A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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ix                 SCIENTIFIC HYPNOSIS AND THE OCCULT              343
agreed upon beforehand in response to some stimulus, such as pressing a button every time a bell rings softly, even in very deep hypnosis such voluntary response readily occurs.
There is a close relationship between the hypnotic state and the mediumistic trance. The patellar reflex, for instance, has been found to be equally pronounced in both cases.
Braid stated that he hypnotized himself on more than one occasion, and successfully suggested the disappearance of rheumatic pain. Forel and Dr. Coste de Lagrave have also succeeded in hypnotizing themselves, and the latter could influence himself in many ways by suggestion ; thus he stated he was able to get rid of pain, fatigue, mental depression, etc.
There are accounts of greatly increased sensory acuity under hypnosis. Bergson IS had one subject who was able to read the letters in a book from their reflection in his (Bergson's) eye, though the height of the images of the letters was not more than o.i mm. The same subject could also describe and imitate the attitudes of twelve men in a photograph which had been reduced so that its greatest length was 2 mm. Others report extraordinary auditory sensibility. While it is true, however, that in hypnosis the senses may be rendered extraordinarily hyperaesthetic under hypnosis, so that impressions too faint to affect the senses of the normal person may be perceived by the hypnotized subject, it must be remembered that as most observers are ignorant of the normal limits of sensitivity and discrimination, all such statements must be received with caution, until we have more convincing evidence than has yet been brought forward.
Positive and Negative hallucinations are among the most striking effects of hypnotic suggestion. A good