Beasts and faint hopes

It is a new year and if there is any hope for humanity it may be here which is why I am going back to it. This is from a site advertising a book:

“In this book, James Braid describes in detail how he proceeded to successfully cure: – serious sight impairments, – deafness (even congenital deaf dumbness), – chronic or acute rheumatism, – paralysis etc… When he hypnotized a patient, he had the power -with simple techniques explained in the book- to direct or concentrate “nervous energy, raising or depressing it in a remarkable degree, at will, locally or generally,” to improve capillary circulation, remove muscular tension, bring life force where needed, and balance the whole body of the patient, without needing to work with their imagination or on psychological issues. He believed that the brain was the organ of the mind, and that the mind could be acted on through the body, but was not, however, “a mere attribute of matter.”

James Braid was a Scottish doctor who died in 1860! He was a brilliant surgeon who operated on the deformity known as club foot.

“On 13 October 1804, Hanaoka performed a partial mastectomy for breast cancer on a 60-year-old woman named Kan Aiya, using tsūsensan as a general anesthetic. This is generally regarded today as the first reliable documentation of an operation to be performed under general anesthesia ……

In 1847, Scottish obstetrician James Young Simpson (1811–1870) of Edinburgh was the first to use chloroform as a general anesthetic on a human (Robert Mortimer Glover had written on this possibility in 1842 but only used it on dogs). The use of chloroform anesthesia expanded rapidly thereafter in Europe” Wikipedia

So look again at Braid:

“Braid was a highly skilled and very successful surgeon, educated at Edinburgh University, and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (M.R.C.S.).

“[and] though he was best known in the medical world for his theory and practice of hypnotism, he had also obtained wonderfully successful results by operation in cases of club foot and other deformities, which brought him patients from every part of the kingdom. Up to 1841 he had operated on 262 cases of talipes, 700 cases of strabismus, and 23 cases of spinal curvature.”

Braid also discovered something else:

“The first symptoms after the induction of the hypnotic state, and extending the limbs, are those of extreme excitement of all the organs of sense, sight excepted. I have ascertained by accurate measurement, that the hearing is about twelve times more acute than in the natural condition. Thus a patient who could not hear the tick of a watch beyond 3 feet when awake, could do so when hypnotized at the distance of 35 feet, and walk to it in a direct line, without difficulty or hesitation. Smell is in like manner, wonderfully exalted ; one patient has been able to trace a rose through the air when held 46 feet from her. May this not account for the fact of Dr Elliotson’s patient okey, discovering the peculiar odor of patients in articulo mortis? when she said on passing them, ‘there is Jack’. The tactual sensibility is so great, that the slightest touch is felt, and will call into action corresponding muscles, which will also be found to exert a most inordinate power. The sense of heat, cold, and resistance, are also exalted to that degree, as to enable the patient to feel anything without actual contact, in some cases at a considerable distance, (18 or 20 inches) if the temperature is very different from that of the body ; and some will feel a breath of air from the lips, or the blast of a pair of bellows, at the distance of 50, or even 90 feet, and bend from it, and, by making a back current, as by waving the hand or a fan, will move in the opposite direction. The patient has a tendency to approach to, or recede from impressions, according as they are agreeable or disagreeable, either in quality or intensity….”

Hypnosis is known to reduce pain sensation, stop bleeding. It is famous for removing warts:

“In 1951, Dr. Albert Mason was a young anaesthesiologist at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, who in his practice often used hypnotism to treat pain and cure common ailments. A chance occurrence led to a medical and professional breakthrough: by hypnotizing a young boy whom he believed was covered in hard, black warts, Dr. Mason brought relief – and clear skin – to the child. Yet, as Mason very quickly discovered, the boy did not suffer from warts but congenital icthyosiform erithrodermia of Brocq, a condition that, by all medical accounts, should not have responded to hypnotism. This amazing success was documented in the British Medical Journal and immediately lifted Dr. Mason’s career, bringing him hundreds of patients and worldwide fame.”

They don’t know how hypnosis removes warts but it does and some think it does this by stopping the blood flow to the wart. It is the mind that does this.

Of course one then begins to see how little we know about our bodies and our own latent powers. Certainly we use a fraction of them. I have been doing self hypnosis for a while now which was pioneered by James Braid who first used it to heal his angina pain. He thought it was rheumatism but it was absolute agony and on his left side, neck, chest and arm and after a few days he could stand no more so hypnotised himself to see if he could do to himself what he did to his patients. He found instantly that he could – all pain vanished. Hypnosis lowers blood pressure which is how he achieved freeing himself from pain I think. He died from heart failure eventually. Anyway since doing my self hypnosis a lot of people that I meet have spontaneously asked me if my hearing has improved or if I have new hearing aids. I am severely deaf and was born so. It is curious but it seems to have improved very suddenly.

