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Warts Cured by Hypnosis

  1. May 17, 2009 #1
    This is a freakish thing mentioned by Ramachandran. He couldn't think of an obvious reason it should work.



    "Now on the face of it this sounds very silly, but if it's true, it would have far-reaching implications for modern science. A wart is essentially a tumor (a benign cancer) produced by the papilloma virus. If that can be eliminated by hypnotic suggestion, why not cancer of the cervix, which is also produced by the papilloma virus (albeit a different strain)?"

    V.S. Ramachandran
    Phantoms In The Brain
    p. 218
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2009 #2
    I know two people who apparently had success curing a plantar wart with what could be considered a form of hypnosis. One of them played the game "Space Invaders" daily for a month, picturing in his mind that each shot was destroying the wart. The other shined a flashlight on his foot each evening, picturing the light shrinking the wart. This was 20 years ago and neither had a recurrence.

    Of course, maybe both got lucky and would have had a remission anyway, but given that the warts had existed for a long time before they tried their experiments, the timing of the cure seems somewhat persuasive.
  4. May 17, 2009 #3
    The power of suggestion,

    on the other end of the spectrum

  5. May 17, 2009 #4
    Ramachandran's suggested mechanism was that the autonomic system might somehow be activated to selectively starve the wart area of nutrients. By this mechanism individual warts might be starved to death but the virus would remain in the person, dormant.

    I wonder if there is a way to detect the virus when it is dormant and, if so, would any people who'd experienced the disappearance of warts would still test positive for the virus.
  6. May 21, 2009 #5
    I stepped on a needle when I was about 12 or 13. Soon after that I had a plantar wart. I remember it opened up and there were stringy things in there that hurt to try to pull out. One day it was just gone and there was a pit in it's place. That was 20 years ago. I don't even remember what foot it was on now and haven't had a recurrence. I always thought it was more of a parasite than a tumor. Never really thought about it, but I was playing quite a bit of Space Invaders at the time.
  7. May 21, 2009 #6
    You have to wonder to what extent they just go into remission on their own sometimes.
  8. May 22, 2009 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    I wonder if starving everyone with warts to death will not clear the population from papilloma virus. That'll be a huge relief for all those afraid of warts.

    We may use hypnosis to suggest these people they are not hungry.
  9. May 22, 2009 #8
    No. You'd have to kill all the toads.
  10. May 22, 2009 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Good point.
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