Elmer D. Barber, D. O.
RESEARCHES OF DR. ELMER D. BARBER
The author was born in Oneida, N. Y., May 17, 1858,
and when a mere boy arrived at the conclusion that the age of miracles
was past, and that all results could be traced to a reasonable cause.
While in Jersey City, N. J., we met a gentleman
who, without the use of drugs or surgical instruments, by manipulations
which he could not explain, was curing hundreds of people in a public hall.
Then came Paul Castor, whose cures were equally
marvelous and likewise inexplicable. We visited faith doctors and
spiritualistic mediums and witnessed their results, but found the principle
on which the worked shrouded in mystery.
We next heard of Dr. Andrew T. Still, who was effecting
cure after cure in a marvelous manner, upon (as he claimed) scientific
principles. We visited the old doctor, were convinced that he had
discovered the fundamental principles on which were based the results accidentally
reached by others, and entered his School of Osteopathy, from which we
graduated March 2, 1895, with an average grade of 99 in Anatomy and Physiology
and 100 in Osteopathy.
Immediately after graduation we, removed to Baxter
Springs, Kansas and engaged in the active practice of Osteopathy.
It was at this period, when fresh from the school at Kirksville, Missouri,
with our pockets bursting with notes gathered eagerly from the lips of
the discoverer of Osteopathy that our small book, "Osteopathy, the New
Science of Drugless Healing," was written. Since the publication
of that volume, having, studied very carefully all works that we could
procure having any bearing upon this subject, besides treating and curing
hundreds of patients osteopathically, we are led to believe that there
is not so much that is new, except the name, but that Osteopathy is a combination
of many movement-cures scientifically applied.
From a careful study of Gray and Landois, we find
that Dr. Still has discovered no new nerve-centers; he has simply discovered
a fact that has been overlooked by the ordinary physician: that a steady
pressure over a given nerve-center will produce a certain result; while
stimulating by manipulation over the same center produces an opposite result;
and that by, working, upon these centers we can control the organic system.
He has, therefore, simply discovered a correct and
scientific method of manipulation, whereby the osteopath can equalize the
circulation, and, in fact, all the forces of the body - in very many cases,
after all other methods have been tried and failed.
While it is our desire to give Dr. Still credit
for any points which he has discovered, we must differ with him as to the
true cause of the results reached by the Osteopath. While the good
Doctor believes that nearly all diseases are caused by dislocated bones,
nearly always finding them and thereby winning for himself the name of
"Bone Doctor," in our practice we never find a great number of dislocations
and by the same manipulation effect the same cures as Dr. Still. If a bone
is really dislocated and has been in that condition for years, the dislocation
can not be reduced, but if muscles are contracted, causing a stiff joint
or depressing the ribs, they can be quickly relieved by manipulation, and
the patient is easily led to believe that the bone was dislocated.
While we do not doubt for an instant that our classmates are sincere in
their belief that in catarrh, sore eyes, deafness, and other disease of
the head, the atlas is dislocated, and that they cure these diseases by
setting the atlas, we believe that twisting, pulling, and stretching the
neck in a vain attempt to move the atlas stretches the muscles, thereby
freeing the circulation and permitting Nature to assert herself.
Be they right or wrong, our readers can cure almost any acute disease in
the head, almost instantly, by gently pulling on the head and rotating
it in all directions; and many chronic complaints by a continuation of
the same method. We all agree upon the one great point, that man
is a machine, and that nerve-centers have been discovered upon which a
pressure of the hand will cause the heart to slow or quicken its action,
from which we can regulate the action of the stomach, bowels, liver, pancreas,
kidneys, and the diaphragm. The thousands of people snatched from
the grave by an application of these never-failing principles are proof
positive that at last the keynote has been struck; and a school established
that can explain intelligently why certain manipulations produce certain
Viewing the brain, the cerebro-spinal cord and the
nerves as an immense telegraph system (the brain acting, not only as a
great dynamo, generating the forces which control and move the body,
but as headquarters, receiving and sending messages to all parts of the
body; the slender nerves passing through, under, over, and between the
hundreds of bones, muscles, arteries, veins, ligaments, and various organs),
can you wonder that the wires are sometimes down, that the communication
is occasionally cut off between headquarters and some important office,
or that paralysis is the result? Do you wonder that occasionally
the wires are crossed, and that the message (possibly to the bowels, to
discharge their load) is received by the kidneys, which promptly obey the
order? The bowels having failed to respond to orders from headquarters,
a second message goes over the wires, and again the kidneys answer the
summons; the result is kidney disease and constipation. While we
cannot go directly to the nerves at fault, we can, by manipulations, which
will be fully described under their proper head, stretch the contracted
muscle that is obstructing the current; whereupon, if the case has not
become chronic, the bowels will immediately resume their functions and
the excited kidneys will cease to act so rapidly. In chronic cases
it usually takes Nature from two to six weeks to assert herself.
