James Braid

James Braid

 A Scottish surgeon, James Braid perfected hypnosis in the nineteenth century.  


James Braid was a pioneer of hypnosis, and used its psychological properties to work with his patients for over 3000 surgeries, such as limb amputation. Psychology was in its infancy at the turn of the twentieth century, and Freud tried out hypnosis, but was not as good at it as Charcot from whom he learnt the techniques of abreaction.  As we are much more aware of, Freud developed theories about the subconscious, which are still very much used today.

"I consider the hypnotic mode of treating certain disorders is a most important ascertained fact, and a real solid addition to practical therapeutics, for there is a variety of cases in which it is really most successful, and to which it is most particularly adapted; and those are the very cases in which ordinary medical means are least successful, or altogether unavailing".

"As formerly remarked, I use hypnotism ALONE only in a certain class of cases, to which I consider it peculiarly adapted — and I use it in conjunction with medical treatment, in some other cases; but, in the great majority of cases, I do not use hypnotism at all, but depend entirely upon the efficacy of medical, moral, dietetic, and hygienic treatment, prescribing active medicines in such doses as are calculated to produce obvious effects." — James Braid (1852).

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