OTHER PROCEEDINGS THAN DRUGGING IN MEDICAL PRACTICE.
Better to hunt in fields for health unbought,
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught,
The wise for cure on exercise depend;
God never made his work for man to mend. - DRYDEN.
As shown in Chapter XI the dominant idea in medical practice almost
from the dawn of history has been the giving of drugs. Other methods
have been employed from time to time, but most of them have never
risen above the rank of adjuncts, used for temporary relief or as
convenient remedies to be applied by novices. None of these adjuncts
has ever risen to the dignity of a complete and independent system.
Dosing must be practiced first, last, and all the time; and any
effect produced by anything but drugs was considered only secondary
and of little consequence. Hence it is safe to say that the world
has had but one system of medical practice up to the time of the
advent of Osteopathy; that is drug medication. In fact the use of
other means except surgery has been considered entirely beneath
the dignity of those educated in medicine as practiced by the dominant
schools. Massage may be spoken of in illustration of this point.
Almost all drug doctors believe in massage for certain conditions,
but they seldom or never use it themselves upon their patients.
An examination of the latest published courses of study in a number
of medical colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania,
and several in Cincinnati and Chicago, shows that massage is not
taught in them, not even to the extent of giving a course of lectures
upon the subject. Whence the information of the M. D.'s upon this
subject about which they profess to know so much? No wonder they
instruct the patient to employ a massuer, when any sort of manipulation
is needed. They dabble a little with almost everything else, a little
electricity, X-rays, N-rays, hydrotherapy, suggestion, etc., but
not a word appears in any of the catalogues examined to show that
the pupils receive instruction in any thing that has even the remotest
resemblance to Osteopathy.
Yet medical men persist in the absurd claim that they know all
of the healing art, and that their schools teach all that is known
or practiced by others. A conversation recently with a student in
the medical department of the University of Cincinnati revealed
the fact that the students think they are taught Osteopathy in that
college. Who are responsible for these false notions? Is it possible
that men of the reputations of the professors in that institution
must deliberately resort to such misrepresentations in order to
keep their pupils within the fold of the "regular" practice?
Let us note a few of these adjuncts, some of which were so evidently
devoid of merit that the people rejected them, and others which
deserve credit as compared with the drug practice. Cohen's "System
of Physiologic Therapeutics," in eleven volumes, is the latest
and said to be the best treatise upon non-drug methods. It is the
work of many eminent specialists in their respective departments
unified and systematized by Dr. S. S. Cohen. Quotations in this
chapter will be from that work unless otherwise stated.
Electricity adds nothing to or subtracts nothing from the substances
composing the body or the vital force that animates it. It is an
irritant and its effects are destructive. Hence its use is not in
accordance with the teachings of physiology, and its application
as a curative agent is untenable. There is probably no part of the
body to which electricity is applied more often in the hope of curing
diseases, than the brain and spinal cord. Let the authorities speak
for themselves as to the effects.
"In view of the fact that none of the phenomena described
as due to galvanization of the head is of general, constant, and
uniform occurrence, and that they can not be voluntarily reproduced
in the same individual by the same manner of electrification, it
is evident that pathologic alterations of such phenomena can not
as yet be recognized.
"The assumption that the spinal cord can be influenced by
the application of two electrodes upon the intact skin, with currents
such as may safely be employed in electrotherapy, is entirely gratuitous.
"The results obtained by physiologists from direct stimulation
of the cord have thus far led to discordant conclusions, and the
application of any of these to the living human body is as yet unfruitful
and unwarranted." - Vol. II, pages 63-64.)
Every physician has been impressed with the child-like confidence
many have in the efficacy of electricity. They have been told that
the vital element is simply electricity. Hence they think that an
electric current passed through a diseased part supplies it with
vitality and restores health; and the sparks emitted by the electric
belt, as shown in newspaper advertisements, is to many an ocular
demonstration of the efficacy of this supposed life-giving fluid.
Even medical journals carry illustrated advertisements which seem
to be designed to show that electricity has a world-wide healing
power. All such claims are deceptive, to say the least, and theresults
do not justify the claims of even recognized authorities, as will
be seen by the following:
"When one reads in a paper published within the last year
by an English neurologist whose name is known the world over, that
the electric current possesses an invigorating action upon senile
tissues, that it is curative in melancholia, post-epileptic insanity,
paranoia chronica and acute hallucinatory psychoses, and that cases
of epilepsy that have not been benefited by any medical treatment
may be treated with good results by cortical galvanization; or when
he reads how a well-known German observer applied a faradaic current
to the occiput of a twelve-year-old boy, who, 'in consequence of
great psychic excitement, had refused all nourishment,' and thus,
'directly acting upon the cortex of the basal surface of the brain
in which the sense of hunger is localized, produced nutritional
and metabolic processes in the brain, which removed the functional
disorder in the ganglion cells and caused the boy to eat' - one
can not but recognize that the scientific basis of electrotherapy
is yet rather unstable, and that Mobius still has worlds to conquer."
- Volume II, page 125.
No one will claim that the applications of electricity to a patient
is without results. Whether the results are benevolent or malevolent
cannot be readily determined by the apparent effects. How the cure
is brought about, if at all, is as uncertain as in the case of the
use of drugs. In fact, it is necessary for the electrotherapeutist
to fall back upon a fundamental principle in osteopathic practice,
namely, the inherent power of an unobstructed organism to restore
health. The following quotations are cited:
"It is well to say at once that any direct curative influence
upon the structural alterations caused by disease has not been proved
and is not probable. We must, indeed, go even further, and admit
that electric applications can have no specific action, inasmuch
as electricity is a form of molecular motion and can therefore possess
no inherent influence not possessed by some other form of dynamic
"Indirectly, the function of an organ can be influenced only
in one of two ways; either by stimulating - i.e., accelerating -
or by inhibiting - i.e., retarding it. Clearly it is impossible
to add any quality to those that an organ possesses physiologically;
all that we can do is to modify the properties that it already has.
As the editor of this system said in his Baltimore address, 'Neither
morbific nor therapeutic agents endow the organism with new attributes
or introduce into its operations new powers. As the one, so the
other, can act only by modifying that which is habitual, or by evoking
that which is latent.'
"How it actually does act is the question that Mobius has
propounded and that as yet - all assertions to the contrary, notwithstanding
- has not been answered satisfactorily." - Volume II, pages
Whether the effects of electricity applied to a patient are psychical
or physical, imaginary or real, temporary or permanent, are undetermined
even in the minds of its champions:
"That, however, psychic influence does form a very large part
of the therapeutically beneficial action of electricity is undoubted,
because the channels through which it may so act are manifold. Psychic
influence may be exercised directly and indirectly, and, what is
often forgotten, intentionally and unintentionally.
"Electricity as a purveyor of suggestion is unsurpassed, and
I know of no other means by which beneficial results can be obtained
with so great certainty and rapidity in affections superinduced
by psychic action." - Volume 11, pages 127-8 and 129-30.
Fourteen pages devoted to the electric treatment in diseases of
the motor nerves, muscles, and joints develop the following facts:
"The main fact, however, must be recognized, that in the majority
of cases of spasm, electricity is therapeutically useless. Only
the most recent cases are at all susceptible to beneficial influence
by this means, and perhaps only a minority of these. When pronounced
cases of clonic or tonic spasm that have existed for some time are
cured by means of electricity, this fact may be accepted as evidence
of their hysteric nature. In the latter class of cases the value
of static electricity is great." - Volume II, page 164.
"No form of treatment whatever, consequently no form of electricity,
will restore the lost function of the already destroyed muscular
fibers, or prevent the unaffected fibers from becoming involved
in the morbid process. Nevertheless, it is possible that the progress
of the disease may be delayed, and for this purpose electric treatment
is indicated." - Volume II, page 165.
