Hack Tuke, Daniel – Healing - Stomach cramps cured by suggestion and placebos
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.,
CHAPTEE XVII. PSYCHO- THERAPEUTICS. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE MIND ON THE BODY TO MEDICAL PRACTICE.
SECTION III. — Systematic Excitement of a definite Expectation or Hope, in regard to the beneficial Action of totally inert Substances.
The following series of cases from "The British and Foreign Medical Review," January, 1847, was communicated by a naval surgeon, whom the editor, Sir John Forbes, characterizes as an officer of long standing and much experience, whose name and high character were known to him :
" A very intelligent officer had suffered for some years from violent attacks of cramp in the stomach. He had tried almost all the remedies usually recommended for the relief of this distressing affection; and for a short period prior to coming under my care, the trisnitrate of bismuth had been attended with the best results. The attacks came on about once in three weeks, or from that to a month, unless when any unusual exposure brought them on more frequently.
As bismuth had been so useful, it, of course, was continued ; but not- withstanding that it was increased to the largest dose that its poisonous qualities would justify, it soon lost its effect. Sedatives were again applied to ; but the relief afforded by these was only partial, while their effect on the general system was evidently very prejudicial. On one occasion, while greatly suffering from the effect of some preparation of opium, given for the relief of these spasms, he was told that on the next attack he would be put under a medicine which was generally believed to be most effective, but which was rarely used, in consequence of its dangerous qualities, but that, notwithstanding these, it should be tried, provided he gave his assent.
This he did willingly. Accordingly, on the first attack after this, a powder containing four grains of ground biscuit was administered every seven minutes, while the greatest anxiety was expressed (within the hearing of the party), lest too much should be given. The fourth dose caused an entire cessation of pain. Half-drachm doses of bismuth had never procured the same relief in less than three hours. For four successive times did the same kind of attack recur, and four times was it met by the same remedy, and with like success ! After this my patient was ordered to join another ship on a different station."