This section is from the book "Mental Therapeutics Or Just How To Heal Oneself And Others", by Theron Q. Dumont. Also available from Amazon: Mental Therapeutics or Just How to Heal Oneself and Others.
The first thing that the practitioner should suggest to the patient is, of course, the fact that he is going to get better, and then still better, and eventually get well. He should be told that the healing power is now under way, and that the process will gain force as it proceeds, each treatment adding a little further power to that which has gone before.
In a dozen different ways and forms the patient should have induced in his mind the idea and mental picture of himself as restored to perfect health. An important axiom of therapeutic suggestion is that the suggestion should paint the picture of the desired result. Bright pictures should be painted of the happiness, joy and general well-being which will be his when he finally acquires the desired result. And, in the same way, he should be led to look forward to each step of the way. His mind should be directed to the improvement which is sure to come as the result of the treatments. This rouses the "expectant attention," and, according to the well established psychological law of healing, will tend to manifest in an actual physical condition.
It will be found especially helpful to paint the picture of a perfectly healthy person, stress being laid upon each of the leading characteristics of such a person, so that the patient may gradually and unconsciously come to hold in his mind the picture of himself as being just this kind of person. It is a wonderful fact of psychological healing that the physical body of the patient tends to gradually grow to be just like the ideal of himself as held in his mind. In fact, the patient has probably actually pulled himself down physically by holding thoughts and mental pictures of himself as diseased, weakened, and looking wretchedly. Sick persons are fond of looking in their mirrors and then brooding over the fact that they have "fallen off," or in the idea of how wretchedly they look, physically. The more that they do this the worse do they grow; and the worse they grow the worse they look in the glass; and the worse they look in the glass, the worse mental image are they creating; and the worse mental image that they create, the worse do they get-there is a "vicious circle" of mental and physical, physical and mental, cause and effect manifested here. By creating-in the mind of the patient a new and better mental image and idea of himself, the practitioner really starts into operation a "constructive circle" which works with as powerful an effect as the opposite kind just mentioned.
But this is only the beginning of the suggestive treatment, though it must be continued through all the treatments, and blended with the more specific and special suggestions which we shall presently consider. It is not enough that the patient be given general suggestions of health (although these alone are wonderfully efficacious, and often work marvelous cures); the practitioner must also get down to the details of the special case before him-he must go "right to the spot" of the trouble, and direct his treatments right to the point where the trouble exists.
Here is where the scientific practitioner has a great advantage over the ordinary mental healer, metaphysical healer, or religo-metaphysi-cal healer. These healers are like a man firing a shot-gun at a mark-he may hit it with some of the scattering shot, but he does not get the powerful effect secured by the man using a rifle with a big bullet backed by a strong explosive charge. The scientific practitioner is the man with the powerful rifle-when he hits the mark the effect is clearly perceptible; and by preparation and practice he learns to hit the mark nearly every time. The general treatment (and this he should also use, as we have said) is like a shell filled with scattering shot; when to this is added the rifle ball of a special scientific treatment, it is hard to conceive of a successful result not being obtained.
It is for this reason that in later lessons of this course we shall indicate the principal classes of physical disorders and diseases, giving the physiological and psychological characteristics of each. By an acquaintance with these principal classes of diseases, the student of Mental Therapy is enabled to diagnose the root of the trouble, and then to direct his suggestion directly to the mind in the affected parts, without "scatteration" of force, or waste of energy. This does not mean that he should, like drug doctors, keep his thought fixed on the diseased condition (for this is contrary to all the principle of mental healing); but on the other hand he should direct his attention to the affected part so that he may begin building up in his own mind, and that of the patient, a picture and ideal of the normal and healthy condition of the organ and part, and to play upon that organ or part all of the mental power at his command, to the end that normal and natural conditions and functioning may be restored and firmly established, the result being Health and Cure.
In studying the later lessons just referred to, the student will discover that imperfect functioning of the main organs of nutrition, and those of elimination, is the real cause of a multitude of physical ills, many of which are seated at points in the body far removed from the seat of the real cause and trouble. The scientific practitioner by a knowledge of this fact is enabled to remove the real root of the trouble, whereupon the entire trouble withers and passes away. Such a practitioner does not waste time and energy in treating symptoms, but rather seeks to destroy the root of the evil conditions. The average practitioner knows nothing at all about these things, and is unable to produce the desired result in a short time; in reality, considering these facts, it is a wonderful proof of the efficacy of Mental Therapeutic principles that such practitioners and healers make the cures they do- they make them in spite of their ignorance; what wonderful results are possible of accomplishment by the trained, scientific practitioner!
