The potentials of the therapeutic hypnosis
Engraving with two views of a Dutch woman who had a tumor removed from her neck in 1689
The following story of Mr. Wright has been quoted in the "The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing - New Concepts of Therapeutic Hypnosis" by Ernest Lawrence Rossi.
According to Rossi: “The original report on Mr. Wright was written by one of his personal physicians, Dr. Philip West, a reliable observer who played an important part in the story (Klopfer, B., ‘Psychological Variables in Human Cancer’, Journal of Projective Techniques, Vol.21, No.4, (December 1957), pp.331-340)”
I decided to present this story of healing from cancer as a part of my Toronto Hypnosis Clinic website because I believe that the incredible mind-over-cancer events described in the story of Mr. Wright, by Dr. Philip West, should be presented to as many people suffering from cancer as it is possible.
I hope that through my presentation of this story I will be able to help at least some of those who have been afflicted with cancer, and who are truly motivated to overcome it’s hold over the body, to move closer towards the reality of their lasting healing from cancer.
Is it possible that a person who suffers from cancer may not be motivated to overcome his illness?
The answer to this question - strange as it may be - is yes! There are cancer patients who are not interested in healing from cancer.
During my years of working in the intensive care unit of one of the Toronto’s biggest community hospitals I have witnessed many times how different people relate to their illness.
The fact is that the motivation to recover enables those who are very sick to recover, and the lack of such motivation frequently ends the lives of those who - in spite of not being terribly ill - have absolutely no interest in the continuation of their earthly existence.
I believe that there are a lot of people out there who use various forms of illness - including cancer - as a way out from their corporeal existence of which they have become utterly tired.
There are also cases in which cancer is brought into existence by a concept, of which the person is consciously aware, without his conscious awareness of what this particular concept does at the level of his subconscious mind.
Some commonly held ideas / common linguistic phrases - like for example: “I’m dying to take a vacation” - can, at the subconscious level of your mind start working towards your physical disintegration, in order to enable you to take that desperately desired, vacation.
The fact is that even though consciously you’ve never intended it, your subconscious mind - in its child-like, primitive, literal interpretation of the suggestion, which you repeatedly give to yourself - may start working towards the fulfillment of that suggestion.
And if you keep on repeating frequently “I’m dying to take a vacation”, your subconscious mind, wanting to help you to take that desired vacation, may actually give you a permanent vacation from the reality of this world.
The story of Mr. Wright is a testament to the fact that some people, under certain circumstances, can achieve healing from cancer.
This page of my Toronto Hypnosis Clinic website is an attempt to elucidate what the seemingly necessary psychological conditions for healing from cancer are, and what are the difficulties in terms of the achievement of such conditions.
The story of Mr. Wright
“Mr. Wright had a generalized far advanced malignancy involving the lymph nodes, lymphosarcoma.
Eventually the day came when he developed resistance to all know palliative treatments. Also, his increasing anemia precluded any intensive efforts with X-rays or nitrogen mustard, which might otherwise have been attempted.
Huge tumor masses the size of oranges were in the neck, axillas, groin, chest and abdomen. The spleen and liver were enormous. The thoracic duct was obstructed, and between 1 and 2 liters of milky fluid had to be drawn from his chest every other day.
He was taking oxygen by mask frequently, and our impression was that he was in a terminal state, untreatable, other than to give sedatives to ease him on his way.”
Comments: The beginning of Mr. Wright’s story shows that the process of healing from cancer can potentially take place regardless of how advanced is the condition.
“In spite of all this, Mr. Wright was not without hope, even though his doctors most certainly were. The reason for this was that the new drug that he had expected to come along and save the day had already been reported in the newspapers! Its name was ‘Krebiozen’(subsequently shown to be a useless, inert preparation).”
Comments: As the story shows, the force behind Mr. Wright’s healing from cancer was the psychological force of hope. Since every cancer patient has his own unique psychological makeup - the question arises: How to create feelings of hope in a particular patient’s mind?
The feelings of hope were stimulated in Mr. Wright’s mind by the news about a new drug which he expected to cure him of his illness.
Would Mr. Wright be still full of hope if there was no such news in the papers?
He definitely had a great potential for feeling very positive and very hopeful about his eventual healing from cancer. And as the story shows, this potential had manifested as the actual feelings of hope.
The question is: How to determine if a given patient has this kind of potential, and how to turn that potential into its actual manifestation?
“Then he heard in some way that our clinic was to be one of a hundred places chosen by the Medical Association for evaluation of this treatment.
We were allotted supplies of the drug sufficient for treating 12 selected cases. Mr. Wright was not considered eligible, since one stipulation was that the patient must not only be beyond the point were standard therapies could benefit, but also must have a life expectancy of at least three, and preferably six months. He certainly didn't qualify on the latter point, and to give him a prognosis of more than two weeks seemed to be stretching things.
