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Esdaile, James - Treats a convict afflicted with double hydrocele



Type of Spiritual Experience


In terms of activities, it was hypnotherapy for the patient, but poor James was plagued by all the rest to give him his abilities


A description of the experience

From Wikipedia

On 4 April 1845, Esdaile performed his first mesmeric procedure:

Esdaile was treating a convict afflicted with double hydrocele.  The drainage and injection of one side of the scrotum caused the patient such pain that Esdaile determined to try mesmerism upon him for the second operation…   he was successful in rendering the convict analgesic, and at once began to experiment with mesmerism both as a means of producing analgesia in surgical cases, and as a method of treatment for medical ones.

By his own admission, Esdaile had never seen a mesmeric act; but, given the level of pain of this specific patient, and the understanding that he had gained from what he had read, it occurred to him that mesmerism might be of great value:

 'Seeing him [the patient] suffering in this way, I turned to the native sub-assistant surgeon, an élève [student] of the medical college, and asked him if he had ever seen Mesmerism? He said, that he had seen it tried at the medical college, but without effect. Upon which I remarked, "I have a great mind to try it on this man, but as I never saw it practised, and know it only from reading, I shall probably not succeed."

Esdaile did succeed.

The source of the experience

Esdaile, James

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps