? Can it cause a blister to be raised upon sound and healthy skin without the application of any irritant or any medicinal substance whatever? These are test examples, and they have all been successfully carried out under the supervision of perfectly honest and competent witnesses, many of them under my own observation and treatment.
“A principle, then, is here established. The mind can be so concentrated upon a physiological process as to stimulate that process to unusual activity, so as to produce curative effects, and even to superabundant activity, so as to produce pathological effects, or disease. For instance, in the hypnotic condition a key or a coin has been placed upon the healthy skin with the suggestion that at a given time, say two hours after waking, a blister would appear at the spot where the key or the coin had been placed, and of corresponding size and shape. The key or coin is then removed and the patient awakened, having no conscious knowledge of the suggestion given; but at the appointed time the blister appears. Again, two blisters, one upon one arm and another upon the corresponding part of the other arm in the same individual, have in this manner been produced, but with the suggestion that one would rapidly heal without pain, while the other would become inflamed and painful; and the suggestions have been perfectly carried out. Nothing could more absolutely certify the power of suggestion over physiological processes.
“The powerful effect of suggestion, especially in the hypnotic condition, is in this manner fully demonstrated. It is a fact, and a fact of greater significance and greater value, as a curative agent simply, than any other single fact in the recent history of therapeutics. For, not only is it curative in physical ailments, but also in mental and moral deficiencies and criminal tendencies. In other words, it is the educational uses of hypnotic suggestion that constitute one of its chief claims to favourable recognition.”