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.
After each physician had obtained results by the employment of his own verbal suggestions, and had witnessed the successful application of the method in the hands of others present, the experience had produced such a psychological effect upon him as to enable him to exercise the skill of the expert. Some of our psychothera-peutists would say that the experience which I had put all such physicians through had served to form a complex which functionated as a part of their own personality. It is quite likely that this is true.
I may say, in passing, that the methods which are here described are not those that I am at present employing in my practice, for in no case now do I use the least bit of deception. This, however, was a necessity in making demonstrations for the physicians, and the method served a useful purpose in the work that I was doing at the time, as it gave a practical demonstration of the efficacy of suggestion, and illustrated how easily suggestion can be employed in conjunction with the administration of medicine - especially employed in the general practice of medicine. The principle is the same when employed for therapeutic purposes, and the demonstrations here described, witnessed by so many American physicians who can vouch for the correctness of the experiences described, should prove of great value to the student of psychotherapy. Regarding the method employed by me in actual practice upon cases referred to me by my colleagues, or those whose acquaintance with me has been the result of my writings, all of whom know that I make free use of psychotherapeutic principles, these will be made known to the reader by a careful study of this book.
It should ever be borne in mind that psychotherapy can not be brought under a single formula, but must always be adapted to the psychology of the individual patient. Hypnotic suggestion, however, in well-selected cases is one of the most important of all the various psychotherapeutic methods.
Instead of appearing to use hypnotism in the presence of the physicians on the individuals brought in for demonstrations, I use a medicine in a bottle, one of the local antiseptic solutions, and call this medicine "somno-analgesic compound." I ascribe to this medicine whatever value or therapeutic property I desire it to possess, and picture on the mind of the individual what effect it will have, and, getting his consent for me to use the medicine, I secure all the co-operation Decenary on the part of the subject to put him into that suggestible condition which is produced by suggestion and known as the hypnotic state.
If you were to ask me how to make a suggestion, I would say, "In a perfectly natural way of talking, with the least affectation possible." If you in the least doubt your ability to use the method which will be explained to you here, be actor enough to speak and act as if you had not the slightest doubt about the results to be obtained. Talk as if you meant it - talk calmly, earnestly, and kindly. Use a monotone voice. Look at your patient while you are talking to him. Look right into his eyes and get him to look at you.
The following demonstrations and explanations were steno-graphically reported, showing in detail my method of demonstrating hypnotism in my class work among the physicians. There were present several well-known physicians who took part in the demonstration described, who will vouch for the correctness of the incidents here reported.
The method here described demonstrates a simple, practical, efficacious method of inducing the hypnotic state to the extent that anesthesia can be produced, and each one of the several physicians present demonstrated his own ability to do so, using an entirely new subject, brought in from the street, whom we had never seen before.
When I was ready for material for the demonstrations of hypnotism, two of the physicians present were requested to go out on the street and bring in two or three men who were absolute strangers to us all. One of them was brought into the room at a time to be hypnotized, and as he walked in at the door I addressed him as follows: 1
"Take this chair, please. Now. I will explain to you what I am doing and what I wanted with you. Do you see this little bottle of medicine? This is a sample of a preparation that I am introducing to the physicians, known as "somno-analgesic compound." "Somno" means sleepproducing, and "analgesic" means pain-relieving; so, then, this is sleep-producing and pain-relieving medicine. It is used by rubbing it on the forehead just as you see me rub it on mine. You notice it does not harm me, and it will not harm you. Now, I have explained to the physicians here that, in order for this remedy to have its effect, it must be applied in a certain way, and that it is the way that we get our patient to do and be while the medicine is applied that determines its effect. I want you to take a seat in this chair, lean your head back against the chair, relax every muscle, close your eyes lightly, and breathe through your mouth, just as if you were going to sleep. Then, as I apply the remedy, you will soon get quiet all over, then get drowsy and sleepy, and go to sleep, and awake feeling better.
Now, see here, my man, don't resist the effect of the medicine; just sit here and let it have its effect."
1 Take note that the medicine used upon this occasion was only a small vial of water.