The amazing case of the fish skin boy is one of the real hypnosis stories that offer a glimpse of the untapped potential that exists within the subconscious. In 1950 a teenage boy was admitted to hospital in East Grinstead in England suffering from a rare and harrowing condition known as fish skin disease. His whole body was covered with black warts, and his hands were covered with thick skin that was as hard as teeth or fingernails.
Skin transplantation proved unsuccessful, and at this point the anaesthetist, a Dr Albert Mason, decided to try hypnosis. He had previously cured warts through hypnosis and saw no reason why this more severe form of what was in many ways basically the same condition should be any more difficult to cure.
The boy was put into a hypnotic trance state and suggestions were made to the subconscious that the warts on his left arm would go away. A few days later the hard wart covered skin softened and fell off, leaving normal skin on the arm.
Dr Mason informed the surgeon of this development who then, disbelievingly, told him to consult some medical literature and look up ichthyosiform erythrodermia - which is the medical name for fish skin disease. According to the medical book patients with this condition had no oil producing glands in their skin and that therefore no cure was possible. Acceptance of this information as fact meant that the partial cure produced through hypnosis was "impossible".
Dr Mason had however seen with his own eyes that hypnosis had worked successfully in treating the condition, and went on to hypnotize the patient again and suggest that his right arm would clear up. The right arm was duly cleared of about 95% of the warts. Later about 50% of the warts and affected skin disappeared from the legs and feet, with the overall result that the boy's mental and emotional state improved significantly.
Dr Mason later became convinced that the gradual falling off of the success rate in these experiments was due to the dubious "fact" of the condition's incurability lodging itself in his mind and thereby subtly damaging his confidence in his ability to cure the condition through hypnosis.
One of the informative and enlightening real hypnosis stories which I originally read about in one of Colin Wilson's books which simultaneously shows the power of the mind to both limit and enhance hidden abilities.
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