The healing power of suggestion | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The ability of the human mind to affect health and wellbeing has been known since ancient times, from Apollonius of Tyana in the first century AD to Carl Jung in the 20th century.


But the advent of Western materialist science has practically pushed the mind to the sidelines.


In mid-19th century, a French pharmacist turned psychologist Émile Coué rediscovered the power of strong suggestion and affirmation in healing various ailments.


Practically unknown in North America, Coué (1857-1926) achieved a certain degree of popularity and notoriety in healing in Europe. He established his practice in Paris, but Parisian orthodox physicians considered him a quack.


As news of Coué’s strange methods that healed patients whom licensed physicians could not cure spread in France, attempts were made to stop him from his practice.


However, authorities could not use legal means to stop him from healing because he was not practicing medicine in the orthodox manner.


So the Parisian doctors sent spies to Coué’s clinic to find out what exactly he was doing.


The medical spies discovered that whatever the sickness, Coué would simply make a strong positive suggestion and the patient was often healed.


He developed a now famous formula: a patient repeatedly says, at least 16 times a day: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”


He called this healing technique “The Science of Suggestology.” It consisted simply of repeating the above statement regularly for several days until a cure is achieved. And it frequently was.


Animal magnetism


At that time, the works of the German healer named Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) were also just beginning to be known.


His method, called “animal magnetism,” required holding a magnet all over a patient’s body. To his own and his patient’s amazement, healing occurred. Later he found out he did not need to use magnets. Holding  his hands over patients also had the same effect.


Some patients felt strong energy and often went into trance and had a general feeling of well-being after a session with him.


Like Coué, Mesmer was considered a quack, and the head of the government at that time formed a committee to investigate Mesmer’s method.


Members of the investigating body included the famous chemist Lavoisier and US Ambassador Benjamin Franklin.


The committee concluded that animal magnetism did not exist, and Mesmerism eventually declined in popularity.


But Mesmer left a lasting legacy, and the word “mesmerism,” which was the initial name given for “hypnosis,” became a part of the English language.


To be mesmerized is to be put in a hypnotic state or trance.


Meanwhile, Coué’s “Suggestology” has undergone some metamorphosis and developed a good following in various forms or guises.


It was called by different names during the course of the method’s history. The origins or roots of such mental techniques as affirmation, self-hypnosis, psycho-cybernetics, the Silva method of brain programming, neuro-linguistic programming, Norman Vincent Peale’s positive thinking, imagery medicine, and the current craze, called “The Law of Attraction,” could be traced to Mesmer and Coué.


Thanks to the current research findings in neuroscience, the mind’s vital role in a person’s healing is now a recognized fact even by the more conservative and skeptical medical scientists, neurologists, psychiatrists and psychologists.


Note: Attend my next seminar on Self-Healing Through Visualization on Saturday, Aug. 2,  9 a.m.-12 noon. Call 8107245 or 0908-3537885.



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