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Martineau, Harriet - Letters on Mesmerism - Gets better from the effects of drugs using hypnotherapy

Identifier

007888

Type of spiritual experience

Background

There is something fascinating about the following few paragraphs. 

Before Harriet became ill, she had been prescribed a lot of patent medicines by her 'eminent physicians' for relatively minor complaints and gradually she became ill.

Then in great pain and drugged with opiates for the pain, she tried mesmerism, which gave her extraordinary relief, and she discontinued the medicines.

And she gets better.

What conclusion does one draw from this?  I know exactly the conclusion I would draw from it and that is the medicines made her ill in the first place and although mesmerism helped enormously, they gave her the chance and the courage to stop taking what was making her ill.

Perhaps the most damning sentence of all is about the "eminent physician who saw me before that time" and "declared that he had tried [the medicines] in an infinite number of such cases, and never knew it avail."

So why in God's name did they give these medicines to people then?

A description of the experience

Letters on Mesmerism – Harriet Martineau

I left off tonics, and also the medicines which l had taken for two years and four months, in obedience to my doctor's hope of affecting the disease, -though the eminent physician who saw me before that time declared that he had “tried it in an infinite number of such cases, and never knew it avail."

I never felt the want of these medicines, nor of others which I afterwards discontinued.

From the first week in August, I took no medicines but opiates ; and these I was gradually reducing. These particulars are mentioned to show how early in the experiment Mesmerism became my sole reliance.

From the middle of August after I had discontinued all medicines but opiates, the deparure of the worst pains and oppressions of my disease made me suspect that the complaint itself - the incurable, hopeless disease of so many years was reached.  In two or three weeks more it became certain that I was not deceived and the radical amendment went on without intermission.

The source of the experience

Martineau, Harriet

Activities