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Observations placeholder

Braid, James - Curing rheumatism



Type of Spiritual Experience


The experience is that of both the man and James Braid, however, it is useful I think to group this within the healers category


A description of the experience

Neurypnology: or the Rationale of Nervous Sleep – James Braid

Rheumatism is another affection, for the relief of which I have found hypnotism a most valuable remedy. I have met with some cases of rheumatism, however, which have resisted this, as they had every other method tried; and others, where it afforded only temporary relief; but I am warranted in saying, that I have, on the whole, seen far more success, more rapid and decided relief, follow this mode of treatment, than any other. It has been chiefly in chronic cases in which I have tried it.

In its application, I first induce the somnolent state, and then call into action the different muscles which I consider directly affected, or which, by being so called into action, are calculated to change the capillary circulation and nervous sensibility of the part implicated. The patient must be retained in such position a longer or shorter time, according to circumstances. The following cases will illustrate the effects of this mode of treatment:

Case XXIX. Joseph Barnet, near Hope Inn, Heaton Norris, Stockport, 62 years of age, called to consult me on the 10th December, 1841, for a severe rheumatic affection of the back, hip, and leg, of thirteen years' standing, which had been so severe, that he had not been able to earn a day's wages during that period. He and been equally a stranger to comfort by day, as to refreshing sleep by night. He came to me leaning feebly over his stick, suffering anguish at every step, or movement of his body. He was treated at the commencement of his complaint by a surgeon; but feeling no relief, like many others similarly afflicted, he had recourse to all sort of nostrums, and also to hot salt water baths.

I hypnotized him, placing him in such attitudes as his particular case required, and in fifteen minutes aroused him, when he was able to bend his body freely, and not only to walk, but even to run. He called on me in a few days after, when he stated he had slept comfortably, and been perfectly easy from the time he left me till the night before. I hypnotized him again with advantage, and a few more times sufficed to restore him entirely. This patient was seen, and bore testimony to these facts, at two of my lectures. After one of them, from being too late for the coach, he walked home, a distance of six miles. This was by no means judicious, but proves incontestably his great improvement.

In the beginning of January, 1842, when this patient called on me, he was so well, that I told him farther operations would be necessary for the present, but added, that should he have any relapse, if he called on me again, I would hypnotize him, without charge, of which offer he promised to avail himself.


Neurypnology ; or the Rationale of Nervous Sleep, considered in Relation with Animal Magnetism. By James Braid, M.R.C.S., &c. 1843

" Mrs. P — , upwards of 50, had suffered so severely from rheumatism that she had not enjoyed a sound night's rest for seven months. External and internal means, which had been beneficial in a former similar attack, had been tried without effect before I was sent for to visit her. She was suffering excruciating pain in one leg, particularly above the knee-joint. When I proposed to relieve her by hypnotism she repudiated the idea, told me she had no faith in it, and felt assured in her own mind that such an operation could be of no use to her. I told her I cared little for her want of faith in the remedy, provided she would submit to be operated on as I should direct. She at last consented, and in the presence of her three daughters, was hypnotized. In eight minutes she was aroused, and was quite free from pain; wished to know what I had done to her; said she felt sure hypnotizing her could not have relieved her. To this I replied by asking where her pain was felt now. She answered she felt no pain, but persisted she was sure I had done nothing to take it away. The manner in which she could walk and move her limbs, was sufficient proof the pain was gone, notwithstanding her skepticism about the agency. When I called next day I was informed by her family that she had slept comfortably all night, and had gone out, being quite well. Two days after I called again, and was informed by her that she had been overtaken in a shower, and had over-exerted herself on that occasion, and had had a return of the pain, although not so bad as at first. I hypnotized her again with complete relief, and she has never required a repetition of the operation since, so that she has now enjoyed a release from her old enemy for eleven months, in defiance of her skepticism" (p. 235). This fact is most important.

The source of the experience

Braid, James

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps