The Project Gutenberg eBook of How to hypnotize

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Title: How to hypnotize

The science of controlling the minds of others

Author: Anonymous

Release date: February 22, 2024 [eBook #73013]

Language: English

Original publication: Boston: A. B. Courtney, 1896

Credits: Demian Katz, Craig Kirkwood, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (Images courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University.)




The Science of Controlling the
Minds of Others.


Entered at Boston Post Office as second
class matter. Published by A. B. Courtney,
Room 74, 45 Milk Street, Boston.

Vol. 3.

April, 1896.
Published Monthly.

No. 28

Subscription Price, 50 Cents Per Year.



This little work has been written in a hurry amid the worry and pressure of professional duties. It has also been ruthlessly cut down to compress it within the space allotted by the publisher. Neither profundity of matter, nor perfection of style is aimed at. It is written in every-day language, and may limp a little here and there. For none of these faults do I offer an apology to my readers. I ask them to take it as it is—as something more than a mere introduction to a most interesting and important subject.

How to Mesmerize.

It is generally believed that only weak-minded, soft, and hysterical persons can be successfully mesmerized—that persons of robust health, will, and character cannot be so affected. There never was a greater mistake. Reichenbach for many years selected his sensitives from delicate and hysterical persons while pursuing investigations into odylic force. He, however, soon discovered his error, and found that healthy men and women made the best sensitives for his investigation. Dr. Braid fell into the same error.


More About Hypnotism.

Charcot and others, including the whole range of recent hypnotists, have revived this error. The experience of all mesmerists—past and present—worthy of the name is this: the healthier and finer the organization, the more perfect and exalted the manifestations.

There are relative conditions of superiority and inferiority in mesmerists and sensitives only. I have mesmerized men who were my superiors in every way—health, strength of body and mind—the only conditions of difference consisting of this important fact, that for the time being they approached the subject of Mesmerism with open minds—a desire to get at truth—and sat down with a non-resistant attitude of mind, perfectly willing to be mesmerized, and to record their own symptoms in connection therewith, if possible. In the majority of cases the seventh or eighth sitting suffices to overcome all difficulties, and induce sleep in the most healthy and vigorous. There have, however, been exceptions to this. Don’t waste time with a man who makes a bet through pride, vanity, or ignorance, that he can’t be mesmerized. Don’t waste health and energy trying to influence him just then. His manner and words indicate that[4] he will arouse all his faculties to resist you, presenting thereby positive and antagonistic mental conditions for you to overcome. Men have done this. If you really want to mesmerize them the best plan is to throw them off their guard as to your intentions. But as soon as their opposition is cooled down a little, proceed gently and steadily to impress them with what Mesmerism has done and can do. Thus gradually and surely psychologize them, leading up to and preparing them for the final coup. In the end it may not be so difficult to mesmerize them as they at first imagined. The persistent man of business, the advocate of certain views—temperance, anti-slavery, or what not—the man with “a mission,” the doctor of medicine, preacher, and lover, all adopt this method more or less unconsciously, because naturally; the mesmerist, detecting the law, applies it consciously—that is all.

In natural sleep the heart beats slower, the pulses are calmer, there is less blood in the brain than in the waking state. By mesmeric processes you endeavor to bring about a similar physiological condition—every magnetic pass determining the result by retarding the flow of arterial blood to the brain. Also in natural sleep the eyes are turned upward and inward. A brief explanation of the muscles of the eye, and how they influence its movements, will be interesting. There are two sets of muscles. The superior, or oblique muscles, are involuntary in their action, and therefore are not subject to the action of the will. The inferior or straight muscles (of which there are four), are attached at cardinal points to the eyeball, and by their combined action the eyes are moved in every direction required for vision. The latter muscles are voluntary—that is, subject to the will of the[5] individual. Now, when the eyes are withdrawn from the operations of the will, they are controlled involuntarily by the oblique muscles, and turned upward and inward. For instance, in intense joy, in devotion, pain, sorrow, exhaustion, or bodily weakness, the eyes are turned up. This arises from the fact that the straight muscles resign their action, and the oblique muscles operate in their stead, and the eye is rolled upward under the eyelid. In acknowledging the presence of a superior, and in the act of bowing, the eyes are “lifted up.” See a girl in happy thought pondering on the future, a patient suffering from extreme pain, the devotee at worship—be he idolater or Christian, or the wearied one waiting for transition to other and happier scenes on high—the same characteristic is observed. Thus in sleep, in fainting, or in approaching death, the phenomenon is observed in all. The voluntary muscles resign their action, insensibility prevails, and retina loses expression, and the pupil is turned up as described. Whatever contributes to this result, contributes to sleep. The mesmeric operator avails himself of this and the foregoing in his endeavors to induce artificial sleep.

Hypnotists deliberately weary the inferior muscles of the eyes, trusting to automatic inhibition of the nerve centres for the results desired. Success in certain directions indicates they are not far astray. The mesmerist standing above his patient, or sitting in a chair a little higher up than the patient unconsciously leads to the same automatic effect, but much more naturally. The hypnotist will cause the subject to strain his eyes at an object. The mesmerist desires his sensitive to be seated comfortably, to look at him (the mesmerist), and if the sensitive or patient feel inclined[6] to close his eyes, to do so, or to sleep, to do so—the latter process being more in harmony with nature than the former.

How to Induce Sleep.

Make your patient feel at home, disabuse his mind of fear, doubt, anxiety, and scepticism. (Mesmerise no one without the presence of some one interested in the patient’s welfare—parents, relatives, guardians, or medical adviser). Remove, if possible, all elements which are likely to arouse or excite the patient’s mind. To succeed, the patient must either be naturally sensitive of your influencei. e., passive and receptive—or he must be made so. Everything you do must tend to that condition. By action and speech—in everything you must show you know fully what you are about; there must be no timidity, hesitancy or half-heartedness exhibited in your manner. You must create the instinctive feeling in the mind of your patient, “that is a man I can trust; that man or person will do me good,” and you will do it. You can proceed to mesmerize by any of the processes already recorded, or you can adopt this method, viz.—Let your patient be comfortably placed or seated; sit or stand before him, or just at his side. Ask him to pay no attention to his friends or surroundings, but resign himself to your care. He can either close his eyes, or look to yours. Inform him if he feels any strange or peculiar feelings—a sinking sensation, darkness of vision, nervous tremulousness, drowsiness or an inclination to sleep, not to resist but give way. It will be all right, and you will see him through.

Next, for five minutes or so, take hold of his hands in an easy, comfortable manner, or he can[7] place his hands upon his knees, and you can lay yours with a just perceptible physical pressure on the top of them. Remain thus in contact until there is no apparent difference in temperature between your hands and his. Direct your eyes to his, or, rather, to the organ of “Individuality,” or that portion of the head just situated between the two eyebrows, at the root of the nose. Exercise your will calmly and steadfastly toward the desired end—sleep. Gradually remove your hands from his, and place them on his head for two or three minutes, covering his forehead at each temple with the hollow of your hand, with fingers resting on head and your thumbs converging toward “Individuality.” Slight pressure with the hands on the temples is desirable, as it tends to check the inflow of blood to the head per the temporal arteries. You will now proceed to further charge the brain with your influence by passes directed to that end, always downward over the head and face,—forehead, tophead, sidehead, and backhead,—all coming under your direction, so far as such passes can be made with direct intent and with ease and comfort. You will also facilitate your purpose by pointing the tips of your fingers toward the eyes and temples, but throughout there must be neither vulgar staring nor thumb pressure. You will continue making these movements until the eyelids tremble, become heavy, or close. In some cases it is advisable to close the eyelids and fasten them by downward passes, and thus hasten the result desired. When I say hasten the result—viz., the mesmeric sleep of the person operated on—I do not mean the mesmerist to hasten; he should never be in a hurry. When the patient has exhibited the signs mentioned, you now proceed with both local and by general passes[8] at distance to abstract your influence (but not to awaken your now-sensitive) by moving your hands with fingers extended slowly from his head to his fingers, both inside and outside the arms, also from the forehead down in front of the body to the pit of stomach, and then toward the knees. At the termination of each pass raise the hands (as described in practicing the passes) and commence again. Continue these passes for some time after he or she has apparently fallen asleep.

If you do not succeed at first, proceed at subsequent sittings as if you had no previous failure; and when once you succeed in putting a person asleep your power to do so will be enhanced, and your future percentages will increase in due proportion. When you have obtained satisfactory evidence of sleep, it is advisable to try no experiments for the first two or three sittings, beyond the following. Let the patient sleep on for some time, and then quietly wake him up. Don’t do it suddenly. You might spoil for ever a good subject by so doing. Stand behind or before your sensitive, and make slowly and then briskly upward passes (palms of the hands up) in front of the face, and blow steadily on the forehead, when your patient will awake much surprised and benefitted by the sleep. With a little more experience you can arrange with your patient when he will awake of his own accord. When this is done, the sensitive will always awake at the time arranged. This arrangement or experiment is capable of considerable extension or modification.

You Can Take Pictures.

