The York Retreat, founded by the Tuke family.The York Retreat, founded by the Tuke family.
Time 1872
Title Groundbreaking mind/body medicine book is published
Event England’s Daniel Hack Tuke, a physician and expert on mental illness, publishes one of the first books on the science of mind/body medicine. It is titled Illustrations of the Influence of the Mind Upon the Body in Health and Disease, Designed to Elucidate the Action of the Imagination.

Tuke’s book is perhaps the first to assert that the mind has power over the body. Tuke’s family is committed to researching and treating diseases of the mind. His great-grandfather William Tuke and his grandfather Henry Tuke co-founded the York Retreat, an institution which revolutionized the treatment of mentally ill people. His father Samuel Tuke and his older brother James Hack Tuke continue the York Retreat work, reporting on its methods and results.

Tuke’s research is inspired by a personal experience. When going to visit his physician about an undefined illness, Tuke’s train crashed. Tuke felt that the crash and subsequent shock actually healed his bodily illness. This leads Tuke to think about how physical or bodily experiences impact the brain, and vice versa. Soon after Tuke’s book is published, New York neurologist George Millar Beard gives a lecture encouraging physicians to use the power of the doctor-patient relationship to assist in recovery. Beard’s talk is considered “unscientific” and is roundly criticized.

Although Tuke’s spirituality is never overtly emphasized in his work, his Quaker upbringing emphasized compassion and social justice, which informs his work with the mentally ill.

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