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James Braid

1795 - 1860

Surgeon and pioneer in the field of hypnosis. Braid was born in Fife and educated at the University of Edinburgh. He became a successful surgeon in Manchester (England). In 1841, he attended a demonstration of what was then called 'mesmerism', after Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 - 1815). Braid explored the use of the technique in pain relief during surgery, at a time when the use of anaesthetics was in its infancy. He found that some of his subjects would enter a hypnotic trance by simply fixing their eyes on a bright object, such as a pocket watch. In 1843, Braid was the first to use the term 'Neurohypnosis', which was later shortened to simply 'Hypnosis'.

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