In the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, apothecary Émile Coué developed a psychological technique that he thought could help to amplify the impact of medication on a person and make any therapy more effective.
The idea behind autosuggestion is that the mind is able to affect the bodily state and help by making a person believing that they are becoming healed; thereby helping them to heal. A mantra such as “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” is an example of autosuggestion.
Coué found that when his patients used this mantra along with their medication plan, they could replace their thoughts of illness and being ill with healthier thoughts of healing and getting cured.
This happened because the subconscious mind was absorbing the words of the mantra and this caused the medicines to work better for the patients.
By praising the medication, it was seen to work better for a person, because their power of imagination was being tapped into.
Coué claimed that organic changes could be made by the power of autosuggestion even though his theories have been disputed; with many challenging the existence of the ‘subconscious’ itself. Coué was able to ‘cure’ problems relating to diabetes, kidney ailments, stammering, memory problems, atrophy, weakness and many different mental illnesses.
You could call it merely the power of positive thinking, or enhanced confidence in one’s own self or external treatments, or the power of affirmation, but this is now seen as a tool not just for healing but motivation in other spheres such as one’s professional life, management and so on.
Certainly the practical aspects of the principles are plain to see – if you are unwell and keep thinking that you are unwell, you are likely to feel worse. If on the other hand you tell yourself that you are overcoming that illness, and that you’re not feeling as awful anymore, you are likelier to feel less weakness and greater vigor.
What is known as the Coué Method is sought to be employed in many different ways today – books, CDs, MP3 tracks available online can all help a person tap into their subconscious and its power. While the power of autosuggestion may be deputed or even mocked by some, there is reason to believe that there are though who find it useful.