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.
Once, in one of our great American cities, a well-known physician telephoned me to learn what I could do with a case of acute alcoholism. I replied that I had good results in my private practice in such cases, but that it all depended upon the character of the individual.
He wanted me to come at once to treat a patient of his who had been drinking too freely for a week or more, had taken not less than fifteen drinks that day, but was anxious to quit. His patient was a fine man, who proved afterward to be one of the most delightful men I ever met, but he had his vulnerable point and his friends had led him too far.
If I can talk to an individual for a few minutes, I feel the personality of the man sufficiently to approach him with a degree of certainty or with uncertainty regarding results. I suppose this is acquired by experience. Anyway, I was not in this gentleman's presence five minutes before I said to his physician, " Doctor, we are going to get along all right. I am ready to proceed with the treatment." The patient, a business man and capitalist, aged about 48, was nervous, emotional, irritable, miserable, and had suffered with insomnia, anorexia, etc., and just felt that something had to be done for him. Even in the condition described the man was a gentleman, showed that he had a great soul in him, and I could feel that I had in him the elements of a man to use in his own behalf, which he, from inability to express the supreme function of consciousness - the will - had failed to use for himself.
I induced the suggestive state, and allowed him to sleep for three hours, giving him a glass of water at intervals of an hour apart without arousing him from the existing state of suggestibility.
He was then awakened and advised to take a walk for half an hour or more with his wife, a bowl of chicken broth being ordered in the meantime. In the suggestive state I had made such suggestions as would quiet nervousness, relieve soreness in the epigastric region, restore self-confidence, produce an antipathy or hatred for whisky, and arouse the highest element of selfhood into action.
It was also suggested that after his walk he would eat a bowl of chicken broth, and then go to bed and at once go sound asleep; that he would sleep soundly all night, and that, if he became restlea during the night, his wife would give him a glass of water and he would go sound asleep again. I impressed on him that he would not wake until nine o'clock the next day, at which time his wife would awaken him. Then, as has been my custom, 1 told him he would feel rested, refreshed, self-sufficient, and not want whisky any more.
At eleven o'clock the next day his wife telephoned me, in response to an inquiry about his condition, using these words: "Oh, Doctor, he is doing beautifully. He slept all night long, taking water twice, and looks so calm and self-poised this morning. He says he does not want any more whisky, and I never saw him look and talk like this after a spree before."
I saw him only twice more, and talked to him face to face as friend with friend. Several weeks later, when I was ready to leave that city, he came to my room at the hotel, again expressing his thanks, and, like the real man that he was, said, "Doctor, you have helped me more than any one ever did in my whole life. You have given me a new conception of myself, and made me feel in regard to myself as I never felt before."
I had awakened in him a higher self-consciousness or an ap-preciation of a higher selfhood, and the memory that I have of hundreds and hundreds of such experiences is to me one of life's greatest rewards.
Conversion is suggestion just disguised, The new man is the old man hypnotized.
It is a great thing to have confidence in human beings; faith in humanity is faith in God; it is to recognize the divine in Iranian life.
The individual or individuals who have helped me the most in life have been those who were able to discover the germination of a higher selfhood as an actuating impulse in my own life and conduct.