348 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
asserted that' direct verbal suggestion ' afforded the best method, both for inducing hypnosis and for evoking its phenomena. Physical methods he regarded simply as indirect suggestions, their influence depending upon the mental states they excited.
Liebeault first placed his patient in an armchair, then told him to think of nothing and look steadily at the operator. This fixation of the gaze was not maintained long enough to produce any fatigue of the eyes, and it was simply an artifice for arresting the attention. If the eyes did not close spontaneously, Liebeault requested the patient to shut them, and then proceeded to make the following suggestions, or others resembling them, * Your eyelids are getting heavy, your limbs feel numb, you are becoming more and more drowsy ', etc. This was continued for a minute or two; then Liebeault placed his hand upon the patient's body, and suggested the sensation of local warmth.
Bernheim first used to make explanatory suggestions to remove the patient's fear, and then said, ' Look at me and think of nothing but sleep ; your eyelids begin to feel heavy, your eyes are tired ; they begin to blink, they are getting moist, you cannot see distinctly. They are closed ! f If the patient showed no signs of sleep or drowsiness, he assured him that sleep was not essential and that the hypnotic influence might be exerted without it.
Bramwell24 adopted a similar method in the main but made a contribution of his own by hypnotizing several patients who were completely deaf by using writing as the only means of communication.
Dr. W. Brown makes the subject lie down on a couch with a head-light above it. He holds an ophthalmoscopic mirror about ten inches from the eyes of the subject and slightly above the horizontal plane of