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As was said before, the first exhibition that Braid ever attended was one given by this same Lafontaine. One fact, the inability of the patient to open his eyelids, arrested his attention. He considered this a real phenomenon and was anxious to discover the physiological cause of it.
"In two days afterwards," he says, "I developed my views to my friend, Captain Brown, as I had previously done to four other friends; and in his presence and that of my family and another friend, the same evening, I instituted a series of experiments to prove the correctness of my theory-namely, that the continued fixed stare, by paralyzing nervous centers in the eyes and their appendages and destroying the equilibrium of the nervous system, thus proved the phenomenon referred to. The experiments were varied so as to convince all present, that they fully bore out the correctness of my theoretical views. My first object was to prove, that the inability of the patient to open his eyes was caused by paralyzing the upper muscles of the eyes, through their continued action during the protracted fixed stare, and thus rendering it physically impossible for him to open them. With the view of proving this, I requested Mr. Walker, a young gentleman present, to sit down, and maintain a fixed stare at the top of a wine bottle, placed so much above him as to produce a considerable strain on the eyes and eyelids, to enable him to maintain a steady view of the object. In three minutes his eyelids closed, a gush of tears ran down his cheeks, his head drooped, his face was slightly convulsed, he gave a groan and instantly fell into a profound sleep, the respiration becoming slow, deep and sibilant, the right hand and arm being agitated by slight convulsive movements. At the end of four minutes, I considered it necessary, for his safety, to put an end to the experiment."
Braid became so convinced that his interpretation of the phenomena was the correct one that he used it universally, succeeding in a remarkable number of cases. His method was as follows:
He would take any bright object, most often his lancet case, and holding it about fifteen inches from the eyes and in such a position as to strain them and still allow the patient to gaze steadily at it, he would carry it slowly toward them until the eyelids closed involuntarily. After a preliminary contraction of the pupils, they would dilate, and finally a tremulous motion of the iris would take place. If this did not succeed after a few minutes, he would try again, letting the patient understand that his eyes and mind had to be riveted on the one idea of the object before him. The primary fact was the fixation of the mind on a certain object. Nay, even the hypnotist himself, if he use the method of attraction, may be hypnotized, as Braid shows in the following example. Mr. Walker, Braid's friend, offered to hypnotize a certain person. When Braid went into the room where the experiment was going on, he saw the gentleman sitting staring at Mr. Walker's finger. Mr. Walker was standing a little to the right of his patient with his eyes fixed steadily on those of the latter. Braid passed on, and when
he returned he found Mr. Walker standing in the same position fast asleep, his arm and finger perfectly rigid and the patient wide awake, staring at the finger all the while.
After Braid, many men pursued the scientific investigation of the phenomena. The interest in the new science since 1875 has spread quickly over Europe. In Belgium, the eminent psychologist, Delboeuf of Liège, made a path for it. In Holland such men as Van Reuterghem, VanEiden and. De Jong used hypnotism for curative purposes; in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, there were Johannessen, Sell, Frankel, Calsen and Wetterstrand, of Stockholm, and finally Swedenborg. In Russia were Strembo and Tokarski; in Greece, Italy and Spain, hypnotism has greatly come into play in medical treatment. In England, Carpenter, Laydock, Sir James Simpson, Lloyd-Tuckey, Mayo and others have used it for curing the sick. In America, the science also has its advocates. It is one of the subjects constantly appearing before the Society for Psychical Research. In South America, it numbers among its adherents, David Benavente and Octavio Maria, of Chili. The interest in hypnotism in France centered around two schools, the school of Salpêtrière and the school of Nancy. The former was led by Charcot, whose luminous researches in this subject are epoch-making.
The Paris school held that hypnotism is the result of an abnormal or diseased condition of the nervous system; that suggestion is not at all necessary to produce the phenomena; that hysterical subjects are the most easily influenced; and that the whole subject is explainable on the basis of cerebral anatomy and physiology. But lately the followers of Charcot, who had been numerous in the beginning because he was so highly reliable a man, have begun to dwindle away and have turned to the school of Nancy. The reason for this is obvious to any one who has studied hypnotic phenomena. The first objection to the school of Salpêtrière is that most of the experiments have been made on hysterical women. In the second place, this school ignores suggestion, which has been found to be one of the most important factors in hypnotism. They appreciate of course that it can be used, but assert that it is not necessary.
The school of Nancy, led by Bernheim, met with equal success and is now upheld by more people than the other school. The theory of the school of Nancy may be summed up in a few words: first, the different psychological conditions in the hypnotic state are determined by mental action; secondly, people of good sound physical health and of perfect mental balance can produce the best results; and thirdly, all the mental and physical actions are the result of suggestion. In fact suggestion is the all important factor in producing the various phenomena.
