The Mind Cure

The Mind Cure, otherwise known in its various subdivisions as

metaphysics, Christian science, mental science, etc., is a species of

delusion quite popular at the present time. Every era of the world has

cherished similar delusions, for the mass of the human race, even in

what are considered the educated classes, are so unfamiliar with the

processes of exact reasoning that they fall a ready prey to quacks of

all kinds. The fundamental idea of the mind cure system is that there

is no such thing as sickness. Disease, says one of their apostles, is

an error of the mind, the result of fear. Fear is only faith inverted

and perverted. God, who is all good Himself, and who made everything

good, cannot have been the author of any disease. As disease,

therefore, is not a creation, it has no existence, and when the healer

has succeeded in impressing this fact upon the mind of the patient, the

cure is effected. It is curious to note into what utter absurdities the

need for consistency carries these apostles. Poisons, they say, would

be quite harmless if the fear of them was removed, but we have yet to

find the "mental science" teacher who will undertake to prove this by

herself taking liberal doses of aconite and strychnine. The illnesses

of children are explained by the hypothesis of hereditary fear. The

majority of the teachers of this new faith are women, many of whom, no

doubt, are sincere in their belief; but it may be safely stated that

the men engaged as the so-called physicians of the new practice are,

with few exceptions, unprincipled quacks, who have gone into the

business for the money they can make by duping the ignorant. As far as

there is any truth underlying the vagaries of mind cures, and their

boasts of remarkable cases of healing, it may be admitted that the mind

has much influence over the body. This fact has been recognized by

intelligent physicians for centuries. And that the peculiar modern type

of nervous diseases, which are so largely caused by excessive stimulus

of the nerves and the imagination, should be amendable to cure through

the imagination, is not strange. It will be noted that this mental cure

has effected its miracles mainly among women, where it has the

emotional temperament to work on, and almost wholly in the ranks of the

wealthy and well-to-do, where there is little or no impoverishment of

the system by insufficient food and excessive toil to hinder its

effects. We have not heard, nor are we likely to hear, of an epidemic

disease checked by the mind cure, or of the healing of acute affections

or organic troubles through its agency. Nor do we hear of its seeking

to carry its message of healing into the houses of the suffering poor

in large cities, where hunger, exposure and foul airs open wide the

door to fevers and all deadly diseases, nor yet into the hospitals for

contagious or incurable affections. In the presence of such realities

it would prove, as its votaries probably understand, a too-painful

mockery. Intelligently analyzed, therefore, this new revelation amounts

to nothing more than a quite striking proof of the remarkable influence

of the mind over the nervous system. Beyond this, the craze, in

attempting to disprove the existence of disease, and to show that

poisons do not kill, is simply running against the plain and inevitable

facts of life, and can safely be left to perish through its own


While it must be admitted that many upright and worthy people are

followers of this faith, it can be asserted that to say "disease is

only a mental derangement" is carrying the idea of the power of mind

over matter entirely too far.


Always send immediately for a medical man. Save all fluids vomited, and

articles of food, cups, glasses, etc., used by the patient before taken

ill, and lock them up.

As a rule give emetics after poisons that cause sleepiness and raving;

chalk, milk, eggs, butter and warm water, or oil, after poisons that

cause vomiting and pain in the stomach and bowels, with purging; and

when there is no inflammation about the throat, tickle it with a

feather to excite vomiting.

Vomiting may be caused by giving warm water, with a teaspoonful of

mustard to the tumblerful, well stirred up. Sulphate of zinc (white

vitriol) may be used in place of the mustard, or powdered alum. Powder

of ipecacuanha, a teaspoonful rubbed up with molasses, may be employed

for children. Tartar emetic should never be given, as it is

excessively depressing, and uncontrolable in its effects. The stomach

pump can only be used by skillful hands, and even then with caution.

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