The value of hypnotism in the study and treatment of disease, the author says, depends on the fact that it increases suggestibility. So greatly is suggestibility increased by hypnotism that it is only necessary to tell a patient, in a deep hypnotic sleep, that he has just received an electric shock for his muscles to tighten, and his face to twitch in a way which shows without doubt that he believes he feels it, and, moreover, he will tell you that he does. Every sick person, the author believes, is subjected, knowingly or unknowingly by his doctor, to treatment by suggestion. The limits of hypnotism as an adjunct to therapeutics largely depend, he says, upon an individual operator and a particular patient. In his experience, he has found it particularly useful in functional diseases—tics, tremors, and nervous spasms and cramps, some neuralgic pains and headaches, hysterical paralysis, convulsions and aphonia, many phobias, and so on, while sleeplessness and sleepwalking can be cured by its use.
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