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Professor Alexander Erskine - A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Blind from Shell shock



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Professor Alexander Erskine

In recounting these cases from my experience, I have refrained from mentioning the names of my patients except in those cases which attracted the attention of the Press at the time, and in which the names have already been made public.

- Such a case was that of Driver John Martin, R.F.A., who lived at Balham. His case was investigated by the Star, and reported in that paper on April 11th 1916.

The report runs:

Driver Martin was blinded by shell shock during the battle of the Marne, and was in hospital for four months. Then he was admitted to St. Dunstan's Hostel, Regent's Park, and taught to read and write by the Braille system.  For eight months Martin has been going about apparently incurably blind, until a few months ago he was sent to Mr. Alexander Erskine, who has been successful in other cases where no serious lesion had occurred, in restoring sight by hypnotic suggestion.

Mr. Erskine discovered that the effect of the shell-shock had been to contract the muscles governing the eyes, and to drive the eyeballs backwards. Everything had been done in hospital to counteract this, but without success. Under hypnotic suggestion the contraction of the muscles instantly relaxed. Martin, however, was still blind, and another powerful suggestion was given, which resulted in the return of his sight.

The man was quite overcome with his emotion at discovering that after he had almost given up hope he was able to see again.  The case is the more interesting because there may be a number of cases such as this where hypnotic suggestion may be equally successful.

The source of the experience

Erskine, Professor Alexander

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps