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No. 48: Nov-Dec 1986

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The mind's "scope"

Never underestimate the power of the mind. Take "bad breath," for example:

"An example is the case of B.O., white, married, mother of three children (ages 9, 6, and 4), operating room nurse. Her chief complaint was severe bad breath of several years duration. In the past, she had consulted dentists, an E.N.T. surgeon, and a family practice physician who had prescribed two series of antibiotics, then a powerful mouthwash that had denuded the epithellium of her tongue, resulting in severe pain and diet restriction. It took 16 weeks for the tongue to heal. B.O. came to me in January of 1983, when she felt the symptom had worsened."

H.P. Golan, who treated B.O. (sic), employed hypnotic techniques in which the patient was first shown the power of her own mind over her body. B.O. responded well, and was soon able to produce temperature changes in her hand and glove anesthesia.

"It was explained to her that her physical symptom was an expression of emotional problems caused by stress. The feeling of her hand temperature change and the view of her hand anesthetized had made her realize physiological control was possible over one part of her body. It was explained to her that stress often causes excess acid production in the stomach, which can cause bad breath. If she could control her hand physically, she could control the excess physical secretions in her stomach."

B.O. did just that. Case closed!

(Golan Harold P.; "Using Hypnotic Phenomena for Physiological Change," American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 28:157, 1986.)

From Science Frontiers #48, NOV-DEC 1986. 1986-2000 William R. Corliss