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Observations placeholder

Braid, James – Restoring the sight of one eye using hypnotherapy



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.,

One case reported by Mr. Braid is particularly interesting, because it proves the effect which may be produced when the affection is not in any degree " on the nerves," for actual opacity of the cornea was removed (compare p. 112 of this work).

Mrs. S — had severe rheumatic fever in 1839, during the course of which the left eye became implicated, involving both its internal and external structures.

When seen by Mr. Braid in 1842, the eye was free from pain, but was of no service. There was opacity over more than one half of the cornea, sufficient to prevent distinct perception of any object placed opposite the temporal half of the eye, all being seen through a dense haze, and objects placed towards the opposite side were seen very imperfectly, owing to the injury the choroid and retina had sustained in the points on which the images of such objects were reflected. The opacity was not only an obstacle to distinct vision, but was also a source of annoyance from its disfigurement, being obvious even to those at a considerable distance. She was a relation of Mr. Braid, and was in his house three months before he operated upon her, during which time no change took place. Violent pain in the arm and shoulder induced her to submit to the hypnotic treatment, which proved successful ; but what was more surprising and quite unlooked for by Mr. Braid, her sight was so much improved that she was able to see everything in the room, and to name different flowers, and distinguish their colors, whilst the right eye was shut, which she had not been able to do for more than three years and a half previously. The operation was continued daily and in a very short time the cornea became so transparent, that it required close inspection to observe any remains of the opacity. After the first operation there was considerable smarting in the eye, which continued all night, and in a less degree, after future operations, which, no doubt, roused the absorbents and effected the removal of the opacity.

Stimulating the optic nerve to greater activity, however, must have been the chief cause of the very rapid improvement, which enabled her to see objects after the second operation. Mr. Braid adds to the foregoing, that objects were seen from the temporal side of the eye much more distinctly than from the nasal side, owing to the irreparable damage the retina and choroid had sustained (Neurypnology ; or the Rationale of Nervous Sleep, considered in Relation with Animal Magnetism. By James Braid, M.R.C.S., &c. 1843, p. 175).

The source of the experience

Braid, James

Concepts, symbols and science items



Activities and commonsteps