Principles and Practice of Naturopathy:
A Compendium of Natural Healing (1925)

E.W. Cordingley, A.M., Ph.D.



Psychology is the study of the mind. By making various observations on mind action, psychologists have been able to deduce many rules and principles that aid us in our daily lives.

Practical psychology occupies a most novel field in the healing" art, but' the great quantity of tommy-rot that has been foisted upon the public for the last decade under the name of Psychology has already made this subject al\ unpopular one with many.

As one reviews the voluminous literature on Psychology and near-Psychology he feels that he much in the position of a person who would attempt to glean grain from a straw stack. One great evil in the realms of psyschology [sic] is the army of vultures who represent failures in many other walks of life, who arrive at intervals in every principal city of the United States and offer a "course of six lectures on Psychology for $30." Many of these "phychologists" [sic] offer a "sure cure for poverty," and many people who are dissatisfied with their lot in life dig down into their scanty funds to turn over the necessary "tuition fee, II only to find that the only "sure cure for poverty" that the lecturer had was a sure cure for his own poverty,

However, to get down to "brass lacks," what is wanted in a treatise of this kind is not a lengthy discussion of the rules of psychology, however valuable that may be, but a few rules of application that will enable every Naturopath to make psychology work FOR him and not against him.

That the mind can to a considerable extent control the functional activities of the body is admitted by all careful investigators. It is well known that if a person starts out in the morning feeling disgruntled and half-way "peeved" at things in general, he needs only to meet a good-natured friend who will "crack a joke" or two and get him smiling, and immediately life takes on a different hue.

And vice-versa, if one is feeling quite well-satisfied with the world and with himself, and some long-faced pessimist whom he meets tells him of a particularly bad streak of luck that is headed his way, he will immediately lose his buoyancy and take on the appearance of having "lost his last friend." That is, he will if he allows such things to worry him,

Worry has been know to cause gray hair, and strong emotional excitement has made nervous wrecks of people who ordinarily had strong constitutions. I remember a case that was reported in the newspapers several years ago, of a lady in Chicago who was suffering with a headache. She went lo her medicine chest to get a Seidlitz powder, but immediately after she took it her daughter announced in alarm that she had mistakenly taken arsenic, which her son had been using for preserving bird skins which he collected. The lady thereupon, being greatly frightened and displaying the outward symptoms of poisoning, died within a few minutes. An autopsy was performed, when it was found that she had really, after all, only taken a Seidlitz powder, and that her death was due to fright.

If then, states of mind are capable of producing such dire effects in people, it behooves all Naturopaths to make use of the same principles constructively in their work of eradicating disease.

Taking it for granted that you agree with me that the mind does, to a measure at least, control the functional activities of the body, I will lay down a few simple rules to be followed in creating and maintaining the proper attitude on the part of the patient, which will assist in effecting a cure.

RULE 1. The more impressive the appearance of your office, the better able will you be of convincing your patient that you can help him, If your equipment is selected with care and so arranged in your office that it "stands out" prominently, you will have made the first step in getting control of the right mental attitude.

RULE 2. If your own appearance is neat, and you go about your work deliberately and confidently, showing in that way that you know what you are doing and understand your work, the patient will immediately gain that feeling of reposeful confidence in your ability that is always a desirable asset to you.

RULE 3. Let the patient know what headway he is making, if the headway is really being made. If his heart sounds better than it did when he commenced taking treatments, tell him about it, and don't fail to impress upon him what a great improvement in his physical well-being his improved heart will eventually bring about. At all times during his course of treatments put great stress upon how splendidly he is responding, and the more you get him thinking he is making good headway, the better headway he will make.

RULE 4. If you have a patient who is not responding well to treatment, or one who is hysterical (you know we all get such patients occasionally who seem to take a special delight in being sick, or thinking they are, and who will not allow you nor anybody else to get them well) try to arrange to have that patient come at a time when there is no one else waiting, If a patient of this type sits in your waiting room and tells the other patients all about his or her real or imaginary ailments, they. may become discouraged and thus be prevented from recovering their health.

It is recorded in the Bible that even Christ was unable to do mighty works in his own country because of the unbelief of the people. Therefore, it is evident that you must get your patients to believe in you and your methods. They have some belief when they come to you, else they would not have come, and it behooves you by your every act and word to increase that belief.

If a patient complains of his stomach, explain to him how your treatment is increasing the amount of nerve force or the quntity [sic] of blood to that organ, and how the trouble is being benefited thereby. If he complains of constipation and you use mechanical treatment, or faradic or sinusoidal electricity, explain to him how 1he peristaltic action is being increased, and how the Iiver and intestinal secretions that you are stimulating are searching out and softening up the hardened accumulations of waste matter, and moving them along, thus leaving his intestines clean and purified.

If he has headaches of a congestive variety tell him how your treatments are causing. the impure, stagnated blood to be carried out of the head, and in turn how it is being replaced with pure, energizing, oxygenated blood. Let your patient visualize the improvement that is being brought about. If you will do this you will multiply your ability to cure.

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This page was posted on September 15, 2004.

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