So true is the above statement regarding the effect of improper functioning on the part of the main organs of nutrition, and those of elimination, that I strongly advise all practitioners of mental healing to always give the treatment indicated for troubles of this kind, even when there does not seem to be any evidence of such trouble. It will be found that such treatment will speedily improve the general condition of the patient, and will build up his general physical health to such an extent that the other troubles may be easily removed. The building-up of the main organs of nutrition, and those of elimination, gives a tone to the whole system; it increases the natural resistive powers of the Corporeal Mind, and thus makes it much easier to throw off the other abnormal conditions. More than this, by relieving Nature of her work in combating the imperfect conditions existing in the main organs of nutrition, and those of elimination, we give Nature a chance to throw more of her recuperative power into the other affected parts. The importance of this is seen when we remember that when we say "Nature" in this connection we are really speaking of the Corporeal Mind which has all the physical functions under its direct control and management.
In giving therapeutic suggestions, the practitioner will always find it of benefit to hold in his mind the idea that he is talking directly to the Corporeal Mind of the patient. He need not teU the patient this, for it would involve him in a long and technical explanation and discussion. Let the patient think that the practitioner means his ordinary everyday self when he says "You" in giving the suggestions; but let the practitioner hold in his own mind the idea and thought that when he says "You" (in the suggestive treatment) he is really addressing the Corporeal Mind. And, also let him picture that Corporeal Mind as having a mentality something like that of an intelligent, bright, and dutiful young child, with whom he is quite friendly. Strange as it may appear to those who know nothing about the inner explanation of the matter, it is a fact that the Corporeal Mind will "make up" to the practitioner who will thus open up friendly communication with it. At first a little shy, like the young child, it will become friendly and desirous of helping the practitioner in his work of healing. This is a very strange fact of therapeutic psychology; but it is one that every practitioner may ascertain for himself-and f ortunate, indeed, is that practitioner who is able to grasp the truth of this principle and who will apply it in actual practice.
More than this, it is a fact that each and every organ of the body has its own distinct personality (if this term may be used in this connection) . And, also, the suggestionist may actually address his suggestions to the different organs, by concentrating his attention upon them and using the word "You" in that sense when addressing his suggestions to the patient. Here, again, it is not well to say anything about this to the patient, for the reasons previously stated. The healer who holds in mind this idea that he is directly addressing the particular organ or part of the body, is often able to reach into the very soul of that organ (if we are allowed to use this term in this connection), and thus persuade it to put forth its best energies in the work of cure.
Careful students and practitioners of Mental Therapeutics have discovered that not only is there a personality in each organ-mind, but that also this personality varies according to the character of the work performed by the organ in question. For instance, it has "been discovered that the Liver is more or less stupid, as compared with the other organs; it is heavy and dense mentally, and needs to be spoken to sharply, and sometimes even harshly, in order to get it to work properly; it is more like a pig than is any other organ of the body-and it must be treated accordingly.
The personality of the Heart, on the contrary, is like that of a high-spirited, intelligent horse; and the methods used in the case of the Liver would be eiitirely out of place in treating the Heart. The personality of the Stomach is something like that of a good-natured, faithful dog; it has confidence in those it likes, and when patiently taught to do a thing it will be glad to obey orders to the best of its ability. These distinctions, and others, will be brought out in the latter lessons-I am merely directing them to your attention in this place, in order that you may file them away in your memory in connection with the subject now being considered.
A leading American writer on the subject has said: "The way to reach the mind in the cells, cell-groups, ganglia, organs, nerves, parts, etc., of the body is to address yourself directly to it, just as you would to a person. You must think of the mind in the affected part as a 'person' who is misbehaving. You must remonstrate with it, argue with it, coax, order or drive the 'person' residing in the organ, just as you would with different individuals. Sometimes coaxing is much better than driving, but sometimes forceful methods are necessary. * * * Tell the cell-mind just what you expect of it-just what you intend it shall do-just what it is right for it to do-and it will obey!" I trust that every practitioner will make this knowledge his own, and apply it in his actual healing work, using many forms of disguising it if necessary; for it is one of the greatest of the recent discoveries of Mental Therapeutics, and produces wonderful effects when properly and intelligently applied.