During the later Indian days the army surgeons came into close contact and rivalry with the Indian, and to the amazement of all whites, it frequently happened that the Indian doctor undertook and cured cases which the white doctors had pronounced hopeless. These were of all kinds, broken limbs, rheumatism, consumption, and obscure maladies (see "Medicine Man" in Clark's "Indian Sign Language").
This led to an investigation and a report on the ways of the medicine man. These were shown to be their chief peculiar methods:
1st: They took the patient home, giving him camp life with the daily sun-bath, and with pure air night and day.
2d: They gave him a periodic Turkish bath with purgatives.
3d: They gave him regular massage.
4th: They worked on his faith; they sang to him; they convinced him that great things were doing on his behalf. They did all in their power to set his mind at ease.
Besides which they had some knowledge of curative herbs and of dieting.
All of these have now a place among our own medical methods, yet we scoffed at them when offered to us by the Indians. They had to reach us from the East before we found them acceptable.
Of course there was a measure of quackery and. fraud in many of the medicine men, but it is just possible that medical humbug was not entirely confined to the doctors of the Red Race.