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Unformatted text preview: often very stubborn. Following an accident (especially in industry and in war) and after some emotional
difficulty there is a paralysis of some part of the body. The arm or some particular part of the arm cannot be
moved by the will, is paralyzed; or else the difficulty involves one or both legs. Sometimes speech is gone, or
the power of moving the head; occasionally the difficulty is with one side of the face, etc. Usually the
paralysis comes on suddenly, but often it comes on gradually. Modern neurology soon discovered that these
paralyses were quite unlike those seen when there is "real" injury to the brain, spinal cord or the peripheral
nerves. They corresponded to the layman's idea of a part. Thus a paralysis of the arm ends at the shoulder, a
paralysis of the feet at the ankle, and in ways not necessary to detail here differ from what occurs when the
organic structure of the nervous system is involved. For example, the reflexes in hysteria are unaltered, and
stiffness when it occurs is not the stiffness of organic disease. If a neurologist were to have a hysteric paralysis
a very interesting problem in diagnosis would be presented.
Further, the paralysis yields in spectacular fashion to various procedures or else disappears spontaneously in
remarkable fashion overnight. Paralyses of this type have disappeared under hypnosis, violent electric shocks,
"magical" liniments, threats, prayers, the healer's, the fakir's, the doctor's personal influence; under
circumstances of danger (a fire, a row, etc.); by pilgrimages to Lourdes, St. Anne de Beaupre, the Temple of
Diana, the relic of a saint; by the influence of sudden joy, fear, anger; by the work of the psychoanalyst and by CHAPTER V. 41 that of the osteopath! Every great religious leader and every savage medicine man beating a tom-tom has had
to, prove his pretensions to greatness by healing the sick--so intensely practical is man--and he has proved his
divinity by curing the hysterics, so that they threw away their c...
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- Spring '11