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Monday, November 16, 2009

More about Clairvoyant Medicine - I KNEW that's what you wanted to read about

A note from QuackMD - I was delighted to receive such positive responses of interest about Sleeping Lucy; I'm glad you enjoyed that information! Please keep in mind though, folks, you can even more easily post a comment right on the blog rather than have to send me private emails! Having said that, let me now tell you about Mrs. Morrill, another clairvoyant healer and one of Sleeping Lucy's Vermont neighbors.

On 29 July 1855 in Thetford, Vermont, someone named M. Quimby was pretty sick. She (I think it was a she) dictated a letter to a scribe that was to be sent to friends just over the Connecticut River in Piermont, New Hampshire. She probably resorted to an amanuensis because she was either illiterate or just too sick to write the letter herself; judging by the scribe's problems with spelling and sentence structure, she may have been both. (Spelling will be repeated as in the original letter.)

She wrote to the Risleys, her New Hampshire friends, that she suffered from "humor in the blood" and "apoplex shock." She suffered a particularly severe shock just three days earlier. "I thought my days wer finished," she dictated to her secretary. She told her friends she would not be able to visit them, but if they could visit her, then "do not fail to come it may be the last interview we may ever have."

Her decline had been rapid. "A year ago my health was such that I walked the distance of a mile a few times and could get out and in to a wagon nearly as well as ever now I am so dizzy and weak I can scaresly perform the task and I am seldom able to walk to our nearest neighbor the distance of ninety rods (less than a third of a mile)." The letter was written on July 29th, but subsequent short postscripts were added on July 30, 31, August 1, and 3. The next to the last postscript was ominously, "I am aware that my strength daily decays"

Ironically, even though she made great efforts to explain to the Risleys how sick she was, M. Quimby said she wrote the letter to tell her friends about the good benefit she had received from a clairvoyant physician. She didn't think the healer's instructions would cure her, but they at least made her feel a little better. She believed that Asa Risley was suffering from the same set of problems she had, so encouraged him to follow the instructions she had received from the clairvoyant and also included the healer's business card, just in case he wanted to visit for himself.

Quimby then briefly recounts her fascinating visit to Mrs. J. H. Morrill, the Clairvoyant Physician and Spiritual Medium, who was just 40 miles away from Sleeping Lucy's stomping grounds. Like Sleeping Lucy, she was both a clairvoyant and a medium, meaning she could reveal problems of health, wealth, or love, solve business problems, and help find lost treasures or hidden criminals.

"I went about three miles to see this lady we went into a retired room she sat down shut her eyes and in a moment or two she says you have suffered a great deal she acted and told me my complaints as to appearance as plain as you could disern anything with your naked eye then She began to direct me how to precede with my self and then prescribe the medicine - which I find makes me more comfortable while I live."
The clairvoyant physician's instructions to get the blood to circulate (apparently the course of action Mrs. Morrill recommended for "humor in the blood" and "apoplex shock") were bathing, vigorously rubbing the skin, and a light vegetarian diet - nothing mystical or zodiacal - just country common sense with a touch of mid-nineteenth century Thomsonian and Graham reforms mixed in:
"when you rise in the morning before dressing have a pan with a little warm suds made of Castile soap set your feet in it taik a large cloth Squeeze it out in the suds rub your head and neck get some one to rub your back thoroughly keep the cloth warm with the suds then rub the whole system till the skin looks red feet and all for a change ocationaly take a damp cloth & sprinnkle on mustard or Cayenne rub the whole system thoroughly with that Drink no sale coffe drink domestic coffee if you wish drink allittle tea to keep your spirits good let your food be vegetable much as you can eat no warm bread of any kind shun all pastry and biscuit eat a little Brown bread or very light wheat bread crackers suit me best make no use of salt vituals nor any thing sour nor pepper drink no cold water"
It is interesting to note on Mrs. Morrill's card: "First examination and prescription when the person to be examined is present, $1.00, when absent, $2.00." Since she was a clairvoyant, she didn't really need the person to be in front of her to know what was wrong with them. Asa Risley could just send his two bucks in the mail instead of having to travel over the river and through the woods. Didn't even need the Internet.

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