"For the treatment of gout and rheumatism by means of static
electricity great claims have been made and recently renewed. Personally,
I have never seen the slightest benefit from static electricity
in acute attacks of any kind. In the chronic conditions characterized
by pain on pressure of the joints, difficulty, more or less marked,
on moving the joints, and spontaneous pain in and around the joints,
I have had better success from stabile galvanization of the joint,
followed by labile galvanization of the surrounding parts."
- Volume II, pages 167-8.
The following quotation tells us of the uncertainty of the effects,
and the still greater uncertainty as to how the effects, if any,
are produced in cases of neuralgia. But what value can we attach
to electricity in two of the most distressing forms of pain after
reading the following?
"While we must admit that it is hardly possible in any individual
case to preclude the possibility of the psychic effect, upon the
patient, of electric treatment, yet I do not believe that there
can he much doubt in the minds of those who have had considerable
experience in the electric treatment of neuralgias that when such
cases are benefited by this treatment, the benefit obtained is directly
due to the electricity as such. This specific action of electricity
upon neuralgias is generally recognized, but upon what it is de,
pendent - whether upon the production of an altered state of excitability
in the hyperesthetic nerve or upon the direct production of anesthesia
through strong counter-irritation - cannot be stated with any degree
of assurance." - Volume II, page 170.
"So, also, trigeminal neuralgia, that most obstinate and most
painful of all neuralgias, is often entirely uninfluenced by electric
treatment. On the other hand, in some cases especially those occurring
in young persons - systematic galvanization appears to curve tail
the duration of the disease." - Volume II, page 173.
"Of static electricity it may be said that in mild cases temporary
relief may occasionally be obtained by the franklinic interrupted
current, while in severe cases no static application, whether the
spark, the spray, or franklinic interruptions, is of the slightest
value" - Volume II, page 175.
We see and hear much of electrical treatment for diseases of the
brain and spinal cord and mental diseases. Many have been led to
believe electricity a specific in such cases. The author comes to
"It has been shown that we are able to reach the brain and
spinal cord directly by means of an electric current percutaneously
applied, but it is highly improbable that currents of sufficient
strength to produce any of the action upon which the curative influence
of electricity is supposed to depend, reach these organs."
- Volume II, page 176.
"Headache and dizziness due to organic disease, arteriosclerotic
or otherwise, should, in my opinion, never be treated electrically."
- Volume II, page 178.
"The morbid processes in the cord extend further or less far,
faster or slower, entirely uninfluenced by the electric current."
- Volume II, page 180.
"The treatment of psychoses by means of electricity unfortunately
seems again to be gaining a foothold. In stupor, transitory improvements
may be obtained by means of faradaic brushing, but never more than
this. This sentence practically sums up my opinion of the value
of electric treatment for psychoses, unless it be in those cases
that are in themselves of mild nature, short duration, and of hysteric
or neurasthenic origin." - Volume II, page 179.
In diseases of the spinal cord, by any method, patience is desirable,
but under electric treatment a special store is necessary. Even
after a long course but little, at most, can be expected. As it
is an "assumption that the spinal cord may be influenced by
the application of two electrodes to the intact skin," the
treatment may serve a purpose in keeping the patient from a rational
treatment like Osteopathy.
"Daily applications of from five to ten minutes duration are
indicated. Months or years of continued treatment may be necessary,
but the results obtained are better than those secured by means
of any other single method of treatment, and no case should be given
up as hopeless until after it has been subjected to a faithful and
prolonged course of electricity." - Volume II, page 182.
"Progressive muscular atrophy is but little, if at all, influenced
in its course by electric treatment. I have seen no case in which
a muscle once affected recovered its lost function, or in which
the progressive implication of other muscles was stayed by the use
of electricity. Not much more can be said of the influence of electricity
upon other systematic diseases of the spinal cord.
"In spastic spinal paralyses, ataxic paraplegia, and amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis electric treatment can serve only for the temporary
amelioration of certain symptoms or for the hope of improvement
that it may inspire," - Volume II, page 183.
It would be hard to find any treatment more unsatisfactory in many
cases than electricity. Concerning electric treatment for locomotor
ataxia (tabes dorsalis), chorea minor, and paralysis agitans, he
"If electricity is to be used at all in tabes, it should be
used in the very early stages and not as a last resort." -
Volume II, page 184.
