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.
The operation was decided on, the patient being a man aged about 40, who had an infection produced by a catheter being thrust through the urethra behind the bladder into the peritoneal cavity, an abscess being formed, extending above and in front of the bladder. It was the "other fellow's patient, "and I had been invited to go with the consulting surgeon to see what could be done for the unfortunate. The surgeon said to the sick man, already in a suggestible condition, due to his anxiety over his serious case, "This is a physician friend of mine, and he will give you chloroform and put you to sleep, and we will do the right thing for you. Do just as he tells you, and he will take good care of you."
With a piece of gauze on the bottom of my hand and with ten drops of chloroform on it, I said to the patient, "Close your eyes, breathe through your mouth, and think of going to sleep. As you inhale this chloroform you will get drowsy and sleepy, and go on to sleep without any trouble." I then exercised suggestion on him, using the formula described in Chapter V (Hypnotism Demonstrated) (Hypnotism Demonstrated) to induce hypnosis.
With a piece of cotton saturated with water, after the patient was hypnotized, I gently touched the area to be operated on, saying to him, "All feeling is going away, this part is becoming perfectly dead, no feeling in it at all, and by the time I count ten it will be perfectly dead and without feeling."
In the midst of the operation the surgeon asked, "How much of this is suggestion and how much is chloroform?" I answered him by holding the man's arm up and suggesting that he allow it to remain until the operation was completed. We afterward awakened the patient, with nerves steady, and quiet, and strong, as suggested to him, and he stated that he had ezperienced no pain and felt much better. In this case we used not over twenty drops of chloroform by actual measurement.
1 Three years have elapsed since this case was reported. She has entirely recovered, and now presents a normal mind and healthy body, has gained twenty-five pounds in weight, and is a healthy, happy young woman.
Always tell your patient how he will feel before awakening him. That will determine his feeling after he is hypnotized. It is not only what you do and what you say that brings success, but the way you do and how you say it. This is true of the use of suggestion both with and without hypnotism.
In reducing dislocations, setting fractures, opening abscesses, sewing up incised wounds, and numerous other conditions, hypnotic suggestion is applicable. Yet, so much depends upon the environment, for an adverse environment produces a counter influence by unconscious suggestion that is often impossible to overcome. In private practice, however, we have an ideal condition for the application of suggestive therapeutics. It is here that the best results are always obtained, for there is a closer personal relation between the physician and his patient.