We seem to be on the brink of destruction even if this has been said for the last 60 odd years. We are capable of so much more than war and poverty. One in three children here in Scotland now live in poverty. War afflicts millions, war with absolutely no necessity. Men are killing dancers in night clubs, shoppers on streets, blowing up markets. It is a madness that has affected many of our governments. We have a bleak future – it seems as though it is getting worse by the month. Poverty is growing, inequality is growing, austerity is biting, hospitals are being bankrupted.

I was in a hospital today. If anything justifies us as a species it is the hospital for people or animals. Here working are the most intelligent in our communities – the A* students who go on to study medicine like Braid. Here are the nurses and other staff who work so hard for so little. Here we are born, are treated, saved when ill and where we die. But here these days is where some very unscrupulous men store weapons and ammunition, plan assaults and then complain when they attract bombs from above. Human shields are now hospital patient shields.

I would add that universities should be justifying us as a species, that libraries (digital and physical) should be doing this too. And farms. But sadly they are also doing the opposite and helping to destroy our habitat and other species with us.

Is it so impossible to stop our war mongering? Looked at from afar it is almost impossible to comprehend why we have let the ‘beasts’ take over. What are the beasts but inhumans with replaceable heads. The first ‘beasts’ were the monarchies that conquered our world at the beginning of our recorded history (about 4000BC), swiftly followed by the ‘nation’, the ‘religion’ and finally the ‘corporation’ which is a wonderful word. This is the thing given life and super human powers by ‘incorporation’. The word literally means given a body, a ‘corpus‘. They have no feelings but always exercised power over ordinary mortals – they are immortal. Now they dictate to our politicians many of whom owe their election to them. They are the lobbies and far more important than mere humans. We have moved into a new age and are fast approaching the Artificial Intelligence age. Or would be if they were not collectively about to wipe out life as we know it.

As I sat in the hospital I noticed something else. There were many people coming and going, visiting relatives or friends. So human. Not the great brains saving lives there but the ordinary people that most of us are. And it was noticeable to me how little most of us use our potential. Is a hospital a beast too? They are certainly becoming so. A vast wing or floor is devoted to the overpaid managers who starve the clinical services of funds while pretending to make the places tick. In my youth one ’matron’ ran the whole place and it was sparkling clean. But the medics and nurses try even as corporations take them over and squeeze profits out of them and the medications they prescribe. Today is a public holiday but here in hospital it is a very busy time. What would it be like if they admitted hypnotism as a clinical tool? What would we be like if we were able to reach our potentials?

So why does this not happen?

Research into hypnotherapy in people with cancer

Some reports show that hypnosis can help people to reduce their blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and pain. Hypnosis can create relaxing brain wave patterns. Some clinical trials have looked at how well hypnotherapy works for people with cancer.

Research has looked at the following areas

Hypnosis and cancer pain

A report from the American National Institute for Health in 1996 stated that hypnosis can help to reduce some kinds of cancer pain. A large review in 2006 looked at using hypnotherapy to control distress and pain from medical procedures in children with cancer. The review found that hypnotherapy did seem to help to reduce the children’s pain and distress, but it recommended more research. You can look at this cancer pain review on the Research Council for Complementary medicine website.

In 2012, researchers in Spain again reviewed studies of children with cancer and found that hypnosis appeared to help reduce pain and distress from cancer or from medical procedures……“

Now let us look again at that ’clinical trial’

Hypnotherapy for symptom control in advanced cancer

In 2005 researchers carried out a review of studies into hypnotherapy for treating symptoms in people with advanced cancer. There were 27 studies but all were small or of poor quality. So it is not possible to tell whether hypnotherapy can help people with advanced cancer. We need research to find this out”

James Braid died in 1860! Have they not been able to fund any proper research into this over the last 150 years? Our corporations do not seem to want this do they, there is nothing in it for them. And tragically they do not seem very interested in a peaceful world or eradicating poverty. The conclusion is therefore that humanity cannot be justified as it is a murderous species destroying most of the other species having taken and polluted almost all available habitats. Bless those still trying to make peace. It is what humans want even if the inhumans do not. We can do better than this! Will we be allowed to by the beasts that own us all?

Happy Hogmanay as they say up here (The origins of Hogmanay are unclear, but it may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances. Customs vary throughout Scotland, and usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year. Wikipedia)






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