However, a few days later, the drug arrived, and we began setting up our testing program which, of course, did not include Mr. Wright. When he heard we were going to begin treatment with Krebiozen, his enthusiasm knew no bounds, and as much as I tried to dissuade him, he begged so hard for this ‘golden opportunity’, that against my better judgment, and against the rules of the Krebiozen committee, I decided I would have to include him.”
Comments: In the above fragment we read about Mr. Wright’s enthusiasm. Some of the synonyms of the word enthusiasm are: fervor, passion, energy, vigor, fire, spirit. Enthusiasm, originally meant - to be possessed by God.
The quality of the state of mind characterized by enthusiasm is different from the quality of the state of mind characterized by hope alone.
Hope can be a very quiet feeling, while enthusiasm is full of energy.
Hope can be stimulated in many different ways by the psychological intervention. Enthusiasm, akin to passion, is something that is impossible to evoke via purposeful psychological indoctrination.
Just as the feelings of love, enthusiasm can only arise spontaneously. There is no way to make someone enthusiastic about anything - just as it is impossible to make someone fall in love.
Considering the above stated impossibility of creating enthusiasm in the mind of a patient suffering from cancer - the question arises: Is the healing from cancer, which Mr. Wright achieved, possible only for those who happen to be spontaneously enthusiastic about healing from cancer?
“Injections were to be given three times weekly, and I remember he received his first on on a Friday. I didn't see him again until Monday and thought as I came to the hospital he might be moribund or dead by that time, and his supply of the drug could then be transferred to another case.
What a surprise was in store for me! I had left him febrile, gasping for air, completely bedridden. Now, here he was, walking around the ward, chatting happily with the nurses, and spreading his message of good cheer to anyone who would listen. Immediately I hastened to see the others who had received their first injection at the same time. No change, or change for the worse, was noted.
Only in Mr. Wright was there brilliant improvement. The tumor masses had melted like snowballs on a hot stove, and in only these few days, they were half their original size! This is, of course, far more rapid regression than the most radio-sensitive tumor could display under heavy X-ray given every day. And we already knew his tumor was no longer sensitive to irradiation. Also, he had no other treatment outside of the single useless shot."
This phenomenon demanded an explanation, but not only that, it almost insisted that we open our minds to learn, rather than try to explain. So, the injections were given three times weekly as planned, much to the joy of the patient, but much to our bewilderment.
Within 10 days Mr. Wright was able to be discharged from his ‘death-bed’, practically all signs of his disease having vanished in this short time. Incredible as it sounds, this ‘terminal’ patient gasping his last breath through an oxygen mask, was now not only breathing normally, and fully active, he took off in his plane and flew at 12,000 feet with no discomfort!”
Comments: The above fragment describes the miraculous healing from cancer achieved by a drug which had proven to be totally worthless in the treatment of cancer, and about which Mr. Wright was so hopeful and so enthusiastic.
Obviously new drugs are not created every day, and the question arises: What can potentially serve as the source of hope and enthusiasm, when the highly emotionally charged state of affairs - resulting from a supposedly miraculous drug being soon available - is absent?
“This unbelievable situation occurred at the beginning of the ‘Krebiozen’ evaluation, but within two months, conflicting reports began to appear in the news, all of the testing clinics reporting no results. At the same time, the originators of the treatment were still blindly contradicting the discouraging facts that were beginning to emerge.
This disturbed our Mr. Wright considerably as the weeks wore on. Although he had no special training, he was, at times, reasonably logical and scientific in his thinking. He began to lose faith in his last hope which so far had been life-saving and left nothing to be desired. As the reported results became increasing dismal, his faith waned, and after two months of practically perfect health, he relapsed to his original state, and became very gloomy and miserable.”
Comments: The above fragment describes the results of the loss of faith. Mr. Wright loses his faith and relapses.
In my view, this fragment of Mr. Wright’s story can be seen as something that carries a great promise.
If we concentrate on the development of FAITH, rather than enthusiasm - perhaps the achievement of the state necessary for healing from cancer will not seem so utterly unattainable?
If the loss of faith collapses everything, then the establishment of the state of faith could actually save the day!
Faith is infinitely stronger than hope.
The biblical verse: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed ... You can say to this mulberry tree, be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you” - expresses the power of faith of which humanity has been aware for thousands of years.
And the good news is that FAITH seems to be something that can be purposefully evoked in the mind of a cancer patient via psycho-spiritual intervention.
“But here I saw the opportunity to double-check the drug and maybe, too, find out how the quacks can accomplish the results that they claim (and many of their claims are well substantiated). Knowing something of my patient's innate optimism by this time, I deliberately took advantage of him. This was for purely scientific reasons, in order to perform the perfect control experiment which could answer all the perplexing questions he had brought up. Furthermore, this scheme could not harm him in any way, I felt sure, and there was nothing I knew anyway that could help him.
