Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
To the Sick in Body & Mind
Dr. Q. has been induced, by the great number of cases which have come under his care within the last twelve years, to devote his time to the cure of disease. His success in the art of healing, without the aid of medicine, has encouraged many persons who have been suffering from sickness of long standing to call and see him for themselves. This has given him a very great advantage over the old mode of practice and has given him a good chance to see how the mind affects the body. He makes no pretension to any superior power over ordinary men, nor claims to be a Seventh Son, nor a Son of the Seventh Son, but a common, everyday man.
He contends there is a principle (or inward man) that governs the outward man (or body), and when these are at variance (or out of tune), disease is the effect; while by harmonizing them, health in the body is the result. He believes this can be brought about by sympathy - and all persons who are sick are in need of this sympathy.
To the well, these remarks will not apply; for the well need no physician. By these remarks, I mean a well person does not know the feelings of the sick, but the sick, alone, are their own judges; and to every feeling is attached a peculiar state of mind, which is peculiar to it. These states of mind are the person's spiritual identity, and this I claim to see and feel, myself. When there is discord in these two principles - or inward and outward man - it seems to me that the outward man (or body) conveys to me the trouble; the same as one man communicates to his friend any trouble that is weighing him down.
Now all I claim is this - to put myself into communication with these principles of inward and outward man and act as a mediator between these two principles of soul and body; and when I am in communication with the patient, I feel all his pains and his state of mind, and I find that, by bringing his spirit back to harmonize with the body, he feels better.
The great trouble with mankind is this. They are spiritually sick, and the remedies they apply only serve to make them worse. The invention of disease, like the invention of fashion, has almost upset the whole community. If physicians would investigate mind a little more and medicine a little less, they would be of some service; but this inventing disease is like inventing laws - instead of helping man, they make him worse.
Diseases are like fashions, and people are as apt to take a new disease as they are to fall in with any new fashion. Now if there was a law made to punish any person who should, through any medical journal, communicate to the people any new disease and its symptoms - it would put a stop to a great deal of sickness. Seven cases out of ten, throughout the whole community of old chronic cases, are the effects of false impressions produced by medical men, giving to the people the idea they have spinal disease or heart or kidney or liver disease - or forty others that I could name; to say nothing of the number of nervous diseases.
Now all of these ideas thrown into the community are like so many foolish fashions, which the people are humbugged by. I do not dispute but that any of these diseases may be brought about through the operation of the mind, but I do say, if there was no name given to diseases, nor symptoms, there would not be one-tenth of the sickness there is at this day. I have taken people who have been sick with all of the above diseases, as they thought, and by describing their symptoms and state of mind, without them telling me their trouble, have satisfied them what the trouble was, and they have recovered immediately.
A person sick is like a person in a strange land, without money or friends. Now there may be someone nearby who would be glad to receive such persons, but they are ignorant of them. The sick are not in communication with themselves nor anyone else. They feel as though no person could tell them how they feel.