This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
It would be superfluous here to do more than briefly allude to the conditions under which this book was written. The problems of psychotherapy are forcing themselves so strongly upon the attention of the medical profession that I do not think that any experience that may throw light upon them should be withheld. In 1893, while a general practitioner of medicine, I became impressed with the great importance of properly directing the psychic factor in therapeutics, and for several years groped in the dark in search of ideas, with such aids as could be gained from the older writers on hypnotism and allied subjects.
Quite an impetus to my efforts was received during a three-months' stay in New York in 1895 in the personalities of well-known men in the schools of post-graduate instruction in that city, but the far-reaching influence of suggestion or the personal influence of the physician as a therapeutic aid in the general practice of medicine was not even faintly appreciated by the profession at that time.
In the latter part of 1899 I became convinced that the general profession should have a better understanding of the theory and efficacy of suggestive therapeutics and a knowledge of the practical methods of its administration; and, being fully satisfied that the methods which I had successfully employed in general practice for several years would be of practical value to all physicians as an addition to their therapeutic armamentarium, and believing also that this knowledge would be a means by which they could successfully combat the enormous increase in all the forms of quackery which were at that time springing up as the natural offspring of the rapid evolution in psychological development, I began going from city to city, giving a lecture on suggestive therapeutics, applied hypnotism, and psychic science, limiting my classes exclusively to the medical profession.
The cordial reception and appreciation accorded me in this selfchosen field of endeavor by the more representative portion of the medical profession was beyond my most sanguine expectations, and in all places that I visited the physicians taking my lesson insisted that it be put into a permanent form, to be used by them for future reference.
I was not yet ready to commit myself to writing on this much mooted and misunderstood subject. Within the last twelve years, however, the attitude taken by the larger part of the medical profession in regard to the influence of the mind over the body has considerably changed. The study of psychology with laboratory instruments and methods has demonstrated the relation between thought and matter in a most convincing manner.
Monism, a philosophy which amalgamates or unifies the two entities called mind and matter, is becoming more popular. Physiology, psychology, and biology are on friendly terms, and harmoniously laboring to solve the problems that are being forced upon all thinking people, as well as physicians.
In contemplating my venture of 1899, I now fully appreciate the trite saying of Pope that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Be that as it may, I have been in association with those of the profession who have studied psychotherapeutics in all parts of the world, and they have had no hesitancy in saying that I had boiled down and crystallized the subject into a readily assimilable and excellent form for practical clinical use. So now, after enjoying the confidence and appreciation of the medical profession as a student and teacher of psychotherapy, I should deem myself reprehensible and cowardly did I not give my "mite" to help those who need strengthening on this line of-advanced professional equipment.
The strong prejudice and open opposition to the free investigation and employment of psychotherapeutics has exerted an overmastering influence upon the minds of many of the members of the medical profession, and many there are who lack the courage and moral stamina to enter this field and employ its truths for the relief of countless thousands of individuals who do not need medicine or surgery, yet are vainly crying to us for help. While this state of apathy exists in the ranks of the medical profession, the popular "ists" and "paths" and other disguises are standing with open arms, beckoning these discontented and unfortunate ones to come into their ranks and get their psychotherapy in a placebo capsule of religious dogma or bonepath massage.
I am also fully aware that it is not good policy for one seeking popularity to speak out frankly and honestly on this subject and tell the truth. Even physicians in many instances, who admit that they have made no effort to comprehend the principles of psychotherapy and apply them as a therapeutic adjunct, feel that any theory, or conception, or method that does not conform to their preconceived ideas, however worn out, moth-eaten, and useless, is an insult to their intelligence. Yet, in spite of my well-grounded and justifiable apprehensions, I now dare to offer this little volume, containing ideas, impressions, and opinions, based upon conscientious observation, demonstration, tests, and clinical evidence, on the one hand, and upheld by the more enlightened element of the medical profession in the leading cities that I have visited, on the other, perfectly willing to be ridiculed by those desiring to do so. If I succeed in convincing some part of the profession of the justice of the cause which I defend, and at the same time give others the opportunity of discussing it with a thorough knowledge of the facts upon which it is based, this alone will justify me in having undertaken the preparation of this little handbook.
It is not my desire to oppose any system of therapeutics, but to emphasize the importance of the mental factor in health and disease, and to point out practical methods that can be applied by the general practitioner as an adjunct to his therapeutic resources,bI fully realize that the ideas herein expressed will be of value only to those who find in themselves that inexplicable psychic response, which amounts to a conviction as regards the truth of the principles elucidated, sufficient to dispel the general unconcerned apathy or half-hearted uncertainty toward the practicability of these methods.
It has been my privilege to get in close touch with my colleagues in towns and cities, in private practice, and in hospitals. Here I have studied their problems and been uplifted and inspired by their (courage and devotion to their work, and have learned to honor and reverence character, manifested in the personality of a physician, as second to nothing in life. In their homes, in their conveyances, in the sick room, and in their private office work, as well as in hospitals and medical societies and colleges, I have been given a cordial welcome, and here I desire to express again my profound gratitude for such attentions by turning this little book over to them as a grateful reminder of bygone pleasant relations.