The Gem Camera produces perfect photographs. You can carry the apparatus in your pocket and[9] make pictures anywhere. Greatest little invention of the age. No chemicals, no dry plates, no trouble. We will send this Camera absolutely free if you will mail us 12 cents in stamps for a box of our quick-selling household goods. Remember, you get all for 12 cents. Address: Lee Mfg. Co., P. O. Box 1634, Philadelphia, Pa.

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For four cents in stamps we will mail you two dozen fine quality “gold” pens. Would cost at least twenty cents in any store. Send your orders for the above named goods to Keystone Book Co., 1111 Arch St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Curative Mesmerism.

The powers of the early Christians, whether natural “gifts of healing,” or both, were intensified by the simplicity and purity of their living, and the reality of their faith. They doubted not, yet where they doubted they could do no miracles.

The man who has “no heart” to relieve disease, or, having sympathy, has no will to do so, is either without the power to do good, or, doubting his power, is unable to use it.

Where there is sympathy for suffering, the desire to relieve or remove it, and the will to do so, the way soon opens up, and the suffering is removed.


The most powerful healers I ever came in contact with had strong, healthy vital organizations, and were large-hearted, kindly-disposed persons.

The weak, tender, and delicate, when the heart and head work together, can accomplish much, however. The tired mother, wearied with nursing, does not lose her charm to sooth. Gentle and tender, ever more thoughtful of others than herself, her diligent hands bring peace and blessing with them at all times.

Although delicate and sensitive females, from their sympathetic and patient natures, have been very successful in the treatment of disease—at considerable loss to themselves, however—no one should undertake to treat disease of a severe character unless they have abundance of health and vitality; and have also the determination, patience and sympathy requisite to make them good healers.

Ladies make excellent healers, just as they make the best nurses. The gift can be readily cultivated by them, and by practice put to good use. For many reasons woman would be the best magnetizer for woman, man for man, husband for wife, wife for husband, and father and mother for children, etc.; but this cannot always be.

There is no reason why the professional healer, male and female, should not be trusted and esteemed as honorable in their work and position as the physician or minister.

Wide and general experience enables me to declare my undoubted conviction, that there is scarcely any form of disease which may not be at least relieved where not cured, by the steady, persevering, and judicious use of the mesmeric processes.

Massage, shampooing, muscular and kinetic[11] movements, are but different modes of local mesmeric treatment. These terms are more fashionable in some quarters than the word Mesmerism—that is of little consequence, if good is done.

An Important Fact.

This little book contains considerable information regarding hypnotism, but if you want to learn a great deal more send ten cents to Keystone Book Co., Philadelphia, Pa., and ask for Lupton’s book on mesmerism. It contains a vast amount of secret information not printed in this.

Curative Processes.

The mesmeric processes adopted in the cure of disease are those of sleep, and when it is necessary the application of remedies suggested by the sensitive in sleep, or by your clairvoyant, in the case of and for another patient.

In such cases, medicines may be ordered, baths prescribed, rules of diet pointed out, or certain processes of treatment ordered. And you will, if satisfied with the bona fides of your sensitive’s powers of diagnosis and general lucidity, faithfully carry them out.

The mesmeric treatment for the cure of disease may be purely local or general in character, exercised solely with the intention to alleviate and cure disease, without producing sleep, sleep not being necessary in the majority of cases. If necessary, you know how to bring it about.

Nothing is worth doing that is not worth doing well. If you want to cure disease set about it, and “whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might,” i. e., put your soul into it.


Avoid all experiments, and direct your attention, energies, and, in fact, all your powers, to the work—the most needed work—the cure of your patient.

Remember, Mesmerism is not a cure-all. There are diseases of such a character, arising from hereditary taint, constitutional defects, and organic causes, which can never be cured in this world, only you, as a mesmerist, should not say so.

Give help when and where you can, according to your strength. So that in these, medically and humanely speaking, utterly hopeless and intractable cases you are not to refuse aid, seeing there are few cases where the mesmeric influence will not soothe and relieve pain, quiet the nervous system, restore sleep and strength in a large measure and, what is not to be despised, impart a cheerful and hopeful spirit to the patient.

In chronic and acute diseases, especially when there is a periodicity in attack, sleep is recommended to break that periodicity, and to lengthen the intervals between attacks. In all mental, psychological and highly nervous troubles sleep is advised. When this is necessary, mesmerize by the long pass from head to feet, the patient being in bed, or lying upon the sofa, will materially facilitate your operations.

You will soon begin to see the effects of your attendance by the improvement in your patient. When the patient “looks for you,” is impatient for your visit and wearies for the next, it is not a bad sign; it indicates your influence and presence to be refreshing and restorative in character.

