MEDICAL HYPNOSIS FROM THE 60'S OR 70'S
MAX ALEXANDEROFF: MEDICAL HYPNOSIS: PROBABLY WRITTEN IN THE 60S OR 70S
HISTORY OF HYPNOSIS AND SURGERY:
Today, as in the days of yore, there are men who are successfully prescribing and practicing the Art of Hypnosis in association with the Science of Medicine. Pioneering in Medicine, as in any other field of endeavor, is met with bias from men working in their accepted niche in that profession. Hypnosis has been rejected with fear and skepticism by many of the average physicians. This too, many of the public have done. It contains a mystique which somehow can not be explained away.
But the world is progressing ever more rapidly and Man, in this day and age of research, is seeking to rise above and beyond the chains that have bound him to the planet Earth. He clambers towards new horizons. It is the public's desire to acquire new strength, new aspects of thought and new philosophies of revolution ( couched in terms of evolution) . This has been the motivating power in assisting pioneers to become more numerous and braver in their approaches. New and more exciting facets of medicine arc arising in the specialties. Hypnosis is being included. Who knows but that in this Space Age a person in hypnosis may travel. to the next Star? The future may encompass all the specialties of medicine under one heading called Functional Disease to include the physical, organic and biochemical changes.
It will always remain the bounden duty of every physician who intends to practice medicine to acquaint himself, to the best of his abilities, with an understanding first of the basic sciences; including anatomy, neurology, pathology, etc. This, as a basic requirement, is well understood. In his learning he should include the humanities, the education and the culture which is demanded of other students studying for professions. Even more is it demanded of him, because of his position in society which places him as a person of knowledge and one who should also understand the mind. It is because medicine is not entirely a Science, but must also be called an Art, that it should be considered as an inter-association of Art and Science. For this reason, one can use the many hidden, and as yet untapped, powerful qualities that can be found in the human mind to apply to man's ability in overcoming the illnesses and the aging process that beset him. The intermediary force, then, becomes a Catalyst. This form of association between the science of medicine and the realization that it is also an art, can bring them together in a happy marriage of thoughts, and ideas. It can result in improved knowledge for all (p 27) physicians practicing medicine so as to effect happier and better adapted humans.
Medicine, is a living profession. There are presented constantly "new sets of ideas." A physician who has good training and diagnostic ability frequently brings new thoughts forward but only after due considerations to attitudes and experimentations as well as the values thereof will he then ask others to accept these ideas. The constant change and flux does not necessarily indicate progress. It only points out thought-alterations. Attempts continue at progress through the search for a healthier state.
Hypnosis, as a facet of medical therapy, has been with us since time immemorial. Therefore, when it is applied today, it is not necessarily an introduction of a new idea. It is but the reintroduction of an old one; with new experimentation and research to explain its values.
The research and application of the findings, as they have been explained above, have been instituted and carried out by men of progressive thinking for the welfare of emotional and human health. What has been discussed to this point in our reading is a review of the human history of the Past, to explain to Present, and possibly to predict the Future.
WART REMOVAL: Although this case-history may sound surprising and shocking and to many unbelievable, it is in fact quite true and has recently been repeated by another case. Also many other cases have been reported in medical literature. And too, history is filled with legend referring to the same condition. Was hypnosis used in the past by suggesting that the warts fall off? Or was some other "miraculous" condition applied?
Now to carry on with our case-history. It is appropriate to say that Donald, who twelve years ago was delivered as a fine healthy specimen of a male infant, has now grown into a tall good-looking lad. His mother brought him to the office because of some nasty warts which had begun to grow in small clusters on both hands. It is possible to remove them with electro-desiccation but this is usually a discomforting procedure. Donald did not relish the idea and raised quite a fuss about the prospect of the pain he would have. His mother tried to enforce the procedure, but it was at this point that I stepped in and advised her that force was not necessary nor would I subscribe to it. We could wait until he agreed to their removal. He and his mother left and the warts were not again mentioned for a whole year. When his mother returned with him he then stated that he didn't like the idea of going to High School with warts on both his hands.
The question was put to him as to whether he would like these warts removed or not? His answer was of course he would want them off but -. I then advised him that they could now be removed - and with a "painless" method. Donald looked at me rather suspiciously. He agreed that if these warts could be removed "painlessly" that he was in agreement to have me go ahead. He was sitting on the examining table at the time, with his mother sitting on the chair close by. I started.
He was advised in soft-spoken and easy manner to encourage him to relax. He was told that since he is quite an intelligent young lad who was growing into manhood that he likely is highly capable of concentrating deeply on what I had to say. While doing this he was to look directly at the gold piece of my spectacles. The induction was carried on quietly checking him out with questions repeatedly about the fact that he did want to remove his warts; but "painlessly" only. "Doctor," Donald said, "this would be the best way to remove the warts."