In the nervous system, as in the telegraphic, the current must not be obstructed.
The massage treatment effects many remarkable cures
by moving the flesh and muscles in all possible directions over the entire
body. They unwittingly and unavoidably, if they are very thorough,
free the right spot establishing the circuit, thus permitting Nature to
Another very important part in this complicated
machine is the systemic, pulmonary, and portal circulation: the arteries
are cylindrical vessels, conveying the blood through this network of nerves
and muscles to all parts of the body; the veins gathering up and returning
it to the never-tiring heart, pumping steadily throughout a lifetime, driving
the blood to the most remote parts of the system and forcing it to return.
Is it to be wondered at that occasionally a muscle contracts, after a hard
day's work or exposure to the cold, possibly obstructing some little river
of blood on its journey to nourish a given part? Do you wonder that
the part in question weakens from lack of nourishment and fails to perform
its allotted task? As it is the blood that must convey all substances
of nourishment to the different parts, is it a wonder that the medicine
never arrives at its destination? Should a large artery be obstructed
in a similar manner, would it be surprising if the heart, working, against
heavy odds, trying to pump the blood past the obstruction, in time felt
the pressure? in which case heart disease would be the result. Should
the contraction be in the thigh, obstructing the femoral artery, we have
cold feet and limbs on one side of the obstruction, and heart disease on
the other. If the veins returning the blood are obstructed in the
same region, we may have either dropsy, inflammatory rheumatism, erysipelas,
eczema, or varicose veins, caused by the stagnant, pent-up blood, on one
side, and heart disease on the other.
Having briefly referred to the bones that support,
the nerves that control, and the blood that supplies, let us dwell for
a moment on the muscles that move and propel this wonderful living machine.
As the only power muscles have is in contraction, they must be arranged
in such a position and so attached to the bone as to pull from any direction
in which it may be necessary to move a given part. Receiving as they
do not only their orders to act, but their motor power, from that great
dynamo the brain, they may be justly compared to so many electric cars.
One car may be larger and stronger than another, but, deprived of the current
from that slender wire, which of itself is nothing, neither can move from
its position. Is this not indeed a delicate and complicated piece
of machinery, the nerves and fluids of the body moving unobstructed through
the hundreds of rapidly contracting and relaxing muscles? We state
most emphatically that the true cause of many diseases may be traced to
some muscle which has contracted and for some unaccountable reason has
failed to relax, thus interfering with all the forces of life. It
is by working on these principles, which we have briefly sketched, that
we achieve results bordering on the miraculous; it is by working on these
principles that we draw patients and students from the length and breadth
of our land; it is by working on these same principles, fully explained
and illustrated in the following pages, that any family can attain some
very remarkable results.
OSTEOPATHY IN A NUTSHELL
First: Using the arms and limbs as levers, stretching
all muscles to which they give attachment and moving the flesh and muscles
from side to side the entire length of the limb stretches and softens those
muscles, thus permitting a free flow of the fluids and nerve forces to
these parts, a stoppage of which means disease in some of its varied forms.
One thorough treatment of an arm or leg will often instantly cure, and
almost always relieve an acute case of any nature in the extremities, and
a very few treatments, administered one each day, will cure any acute case.
Chronic cases can be usually cured by a continuation of the treatment every
other day, for from two to six weeks, even after all other methods have
been tried and failed.
Second: Move and soften by deep manipulations
and by rotating the spinal column as much as possible, all the muscles
of the spine. The spinal cord is the great trunk from which springs
the spinal nerves, and is contained in, and protected by the upper three-fourths
of the spinal column, which is very flexible, consisting of many separate
bones, between which is placed the elastic intravertebral cartilage. As
the spinal nerves which control the different muscles, organs, etc., escape
from the spinal cord through openings or foramina in the different sections
of the vertebral column, it will be readily understood that the numerous
muscles which are attached to and move the spine must always be very soft
and elastic; that contraction here means interference with nerves that
may control some distant part and a consequent partial or complete paralysis
of that part, until by manipulation or accidentally the muscle at fault
is relaxed, thus turning on the current from that great dynamo the brain,
and once more the machine moves forward.
Third: Using the head as a lever, move and
stretch all the muscles of the neck. This treatment frees the circulation
to the head, an obstruction of which is the true cause of catarrh,, weak
eyes, deafness, roaring in the head, dizziness, and, in fact, almost all
disorders of the head. Many acute cases can be instantly cured, while
those that have become chronic require a much longer course of treatment.
Fourth: Bending the patient backward, with
the knee pressing on the back just below the last rib, will usually cure
any case of looseness of the bowels, from common diarrhea to bloody flux,
and a continuation of the treatment will cure any case of chronic diarrhea.
Fifth: A nerve-center has been discovered
at the base of the brain, termed vaso-motor, which can be reached by a
pressure on the back of the neck over the upper cervicals. A pressure
at this point continued from three to five minutes will slow the action
of the heart, often reducing the pulse from l00 to a normal condition in
a few minutes time. It is from this center that, without the use
of drugs, we control fevers, curing any fever that is curable in one-half
the time that the same work can be done with medicine.
Sixth: In all cases where the general system
seems to be affected, give a general treatment, thus freeing and permitting
all the forces of the machine to act.
Seventh: Never treat an acute case oftener
than once in three hours, or a chronic case oftener than once a day.
Eighth: It is never safe to use this treatment
during pregnancy, except in diseases of the head or extremities, and in
those with caution. To draw the arms high and strongly above the
head, at the same instant pressing on the spine below the last dorsal vertebra,
or to flex the limbs strongly against the chest, during this period, is
dangerous in the extreme.
Ninth: While this treatment will improve
the action and remove the pain in stiff, chronic dislocated joints, the
dislocation can never be reduced. We have seen it tried, and tried
it ourselves a great many times, meeting with no success where there was
really a dislocation of long standing. There are a great many cases
where the patient is suffering from rheumatism or a similar trouble in
which the muscles are contracted, and he can easily be led to believe that
a dislocation does really exist, and that the operator who simply stretches
the muscles has reduced the imaginary dislocation. This we believe
also to be the case regarding the many dislocated ribs found by the average
"bone doctor." While they may be correct, we have
demonstrated the fact, times without number, that drawing the arms high
above the head, at the same instant pressing at almost any point with the
knee immediately below the scapula, thus stretching the muscles of the
chest and springing the ribs forward, will instantly cure sharp acute pains
in the sides or chest and certain cases of heart disease, while a continuation
of the same treatment will cure asthma or consumption in its early stages.
It is on this vital point that we differed in class as well as in practice
with the other members of our profession. While they
trace most effects to dislocated bones, and never fail to effect a cure
if it is within the bounds of reason, we effect equally remarkable cures
in many instances by simply stretching and manipulating the muscles, thus
freeing the circulation. While we do not believe it possible that
to hide his secrets a "bone doctor" would deceive the public, we believe
that in a vain attempt to set the bones in the manner prescribed by Dr.
Still the circulation is freed and the patient recovers.
Tenth: We have recently discovered that shaking
or vibration administered by the hand quickens, stimulates, and strengthens.
In reducing inflammation and congestion it diminishes pain, and if applied
over certain nerve-centers, it increases the secretion of the glands.
HOW TO APPLY OSTEOPATHY
First: While it is very necessary to have
a leather upholstered table, 2 feet 2 inches high, 2 feet wide, and 6 feet
long, for office work, a cheap pine table of the same dimensions, over
which is spread a bed-quilt, with one or two pillows, will answer the same
purpose at the home of chronic invalids who cannot reach the office.
It is always advisable, if possible, to have a table, not only being very
much easier and more convenient for the operator, but being a firm support
the patient can be placed and retained in the most desirable position for
successful treatment. In acute cases, however, we are often obliged
to treat the patient upon the bed, a couch, chair, and sometimes upon the
floor, usually getting very good results.
Second: In treating a patient osteopathically,
while the treatment can be applied through a reasonable amount of clothing,
enough should be removed to enable the operator to administer the treatment
in a thorough and intelligent manner.
Third: It is always advisable for a lady
to remove her clothing, putting on a loose robe, which every osteopath
should have in his office for this purpose.
Fourth: It is entirely unnecessary, except
in rare instances, to expose any portion of the patient's person, except
the spine in making first examination.
Fifth: All manipulations should be given
in a slow, gentle, thorough, careful manner, thus giving the muscles of
the patient an opportunity to relax. The patient should always be
cautioned or instructed to permit the muscles to relax as much as possible.
The object of the manipulation being to stretch the muscles in any manner
that will best tend to free the circulation and remove the pressure that
may be obstructing the free and uninterrupted flow of the nerve-wave to
any given point.
Sixth: A thorough general treatment tends
to stimulate and equalize all forces of the entire system.
Seventh: A pressure upon a nerve-center,
to control a certain organ, should not be continued over two to four minutes,
and should not be administered oftener than once in four hours.
Eighth: Acute cases should be treated each
day, the treatment occupying, according to the case, from ten to thirty
minutes. Great care must be exercised in discriminating between patients
who can stand a light or a strong treatment. In no case should the
treatment be so strong or long continued as to exhaust the patient; on
the contrary, the patient should feel relieved and refreshed after each
Ninth: In chronic cases the first treatment
should be very light, each treatment growing stronger until the operator
has determined just how strong a treatment will produce the best results.
Most chronic cases should be treated every other day, from ten to thirty
minutes, according to the disease and number of different manipulations
employed. In most chronic cases we should see some change for the
better in a very few days.
Tenth: Vibration. - We have recently discovered
that vibration administered by the hand quickens, stimulates, strengthens,
and assists very materially in reducing congestion and inflammation, and
is very beneficial in many cases, in addition to the regular osteopathic
treatment; in fact, we have cured cases of stammering, asthma, and various
other troubles in which we failed to get results by the regular osteopathic
manipulations. Vibration should be applied with a loose wrist-joint,
the whole or a part of the palmar surface of the hand or fingers being
used. The movements in the wrist-joint are abduction and adduction,
while the movements of the elbow are flexion and extension; the hand lies
immovable upon the part of the body on which it rests. Through a
quick succession of individual movements, with a perfectly loose wrist-joint
the vibrations are produced. Flexion and extension of the wrist must
be carefully guarded against, as this would produce pressure, which would
be injurious in many localities. In fact, vibration correctly applied
is such a wonderful. instrument in relieving pain that we cannot impress
this one point too forcibly upon the minds of our readers:
Always vibrate with a loose wrist-joint, using no greater pressure
than the weight of the hand, as the entire benefit to be derived from
the treatment is lost if this point is neglected.
Eleventh: In applying osteopathic treatment
in the (manipulation of muscles, the operator should avoid using the end
of the fingers as much as possible, as much stronger and better treatment
can be given by using the palmar surface of the fingers or hand.
Twelfth: After three years of active practice,
we desire to correct a number of erroneous statements which appear in our
former book written immediately after graduation, and from notes taken
at the A. T. Still Infirmary. While all treatments given in that
work are substantially correct as laid down by the discoverer of Osteopathy,
we find that where, in acute cases, we used the word "instantly," it should
have been in most cases "a few hours," and that in chronic cases, while
we usually get immediate results, about double the time specified is generally
required to effect the cure.
HOW TO MAKE THE EXAMINATION
So much depends, from an osteopathic standpoint,
upon the human framework being correctly adjusted, that in all cases where
the nature of the disease does not render the cause apparent, the spine
is first examined.
First: Place the patient upon the face, a
pillow under the breast and chin, the nose and mouth just far enough above
the pillow to enable the patient to breath as he lies face downward, with
the head and neck perfectly straight; let the arms hang down over the sides
of the table. In this position the spine should be perfectly straight
laterally, and any deviation from the correct line is easily detected,
and must be corrected before we can hope to remove the cause of the disease,
and thereby effect a cure. In this position, an anterior or posterior
curvature is also easily discovered.
Second: With the patient lying in this position,
examine the ribs. If in a normal position, they will present a flat
surface to the hand passed over them, and should be about an equal distance
apart. If an edge is discovered, the rib is slightly turned; the
space is unequal between it and the adjoining rib, and its inner edge is
pressing upon some portion of the anatomy which it is supposed to protect;
being turned slightly in its articulation, it can hardly fail to press
upon some nerve or artery, which may control or nourish a distant part.
In other instances we discover the floating ribs turned under or partially
under the rib above. It is hardly necessary to state that with the
framework in this condition we could not hope to restore the patient to
health by the use of drugs or in any other manner, except by a skillful
manipulation, to adjust the ribs to their normal position. In the
practice of Osteopathy very many of these cases are found, and chronic
troubles cured which for years have baffled the medical fraternity.
In making this examination, the patient should lie in the position
named, for if the head is turned slightly, the cervicals are out of line;
if an arm is thrown above the head the ribs upon that side are drawn slightly
upward and turned partially upon their edges. It is thus that a dishonest
osteopath always finds dislocations, shows them to his patient and his
friends who may be present, and reduces the dislocation in a moment without
the slightest apparent effort, and so skillfully as to give no pain.
In these imaginary dislocations, by freeing and equalizing the circulation,
the patient is usually made to recover quite rapidly, and never for an
instant imagines that recovery is not due to the reduction of a dislocation.
If the vertebra or rib is really partially dislocated, and has been in
this condition for any great length of time, it will take several treatments
to return it to normal position, and the operation will not be entirely
painless. The different dislocations of other joints are too familiar
to the average physician to require mention in this connection.
Third: With the patient in the same position,
beginning at the first cervical, with the first and second fingers of the
right hand upon each side of the spine, move the hand downward slowly and
carefully the entire length of the spinal column. We are very liable
to discover a spot, possibly no larger than the end of the finger, much
warmer or colder than the surrounding surface, in which case a contracted
muscle has obstructed the circulation over or to a certain nerve-center;
and we have ascertained the cause of the difficulty with that part of the
anatomy controlled by the nerve involved.
Fourth: Beginning again at the cervicals,
and working downward a little deeper, we often discover muscles which from
their knotted, cord-like appearance lead us to believe that they are contracted,
interfering with the machinery of life.
Fifth: In making this examination of the
spine we often discover places very tender to the touch of which the patient
was entirely ignorant, and upon which a slight pressure will sometimes
cause the patient great pain. Such a condition over an important
nerve-center is the cause of many diseases, which we cannot hope to relieve
without first removing the cause of the congested condition in than spine.
Sixth: Place the patient on the back, the
body, head, and limbs perfectly straight, the arms at the sides, with all
muscles relaxed. Examine the ribs once more to discover, if possible,
any abnormality. Carefully examine the neck in all diseases of the
head or organic troubles. A contracted muscle pressing upon the pneumogastric
nerve, which has so much to do in controlling the viscera, might cause
a multitude of evils. While it is well to examine in the usual manner
the liver, stomach, spleen, bowels, kidneys, bladder, and other organs,
the skilled osteopath has diagnosed the case before leaving the spinal
column, and simply makes further examinations to satisfy himself that his
conclusions are correct.
Seventh: Always examine the pulse to ascertain
the action of the heart and the condition of the circulation.
Eighth: A skilled osteopath seldom looks
at the tongue, arriving at his diagnosis almost entirely through the examination
of the spine. Patients often wonder how it is possible to discover
so readily, without removing the clothing, tender spots, of which they
knew nothing, along the spinal column. In the majority of instances
there is something in the countenance, the gait or carriage of the chronic
invalid that tells the story to one familiar with disease. Reasoning
from effect to cause, knowing the origin of the nerve that controls the
diseased organ or limb, it is not difficult to detect tender places upon
the spinal column, neither is it difficult to cure the disease, having
located and, removed the cause.
A FEW IMPORTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What is Osteopathy?
