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Observations placeholder

Hack Tuke, Daniel – Healing - Oedema and Anasarca helped by powerful emotions of fear!



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.,


In the following instance, related to me by Mr. Cocks, a very large amount [of fluid] passed away through the ducts ; and it becomes a question whether Fear in this case did not act simply in exciting the sudoriferous glands to excessive action. The man's fear was of an anxious, fidgety kind, which was more likely to arouse than to check the function of the glands. Such a case is full of interest and instruction.

John Ford, an officer in the Royal Navy, in George Ill's time, was invalided home from the West Indies for dropsy. Twelve months afterwards he was discharged from the Naval Hospital as incurable, from which date to the time when first seen by my friend, he was under the paternal medical care of a host of ichneumons, who fed on the exchequer of his profits secundum artem. As to the disease, it was a matter of no moment — the longer he lived to swallow their trash, the better for them.

"They looked on and grinned, grinned and looked on again."

Mr. Cocks says he found him propped up in bed at an angle of 60°, with an anxious and cadaverous countenance. The room was neatly and profusely embellished, not with pictures, but with empty physic vials, pill boxes, and gallipots. He had been well drugged ; his system was saturated with nearly nine-tenths of the articles mentioned in the Materia Medica. My friend advised him to throw physic to the dogs, for the present, and to submit to the only remedy (in his case) to save life, a surgical operation, and that as speedily as possible. This roused him from his lethargy ; it was like a powerful electric shock. Alarmed, he shook like a poor wretch under the influence of the cold stage of ague. In a subdued voice, he said (as his excitement partially subsided), " I never can submit to an operation ; I would rather die !"

" If that be your determination," it was replied, " your case may be considered hopeless ; all the drugs in the world will not save you. At all events I will visit you to-morrow morning to know your decision."

Accordingly Mr. C. called on him, but the scene was changed. Soon after his departure, he appeared to be greatly distressed both in mind and body ; groaned aloud, wept much, and was very restless. The word " Operation " had worked wonders — in fact, a miracle. A copious perspiration was produced, and the steam, like that from boiling water, issued from every pore in the skin. The nurse said that more than two gallons of fluid had passed from him during the night. The bedding, consisting of feather-bed, mattress, blankets, and sacking, were saturated through and through with serum, and the floor was flooded with it. The patient recovered, and was appointed to a ship in commission going to Jamaica.

Two years after, he died from the effects produced by yellow fever, was buried in one of the "Campos santos," and was no doubt eaten by the land crabs in less than a week.

The source of the experience

Hack Tuke, Daniel

Concepts, symbols and science items



Activities and commonsteps