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.
We certainly can not influence the bacteria upon the pin; then we must increase the resistive power of the cells in the face in some way. Whether it is done by encouraging leucocytosis or the migration of phagocytes, or whether we increase the resistive power of protoplasm direct, has never been explained. Theorize upon that proposition as you will; its meaning has a far deeper import than appears at first upon the surface. To me it indicates that we can increase the resistive power - life, strength, and energy of every cell in the body by suggestion, both with and without hypnotism; so that in the fight between the etiological factors of disease, which is ever being made by the cells of the body, we can help these cells in their struggle against pathogenic germs or other etiological factors of disease.
Physiologists have ever endowed the brain centers with a peculiar form of energy of their own, indefinitely referred to by such expressions as neuric energy, nerve force, and the like. These higher centers occupy a relation to the general cells comprising the physical body similar to that occupied by a dynamo to a piece of machinery. By suggestion we can convert potential energy into dynamic energy, latent energy into moving energy, and in this way increase the resistive power of every cell in the body.
I am aware that some physicians will shrug their shoulders and raise their hands to heaven in protest against the foregoing statement. It goes against the grain to present an idea so completely at variance with their preconceived opinions. But if they will reflect and verify, they will be forced to bow down before the evidence of facts.
I do not mean to say that an instrument previously infected with a culture of anthrax bacilli can be thrust with impunity into the flesh of a hypnotized subject, neither do I mean to give license for any failure to observe the strictest rules of asepsis, which has been the means of the brilliant achievements that have crowned the efforts of modern surgery; but let the facts in the case speak for themselves. Let us hew close to the line of truth, let the chips fall where they may.
I have in at least five hundred instances taken a pin that has not been previously sterilized and thrust it through a fold of the skin in the face or arm, and with but one single exception have never observed the least unpleasant results. Even the exception in this case only goes to prove the efficacy and power of suggestion in the accomplishment or support of the position that I have taken.
In one instance I used a small blade of my pocket knife and jabbed it under a fold of the skin for an inch without soreness resulting. The antiseptic property of the blood is not to be discredited in making allowance for the result nor elimination by bleeding, but in this case the arm bled only a few drops. On an average, where a pin was used the arm did not bleed one time in fifty. Nor do I forget the natural resistive power of the cells themselves in a healthy individual, and this, in my opinion, can by suggestion be strengthened to a wonderful extent.
The one exception where the arm became sore was in the case of a physician for whom I gave a treatment by hypnotic suggestion and relieved him of a tinnitus aurium of twelve years' standing. He was an extremely neurotic individual, and when I awakened him after the treatment for his tinnitus and asked if anything had hurt him in the least, he replied, " No."
"Did you know that I had thrust a pin into the flesh of your arm?"
" No; you did not or I should have felt it," said he.
"Do you feel it now?" I asked. "No, not in the least," said he. "You did not stick me really, did you ?"
"Yes," I replied, "and here it is now," and I pushed back his cuff and let him see the pin yet through the fold of the skin.
" Take that out," said he, in a most excited manner.
His tinnitus was relieved, and after one year, when I last heard from him, had not returned. Yet he seemed offended because I, a physician, should have taken such a risk as to thrust an unclean instrument into his flesh.
In the afternoon he had a red, painful arm, with a general temperature of 103° F., and he asked that I hypnotize him again and get rid of that condition. I hypnotized him and gave him appropriate suggestions to relieve his pain, quiet his nervousness, and give him a good night's sleep. After awakening him I assured him that his temperature was due to malaria. He took twenty-five grains of quinin that evening and was all right the next morning.
This, I say, was the only case in my extensive experience where there was the slightest unpleasant symptom after sticking a pin without sterilization into the flesh, and I am quite sure that I have made that experiment not less than five hundred times.
It has been reported that a physician jabbed a dull lead pencil into the flesh of a hypnotized subject and produced an infection.
Such a procedure would destroy the cells in that part, and is not at all a parallel ease to where a sharp instrument is used and proper suggestions given to influence the result.
These facts have led me to conclude that, through the influences exerted by the higher centers of the brain over the vasomotor neuro regulation of the blood supply to the part, increased leuco-ytosis results, and that the theory of phagocytic resistance, as advanced by Metschnikoff, is an important and constant factor in natural immunity. According to this author, leucocytes, having arrived at the spot where the intruders are found, seize them after the manner of the ameba and with their bodies subject them to intracellular digestion.
The facts mentioned in regard to the case of the physician whose autosuggestions were adverse and most unfavorable, as against at least five hundred cases where suggestions were given in the hypnotic state that would possibly favor this natural physiological process of immunity, lead me to conclude that cell activity is increased or retarded in even a local area by suggestion. We know that every cell in the body, through the complex mechanism of animal physiology, is influenced by centers of activity in the brain. These centers can be stimulated and encouraged into action by suggestion. "We can convert potential energy into dynamic energy, latent energy into moving energy, and in this way all the physiological processes can be increased or encouraged, and by suggestion, both with and without hypnotism, we can aid the cells of the body in the fight against the etiological factors of disease, whether due to pathogenic germs or other causes.