Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Diarrhoea induced by powerful emotions – fear and fright
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,
PART II. THE EMOTIONS.
CHAPTER IX. INFLUENCE OF THE EMOTIONS UPON THE INVOLUNTARY MUSCLES.
Under this head some cases of hysterical tympanites might be given. One will be found in the "Medical Times and Gazette," for Dec. 10, 1859, in which the disorder was certainly of emotional origin, although not the immediate result of mental shock. Dr. Anstie, in observing that psychical influence in such cases probably acts through the splanchnic nerves, states that the course of their action beyond the thoracic sympathetic and towards the cerebro-spinal centre, is not certainly known. Petrowski believes there are two motor systems for the intestines, the circular fibres supplied by the pneumogastric ; the longitudinal supplied by the splanchnic (Biennial Retrospect, 1865-6, ISTew Syd. Soc).
Digestion is affected by the contractions of the muscular coat of the stomach as well as by the amount and character of the gastric juice, and therefore the disturbance of this process which so often results from emotional changes is due, in part, to abnormal contraction of these muscular fibres. Dr. Carpenter cites from Brachet the experiments upon the pneumogastric nerve in which "some hours after section of the nerve on both sides, the surface only of the alimentary mass was found to have undergone solution, the remainder of the mass remaining in the condition in which it was at first ingested," and he observes that "the moderate excitement of pleasurable emotions may be favorable to the operation, not only by giving firmness and regularity to the action of the heart, and thence promoting the circulation of the blood, and the increase of the gastric secretion, but also in imparting firmness and regularity to the muscular contractions of the stomach" (Human Physiology. By Dr. Carpenter. 4th Edit. 1853, p. 408).
Of the influence of Emotion in increasing the peristaltic action of the intestines, the ordinary effect of Fear and Fright affords the readiest illustration. The simple result of this muscular contraction — the discharge of the contents of the bowels — is rarely unmixed with increased secretion from the intestinal glands, and therefore we shall have to return to the consideration of these effects when we speak of secretion and excretion. It must be noted here, however, that the involuntary muscular fibres of the gland-ducts which discharge themselves into the alimentary canal are acted upon and contribute to the resulting diarrhoea.