In 2000, he and Oakley began looking at ways to use hypnosis to simulate psychosomatic conditions, such as hysterical paralysis
or hysterical blindness, in the lab.
Therefore, the reader of Lourdes is likely to come to the conclusion that Marie's repressed sexuality is the source of her hysterical paralysis
. What is more, the narrator emphasizes the physical sensations Marie experiences at the moment of her cure, sensations that call to mind a sexual encounter.
The analogy she draws with Charcot (and subsequently Freud)'s treatment of what they defined as hysterical paralysis
in women provides a persuasive demonstration of the novel's place within a wider ideological configuration, for medical and fictional discourses have the same narrative of the immobilization, fragmentation, and reconstruction (en mieux) of the female body.