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.
Too many physicians are nothing more than slaves to their own desires. They see in their patient's illness a chance to make money. They feel that they have done their duty when they have prescribed for them in a perfunctory manner, and, putting their reliance solely in drugs, they overlook entirely the psychologic factor in therapeutics. They even tell their patients that they are seriously sick, purely for personal aggrandizement.
The result is undue nervousness, overanxiety, sleeplessness, perverted functions, and constant progress from bad to worse. . These symptoms they attempt to relieve by narcotics. They enter the sick room in this indifferent, half-hearted, selfish manner, and their efforts are worse than useless.
See in your patient potentialities that are susceptible to external stimuli, and regard something besides the physical manifestation of the individual. Treat the man himself, the intelligent organized force - call this mind, soul, or spirit - that functionates in perfect correlation with the neuron elements, and stir them to renew, energize, vitalize, and strengthen every part of his physical organism.
What do we stir ? Call it what you will - let it be the " vis medi-catrix naturae," the "resident energy within," "neuric energy," the "subconscious self," the "involuntary nervous system," the "psychic man," "spirit," "mind," or "soul" - the name matters not. This fact is true - man has within him reserve energy that can be stirred into activity. By suggestion the physiological processes of the body can be influenced for his good. We can produce such impressions upon his brain plasm as will quiet nervousness, relieve pain, promote sleep, and, acting thus, we can conserve his energy, resulting in a better appetite, better digestion, and improved nutrition. We thus re-establish all the perverted physiological processes. By this means you can get your patient well when drugs and other remedial agents absolutely fail. If medicine or surgery is indicated, by all means use it.
The great trouble is that many of the men in our profession are ignorant of the potency of the psychologic factor as a therapeutic adjunct. Some who have had a glimpse of these latent possibilities lack the moral stamina to boldly take hold and do their part. I know men who would face a cannon absolutely devoid of physical fear, yet too timid and half-hearted in the sick-room to do more than give drugs, nine-tenths of which are worse than useless in this class of functional and neuropathic conditions.
Many of these sick people need a good, sound, intellectual flogging. They need to be told that they alone are to blame for their condition. Let them know that health is a natural condition and comes to every one who conforms to nature's laws, which they are continually violating every day of their lives.
Emerson has well said: "Man may boast that he can violate the laws of nature and maintain health; the lie is on his lips, the conditions on his soul."
Let your patient know that to maintain health he must conform to the laws of health. (Jet hold of him and put him in possession of himself. Urge him to take into his system plenty of nature's healthful beverage, pure water, to eliminate impurities from his system and to encourage all functional activity. A man should drink not less than four or five pints of water a day. Tell him or her to exercise freely every muscle and hasten the blood to every part of his system, to eliminate effete material as well as to build up, nourish, and renew the life and strength of every cell in his body. Advise him against becoming a slave to his appetites, overeating, sexual excess, etc.
Fully nine-tenths of the American people eat too much meat, and keep their nervous systems overtaxed to dispose of the amount of food in excess of what is actually necessary for nutrition. (Jet such people, when nervous, to learn to relax and to practice deep breathing as a resource of healthfulness. Impress upon them the pleasure, beauty, and glory of work, and useful endeavor and achievement, as a means to invigorate and strengthen both mind and body. Let them know that we are born into this beautiful world surrounded by everything to make us happy and keep us well, but that the world is ruled by law and we must conform to laws of health, and that when we do that we shall be well and happy, which is our highest privilege, and not before.
It is often the case that our patients need education and encouragement, knowledge and guidance - other names for suggestion - and not medicine or sympathy, which only fixes them deeper in the mire; but there are some who are called physicians who have not the courage to attempt to make use of these therapeutic measures.
Why let Christian scientists, osteopaths, and other species of charlatanism thrive upon a large class of cases when, if we were but equipped in this higher art in therapeutics, we could day by day infuse health and happiness, joy and sunshine, into the lives of weak, erring, miserable children of this world who are crying to us for help. Our patients are not merely chemical laboratories, but human beings, with intelligent faculties to comprehend our suggestions that act upon every part of the body through the nervous centers. If properly presented, they will regulate all perverted functions in perfect accord with the physiological processes of the body.
Man is not a machine, but a living organism. The unseen part of man - mind, spirit, or soul - constitutes the dynamics of this human organism, functionating in perfect correlation with the neuron elements, and they constitute the greatest therapeutic factor at our command, ever present and ready for utilization.