The induction progressed very pleasantly and he developed an ever deepening trance. The kindness and soft talk obviously were working well for him. Occasionally I glanced towards the mother and noted that she was beginning to nod somewhat while sitting in the chair. If I were not careful I could have two hypnotized persons on my hands. At about this point it was suggested that if he felt strongly enough with regards to the removal of these warts he could begin to count for me from one to four. At reaching the figure of four his eyes could open and he would be wide awake, fully convinced that he could remove these warts "painlessly ,"
He proceeded to count and on reaching "FOUR " opened his eyes. Then looking with surprise across to his mother he said: "Mother you heard the doctor. He said he was going to remove them "painlessly." He hasn't hurt me a bit."
As he was leaving the oft Ice, he exclaimed his discovery to all and sundry including the nurse, and to all the patients who were waiting, that his doctor had promised to take away his warts "painlessly."
The following Saturday Donald and his mother returned to the office. He did not have a single wart on either hand. The mother related that three days after his previous visit in my office, Donald had gone upstairs to say his prayers at his bedside. Suddenly his mother heard him screaming at the top of his lungs: "Mother! Mother!"
If anyone has had experience with a boy of Donald's age shouting at the top of his voice to come right away, it should be deemed wise to race to the "scene of action." He could be hanging by his toenails from a second storey window-ledge to imitate some trick that he might have witnessed on the T.V. Like all boys it must be admitted he does perform some pretty unusual tricks. His mother ran upstairs to his room, arriving breathless and terrified. He was still shouting! "He said he would remove them "painlessly ." He said he would remove them, "painlessly ." He did. He did. They are all gone!" The warts had disappeared "painlessly ." This had taken place only three days after his visits to the doctor. The mother was thoroughly astonished. Donald was thoroughly pleased.
On the weekend following his examination to observe that there were no warts on his hands, his father came in to leave a report about Donald. The father's very good friend, a priest, came to visit at their home. The priest had observed the hands both before and after the treatment. He was totally baffled with the result. He admitted his puzzlement and was most enthused. He asked permission to bring a friend of his, who is also of the cloth, to observe this "miracle." When the second priest did arrive, he was speechless with wonderment. I was informed of their puzzlement by the father and instructed him to advise these priests to again read of many similar incidents in the New Testament.
This example: Where the person crawled to touch the Lord's hem and then, "she could see." (p 96)
ASTHMA: Ordinarily I would not discuss asthma until we came to the chapter entitled, Allergies and Asthma. I could not miss this opportunity though to clarify a situation as it exists in my own mind. There are several cases stated above in which it is felt that the parent is the one who requires therapy. As we read the history of this poor lad Dressel, it will be easily observed that here too the father should have been treated early in life. It was he who heaped a heavy load onto the thin shoulders of a poor child.
Dressel was brought to my office by his mother. She had heard from some of her friends that I could treat this boy for his asthma by hypnosis. I looked at the lad who stood with a hang-dog appearance. He was tall, thin, and very pale. He had an air of resentment and hostility to everyone; but a little less towards the mother. When asked some simple questions, he was sullen and gave some mumbled reports which certainly didn't give him any prizes as the best-mannered boy in my city.
The mother was very kind and gentle. She related the story that this boy since age two had been receiving injections for desensitization against asthma. These were given at weekly intervals or, at times, twice per week. The boy was now thirteen and looked as if when he took a drink of water it would leak out of all the little needle holes that have been punched in him over all these years.
I turned and faced him directly and said: "Dressel, I am going to speak to you as a Doctor to an intelligent boy. Tell me do you like your mother?" He shot a look at his mother with his head somewhat lowered and said: "Yes I do!" It was the first time he gave any sign of approving of a person. Then he was asked about his father. His head hung lower. We had struck a real raw nerve here. The next question was about his brother and sister. He stated that he had a sister who was older and he did not like her at all. He had a younger brother, but he did not mind him.
His mother was informed that this boy could be helped but I would like very much to meet the father. It was my suspicion that the boy and the father got along very poorly. The mother looked up at me in surprise and the tears of unhappiness sparkled in her sorrowful eyes. "My husband shouts at Dressel far too much. My husband has never hit me; but when he argues with me Dressel steps in to protect me. This makes my husband turn on Dressel. Then the battle starts between the whole three of us. I want to protect my son. He screams at him to "shut up." I wish my husband would not scream at Dressel. It is after this screaming that Dressel gets asthma."
