A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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Magic Healing in the Pre- Christian Era
Treatment by mental readjustment of ailments showing themselves in both physical and psychological symptoms is no novelty but is a technique which had its origin far back in the earliest stages of human development. It was not left to modern science to discover the interdependence of mind and body : anxiety and faith have been recognized throughout the ages as important factors in the cause and cure of disease. Indeed, when it is realized how powerful a driving force faith has been in the history of the race, the part it has played in the healing art fades into insignificance : yet there is no department of knowledge more favourable to an impartial study of its effects than that of medicine. Always, from the days of the medicine man who, although dominating primitive society, scarcely knew how his wonders were wrought, to the sophisticated denizen of Harley Street who consciously manipulates this strange capacity of man, faith's operation has always been regarded as something ' marvellous \ It is even believed that as far back as the Paleolithic Age pieces of the human skull were used as amulets. But while the factor itself has remained the same, the interpretation placed upon it has changed radically from time to time. Cause and effect have not always been seen in the same light. Thus what we regard as natural law, universal in its scope, our ancestors thought to be the capricious will of the supernatural : what is now systematized and methodical was then a magical rite. Modern psycho-