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.
A country editor, aged 34, had for several years suffered from indigestion, and in two years he had not eaten meat for supper without spending a restless night and having little sleep, followed by no appetite and a bad headache the next day.
He was hypnotized, and suggestions were given to encourage a freer flow of blood in his stomach, to stimulate the cerebral centers that influence this important organ and also to quiet the nervous element in his case, get him to breathe deeper, and drink more water. Upon awakening him I advised that he eat some of everything upon the table at his boarding place that evening. "But suppose it makes me sick," asked he. "Then I will pay your doctor's bill," was my reply. "Suppose it kills me?" "I'll buy your coffin and pay your burial expenses," was my answer.
Then addressing him, I said, "Mr. Blank, go and eat as much of everything you have on your table as you desire and especially eat meat, and come tomorrow and tell me how you are feeling." The next day he returned and said he had eaten a hearty supper of pork sausage and broiled beefsteak, and never had a better night's sleep or felt better in his life. I laughed and in a friendly way advised him to eat as much of everything as he wished in the future, except printing presses and newspaper editors. Several days afterward he was cheerful and happy, and had experienced no more difficulty.
It is interesting to me to see the skilled laboratory chemical analysis of the gastric contents, made by some of our physicians, and the diet and medication prescribed according to indications in the light of the teachings of modern physiology. It is beautiful work, requires great skill, and proceeds upon exact scientific basis, and I hope some day to be equipped to do such work myself in order to more scientifically report the results of psychological methods of treatment, but my confidence in the brain plasm and its influence over the physiological processes is such that these methods, in the large majority of cases, seem to me to be quite unnecessary.
In gross pathological changes, however, due to destructive processes, malignant stomach affections, etc., there is presented quite another aspect of the subject, and these methods throw a wonderful light upon the case at hand. We must, however, be careful not to fasten upon our patient by the unconscious use of suggestion a psychopathological condition instead of relieving him of a psychoneurotic disturbance.