Jenny came to me at an office Christmas Party in 1997 to ask if I could do anything for her boyfriend James. He had a problem with his hand. Moments later she brought in James who explained that he was active in Thai kick boxing and Karate. Unfortunately he had broken his right hand; then broken it again before it had mended properly; then broken it a third time. For some reason this made his hand amazingly sensitive to cold. So much so that even on a day he considered mild he had to drive with his hand over the warm air system in his car.
James told me he had been hypnotized before to help him pass his driving test. His was convinced it had worked as he had passed at his fourth attempt! He didn't remember what induction the therapist had used other than that she 'just talked' to him. On reflection he wasn't really sure whether he had been hypnotized at all.
Doing hypnosis at Office Christmas Parties is not to be recommended. Although we were in my office it was still very noisy and everyone (me included) had had a glass of wine or two. Still, he was in pain so we tried. I put James to sleep and deepened his trance as Jenny looked on. I then took hold of James's damaged hand and told him that my hands were sponges which would soak all the pain, irritation and aggravation out of his hurt hand so that when he woke up it would be just as normal as his left hand. It was a little bit more sophisticated than that, but not much. Then I woke him up and asked how he felt. He gave his hand a shake and said "fine."
I asked him to go to the kitchen and put his hand in the freezer compartment of the fridge, and he trotted off. Jenny asked how I had learned to do this kind of thing and we were still chatting five minutes later when it occurred to me that James had still not returned.
I found him in the kitchen with his hand still in the freezer. Back in my office he said his hand was cold but didn't hurt at all. I checked with him later and he said he had forgotten about his hand.
In January 1998 his hand was still fine. He came to tell me that it was also much more flexible and that his handwriting had greatly improved.
I saw James last in March 2001. His right hand is still normal. Jenny, however, has become romantically attached to a punk with a Mohican. Which just goes to show; few things can be guaranteed to last for ever.
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