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.
Mr. Blank, a farmer, who had led an honorable, upright life, had by his indiscretion contracted a gonorrhea and a chancroid. The chancroid readily healed, but the gonorrhea persisted for several weeks. He believed that he had syphilis, was tortured by a hypersensitive conscience, and for several months had been confined to his room. His physician had reassured him, reasoned with him, and done all in his power to argue out of his consciousness the delusion that he had syphilis.
He had recovered from both these diseases, but there was a psychoneurotic element in his case which was day by day growing more serious. He did not sleep at night, and was frequently heard crying and praying when everything was quiet and all were supposed to be asleep. Anorexia, indigestion, malnutrition, and a loss in weight of thirty-five pounds in five months had caused his physician to feel apprehensive of his soon being a fit subject for the insane asylum. In fact, he was so already.
Here were insomnia, hysteria, syphiliphobia, neurasthenia, delusions, etc., all in one case. I explained to him the value of a new and powerful sleep-producing remedy (a placebo) that I was "introducing to the profession," and impressed upon him consciously that there was a nervous element in his case that this remedy would relieve.
I let him know that it was expected to put him to sleep, and that the result of this sleep would be to relieve the nervous element in his case. He readily consented for the treatment to be used, and went into a profound state of suggestibility.
In the hypnotic state I addressed him about as follows: "Now, Mr. Blank, you are sound and dead asleep, perfectly relaxed and passive from head to foot, breathing deeply; your nerves steady, and quiet, and strong. As you lie here, while I apply this remedy, your nerves are growing steadier, and quieter, and stronger, and by the time I count ten your nerves will be steady, and quiet, and strong all over. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and your nerves are steady, quiet, and strong all over. Now, you will not be nervous any more. After this whenever yon think of yourself, you will find that your nerves are steady, and quiet, and strong, and you will realize that you have not had syphilis; that Doctor Blank was right, that he knew his business, and that you are now well and all right.
"You will drink water every two hours, enjoy your meals, sleep soundly at night, and attend to your duties just as you did months ago when you were well.
"When you go to bed at night, you will relax just as you are here now, close your eyes and think only of sleep; then you will go sound asleep, and sleep soundly all night long. If you awake at all in the night, it will be to think of yourself as resting and sleeping quietly, feeling contented, satisfied, and happy. You will enjoy your meals, and take the old-time interest in your farm work, your stock, and business generally. You will go to town as you once did, and every day feel thankful for the improved condition of your health."
I allowed him to sleep for thirty minutes longer and then awakened him. I told him that this treatment had done him good, that he was going to feel better after this, that he would enjoy his meals, would sleep well at night, and would attend to his business as in former times. I assured him that he was in sound health, had been well all the time, and after this would feel differently in regard to his own condition.
He came to see his physician five days after that, and, while lank and lean as a pine fence rail, he was his old self, his rational normal self, as he once was before his misfortunes. Five weeks afterward he had gained twelve pounds in weight and was rapidly on the road to recovery.
By suggestion in the hypnotic state, new ideas, new sense impressions had been substituted, new thoughts planted in the place of the old ones that were torturing his conscience, preventing his sleep and damning his life. A new consciousness now possessed him and he was practically a healthy man.