This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This is an affliction of rare occurrence, and appears to be constitutional, or dependent upon some derangement of the nervous and muscular system which baffles inquiry. The sufferer is suddenly seized by it, and, although powerless to move, or speak, and to all appearance dead, is partially sensible of all that is going on around. In some cases, however, the senses are suspended. The body and limbs are not generally rigid, but will remain in the positions in which the bystanders may place them. Many years ago, when the light of science was not so bright, or shed so extensively as it is now, men and women were buried alive while cataleptic. The catalepsy, or trance, often lasts for weeks, the sufferer, in the meantime, partaking of no nourishment whatever. "Absence of mind" is a slight form of catalepsy.
TREATMENT. -- During the paroxysms the head should be showered with cold water, followed by hot foot-baths and stimulating liniments, with friction to the abdomen and spine. Some aromatic stimulant, as peppermint sling or compound spirits of lavender, should also be administered. For the toning of the nervous system and preventing recurrence of the trance, the "Restorative Assimilant" answers all purposes admirably.