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Unexplained skin reactions during hypnosis or abreaction
#1
A few months ago I came across a second-hand copy of "Psychical Research Today" by Donald West. It was originally published in 1954, but this is the revised edition of 1962. It's very well written, and it's interesting to see what West's viewpoint was at a time well after the heyday of Rhine, but well before more recent developments such as Ganzfeld, micro-PK and remote viewing. (Nearly six and a half decades after the book's original publication, West is still active in psychical research, and is currently Hon. Sec. of the SPR.)

One chapter deals with new light shed by psychical research on a mixed bag of "Old Beliefs". After dealing with stigmata, West discusses two cases in which bodily changes occurred during hypnosis or while patients relived past experiences ("abreaction") (p. 192, 193):

"There is other evidence of skin reactions caused by mental influences, for instance, the induction of blisters by hypnotic suggestion. This is a very rare phenomenon, but Dr. J. A. Hadfield, a London psychiatrist, reported a case that he observed personally under hospital conditions(23). The subject was a seaman who was suffering from combat hysteria. Under hypnosis, Dr Hadfield touched his arm lightly with a finger, telling him at the same time that he was being touched with a red-hot iron, which would cause a blister. The man winced violently, and slowly a blister formed, under which there accumulated a large quantity of fluid, giving the exact appearance of a blister by heat. Dr Hadfield also tried the opposite experiment, touching the arm with a hot steel rod, at the same time telling the man he would feel no pain. The heat was sufficient to raise small blisters, but they were painless, they healed abnormally rapidly, and there was no surrounding area of redness such as ordinarily appears around a painful heat blister. More recently, another London psychiatrist, Dr R. L. Moody, reported the case of a female analytic patient who, in the course of her treatment, relived in her imagination incidents in early life when she had been cruelly beaten(25). While this was happening, weals appeared spontaneously on her body, corresponding to the places where once she had been hit."

(23) Hadfield, J. A. "The Influence of Hypnotic Suggestion on Inflammatory Conditions." The Lancet 190(4914):678-679 (1917).
(25) Moody, R. L. "Bodily Changes During Abreaction." The Lancet 251(6512):964 (1948).

(There is also a photo with the caption "These marks appeared spontaneously when a patient who had been tied up re-lived the episode in his imagination." But no source is cited.)

West goes on to relate how a case of a disease known as "crocodile skin" had been relieved by hypnotic suggestion, directed sequentially to different parts of the body. He finds the local effects on particular parts of the body - in these cases and in stigmata - difficult to understand, and suggests there may be a connection with psychokinesis.

Obviously these cases are pretty old now. Can anyone bring me up to date on this kind of thing? Or does anyone have any thoughts on whether West was right in suggesting a possible link to psychokinesis?
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#2
(10-08-2017, 09:45 PM)Chris Wrote: (25) Moody, R. L. "Bodily Changes During Abreaction." The Lancet 251(6512):964 (1948).

(There is also a photo with the caption "These marks appeared spontaneously when a patient who had been tied up re-lived the episode in his imagination." But no source is cited.)

It seems there was a previous paper by Moody in the Lancet with the same title (The Lancet 248(6435):934–935 (1946)), and a response also with the same title by M. Walker (The Lancet 249(6442):270 (1947)).

Moody's papers are referred to in the chapter by Emily Williams Kelly and Jim B. Tucker in the "Handbook for the 21st Century". They say:
"Moody (1946, 1948) reported cases in which patients, reliving the memory of a traumatic experience, developed marks corresponding to wounds suffered at the time of the trauma. One patient, for example, developed weals on his forearms, corresponding to rope marks. On one occasion Moody himself witnessed the marks developing, and he published photographs taken at that time showing the many indentations on the arms resembling rope marks."
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#3
(10-08-2017, 10:08 PM)Chris Wrote: It seems there was a previous paper by Moody in the Lancet with the same title (The Lancet 248(6435):934–935 (1946)), and a response also with the same title by M. Walker (The Lancet 249(6442):270 (1947)).

Moody's papers are referred to in the chapter by Emily Williams Kelly and Jim B. Tucker in the "Handbook for the 21st Century". They say:
"Moody (1946, 1948) reported cases in which patients, reliving the memory of a traumatic experience, developed marks corresponding to wounds suffered at the time of the trauma. One patient, for example, developed weals on his forearms, corresponding to rope marks. On one occasion Moody himself witnessed the marks developing, and he published photographs taken at that time showing the many indentations on the arms resembling rope marks."

Here is the photo reprinted by West. Obviously they're not just ambiguous marks on the skin being interpreted as rope marks with the help of wishful thinking:

[Image: West_Moody_Fig.jpg]
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#4
Fascinating, Chris. Mediochre (another member of our forum, in case that's unclear) describes something similar, which he calls the "Kruger effect" - it is essentially the same except that it doesn't occur under hypnosis, but whilst astral projecting. It is something which he claims to have experienced personally.
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#5
(10-09-2017, 05:55 AM)Laird Wrote: Fascinating, Chris. Mediochre (another member of our forum, in case that's unclear) describes something similar, which he calls the "Kruger effect" - it is essentially the same except that it doesn't occur under hypnosis, but whilst astral projecting. It is something which he claims to have experienced personally.

Yeah, while I was reading through all of this I was like "Wow this is pretty much describing textbook type a kruger effect"
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#6
(10-09-2017, 06:59 AM)Mediochre Wrote: Yeah, while I was reading through all of this I was like "Wow this is pretty much describing textbook type a kruger effect"

Thanks. Just to check I understand what you mean by a Kruger effect - is it when something done or experienced in an altered state of consciousness has an effect on physical "reality"?
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#7
(10-09-2017, 07:45 AM)Chris Wrote: Thanks. Just to check I understand what you mean by a Kruger effect - is it when something done or experienced in an altered state of consciousness has an effect on physical "reality"?

More or ess. There's two know types:

Type A -  physical effects that can be visible such as the rope marks on the guys arm

Type B - energy effects that can't be seen but can be felt by the victim that still affect their body in some way.

It's a little hard to understand from that but here's an example, if the guy got type b instead of type a there would be no rope marks. However he would feel pain as if there were rope marks in the exact same areas and his arm would likely feel cold and numb and possibly be paralysed. there might also be a distict ghostly tingling feeling in the rope mark spots and he might feel as if something is flowing into the wounds from all sides
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#8
(10-09-2017, 05:25 PM)Mediochre Wrote: More or ess. There's two know types:

Type A -  physical effects that can be visible such as the rope marks on the guys arm

Type B - energy effects that can't be seen but can be felt by the victim that still affect their body in some way.

It's a little hard to understand from that but here's an example, if the guy got type b instead of type a there would be no rope marks. However he would feel pain as if there were rope marks in the exact same areas and his arm would likely feel cold and numb and possibly be paralysed. there might also be a distict ghostly tingling feeling in the rope mark spots and he might feel as if something is flowing into the wounds from all sides

Thanks. Again, just to make sure I understand - is this based on your own experience, or there a literature about it? (The only Kruger effect I can find by Googling is the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is different - I was going to make a political comment then, but I'd better not.)
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#9
(10-09-2017, 06:04 PM)Chris Wrote: Thanks. Again, just to make sure I understand - is this based on your own experience, or there a literature about it? (The only Kruger effect I can find by Googling is the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is different - I was going to make a political comment then, but I'd better not.)

There is no literature on it. This is a term he created based on the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies.
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#10
(10-09-2017, 06:04 PM)Chris Wrote: Thanks. Again, just to make sure I understand - is this based on your own experience, or there a literature about it? (The only Kruger effect I can find by Googling is the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is different - I was going to make a political comment then, but I'd better not.)

(10-09-2017, 06:14 PM)chuck Wrote: There is no literature on it. This is a term he created based on the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies.


Yeah, because Freddy Kruger was a ghost who could physically harm and kill people through their dreams. Which was very similar to what was happening to me, and a lesser extent Dreamsoap, at the time. So I called it the kruger effect. Until now I'd never found any other definitive reports of it.
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