Braid, James – Curing amenorrhoea using both hypnotism and the power of Suggestion
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,
CHAPTEE XVII. PSYCHO- THERAPEUTICS. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE MIND ON THE BODY TO MEDICAL PRACTICE.
SECTION IV. — Systematic Direction of the Attention to a Particular Region of the Body.
Although it is well known that powerful emotions act strongly upon the uterine functions, it is not so well understood how marked an influence an ideational faculty, in the form of concentrated Attention, exerts over them. A striking case is reported by Mr. Braid, which illustrates this fact very clearly. The effect took place, moreover, in a state of the system not rendered susceptible at the time by his special method.
He had on previous occasions relieved a state of amenorrhoea by a mixed method, partly hypnotic and partly mental, but it then occurred to him that, inasmuch as he attributed his success in her case entirely to fixed mental Attention with a predominant idea (and faith in the result), he might succeed by the psychical process alone, without sending her to sleep — wide-awake, in fact. He tried the experiment, addressing her thus: "Now, keep your mind firmly fixed on what you know should happen." In the meanwhile he allowed his own will to be passive, and read a book.
At the expiration of eleven minutes the experiment ended, and the desired result took place within that period. The same treatment was adopted when required on subsequent occasions, and with the same success, with one exception, on which it is not less interesting to remark that the failure was due to her inability to fix her attention, "from having been put out of the way just before she came" to Mr. Braid, and not expecting that the operation (if it may be called so) would succeed. To fix her attention thoroughly, therefore, it became necessary to hypnotize her, and then the function was restored (The Power of the Mind over the Body. By James Braid. 1846, p. 95-6). T
This case shows the value of Attention, pure and simple, but the greater power of the more complete psychophysical method about to be described (Section VI).