Perkins, Dr Elisha – Curing Rheumatism using tractors
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 V. — Combined Influence of Arousing" certain Mental States, and lightly touching the Affected Part.
Mr. Richard Smith, of the Bristol Infirmary, pursued the experiments commenced by Dr. Haygarth [Of the Imagination as a Cause and as a Cure of Diseases of the Body, exemplified by fictitious Tractors and Epidemic Convulsions. By Dr. Haygarth], and with the following results :
"Robert Thomas, set. 43. He had for some time been under the care of Dr. Savill, in the Bristol Infirmary, with a rheumatic affection of the shoulder, which rendered his arm perfectly useless.
"April 19th. — Having everything in readiness, I passed through the ward, and (in a way that he might suspect nothing) questioned him respecting his complaint. I then told him that I had an instrument in my pocket, which had been very serviceable to many in his state; and when I explained to him how simple it was, he consented to undergo the operation. In six minutes no other effect was produced than a warmth upon the skin, and I feared that this coup d'essai had failed. The next day, however, he told me that 'he had received so much benefit, that it had enabled him to lift his hand from his knee, which he had in vain several times attempted on the Monday evening as the whole ward witnessed. [The tractors used being made of lead, Mr. Smith thought it better to substitute for the future two wooden ones.] Mr. Burton held in his hand a stop-watch, whilst Mr. Lax minuted the effects produced. In four minutes the man raised his hand several inches, and he had lost also the pain in his shoulder, usually experienced when attempting to lift anything. He continued to undergo the operation daily, and with progressive good effect; for on the 25th he could touch the mantel-piece.
" On the 27th two common iron nails, disguised with sealing wax, were substituted for the pieces of mahogany before used. In three minutes he felt something moving from his arm to his hand, and soon after, he touched the Board of Rules which hung a foot above the fireplace. This patient at length so far recovered that he could carry coals, &c, and use his arm sufficiently to assist the nurse ; yet, previous to the use of the tractors, he could no more lift his hand from his knee, than if a hundredweight were upon it, or a nail driven through it, as he declared in the presence of several gentlemen. The fame of this case brought applications in abundance.