What a revealing statement! The boy had allied himself with his mother and in misery tried to protect her. I was pretty certain that hypnosis would be of value with him. Therefore, he and his mother were advised to return for treatment and to bring poppa, if possible. Dressel was advised that likely after this treatment he would not require any injections for asthma. In fact, he would not have another asthmatic attack if he learned to control himself. (This was quite a profound statement; certainly it implied quite openly that the job was up to him; and not me) .
In one week the boy returned, but this time by himself. He was much happier. His mother had instructed the father that the Doctor was aware of the troubles at home. The father had somehow begun to act a little more civilized. The "boat was not being rocked" as much at home. Dressel, as most youngsters do, accepted the trance readily and easily. In analysis he allowed the fact to slip out that each summer he went up to visit with his cousins and uncle. He never had asthma up North. Of course his uncle, who is his mother's brother, liked him. Hypnosis went well. Auto-induction was brought in as well. He was an avid pupil and quickly acquired this procedure with instruction to use it only if necessary for asthma or an impending attack. Then he was aroused and sent home a happy boy.
Within less than ten days the mother phoned in great panic that Dressel was undergoing a very severe attack of asthma and please could I do something? She was advised to bring him to the office right away and to bring with them the father. The boy was practically carried into the room and deposited upon the table like a sack of potatoes. The father stood back with a sneer on his face, while the mother was wringing her hands saying, "Help him Doctor. Help him." I turned to Dressel and said. "Dressel you remember the last time you were here and I said I would help you?" He nodded his head as he wheezed like an old broken down machine. Then I said to him in an off-hand manner:
"Then in that case do you mind showing your father what you can really do to help yourself to get better?"
He was advised to lie down and begin to count in his mind from three hundred backwards to as far as he could go. When he had reached to the point where he thought his mind was beginning to wander he could close his eyes. This he did and in very short time there was a smile on his face, because he was really showing his father something. His breathing, which had been labored up until now, began to ease off. The wheezing and rattling that had been reechoing through the whole room, settled away almost like a fading thunder from a dreaded storm.
I then advised him that he could concentrate upon the state of relaxation and to dream of a very important and relevant point while his father and mother and I carried on some conversation. He was not to pay any attention to what we said. The only time he was to listen to me was when I spoke directly to him. He agreed and seemed to drop into a coma. The chest, that had so painfully heaved only minutes before, was moving slightly and easily now.
The mother sat back in wonderment and I was almost convinced that she was about to perform the act of crossing herself as being in the presence of a magical and mystical religious priest. The father's face was a study. His sneer had not completely been wiped off the !J face but where it had the face was set almost in controlled terror. As if he spoke there was deference in the manner of address to this Doctor. After about ten minutes of conversation it was outlined with the father that he could more easily approach his son with gentleness. Although he was not accustomed to this activity, he should try to talk quietly with the mother so as not to involve anyone else in any arguments. By this time the mother looked pale and whispered to me, "Can I please listen to his chest?" I waved her to come over to the boy. She reverently laid her head on his easily moving chest and listened attentively. Then she straightened up, gave a sign of relief and whispered again, "Doctor, thank you! Thank you!" She sat down. I turned my attentions to this boy.
He again repeated about his being so well with relatives. They treated him royally. He never had an attack of asthma while with them. This he attributed to the fact that the air was different. He probably meant that it was not polluted by his sneering, raucous and argumentative father . The whole episode had not taken more than fifteen minutes. The boy felt and looked fine. The mother whispered again: "He didn't even get a needle, nor medicine, and he looks all better ."
This boy had a few post-hypnotic suggestions added. He was instructed that he could do very well if he persisted in keeping himself calm and relaxed. He also could show his father that he had complete control over this condition. His confidence was built and improved as was his assurance that he was a person who not only belonged but was equal with all the others in the family including the father and the mother. Then he was roused.
This boy wore an expression that one would see on the face of a cat after it had just eaten a canary. He had for the first time a success in overcoming the asthma which in the past had caused him so much disability. This condition had crippled him.
He was told to return here once or twice more during which time he would be instructed more in the art of self-hypnosis so that at anytime if he required this art he would not even have to come to a doctor. He could by himself completely overcome this reaction.
The history of Dressel is a complete success. He returned twice for reinforcement of his trance. In a number of months he has not had any recurrence of his asthma. There has been a notable change (p 120) in the work at school. His mother is just overjoyed. The father who only had a very few moments with the doctor has entirely changed his habit of being so demanding and critical of this boy.
This case has without a doubt proven again the necessity of looking within the family for the causes of psychic disorders that disrupt the patient. If one can attack the source of the disease, which often turns out to be another member of the family, then we can overcome the physical disorganization of the patient.
Just prior to summarizing this chapter it might be valuable for the reader to understand by analogy how conditioning is produced. Conditioning it will be understood may be good (positive) or bad (negative) . The good is produced by offering a carrot or candy as a reward for each approved action when training is taking place. And, on the reverse side of the coin, if one is learning poorly keep on punishing and so produce negative conditioning.
Explanation: Assume a child walks down a street from school and each day he passes a bully who takes a swing at him causing him to duck. If he ducks, he avoids punishment. He is reacting to preserve himself from injury. After a varying length of time, even if the bully does not make a move the boy finds that, in walking by this spot, the best method to prevent the blow from falling is to duck. The child is watching to sec if the bully will approach or make any menacing gestures.
It is possible for his child now to respond in many fashions. It does not necessarily hold true that he just has a reflex of ducking to avoid. He may add to these responses, several of his own choosing. This may include to duck and cry out; or to duck, run and cry out or any other combination that the reader may contrive in his own mind if he were the one being conditioned. It is not too difficult now for the untrained lay-person to understand when I state, that the patient responds with many different patterns of behavior to his previous conditioning factor .
The patient may use depression, a feeling of inferiority, the feeling of rejection etc., etc. Thus to assist a person to learn, we as therapists are expected to do more than wave a little wand and tell Johnny- "Do as I say!" The wand-waving and the other magical procedures will not call forth phenomenal results. Instead, what one must do is, to sit down with the sick person (child) , treat him as an intelligent human and by hypnoanalysis search out his past obstruction blocks.
HISTORY OF HYPNOSIS AND SURGERY: Man is a curious animal. If something works, he wishes to know why and wherefore. He is not prepared to just accept. For years he accepted hypnosis, under many different names, because it worked so well.
In the last one hundred years, more or less, he is trying to make it fit into a Science rather than an Art. To do this he must experiment; draw out results after setting up formulas. He must explain in Hypnosis associated with Surgery the following facts:
(1) Surgery, minor and/or major, can be performed with hypnosis. This can be accomplished without chemo-anesthesia.
(2) Bleeding and clotting times associated with trauma (blow or damage) to tissues may be improved or returned to normal by the use of hypnosis.
( 3) Shock associated with surgery, or any other form of damage to the body, can be surmounted by use of hypnosis.
( 4) Fear and anxiety- if prevented with hypnosis circumvents all bodily distresses.
Further explanations, by the citing of cases, will assist to support the fact that hypnosis does work to save the body. There is no explanation of "the how" that hypnosis works except to say that (p 193) many years ago, in the very distant mysterious past of Man this procedure has accomplished "miracles."
For years sick people sought out those who claimed special rights to aid them in their hour of need. There existed the shaman in the North American Indian oh the West Coast; as well as the ancient soothsayers of Chaldea and Babylonia. Too, in Greece, or in the islands of the mainland, there are historical references of medical schools practicing under the sign of Aesculapius. These were Man's first attempts to assist his fellow man. This was accomplished by the faith by the patient, in the use of Sophrology by the one rendering assistance. The results were excellent.
I t is reputed, from that School of Thought, that Socrates by the use of soft words and kind language soothed away the headaches of a famed warrior of that day.
In addition, to the kind words "to soothe the Soul" were added drinks (draughts) of alcoholic-containing beverages.
Four hundred years before Caesar's birth a young and fair maiden had an abdominal hysterectomy to deliver a baby in the manner we today recognized as a Caesarian Section. This was performed by first "bemusing her with wine."
Trephining of the skull to allow out the devils or bad gods was also practiced. Bladder stones were removed. Many difficult surgical procedures were performed to the accompaniment of screaming and horror of the patient with the cringing of even the most calloused of surgeons.
Time slowly dragged along and Man learned more. Finally in the late 1700's Mesmer tried very hard to introduce into medicine some semblance of order by the use of Mesmerization (Hypnosis) . This procedure fell into disrepute.
In the early 1800's Dr. Esdaile, a British surgeon working in India, used hypnotic trance during three thousand surgical cases; of which at least three hundred were major procedures.
Dr. Braid, also a British surgeon, who after watching Dr. Mesmer in France as the latter performed mesmerization, went home a Doubting Thomas. An interesting experiment in his own office changed his entire feeling towards this field. It was he who introduced the term "HYPNOSIS."
Then, to the relief of all the sick and suffering world, in 1846, Dr. Morton, a dentist brought forward and used an anesthetic in a Boston hospital. From that moment on Mesmerization and Hypnosis, it was felt, could be laid to rest.
Regardless of who used, or abused, or used and laid aside, this procedure it is again coming into its important position and role by the experimentation which is proving its worth as discussed in the numbers of illustrations at the beginning of this chapter.
It may assist the average physician to comprehend some of the complications that he may be privileged to treat. This chapter will be of great help to the frightened anxious patient to undergo surgery.