Good doctors and nurses have the same characteristics.

If your presence or influence is in any way disagreeable to your patient, and upon the third or[13] fourth visit you are satisfied of this, give up the treatment. You can do no good, although another may. But do not give up a case simply because favorable results are tardy in making their appearance.

Where your influence is not disagreeable, it is your duty to persevere and hope for the best. You cannot do harm, and you may do great good.

When there is nervousness and great debility, operate from the head—back head—downward, long passes at first, and then short passes locally. If the action of the heart is weak, or palpitation is characteristic, breathe in upon it at the termination of each treatment.

You will be surprised at the warmth and generous feeling transferred throughout your patient’s organism in consequence.

You can subdue the most violent coughing fit by steady and gently breathing upon the spine, just between the shoulder blades of your patient—child or adult.

So long as the clothing, under or upper, is not made of silk, the breathing will be effectual.

The lungs should be fully expanded, the mouth placed close to the part, as near as the clothing will admit, and a strong, steady stream of breath thrown in upon the place. The moment the mouth is removed, the open hand should be placed over the place while filling the lungs to repeat the operation, which may be done several times.

In rheumatic and neuralgic derangements and ailments of that class, and in cuttings, bruises, and burns, the treatment is often purely local—the passes following the course of the nerves of sensation.

In mesmeric treatment it is just as well to remember there is no need to remove the clothing[14] under any circumstances, unless it is composed of silk or other non-conducting material. For economical reasons old clothing is better than new.

Toothache is a common affliction. You will have many opportunities of immediately relieving it, if not effectually and ultimately curing it.

A very good and practical method of cure is to lay your hand upon the affected side of the face, and hold it there for a few minutes, and this prepares the face for the next movement. Then place a piece of flannel over the ear (on the same side of the head as the toothache); keep your hand still on the face, but now over the flannel, with the other hand over the head, holding the upper portion of the flannel (or four-fold ordinary pocket handkerchief) over the ear.

Now breathe strongly and steadily into the ear through the covering thus made. Do this two or three times, strongly willing the removal of the pain. A warm, soothing influence will reach the offending tooth, and peace will ensue. At the last breath remove the handkerchief quickly, and the pain will be gone.

A little success in this direction will enable you to try your hand at more serious business.

Violent headaches—even arising from bilious attacks—can be relieved in a remarkable way by passes. Stand behind the patient, who should be seated. Place your hands on the forehead.

Keep them there a little, and then make short passes in contact, gently and firmly, with slight pressure on the temples and backward over the side and top head to the crown; then draw out and shake your fingers as if you were throwing water off them, and proceed again to make passes as before.


In from five to fifteen minutes relief will be given, if the pain is not removed altogether.

In rheumatism and such diseases, in which pain is a marked characteristic, Mesmerism “works like a charm.”

The patient is always pleased to be relieved of pain, and as the pain subsides, his mental and physical conditions become more favorably receptive to your influence. If, in treating a rheumatic patient, a pain is moved—say from the shoulder to the middle of the arm above the elbow—continue your treatment, and, instead of drawing passes to the fingers, endeavor to draw the pain down to, and out of, the elbow joints.

If you are able to move the pain, if only an inch from its original position, you have control over it, and will be able, in due course, to remove it altogether.

An Essential.

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How to Hypnotize a Bird.

The ease with which even a child can put a dumb creature into the hypnotic state is best illustrated in the case of the bird, a most convenient subject.

Hold the bird securely, but gently, in the hand, back downward. Look straight into its eyes. The little creature will at first struggle to escape, but after a minute or two it becomes quiet. On first attempts it may be difficult to fix the bird’s gaze, but the fascination of the human eye will make itself felt in the end, and the tiny subject will not try to take its gaze off the hypnotizer. When it has reached this stage, begin very slowly to loosen the grasp.

As the pressure grows lighter the bird becomes more under the influence of the charm exerted by the firm gaze. The beating of its heart, which can easily be felt in the fingers, becomes more rapid, the legs contract slightly and the lids draw over the edges of the eyes. There must be almost no pressure of the hand now, or the bird will not sleep deeply.

In a few minutes, sometimes two, sometimes five or ten, the eyelids will have entirely closed. Still hold the bird carefully for two or three minutes. It may now be handled freely but gently. Held by the foot, head downward, its body is entirely limp, like a bird just shot. It may be tossed about without awaking so long as it is not dropped or hurt in any way.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Punctuation has been made consistent.

The following change was made:

p. 14: illegible word assumed to be of (removal of the)