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.
Here is a physician occupying the chair of Principles and Practice of Medicine in one of our medical universities. He says to me: "Munro, you are on the right track. You are teaching what we all must recognize-as the truth - as sane, sound, rational, common sense, practical knowledge. You are not playing to the galleries - you are making an appeal to the intelligence and brains of the profession, but the question is, are all its members endowed with that unselfish, broad, altruistic spirit sufficient to utilize and appropriate the measures you are advocating!"
The cases here cited will illustrate the value of the measures outlined as applied to a class of cases where the methods in general use had proven inadequate. The strongest argument in favor of any method of treatment is the practical results that accrue from its administration.
This patient was referred to me by a physician of this city. No less than seven college professors, east and west, figured in the treatment of this case. No less than twenty-one physicians, among them surgeons, gynecologists, neurologists, etc., had exhausted their resources in vain endeavor to benefit this patient. She was a young woman who gave birth to a child, and excessive hemorrhage left her very much exsanguinated and weakened. By the time she was getting to a normal condition again she had an acute attack of salpingitis and a year later was operated on. A large pus tube was removed, together with a badly diseased ovary. She then began to have attacks of migraine, which steadily increased in frequency and severity for four or five years after this operation. Then her uterus was anchored, her appendix removed, and the remaining ovary resected.
When I saw her she had been ill for ten years, during seven of which she had been a migraine sufferer, and for relief of the attacks morphin had been employed. At the time I saw her she had been taking morphin two or three times a day for five months, with no let-up in her headache. She was a despondent, miserable, pessimistic, blue human being, with the loss possibly of every hope in life. Her physician induced me to try psychotherapeutic measures in her case, and I want to tell you that I took hold of that patient with a strong impression that I could not benefit her. I made no promises, except to do my best. She had had such marked pathological alterations in her neuron elements that I did not believe that their function could be restored.
After employing psychotherapeutic measures for two months, she entirely and completely gave up the morphin, and at the end of two more months she had gained fifteen pounds in weight; and now that woman is well, comfortable, optimistic, and happy, and no longer the miserable, despondent being that she was before the employment of psychotherapeutic measures.
The measures employed in the treatment of this case consisted of physical education, prophylactic education, suggestion with and without hypnosis, instruction in diet, hydrotherapy, and gymnastics. Among the methods included in treatment by "suggestion" was the psychoanalytic method devised by Freud, of Vienna, which is but the employment of suggestion pure and simple.
Female, aged 33; by occupation a stenographer. Was suffering from insomnia, headaches, constipation, and obsessions, besides a functional disturbance of the stomach. For a long while she had vomited most of her meals as soon as she finished eating them. Appendix had been removed, stomach had been washed out for a long while, and electrotherapeutics, hydrotherapy, massage, and drugs had been employed ad nauseam. The diagnoses given her complication were legion.
I told this patient that I would admit that she had all the diseases that she had been taught to believe she had, provided she would co-operate with me in a rational regimen to become a well, strong, healthful individual. She was greatly emaciated, discouraged, and despondent, but co-operated intelligently. After treatment for two months she had gained twenty-three pounds in weight, and had been sleeping soundly for six weeks; had a good appetite, retained her food from the first treatment by hypnotic suggestion, was no longer annoyed by obsessions, and for more than a year has been at her work, with no return of her symptoms.
The treatment followed was the daily employment of hypnotic suggestion for a month and twice a week for the second month, and instruction in diet, exercise, gymnastics, hygiene, and sanitation. She left for her home in a distant state well equipped with a sound philosophy of life, as well as with a well, normal body.
Male, aged 54; by occupation a farmer; mother had committed suicide. He was psychasthenic, suffering from insomnia, obsessions, constipation, and indigestion; was emaciated physically, and had apparently lost interest in everything pertaining to life, except the study of his own symptoms. This man was so weak physically that he could hardly stand a walk of five blocks without appearing exhausted.
After two months' treatment by hypnotic suggestion, and by instruction on almost every line or phase of life, as well as by the enforcement of exercise, gymnastics, and instruction in a sound mental and physical hygiene and dietetic regimen, this patient went home comparatively self-reliant, physically strong, capacitated to take a brisk walk of eight miles, run a foot race, play ball, or do anything incident to the life of the ordinary farmer.
Previous to treatment by me he had been treated by neurologists, stomach specialists, electrotherapeutists, and had also had his appendix removed, having been informed that the disease of this organ was responsible for all of his symptoms. Up to one year after treatment, when he was last heard from, he had attended to his usual duties, and was comfortable and happy.
Female, aged 41; single. Had suffered more or less from utero-ovarian disease for many years, and two years previous to falling under my care had undergone operation, having had her uterus, ovaries, and large fibroids removed, since which she had suffered with headaches, constipation, insomnia, and indigestion. She was psychasthenic and extremely emaciated. After one month's treatment by the method employed in the foregoing cases she was eating, exercising, and sleeping, and had gained several pounds in weight. She went away contrary to my advice, as she could not conveniently remain longer under my care, but continued to improve for two months, after which she experienced a return of some of her former symptoms, and my advice was sought in the selection of a medical adviser in a neighboring city. Three or four months' continuous treatment of this patient would undoubtedly have prepared her for meeting the exigencies of life and to maintain a condition of reasonably good health.
Male, aged 48; by occupation a farmer; had a sister who died of epilepsy and an aunt who committed suicide. For two years he had labored under the delusion that he was being watched by detectives, and suffered from insomnia, constipation, anorexia, and headaches. He was psychasthenic and weak. He had sought treatment from various sources, and was sent to me by a well-known western surgeon. Most of the physicians whom he consulted told him that there was nothing the matter with him, and this only added to his depression, which was extreme. I informed him that he was a sick man and needed treatment, but that the employment of medicine, or electricity, or massage, which had been employed by other physicians, was not applicable in his case.
After two months had elapsed, during which time he had visited my office daily for treatment, advice, instruction, and education, he went home a sane, happy, self-reliant man, free from all his symptoms. Fourteen months later he dropped in to see me - hale, hearty, and happy - and informed me that had I "condemned him, as had the others, he would be in his grave." He had gained more than thirty pounds in weight, and was the picture of strength and optimism.