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.
"Sleep on quietly. When I count three this arm will be stiff - so stiff that you can't take it down. One, two, three; your arm is stiff, and you can't take it down until I tell you. Now, when I rub this medicine on your arm three times it will be dead and have no feeling in it. Now, I pinch this arm" (thrusting a pin through a fold of the skin), "but you do not feel it; there is no feeling here at all; this arm is perfectly dead."
"Gentlemen, no one minds being pinched, at least with your finger nails, so I give the easiest suggestion to accept to accomplish an end. For the same reason I say to a patient, 'I will examine this tooth,' while in reality I apply the forceps and extract it. This makes it easier for the patient to accept the suggestion."
"Now, sleep on, and when I count three, stand up. Put your heels together, and when I say 'stiff,' be as stiff as iron - so stiff I can lay you across two chairs and you will not bend. One, two, three. Now, stand up. Get stiff - stiff as iron."
"Place his heels in the other chair, please, doctor." (The man is placed with his head on one chair and his heels on another.) "Now, hold strong, be stiff." (Standing upon his body.) He sustains my weight of two hundred pounds easily. "Now, relax, limber, sit down, and sleep on."
"Now, my man, when I count three you will open your eyes and be wide awake. You will be feeling good all over. You will remember nothing that has been said or done, and will find that you never felt better in your life, and will always be glad that you came up here. One, two, three, and you are awake."
"Have a good nap?"
"What do you remember since coming into this room?"
"Nothing at all but sitting in that chair and going to sleep."
"You are sure that nothing has hurt you since sitting there?"
"No, sir; nothing has hurt me."
Now, the talk that I gave that man about my selling the medicine, and how it was used, and what it was used for, etc., was the pre-hypnotic suggestion. In that way I got his voluntary consent to sit in this chair and let the medicine have its effect. In doing that he was letting me put him in that suggestive condition unfortunately named the hypnotic state. Notice, again, I had that man relax every muscle, close his eyes lightly, and breathe through his mouth. He was then in a condition of voluntary receptivity. The very fact that he agrees to relax, close his eyes, and breathe through his mouth indicates that he is a hypnotic subject, because it signifies his willingness.
A Condition Of Voluntary Receptivity
As to who is a hypnotic subject, it is the individual who does not know that he is to be hypnotized, whose confidence I can secure sufficiently to get him to conform to the conditions, just as we have demonstrated. I always secure the voluntary co-operation of the individual, and get that supreme factor in human consciousness - the will - to assist me in accomplishing the result. I get the co-operation of the voluntary waking consciousness to act upon or execute an idea or series of ideas, either consciously or subconsciously. In getting an individual to go into that sleep-like condition known as the hypnotic state, I am simply getting the real ego to act upon or execute an idea through intelligent cooperation. That is the way by which that subconscious condition known as the hypnotic state is produced. Then, after the subject is hypnotized, I get him to act upon or execute an idea subconsciously.
In approximately five thousand instances in which I have used men of all nationalities for demonstration in my class work, I have yet to see the first unpleasant result. In all cases pins were stuck through their faces or arms, and their bodies put across chairs and one or more men stood upon them. I have used lawyers, preachers, doctors, dentists, merchants, mechanics, and people of all trades and classes. As regards nationalities, Germans, Frenchmen, Englishmen, Italians, Chinamen, Japanese, Indians, and negroes have been my subjects. They have all proved about equally susceptible as regards race.
The more intelligent individuals of all races made the best subjects. Every one who left the room went out with a pleasant smile on his face, and most of them thanked me for the experience. I treated them all kindly, and acted in a way to secure the co-operation of a high element of human consciousness.
People have faith in medicine, and when we proceed as if using a medicine we utilize the faith or confidence that is reposed in this material agency, inert though it is as to physiological effect, which proves a most powerful factor in producing that condition known as the hypnotic state on the one hand, and getting results by suggestion applied as a therapeutic measure on the other.
Our therapeutic measures must be adapted to the individuality of the patient with whom we are dealing.