The Psychic Element in Practice.
Emerson, in a paper before the Medical Society of New Jersey, said that most practitioners were grossly and harmfully ignorant not only of the subject of psychology, but of all the sciences which at best could be said to be in their infancy. The science of medicine had but recently emerged from the ignorance and superstition of the dark ages. There had always been associated with the healing art a certain mysticism.
The unprincipled quack, by the very emphasis of pretended knowledge and promises of cure, often brought about a restoration to health where the more skilled but more conscientious practitioner had failed. If the ignorant irregular could bring about so many cures by these methods, how much more should be accomplished by the scientific, careful, conscientious man. Many physicians refused to avail themselves of these means at their disposal, having no desire to be designated either a quack or a liar.
The truth should be spoken at all times, and the successful physician must sometimes be a most skillful prevaricator. A promise to benefit or cure made in all hope and sincerity might eventuate a falsehood but not necessarily a lie. Many practitioners who were taking advantage of mental therapeutics and getting wonderful results thereby, were doing it unconsciously.
The results accomplished by electrotherapeutic measures, massage, vibrators, fitting of glasses, gynecological tinkering, or even by some operations, were as much due to psychic as to material methods. The success of Christian Science and mental healing was undeniable, and the neglect of this phase of tlie healing art on the physician's part was in some measure responsible for their existence. The remedy would seem to be higher educational requirements for admission to the medical ranks and a more careful study of psychic phenomena by all members of the profession.—Medical Standard.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.