The human system is a machine capable of running
for an indefinite length of time, unless interfered with by accident, dislocation,
or contraction of the muscles, obstructing the free nerve-force, the free
circulation of the blood, or other fluids of the body. Osteopathy,
based upon a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology, enables the
operator to reduce dislocations and to so manipulate the muscles at fault
as to free the circulation; harmony being thus restored, health is the
2. Upon what does an intelligent application of its principles
Upon a complete knowledge of Osteopathy, Anatomy,
3. How may osteopathic treatment aid in the production and maintenance
of healthy tissue?
(1) By reducing dislocations, thereby
freeing nerves or arteries that control or nourish certain parts of the
anatomy; (2) by stimulating or desensitizing certain nerve-centers,
thereby controlling the action of the heart, stomach, bowels, kidneys,
and other organs; (3) by manipulating the muscles, thereby
freeing the entire circulation.
4. Give an example of an impaired function
caused by an abnormal skeleton. and state how the bones may be used as
levers in correcting the same.
Constipation which is sometimes caused by the seventh
or eighth rib being turned in such a manner as to obstruct the free nerve-wave
over the great splanchnic, would be a happy illustration. In the
nervous system, as in the telegraphic, we must have a perfect circuit between
headquarters and all branch offices. In this instance the brain is
headquarters, and the bowels are the branch office, while the great splanchnic
and right pneumogastric nerves form the circuit, which, being obstructed
where the great splanchnic leaves the spinal column, affects the peristaltic
action, causing the bowels to act in a weak and halting manner.
Using the pectoralis major (which attaches to the
seven or eight upper ribs and inserts into the external bicipital ridge
of the humerus) and the arm as a lever, placing the thumb upon the angle
of the rib at fault by drawing the arm high above the head as the patient
inhales, pressing hard upon the angle of the rib as the arm is lowered
with a backward motion, the rib is thrown in its proper articulation, the
circuit is established, and health is the result.
5. Give an example of some perverted function
in some organ of the body, and the osteopathic treatment for the same.
Many cases of heart disease are caused by a contraction
of the abductor muscles of the thigh, obstructing the femoral artery or
vein. Should the pressure be sufficient to obstruct the artery, we
have atrophy of the limb on the one side, while, the heart, overworked
in trying to force the blood past the obstruction, soon feels the strain.
In case the vein, and not the artery, is affected, the blood is pumped
into the limb and failing to properly escape, the anastomoses around the
large joints become engorged; and perhaps we have a case of inflammatory
rheumatism on one side of the obstruction, and heart disease on the other.
In either case flex the limb against the abdomen, abducting the knee strongly
and adducting the foot as the limb is extended, thus stretching the adductors,
thereby freeing the circulation. Many cases of heart disease and
accompanying complications have been cured in this simple manner.
6. What general principles are involved in
the osteopathic treatment of diseases of the respiratory organs, such as
consumption, asthma, and bronchitis?
In diseases of the respiratory organs the intercostal
and other muscles of the thorax are usually found contracted in such a
manner as to reduce its dimensions, thus not only interfering with deep
and full respiration, but with the nerve and blood-supply of the pleurae,
bronchi, and lungs; using the arms, which are attached to the pectoralis
major and minor, as levers, drawing them high above the head, pressing
at the same instant upon the angles of the ribs, as the patient inhales,
enables the operator to expand the chest, thereby freeing the circulation
to these organs. Immediate relief is usually the result of the first
7. What are the four great principles that should be constantly
kept in mind in all osteopathic practice?
(1) The framework must be perfectly adjusted.
(2) The circulation must not be obstructed. (3) We must have a free and
uninterrupted circuit between the brain and each muscle and organ of the
body. (4) By stimulating or desensitizing certain nerve-centers, the action
of the heart, stomach, liver, bowels, kidneys, and other organs may be
8. How does the osteopath control fever?
By light general treatment, and holding, the vaso-motor,
thereby controlling the action of the heart.
9. How often should an osteopathic treatment be given?
In acute cases a gentle, careful treatment may be
given every six hours; usually once a day is sufficient. The vasomotor
may be held in fevers once in four hours; in most chronic cases every other
day is sufficient. It is much better not to treat quite often enough
or long enough than to overdo matters and exhaust the patient.
10. How long a time is usually required to give an osteopathic
This depends so much upon the case and condition
that it must be left to the judgment of the operator; from ten to thirty
minutes is usually sufficient.
