Dr Stephen Black - Asthma as a psychosomatic and preventable disease
Type of spiritual experience
This is an important and fascinating observation for a number of reasons. It shows that asthma can be induced by suggestion when a person is in a vulnerable state – either hypnotised or its equivalent. In this case suppressed fears and trauma resulted in the asthma, in effect caused illness. If we now extend this knowledge to children, we should be able to see that children, who are often extremely suggestible and vulnerable – could be unwittingly made asthmatic simply by the inappropriate suggestions of adults – medical, parents or otherwise.
The diabetes was caused by the steroids.
Dr Black was a doctor and a trained psychologist practising at the Westminster Hospital and West London Hospital
A description of the experience
Dr Stephen Black – Mind and Body
In a case of what may well have been hypnotic brain washing by American security forces during World War II, a woman was referred to me with acute asthma-and complicating diabetes mellitus after steroid therapy - 17 years following discharge from the R.A.F.
She was a deep-trance subject and both the asthma and diabetes responded in some degree to DSUH [Direct Suggestion under Hypnosis]. But they did not respond as much as might have been expected, until after some years I was able to overcome blocking by a previous hypnotist.
A series of memories then emerged which referred to a period of the patient's wartime service which she had otherwise entirely forgotten.
The patient was of course perfectly fit to join the R.A.F. During her service she had remained well until involved in a series of tragic events which left her, without any actual combat experience herself, one of the few remaining R.A.F. personnel of a tiny unit under the command of the United States Air Force. From the history eventually elicited, she then became seriously distressed.
For this she was apparently treated under hypnosis by a U.S. medical officer, who quite simply gave DSUH that she would, in effect: 'forget the whole thing'.
Since the patient was a deep-trance subject, this is precisely what happened. Incapacitating asthma developed within six weeks and she was eventually discharged from the service still suffering from this condition. Fifteen years later, by the time I saw her first, she was seriously ill-and coping in addition with the complicating diabetes.
According to her own account as given to me under hypnosis- and it should be remembered that this always remains suspect-the operation in which her unit was involved was top secret and had been objected to, on moral grounds, by the R.A.F. personnel engaged in it. When a fellow W.A.A.F. and all the aircrew in the unit had been killed, the patient was not only seriously upset, but also remained virtually the only British person present with knowledge of all the facts.
The hypnosis with which she was then treated, was on all occasions carried out in the presence of a U.S. security officer.
Having built up rapport with the patient for some years-in competition as it were with the U.S. medical officer-I then elicited that she had been told under hypnosis that she would "have to forget for security reasons"- and this was apparently the actual hypnotic instruction given. Although this seems so unlikely, I find it difficult to accept, on the other hand, that in the 'trick cyclist orientated' world of wartime, even the most ignorant U.S. medical officer could have given DSUH to 'forget' in this way on any other grounds.
It is nevertheless a happy ending to this strange story - which I have checked and found to be correct in most of the basic facts-that the patient is now almost uniquely 'cured' of asthma by hypnosis and her diabetes remains only a minor affliction.