Hack Tuke, Daniel – Healing - Inducing cures as a consequence of suggestion and placebos only
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 I. THE INTELLECT.
CHAPTER IV. INFLUENCE OF THE INTELLECT UPON THE INVOLUNTARY MUSCLES.
It is a common remark that medical men frequently die of the disease to which they have devoted special attention. When the coincidence occurs, the two circumstances are likely to be placed in the relation of cause and effect without sufficient reason.
There is nothing, however, improbable in the popular impression ; for a very slight symptom referable to the organ especially studied by the physician, would concentrate his attention upon it, and would be likely to aggravate any previous mischief, and in the case of the heart induce irregular action and ultimately hypertrophy, or some other decidedly organic affection.
And yet, probable as this seems, do not a large class of facts appear difficult to reconcile with the supposition?
How explain the impunity with which thousands of hysterical persons fancy and firmly believe that they have a particular disease, dwell anxiously upon it night and day, and yet escape without any organic disease whatever ? What proportion of medical students have heart disease out of those who after having their studies directed to cardiac maladies fancy they are themselves affected?
A small one, we believe.
Dr. Armstrong said in one of his lectures,
"You will seldom be alarmed at hypochondriasis when it occurs in young subjects. . I have, since I have lectured here, had the honour of curing some of the pupils of extraordinary and dangerous organic diseases by very slight means. I have cured an aneurism of the aorta by a slight purgative, ossification of the heart by a little blue pill, and chronic disease of the brain by a little Epsom salts !"
It must therefore be allowed that while attention to the action of the heart embarrasses its action, and while, if disease be actually present, it proves mischievous, there is very little evidence to prove that in a healthy organ it would induce more than functional disturbance.