Certain historic modes of healing, including the use of medical amulets and charms, which have been regarded from early times as magical remedies, belong properly to the domain of Psychical Medicine. For the therapeutic virtues of medical amulets are not inherent in these objects, but are due to the influence exerted by them upon the imaginative faculties of the individuals who employ them. They afford powerful suggestions of healing. In this volume the writer has sought to emphasize the fact that the efficiency of many primitive therapeutic methods, and the success of charlatanry, are to be attributed to mental influence. The use of spells and incantations, the practice of laying-on of hands, the cult of relics, mesmerism, and metallo-therapy, have been important factors in the evolution of modern mental healing. The method of their operation, a mystery for ages, is revealed by the word suggestion. Thus may be traced some of the steps in the development of psychotherapy. One ruling force,namely, the power of the imagination, has always been the potent therapeutic agent, whether in the word of command, in medical scripts, or in the methods of quackery.

 

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Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery - Robert M Lawrence MD

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