How powerful are healing words? What impact do they have on our immune systems? Emile Coue' had an answer and, though few know his name today, his success with restoring his ill clients back to health was nothing less than astonishing.

How did he obtain such remarkable results? The power of suggestion and autosuggestion combined with the magnetic charisma of his personality along with the belief of his patients that when he told them they were getting better and better every day, they knew they were!

Emile Coue’ was born February 26, 1867 in Troyes, in the Aube, France. He became a chemist, learned hypnosis through a correspondence course, but became best known as the father of the phrase, “Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”

In 1896 having enough money to live upon, together with his wife’s property, Coue’ decided to retire from his pharmacy business.

He studied many books of his day on mental cures and distilled the essence of what they were saying into a few brief formulas that almost, at first glance, seem too simple to work, but they do.

In 1910 he moved with his wife to Nancy where he set up his clinic, often seeing 15,000 patients yearly. The cures he affected by the power of suggestion are amazing as numerous letters, still preserved, from appreciative patients reveal.

The Coue’ material I used for this article was excerpted from The Essential Writings of Emile Coue’ which include his books How to Practice Suggestion and Autosuggestion (1923), Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion (1922), and My Method, Including American Impressions. I’ve also relied upon The Practice of Autosuggestion by the Method of Emile Coue’ and Emile Coue’s Nancy Practice by C. Harry Brooks. “You have in yourself the instrument of your cure,” Coue’ always told his patients.

Coue’ toured America in 1922 and while experiencing some success, it was nothing on the scale he experienced in Europe. He was routinely attacked by the churches in America for his miracle cures.

Coue’ died in 1926. During his life he helped many people get better, to function again. Even though his name is basically forgotten these days, I think you will find his system or method of autosuggestion is remarkable; interest in it, I believe, should be revived.

How long should you say your affirmations to make Coue’s advice a reality in your life? In his words, ‘AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.” Prevention is much easier than treatment of illnesses once they’ve occurred. “The subconscious is a permanent, ultra-sensitive photographic plate which nothing escapes,” Coue’ wrote. “It registers all things, all thoughts, from the most insignificant to the most sublime. But it is more than that. It is the source of creation and inspiration; it is the mysterious power that germinates ideas and effects their materialization in the conscious form of action.”

His famous mantra, “Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better” (Tous les jours a’ tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux) is still popular today — although the method and structure underlying it is hardly known at all. My purpose, in writing this book, is to restore — as well as I am able to grasp it — Coue’s methodology for healing that helped so many throughout Europe who flocked to his small clinic in Nancy. The method is simple, it’s easy, and that’s why it appealed to me.

Coue’ always encouraged his patients with the promise of improvement. He told one patient, “You have been sowing bad seed in your Unconscious; now you will sow good seed. The power by which you have produced these ill effects will, in the future, produce equally good ones.”

To a woman who went on and on about her symptoms he said: “Madame, you think too much about your ailments, and in thinking of them you create fresh ones.”

I liked the fact that Coue’ admitted the limits of the power of autosuggestion were not yet known and only in the rarest of cases did he not believe final recovery was possible.

After about a forty minute examination, Coue’ would then apply one of his carefully worded formulas for specific ailments. According to Brooks: “The patients closed their eyes, and he proceeded in a low, monotonous voice, to evoke before their minds the states of health, mental and physical, they were seeking. As they listened to him their alertness ebbed away, they were lulled into a drowsy state, peopled only by the vivid images he called up before the eyes of the mind. The faint rustle of the trees, the songs of the birds, the low voices of those waiting in the garden, merged into a pleasant background, on which his words stood out powerfully.” This quote from C. Harry Brooks' book about Coue's clinic in Nancy, France.

“These general suggestions were succeeded by particular suggestions referring to the special ailments from which Coue’s patients were suffering. “Taking each case in turn,” Brooks writes, “he allowed his hand to rest lightly on the heads of the sufferers, while picturing to their minds the health and vigour with which they would soon be endowed. Thus to a woman with an ulcerated leg he spoke as follows: ‘Henceforth your organism will do all that is necessary to restore your leg to perfect health. It will rapidly heal; the tissues will regain their tone; the skin will be soft and healthy. In a short space of time your leg will be vigorous and strong and will in the future always remain so.’ Each special complaint was thus treated with a few appropriate phrases. When he had finished, and the patients were called on to open their eyes, a faint sigh went round the room, as if they were awaking reluctantly from a delicious dream.”

Coue’, truly, knew about — and worked with — the healing power of words!

Author's Bio: 

James Clayton Napier worked as a television broadcaster in Texas for thirteen years. He then taught television news reporting and writing as well as speech communication at three universities. You may contact James at or go to