A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

ix                 SCIENTIFIC HYPNOSIS AND THE OCCULT              345
events of the hypnotic period, the suggestions of the operator usually play a determining part.
Among the organic changes that have been produced by hypnotic suggestion are the slowing down or acceleration of the cardiac and respiratory rhythms ; rise and fall of body-temperature through two or three degrees ; local bleeding and even inflammation of the skin with exudation of small drops of blood ; evacuation of bowels and vomiting ; modifications of the secretory activity of glands, especially of the sweat-glands.
Under hypnosis muscular feats impossible to the individual in waking life can be performed. If the subject is lying down and told that his body is rigid, lifting the heels will make the whole body pivot on the back of the head, while experiments made with the ergo-graph show that subjects under hypnosis can apparently go on lifting the weight almost indefinitely. There is a great decrease of both the subjective and the objective manifestations of fatigue I2 (p. 123).
It would seem that in all ages and in almost all countries individuals have occasionally fallen into states of mind more or less closely resembling the hypnotic state, and have therefore excited the superstitious wonder of their fellows. In some cases the state has been deliberately induced, in others it has appeared spontaneously, generally under the influence of some emotional excitement. The most familiar of these allied states is that of somnambulism or sleepwalking. Of a rather different type are the states of ecstasy into which certain religious enthusiasts have occasionally fallen.
While in this condition individuals have appeared to be insensitive to all impressions made on their sense-organs, even to such as would excite acute pain in normal persons, have been capable of maintaining rigid