THE HEALING MOON  The braucher’s faith healing practices involving trust in the healer’s touch and Biblical recitations might very well have been therapeutic when combined with stress reduction, hopeful anticipation of the future, and simple healthy nutrition.  Perhaps there should be no more shame associated with going to a powwower than there is in seeking out psychotherapy or new-age medicine or using herbal supplements and natural cures of all kinds.    
    It does seem likely components of many diseases are mental.  “Mental treatment” may be effective for those components.  It also seems likely that stress and “bad attitude” generally hinder a body’s natural inclination to heal itself, and elimination of these negative forces should provide more fertile ground for healing processes.
    The Church of Christ, Scientist, often called Christian Science, is said to emphasize devine healing as practiced by Jesus Christ.  The church was founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.  In the 1930’s it was reputed to have a membership of about 350,000 with 2,500 branches in more than 50 countries.  In effect, the church teaches that the causes of disease are mental.  According to some scholars, this assertion contains both truth and falsity, but even a bit of truth is still a bit of truth.
    Powwowers seemed to be aware of their limitations.  In an interview with the New York Sun, published in 1895, a famous Powwower of the time living near the Blue Mountain in Berks County said that he would not recommend powwowing for any dangerous disease, like typhoid fever or diphtheria.  For those he recommended the individual go immediately to see a “reputable doctor.”  He added that there were, however, some maladies that medical science could not remedy, and for those he recommended powwowing.
    There was certainly no interaction between Mountain Mary and Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.  Mountain Mary died in 1819, and it would be another seventy years before Christian Science congregations appeared in New England, but Mountain Mary probably would have agreed with some of the assumptions and practices of Christian Science, especially with regard to illness, healing, and stress reduction.

Click here if you want to read about the faith healer
        Mountain Mary in my novel 'Further From the Middle
Click here if you want to go back to Superstition.
Click here if you want to go Home Again
Click here for some links to Mountain Mary on the internet.
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