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.
All therapeutic measures can accomplish their results only by acting in conjunction with those inherent properties and forces within the biological element of the organism. Our internal medication acts only upon function. Medicine used internally or externally, whether for its physiological or psychic effect, can, through the suggestion giving it its psychological potency, stimulate the function of every organ in the body.
Every center of activity in the brain can be influenced by suggestion. Every organ in the body and all bodily functions are under the control of the nervous centers. Every element of the organism has its center of activity in the brain. All these we can influence by suggestion, and we can use medicine and surgery, and all other therapeutic measures, not only for the effects produced by their own physical influence upon the organism, but also as a means of successfully combating the disturbing psychic factor through the influence of those measures upon the mind. Every physician uses these measures, consciously or unconsciously, every day of his life.
Do not understand by the ground that I have taken that I am a therapeutic nihilist. I am, first and last, a regular physician, anxious for any therapeutic aid by any means whatsoever that will help to alleviate human suffering and cure disease. We can demonstrate the physiological action of our medicinal agents upon the physical organism, even in unconscious persons and animals, as impressively and conclusively as by a slap or a kick we can demonstrate to the person who denies it our ability to use our hands and feet. But, understand, I am talking to you about the psychic factor in therapeutics, pointing out its value as. an important therapeutic adjunct, to be used in conjunction with any measure - medicinal, surgical, or otherwise - that will help to alleviate suffering and cure disease, or that will put the individual in such condition that a cure may take place.
This science, as applied in the practice of medicine, is based upon these premises: there is inherent in mankind a psychic power or mental force presiding over the functions, conditions, and sensations of his body, and this inherent potentiality, which is a property of the cells that compose the complex mechanism of the animal physiology, can, under proper conditions, be evoked and controlled at will and applied to the alleviation of human suffering.
What that inherent quality of force represented by each individual cell in the human body is has in ages past been called by many names. It has been designated by such expressions as the "vis medicatrix natune," "the resident energy within," "neuric energy," and, in the terms of psychology, "the subconscious mind," "the subjective mind," "the subliminal consciousness," etc.
Tennyson referred to the same incomprehensible life principle when he pulled a little flower from a crannied wall and said:
Little flower - but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, 1 should know what God and man is.
The tendency of modern science is toward the possibility of reducing all phenomena, physical as well as psychical, to a common cause.
Verworn remarks that "the attempt to explain the mystery that surrounds living substances - the substance that nourishes itself, breathes, moves, grows, reproduces, and develops - has exerted from the earliest times a peculiar stimulus upon the mind of inquiring thinkers."
But while we do not know what that inherent quality or force, as represented by the individual cell, is, neither do we know what electricity is, nor what matter is, in any form in its ultimate analysis, but we do know something, not all, of the laws that govern these of nature's forces, and by conforming to these laws we are better enabled to make our struggle for existence.
By conforming to this psychological law we can get results in the alleviation of human suffering, and as broadminded men we want to make use of anything that will help us to grapple with the problems of health and disease.
Just as steam and electricity were governed by nature's laws that existed forever, and required only science to make use of them, so has psychic law existed forever, and a better understanding of, conformity to, and appropriation of this law are destined to make the same revolution in the practice of medicine as have been effected by steam and electricity in methods of travel, manufacture, and communication.
The intelligence of our age demands that the higher evolutionary factors of human personality, call them by whatever name you will, be recognized, and their truths be appropriated for the welfare, health, and happiness of our patients.