206 The Relief of Pain
in progress he was asked if he was still remembering black.
"You bet I am," he replied.
In the same hospital a surgeon from the accident ward visited the eye clinic with a friend suffering from pain in his eyes and head. The patient was benefited very quickly by relaxation methods. The surgeon said it was unusual, and spoke slightingly of my methods. I challenged him to bring me a patient with pain that I could not relieve in five minutes.
"All right," he said. "I want you to understand that I am from Missouri."
He returned soon with a woman who had been suffer ing from severe pains in her head for several years. She had been operated upon a number of times, and had been under the care of the hospital for many months.
"You cannot help the pain in this patient's head," said the surgeon, "because she has a brain tumor."
I doubted the existence of a brain tumor, but I said: "Brain tumor or no brain tumor, my assistant will stop the pain in five minutes."
He took out his watch, opened it, looked at the time, and told my assistant to go ahead. The patient was di rected to look at a large black letter, note its blackness, then to cover her closed eyes with the palms of her hands, shutting out all the light, and to remember the blackness of the letter until she saw everything black. In less than three minutes she said:
"I now see everything perfectly black. I feel no pain in my head. I am completely relieved, and I thank you very much."
The surgeon looked bewildered, and left the room without a word.