This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
Hypnotism furnishes us with a practical demonstration, or proof, of the efficacy of suggestion. It shows us the conditions under which suggestion can be successfully employed, and a better understanding of the theoretical basis and of the technic of employing hypnotic suggestion better enables the physician to successfully employ suggestion without the aid of hypnotism, which is unquestionably the liner art in employing the principles of psychotherapy. While hypnotic suggestion is more efficacious in the vast majority of conditions to which psychotherapeutic principles are applicable, and while the method is attended with much quicker results, and while it is effective in such a large number of conditions that can not be treated successfully by other methods of employing psychotherapeutic principles, its employment is very frequently handicapped by the popular prejudice which at the present time is prevalent concerning the measure. This prejudice is the fruit of the erroneous ideas that those who have made no personal investigation of the utility, practicability, and rationality of the method at the present time entertain.
The majority of people, and physicians as well, have either had no instruction in reference to the utility, sanity, and efficacy of hypnotic suggestion as a therapeutic resource, or they have been wrongly taught. The eight years spent by the author in giving practical instructions in psychotherapy to the physicians of a considerable portion of our country has given him excellent opportunities to know the "ins and outs" and "pros and cons" of all Varieties of medical practice, and he makes no hesitation in saying that the prevalent ignorance in reference to all varieties of psychotherapeutic treatment, and especially in reference to the employment of hypnotic suggestion, on the part of the medical profession at the present time is appalling. Moreover, during the time deal voted to the work of instructing physicians in the practical methods of employing psychotherapeutic principles 1 did not, I desire it to be clearly understood, deal with the vast majority of the physicians constituting the rank and file of our profession, but, on the other hand, I conducted my work in such manner as to appeal to the intelligence of the leaders of the medical profession, and that these men indorsed, approved, and recommended the measures advocated, illustrated, and taught by me, hundreds and hundreds of letters now in my possession abundantly attest.
It is not my desire to be arrogant - far from it. But, in view of the fact that the number of physicians whom I have instructed in the technic of applying suggestive measures, both with and without the employment of hypnotism, is greater than that of any other physician in the entire world, I feel that I am at least justified, if not qualified, in relating my experience in reference to the employment of this valuable form of treatment.
Among those physicians who were pleased to honor me with their presence at my lecture engagements were many who had studied the subject of psychotherapy, in all the varieties of its employment, in all the leading medical centers of this country and Europe, and many there were who were free to say that they had received more benefit from my explanation and demonstration of the subject than by the combined experience of reading many books and witnessing numerous clinics in which the measures were illustrated and explained.
What I have been able to accomplish by the employment of hypnotic suggestion, so far as its influence upon the physical organism of individuals taken at random would illustrate, can be estimated by the statement that I have instructed approximately five thousand American physicians to do likewise. Each one of these men demonstrated to his own satisfaction that there was nothing in my personality that enabled me to get results which he also did not possess. Whether such physicians were enabled to accomplish the same results afterward is another matter. I may say for the satisfaction of the reader that sonic were able to get the same results as were accomplished in my presence and others were not. It all depended upon the personality of the individual.
Some physicians can witness a surgical operation where a special technic is employed and immediately go away and do the operation with equal dexterity. Others could never employ the same technic successfully if they witnessed the procedure a hundred times. The same is true in any other department of human knowledge. There is something in the individual which either enables him to exercise the capacity to appropriate what he experiences and make it a part of his own personality, or he is not enabled to grasp and utilize it. The fault in such cases is in the capacity of the individual and not in the method illustrated. One thing is sure - a given amount of training is an essential in the employment of all therapeutic procedures, and at the present time our medical colleges are not giving the prospective physicians sufficient training in the art or technic of employing psychotherapeutic principles.
That some critics are not enabled to appreciate or assimilate the ideas here presented for the above mentioned reasons, the reader is now enabled to clearly comprehend. That the vast majority are more en rapport with the writer, I also fully appreciate.
The method here described is the one which I used in connection with my class work with physicians on approximately five thousand subjects, employed by the suggestions given by as many different physicians, with the result that practically every individual who gave his consent and co-operation was hypnotized, or placed in a condition of suggestibility sufficiently for anesthesia to be induced by suggestion, without a failure, I am sure, in one percent of the cases. If the reader wishes to know why these results are so much more successful than those reported by some authorities on this subject, I can only answer that I am stating the facts as they were. In all cases I exercised all the suggestive ability within my power upon the physicians themselves, positively assuring them that they could accomplish results. In other words, I made them believe that they could succeed and taught them how. This, I believe, is the secret of the success of the meth-ods here described. One must believe in his ability to succeed and must understand the technic of employing suggestion.