11. Has a patient ever been injured by Osteopathy?
While man thousands have been cured or benefited
by this treatment, we have never heard of a single instance in which the
patient was injured. When we take into consideration the fact that
nearly all cases treated by the osteopath are chronic, in which nearly
every other known method of treatment has been tried and failed, the results
obtained by osteopathic treatment are indeed surprising.
MAN AS A MACHINE.
The entire skeleton in the adult consists of two
hundred distinct bones, articulating with each other in perfect harmony.
Some are arranged to allow the utmost freedom of motion, others are limited,
while others are fixed and immovable. On the bones are many prominences
for the attachment of muscles and ligaments and many openings (or foramina)
for the entrance of nutrient vessels.
The thorax is a bony cage formed by the ribs, the
dorsal vertebrae, and the sternum; it contains the principal organs of
respiration and circulation.
Should the muscles of the chest contract, as is
often the case, springing the ribs, which are the most elastic bones in
the body, lessening the dimensions of the thorax, we have asthma, consumption,
or heart disease; while a partial dislocation of the lower ribs, caused
by contracting muscles, causes enlargement of the spleen, stomach trouble,
and various other diseases, which can readily be cured by manipulations.
There are over five hundred muscles in the human
body connected with the bones, cartilages, and skin, either directly or
through the intervention of fibrous structures called tendons or aponeuroses.
Muscles differ much in size; the gastrocnemius forms the chief bulk of
the back of the leg, and the fibers of the sartorius are nearly two feet
in length, while the stapedius, a small muscle of the internal ear, weighs
about a grain, and its fibers are less than two lines in length.
Now, having, briefly mentioned the bones and the
muscles, we will touch upon the arteries that nourish this most interesting
and intricate piece of machinery.
The course taken by the blood on its way to the
various parts of the body is called the systemic circulation, on
account of its having to make repeatedly the circuit of vessels leading
to and from the heart.
The arteries are small cylindrical muscular vessels,
and might be compared to rivers throwing a branch to each muscle in their
course, while the veins gather up and return the venous blood to the heart,
where it is pumped through the pulmonary arteries to the lungs.
It will now be readily understood, as the heart
is a double pump, driving the blood through the arteries and veins, that
the contraction of muscles throwing a pressure on arteries or veins which
pass through, under, or between them would certainly affect the heart and
necessarily derange the entire system. We trust that our readers
will note these points carefully, as we expect to prove that many cases
of heart disease, rheumatism, dropsy, neuralgia, tumor, goiter, and cancer
are caused by contracted muscles and are readily cured by a system of treatment
which removes the cause and gives Nature a chance to act.
To illustrate more fully, let us compare the systemic
circulation to an irrigating system. Through your fields run innumerable
ditches; one is obstructed by a fallen tree, causing the water to back
up, seeking some other channel or a weak place in the bank to escape.
What is the result? Too much water in one end and too little in the other.
Thus it is that when confronted with heart disease you should immediately
ascertain if the patient is troubled with cold extremities; such being
the case, using the limbs as levers, stretch the muscles, thus freeing
the arteries from this undue pressure, permitting the blood to pass down
to and warm the extremities, at the same time relieving the heart.
We will now pass to the nerves, which not only control
the action of the muscles and various organs, but also control the caliber
of the arteries, thus regulating (when not interfered with by slight dislocations
of bone or contraction of muscles) with the utmost precision the entire
systemic, pulmonary, and portal circulation. The central part of
the nervous system, or cerebro-spinal axis, consists of the spinal cord
(medulla spinalis), the bulb (medulla oblongata), and the brain; the spinal
cord being the great bond of connection between the brain and the majority
of the peripheral nerves. As most of the nerves originate in the
spinal cord, and as the cord is in direct communication with, and might
be considered part of the brain, it will be readily understood that a pressure
on any of these nerves, interrupting communication between the brain and
some distant part, will cause paralysis of the part controlled by the nerve
While we have touched but briefly on the anatomy, and physiology
of the human body, we trust we have proven to our readers that man is a machine,
and laid the foundation for a thorough understanding of our method of treating,
diseases by manipulation and without the use of drugs or surgical instruments.