James Braid is both a neglected and integral figure in the history of
dynamic psychiatry. With the introduction of his neurophysiologic theory of
hypnosis in the early 1840s he buried Mesmer's doctrine of animal magnetism
and established hypnotic phenomena as data suitable for scientific inquiry.
He subsequently elaborated a sophisticated psychophysiology with emphasis
on the psychology of suggestion and the phenomenon of double consciousness.
His espousal of hypnotism as a tool of scientific investigation and his
innovative use of hypnosis to cure hysterical paralysis profoundly
influenced the debates of the 1880s and 1890s concerning suggestive
therapeutics and the nature of hypnosis.