Liebault, and Bernheim, his pupil, by bringing forth the idea of suggestion, have made themselves in a way the equal of Braid, for in continuation of the latter's method, the method of the former is always used nowadays. The influence of Bernheim over his patients is remarkable. His great success may be accounted for by the confidence his
patients have in him. Of course the low intellectual state of the peasant class of France may have something to do with it, for one can hardly think that in any ordinary community this supreme belief and trust in a human being could exist. To Nancy people come from all over the provinces to visit this "Man of God," who performs experiments and cures which seem divine. Bernheim goes from one patient to another, shouting "sleep." Many of them having been hypnotized by him often fall into the state immediately. When the experiments are over he goes the rounds of his patients, snapping his fingers, in which way he awakens them.
To sum up then, we may say the history of hypnotism may be divided into five epochs. The first before the time of Mesmer; the second, the age of Mesmerism, when personal magnetism was supposed to be the attractive power; the third, the age of Braid, when the science was put on a physiological basis; the fourth, the age of Bernheim and Charcot, when the idea of suggestion was brought to the front and hypnotism was used indiscriminately; and lastly, the fifth, the age we are in now, where the tendency is to restrict hypnotism and to classify it for specific uses.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
ARKANSAS MEETING OF VALLEY ASSOCIATION.
THE Mississippi Valley Medical Association will convene in thirtysecond annual meeting at Hot Springs, Arkansas, on November 6, 1906, under the presidency of Doctor J. Henry Carstens, of Detroit, and continue its sessions for three days. The preliminary program announces a large number of valuable papers on the various phases of medicine and surgery. Doctor Frank Parsons Norbury, of Jacksonville, Illinois, will deliver the Oration in Medicine, his subject being “Clinical Psychology;" and the Oration in Surgery, by Doctor Florus F. Lawrence, of Columbus, Ohio, will contemplate "Surgical Principles and Theories." Elaborate arrangements have been made by the local profession of Hot Springs to entertain visiting doctors and their wives. Every physician resident in the Mississippi Valley is cordially invited to attend the meeting, and those desiring to present papers may communicate with the Secretary, Doctor Henry E. Tuley, 111 West Kentucky avenue, Louisville, Kentucky. Following is the list already announced:
Charles E. Barnett, Fort Wayne, Indiana-"Operative Necessities for Cure in Tuberculous Orchitis;" J. H. Barnett, Pikeville, Tennessee -"Gall Stones: Reports of Two Cases;" John M. Batten, Downington, Pennsylvania-"Strength;" H. M. Beaver, Ocheltree, Kansas"Tuberculosis, its Prevention and Treatment as viewed by the Medical
Profession and the Laity-A Special Study;" G. G. Buford, Memphis, Tennessee "True Cause of Functional Neuroses;" James B. Bullitt, Louisville, Kentucky-"Appendicitis, the Imperative and the Alternative;" V. P. Blair, Saint Louis, Missouri-"Etiology, Pathology, and Operative Treatment of Deformities of the Face and Mouth Due to Malrelations of the Jaws;" J. B. Bolton, Eureka Springs, Arkansas -"Some Suggestions of Importance to Organized Medicine;" Geo. F. Butler, Chicago, Illinois-"Constipation and its Treatment;" A. H. Cordier, Kansas City, Missouri-"Non-Lithogenous Obstruction of Biliary Ducts;" Geo. C. Flippin, Pine Bluff, Arkansas-"Surgery of the Gall-Bladder;" R. D. Garcin, Richmond, Virginia-"The Obstetrical Forceps: Their Indications and Contraindications;" W. Gavis, Canton, Ohio-"Lithemia ;" Frank W. Glenn, Nashville, Tennessee"Prevention and Treatment of Gonorrhea;" Howell B. Gwin, Nashville, Tennessee “Epididymitis in Patient Presenting Three Testes and Double Penis-Showing Patient;" D. M. Hall, Memphis, Tennessee "Report of Case of Acute Toxemia of Pregnancy;" Earl Harlan, Cincinnati, Ohio-"Partial Intestinal Obestruction; Its Causes, Symptoms, and Surgical Treatment;" M. L. Heidingsfeld, Cincinnati, Ohio"Paraffin Prosthesis: Its History and Other Considerations;" Marc Ray Hughes, Saint Louis, Missouri-"Epiplesy;" C. H. Hughes, Saint Louis, Missouri-"The Entoning of the Psychic Neurons in Neurotherapy and in General Therapeutics;" J. E. Johnson, Memphis, Tennessee "Prosthetic Surgery of the Face;" J. L. McGehee, Memphis, Tennessee-"Stones of the Common Bile Duct;" E. H. Miller, Liberty, Missouri-"Masked Typhoid Fever;" Frank Parsons Norbury, Jacksonville, Illinois-"Clinical Psychology;" Wm. Porter, Saint Louis, Missouri-"Tuberculosis: A Personal Appeal;" H. A. Rodebaugh, Columbus, Ohio-"An Explanation of the Formation of Drug Habits;" H. J. Scherck, Saint Louis, Missouri-"Bladder Surgery;" John N. Sluss, Indianapolis, Indiana-"The Diagnosis and Treatment of Brain Traumatisms;" F. D. Smythe, Memphis, Tennessee-"Volvulus of the Omentum, Intra-abdominal;" W. A. Spitzley, Detroit, Michigan-“Reasons for the More General Use of Local Anesthetics and the Methods of Employing Them;" Sterling B. Taylor, Columbus, Ohio-"Hemorrhoids, Post of Treatment;" Willis Walley, Richton, Mississippi"Typhoid Fever, with Treatment;" Madison J. Walton, Memphis, Tennessee "Report of Cases of Probable Maternal Impressions;" W. H. Wathen, Louisville, Kentucky-"Drainage in Surgery of the Gall-Bladder and Bile Ducts;" T. J. Watkins, Chicago, Illinois "Blunt Dissection in Plastic Gynecologic Operations;" R. W. Webster, Chicago, Illinois "Indications for and Effects of Over-feeding and Underfeeding;" T. C. Witherspoon, Saint Louis, Missouri-"Bowel Obstruction;" C. M. Capps, Knoxville, Tennessee-"Foreign Bodies in the Throat, with Report of Cases;" Wm. Britt Burns, Memphis, Tennessee -"Head Injuries;" Maynard A. Austin, Anderson, Indiana-"The Personal Element in Successful Surgery;" W. W. Robertson, McComb,
Mississippi-"Periostitis, Surgical Treatment;" Florus F. Lawrence, Columbus, Ohio-"Surgical Principles and Theories;" C. N. Harrison, Little Rock, Arkansas-"Modern Medicine;" I. H. C. Cook, Hattiesburg, Mississippi "Typhoid Fever;" Richard A. Barr, Nashville, Tennessee -"Undescended Testicle;" A. A. McClendon, Marianna, Arkansas— "Report of Case of Amebic Dysentery: Abscess of Liver and Appendicitis;" W. A. McKinley, Columbus, Ohio-"Deep Abscesses Following Furunculosis;" M. Goltman, Memphis, Tennessee-"Gall-Bladder Diseases and Floating Kidney;" Channing W. Barrett, Chicago, Illinois "A Consideration of Retro-versio-flexions in their Relation to Pregnancy;" Geo. F. Suker, Chicago, Illinois-“Clinical Data-Diagnostic-Concerning Ocular Tumors;" Quitman Kohnke, New Orleans, Louisiana "Yellow Fever and Mosquitoes in New Orleans in 1905;" E. G. Epler, Fort Smith, Arkansas-"Specific Treatment of Pulmonary Tuberculosis;" Geo. Homan, Saint Louis, Missouri-"The Danger of Dust as a Cause of Tuberculosis;" Wm. Porter, Saint Louis, Missouri-"The Tuberculosis Question;" C. C. Stephenson, Little Rock, Arkansas "Trachoma;" John W. Selman, Greenfield, Indiana-"Idiopathic Epilepsy, its Course," et cetera; Alex. Weiner, Chicago, Illinois -"Modern Treatment of Surgical Tuberculosis;" Hugh T. Patrick, Chicago, Illinois-"Remarks on Combined Degeneration of the Spinal Cord;" M. Rosenthal, Cape Girardeau, Missouri-“Malaria: Its Bearing on Life Insurance in the Mississippi Valley;" Emory Lanphear, Saint Louis, Missouri-"Hyoscine-Morphine-Cactin Anesthesia as a Substitute for Ether and Chloroform in Major Surgery;" E. B. Montgomery, Quincy, Illinois-"Pubiotomy and its Relative Indications;" S. T. Rucker, Memphis, Tennessee-"Hysteria: With Report of Case of Hysteria Major in Woman Sixty-four Years Old." The following have promised papers: Spencer Graves, Saint Louis, Missouri; T. M. D. Clarke, New Orleans, Louisiana; B. G. Henning, Memphis, Tennessee; Bransford Lewis, Saint Louis, Missouri; F. D. Kendall, Columbia, South Carolina; J. H. Stucky, Lexington, Kentucky; Curran Pope, Louisville, Kentucky; Robert Wallace Hendon, Chicago, Illinois; D. A. Ledbetter, New Orleans, Louisiana; Wm. N. Wishard, Indianapolis, Indiana; E. D. Fenner, New Orleans, Louisiana; O. H. Elbrecht, Saint Louis, Missouri; Francis Reder, Saint Louis, Missouri; Morgan Smith, Little Rock, Arkansas; S. C. Stanton, Chicago, Illinois.
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY is to be enriched in a literary way by the donation of the Thomas Addis Emmett Library.
SIXTEEN physicians occupy seats in the Russian Duma. The entire legislative body consists of four hundred sixty members.
ALLEGHENY, Pennsylvania, is to have a two hundred fifty thousand dollar hospital, with accommodations for one hundred twenty patients.