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Observations placeholder

Professor Alexander Erskine - A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Crushed and fractured elbow



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Professor Alexander Erskine

This case was that of a woman well known in society and in the hunting field. A serious fall some eleven or twelve years before I saw her had left her with such an injury to the arm that she had had to wear it in a sling ever since.

Her horse, it seems, had rolled over her and fractured her elbow. It had been set by a London surgeon, but for some reason or other she had never been able to bend it, or move the fingers freely.

Radiographs showed that the bone had been perfectly set, but massage, electrical treatment, and all the resources of medicine failed to give her back the use of it.

I met her accidentally at a party in London, and it was during the evening that I learned her story.

"Now," said my hostess, "here's your chance. Why not cure her ?"

I think I should have declined the suggestion had not my hostess's husband been there to lead the little crowd of sceptics. It rather put me on my mettle, and I said I would have a talk to Miss XXX.

We went into another room, and I learned all the facts.  The cause of the trouble seemed obvious. It had, in fact, been quite correctly diagnosed by the doctors. The main leader had become contracted and had set the arm.

It seemed to me quite a functional disability.

"Will you go to sleep ?" I asked her. "Then perhaps we will give them a surprise."

She was an easy subject. In a few minutes she was lying fast asleep on a large divan.

"Now shoot out your right arm to its full extent."

She did so. I heard a sharp "crack" as the lesion went; and then I let her rest with the arm lying extended beside her.

After a time I put the cure to the test. The muscles, after so long disuse, were weak, though not emaciated.

I tested her out by a few physical exercises, and made her lift a few light articles.

Her arm functioned normally, and she felt no pain.

I gave her some more exercises, making her bend the arm and shoot it out straight, clap her hands, play imaginary five-finger exercises on an imaginary piano, and then, after a rest, woke her up.

She rushed into the drawing-room to join the others, well ahead of me.

"Look here!" she shouted, waving her arm about. "Will you believe now ? "

And then, for their benefit, she went through a short series of physical jerks.

I don't think I have ever seen a roomful of people so surprised as that one, and I may add that my host, who had up to that time looked upon me as something worse than a charlatan, is not only a close friend to-day, but invariably brings me any of his friends whom he thinks I can help.

The source of the experience

Erskine, Professor Alexander

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Being badly wounded