Cured by Hypnotism
M. FLAMMARION RELATES A REMARKABLE STORY.
M. CAMILLE FLAMMARION, the famous French astronomer, relates in the "Matin" (Paris) the very remarkable cure by hypnotic suggestion of a young woman who had been given up by the faculty.
Mlle. B. is 28 years of age. Her mother and brother both died of consumption, and she herself was attacked by the same terrible malady. In April last year, Mlle. B. took to her bed. Three doctors, diagnosing independently of one another, decided in March this year that the patient was suffering from Pott's disease (loss of feeling in the lower limbs, curvature of the spine, etc., etc.), and that there was absolutely no hope of saving her life.
Mlle. B. declined rapidly. One day recently M. Emile Magnin, a student of hypnotism and magnetism, visited her, and noticed that she had very great psychical sensibility. Mlle. B. told him of a strange experience that had befallen her last September.
A Voice from the Kitchen
She was lying awake at 2 o'clock in the morning, when her lamp suddenly went out. She lighted it again, and found that there was plenty of oil in it. Then the lamp suddenly went out a second time, and she noticed a light in the kitchen (the door was ajar), and a voice spoke:-
"Can you stand the test?"
She answered, "Yes."
"I then saw a long, slender hand holding a torch approach, and I could read above me the words, 'On May 8 you will rise.'"
The vision slowly vanished, and after a short space of darkness the lamp lighted itself without Mlle. B.'s help.
Pain Gradually Ceased
With the acquiescence of the three doctors referred to above, M. Magnin thereupon began to treat the patient and to reduce the pain she suffered by magnetic passes and laying on of hands, the object being to create a sedative action. He was successful. The invalid began to sleep daily for two hours after his visit. This was in March.
Gradually the patient's state improved. On March 8 she told M. Magnin that she saw a "pretty lady" on awakening that morning. This lady appears to be one to whom M. Magnin is greatly attached, and towards whom his thoughts turned, probably involuntarily. The patient fell into a hypnoid condition. A few minutes afterwards she cried, "Help me! Help me!" M. Magnin, by massaging the larynx, restored the choking woman.
"Help me to get down!" again cried the patient.
Got up and Walked
Then M. Magnin in his stupefaction turned to the "personality" and said, "You who are there, who are causing this patient to rise, make her walk also.'
He repeated to the patient, "Walk; you can do so." In a word, Mlle. B. got up, walked round the room, and from that moment her condition rapidly improved. On March 16 she slept seven hours, and said that "her little friend had touched her hands and given her fresh life."
By May 15 Mile. B. was cured.
M. Camille Flammarion confesses himself unable to discover a plausible explanation of the beneficent personality, which was nothing but a beloved and latent image in the magnetist's mind, and which, nevertheless, was seen and felt by the patient, understood by the patient's organism, and saved her on the brink of the tomb. We are in a complete mystery, he says, but fact is fact, and this biological event will live in science as a document of the highest value.
- Entry for Nicolas Camille Flammarion on Wikipedia
- More information about Pott's Disease. (Pott's disease, or spinal tuberculosis was a particular problem during the latter part of the 19th century due to the addition of borax to milk to return spoiled milk to it's normal "unspoiled" flavour and make it last longer. Bovine tuberculosis was not killed by the borax and, if present, could infect the drinker).
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