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.
This patient, a girl aged 16, had been treated by five leading physicians of her city for several years without benefit. Her case had been diagnosed as true epilepsy, but I had reason to believe that this was a mistake.
She had seizures resembling those of epilepsy from once to several times a week, was anemic and chlorotic, her menses were scanty and irregular, she had poor appetite and was badly nourished; slept soundly at night, but her sleep was not refreshing. Awoke in the morning tired, and she took but little interest in anything.
Hypnosis was induced, and suggestions were given her while in the hypnotic state, to get her to breathe deeper, and it was also suggested that she would always breathe deeper, day and night, asleep or awake; that she would always breathe deeper.
It was also suggested that she would be thirsty after this and enjoy drinking water, that she would always drink more water, that she would take a glass of water every two hours from morning to night. It was further suggested that she would take exercise freely every day, that her bowels would move regularly every morning, that she would go to the toilet at least twice a day, and that her bowels would functionate properly, move freely every morning, etc.
In a case like this, suggestion must be given to influence the individual's conscious and unconscious psychic or mental activities. Waking conduct must be guided as well as subjective impressions made to influence the involuntary functions.
My lecture to this girl would probably be about as follows, with my hand upon her forehead or gently stroking her forehead from side to side, made in a monotone, positive, earnest manner, presented in a way that would transmit words into feeling: "Now, my dear little girl, you are sound asleep, and while you lie here your nerves are getting quiet, and steady, and strong; quiet, and steady, and strong; and by the time I count ten your nerves will be quiet, and steady, and strong all over. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten - your nerves are quiet, and steady, and strong from head to foot.
"Now, as I talk to you and place my hand upon your chest, you feel your ability to breathe deeper, getting stronger and stronger, and by the time I count five 1 want you to breathe deeply, filling your lungs as deep and full as is possible. One, two, three, four, five - now breathe deeply, deeper yet (she took the suggestion well). There, now, rest and breathe naturally.
"Now, after this you will always breathe deeper, the blood will circulate more freely in your stomach and will better nourish your gastric mucous membrane, so that you will have a better appetite and a better digestion. Under my hand here, now, you feel the blood circulating more freely in your stomach, and by the time I count five the blood will be coming freely to your stomach. One, two, three, four, five.
"After this you will be thirsty and drink water every two hours, and you will be hungry and enjoy your meals. You will chew your food well, and especially enjoy eating fruit and vegetables. You will sleep well at night. When you go to bed you will go sound asleep and sleep soundly all night. You will never again be nervous or have another one of those nervous attacks. You will enjoy breathing, drinking water, and eating, working, exercising, and sleeping - you will enjoy life.
"As you eat more and digest your food better, you will be better nourished, get stronger, gain in weight, and have perfect health."
About six weeks after this treatment by suggestion, which was followed by three others given by her physician, I learned that she had experienced no more trouble and was a great deal better.
Five years after that her physician, who assisted in the treatment, informed me that she had never had any further trouble, that she at once began to sleep, eat, drink, exercise, gain in weight, etc. "She went from one hundred and ten to one hundred and forty-five pounds in weight," said he, "and is now married and the happy mother of a fine baby."
In the therapeutic application of suggestion in hysteria, neurasthenia, melancholia, indigestion, morbid fears, nervousness, etc., we make use of the same principles as were employed in the above mentioned eases. Your suggestions must be made to meet the individual needs of the patient at hand. Burn into his consciousness or subconsciousness the ideas that you wish to influence both his voluntary waking consciousness and all his or her involuntary physiological processes.
As a rule, suggest away whatever subjective impressions, sensations, feelings, thought habits, and bodily symptoms are objectionable, and in their place suggest what you desire to influence your patient or become a part of his life.