When Mr. Wright had all but given up in despair with the recrudescence of his disease, in spite of the ‘wonder-drug’ which had worked so well at first, I decided to take the chance and play the quack. So deliberately lying, I told him not to believe what he read in the papers, the drug was really most promising after all. ‘What then’, he asked, ‘was the reason for his relapse?’. ‘Just because the substance deteriorated on standing’, I replied, ‘a new superrefined, double-strength product is due to arrive tomorrow which can more than reproduce the great benefits derived from the original injections.’
This news came as a great revelation to him, and Mr. Wright, as ill as he was, became his optimistic self again, eager to start over. By delaying a couple of days before the ‘shipment’ arrived, his anticipation of salvation had reached a tremendous pitch. When I announced that the new series of injections was about to begin, he was almost ecstatic and his faith was very strong.
With much fanfare, and putting on quite an act (which I deemed permissible under the circumstances), I administered the first injection of the doubly potent, fresh preparation - consisting of fresh water and nothing more. The results of this experiment were quite unbelievable to us at the time, although we must have had some suspicion of the remotely possible outcome to have even attempted it at all.
Recovery from his second near-terminal state was even more dramatic than the first. Tumor masses melted, chest fluid vanished, he became ambulatory, and even went back to flying again. At this time he was certainly the picture of health. The water injections were continued, since they worked such wonders. He then remained symptom-free for over two months. At this time the final AMA announcement appeared in the press - ‘nationwide tests show Krebiozen to be a worthless drug in treatment of cancer.’
Within a few days of this report, Mr. Wright was readmitted to the hospital in extremis. His faith was now gone, his last hope vanished, and he succumbed in less than two days."
Comments: The last fragment of Mr. Wright’s story shows the yo-yo effect of his regaining and subsequently losing his faith again.
He achieves healing from cancer and he loses his healing from cancer again.
The highs and the lows of the swinging pendulum of Faith determine everything that happens with Mr. Wright.
As I’m coming towards the closure of this page of my Toronto Hypnosis Clinic website, I realize with great surprise that the process of writing my comments on the story of Mr. Wright, has led me to the conclusion that the psycho-spiritual methodology is the methodology of choice in the process of healing from cancer.
Nowhere, in Mr. Wright’s story, is there a mention of spirituality, and yet, there is a lot of talk about FAITH.
And FAITH is not a mental thing - it belongs to the realm of the Spirit. Faith - as much as it can be stimulated through the psychological means - does not arise from the mind. It only shows itself in the mind’s awareness.
I am surprised at my conclusion, and at the same time I’m surprised at being surprised.
After all, I have come to the conclusion that the psychological interventions - in many cases - need to be extended into the realm of the Spirit, long time ago.
There is a lot of material on my Toronto Hypnosis Clinic website devoted to the subject of the spiritual healing necessity.
I have found the story of Mr. Wright many years ago quoted in the book about the potentials of the therapeutic hypnosis - "The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing - New Concepts of Therapeutic Hypnosis" by Ernest Lawrence Rossi.
Rossi, included the story of Mr. Wright in his book on hypnosis, because the therapeutic intervention, which resulted in the remission of cancer in Mr. Wright was intensely hypnotic.
This intervention was based on the evocation of the STATE of FAITH, in the patient in whom under the existing circumstances the STATE of FAITH was very easy to achieve.
Hypnosis, understood as the art of creating specialized states of consciousness - states of consciousness which are designed to bring about very specific outcomes - seems to offer a lot in the area of healing from cancer.
As the story of Mr. Wright shows, super-effective, faith-generating hypnosis does not necessarily require the induction of the hypnotic trance.
The implications of Mr. Wright’s story reach very far into all areas of healing from all kinds of conditions of the body and mind.
If FAITH can create such profound changes in such seemingly hopeless condition as the condition of Mr. Wright, what CANNOT be achieved through the power of faith?
The story of Mr. Wright can serve as the source of a great inspiration to all those who are interested in HOW TO DEVELOP THE STATE OF FAITH, not only for the purpose of healing the conditions of the body and mind, but also for the purpose of manifesting all kinds of human needs and desires.
I am convinced that there is an ongoing game of GIVE AND TAKE that takes place between the human consciousness and the REALITY.
The REALITY seems to respond to our FAITH in the most miraculous ways.
Since no drugs and no medical procedures could ever achieve what FAITH seems to be able to achieve - how is it that there is so little done in terms of the study and application of the power of FAITH HEALING, and the manifesting power of FAITH in general?
Isn’t it strange that the power of FAITH, which has been known to humanity for thousands of years, is up to now treated not quite seriously, in spite of the miraculous results which it produces?
The words: FAITH HEALING, evoke most often reactions similar to the reactions evoked by the phrase: SNAKE OIL.
I believe that the time has come for this state of affairs to change!
For a long time now I’ve been involved in the research on, and the practice of the SPIRITUAL HEALING, and the story of Mr. Wright has always been one of the sources of my inspiration.
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