Here are the healers (in rough order of effectiveness):
Love (with its subset sex)
Thinking (and its relative praying
Food and drink (red wine especially)
Drugs, especially morphine.
People, sometimes professional health workers, who are healers.
Thank you to all those who have offered ideas. I’ve added laughter, listening, thinking (praying), writing, food and drink, sun, and sex, as a subset of love. It was very English to include rain but not sun, but rain works better for me. I’ve wondered about “gemütlichkeit.” I must admit that I’d never heard of it, but, according to Wikipedia, “it describes a space or state of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Other qualities include cosiness, peace of mind, belonging, well being, and social acceptance.” I worry that it may be too vague and imply circular thinking. What do you think?
As the list grows, it becomes clearer to me that doctors do not belong here. Most are not healers: they are mechanics who work with disease. But some doctors are healers, as are many non-doctors. I wondered if the category friends would do and decided not. So I’ve added “People, sometimes professional health workers, who are healers.”
This list relates in a small way to Sydney Smith’s famous advice to Georgiana Cavendish on how to respond to low spirits. I’ve posted it as a blog https://richardswsmith.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/advice-from-rev-sydney-smith-to-lady-georgiana-cavendish-on-how-to-respond-to-low-spirits/
31 August 2017: I’ve added one thing to the list at the suggestion of my friend Joanne Roberts: cycling. I’m always open to other suggestions.