132 P alming
When a black letter is regarded before palming the patient will usually remember not only the blackness of the letter, but the white background as well. If the mem ory of the black is held for a few seconds, however, the background usually fades away and the whole field be comes black.
Patients often say that they remember black perfectly when they do not. One can usually tell whether or not this is the case by noting the effect of palming upon the vision. If there is no improvement in the sight when the eyes are opened, it can be demonstrated, by bringing the black closer to the patient, that it has not been re membered perfectly.
Although black is, as a rule, the easiest color to re member, for reasons explained in the next chapter, the following method sometimes succeeds when the memory of black fails: Remember a variety of colors-bright red, yellow, green, blue, purple, white especially-all in the most intense shade possible. Do not attempt to hold any of them more than a second. Keep this up for five or ten minutes. Then remember a piece of starch about half an inch in diameter as white as possible. Note the color of the background. Usually it will be a shade of black. If it is, note whether it is possible to remember anything blacker, or to see anything blacker with the eyes open. In ail cases when the white starch is remem bered perfectly the background will be so black that it will be impossible to remember anything blacker with the eyes closed, or to see anything blacker with them open.
When palming is successful it is one of the best meth ods I know of for securing relaxation of all the sensory nerves, including those of sight. When perfect relaxa-