"Three courses of six weeks each, treatment being applied
every second day, with an interval of six weeks between each course,
should do all that can be expected from such treatment. Later, single
symptoms may at any time require renewed electric treatment. The
ataxia itself, whenever developed, is, I am sure, never influenced
by any method of electric treatment. Of the disorders in the function
of the bladder and rectum, the same may be said as of the analogous
disturbances occurring in myelitis. An attack of gastric crisis
may, like an attack of lancinating pain, often be curtailed by means
of the sinusoidal current. The optic atrophy of tabes can in no
case be arrested in its progression by electric treatment, and the
possibility of being accused of having, by such treatment, produced
an increase of the visual disorder, should make us very chary of
its use in the treatment of this symptom." - Volume II, page
"My own experience has been such as to warrant me in saying
that better results can be obtained in nearly all cases of chorea
minor by some other means - e. g., medicinal treatment or rest in
bed with ice applications to the spine. Single cases will, however,
always be encountered that do not yield to any of the foregoing
methods, and in these electricity, in view of the beneficial results
claimed by authors, will merit a trial." - Volume II, page
"Various writers have recommended this or that electric method
as palliative of certain symptoms and even as curative of the disease,
but every conscientious observer who follows these recommendations
must arrive at the conclusion that all forms and methods electric
treatment, whether used in recent or in advanced cases, are useful
only for their psychic effect." -Volume II, page 187.
As to pulmonary affections, he says:
"Personally, I have no experience in the treatment of either
tuberculosis or asthma by means of electricity; the editor of this
system tells me that he has observed such methods of treatment sufficiently
to be convinced of their inutility." - Volume II, page 195.
Is electricity useful for stomach troubles? Here is the answer:
"It must be said, however, that not only among specialists,
but also among general clinicians, there exists much difference
of opinion concerning the therapeutic possibilities of electricity
in affections of the stomach. The extravagant claims put forth by
some tend to bring the whole subject into discredit." - Volume
II, page 196.
But little is promised for electric treatment in diseases of the
eye, ear, nose, throat, pelvic organs, or skin. Space forbids quotations
in proof of this assertion, but they are to be found in the declarations
of those considered authority.
Throw out the element of commercialism, the profits of electric
treatment to the physician, the advertising journals, the dealer
in electric appliances, and the manufacturer and what is certainly
left to justify the recommendations of such treatment? While several
different electrical appliances are used successfully in diagnosis,
it is hardly to be expected that osteopaths, accustomed as they
are to something definite and demonstrable, should snatch at so
uncertain a straw as electricity. Let its value be demonstrated
even to the satisfaction of its scientific votaries, and every true
physician will be glad to welcome it as a therapeutic agent.
Almost any result, especially if the patient has faith sufficient,
may be obtained by X-ray therapy, but the after effects may not
always be satisfactory.
"Numerous attempts have been made to utilize roentgenism in
therapeutics, but thus far with few definite results. On some forms
of bacterial growth its influence seems to be destructive, but upon
others stimulant, and exact knowledge as to the conditions necessary
for either effect upon any one organism or upon organisms in general
is still lacking.
"Psychically, its suggestive power is undoubtedly great. Either
thus, or by more direct action, it has in many authentic instances
relieved, for more or less protracted periods, muscular, articular,
and neural pains of various origins.
"The subject, as a whole, is fully worthy of serious investigation,
but must be considered as yet in the experimental stage; and, moreover,
the possibility of harm-doing should ever be borne in mind in all
experiments of a clinical nature." - Volume II, page 211.
The passing of medical fads is so rapid that we cannot help wondering
what the profession will lay hold of next. Today's most trustworthy
remedies are discarded and in many cases denounced tomorrow. Radium,
for which so much was claimed only a few months ago, as a curative
agent according to recent reports is being abandoned. With the medical
profession, almost anything seems to be better than an application
of our knowledge of the structures and forces inherent in the body,
upon which Osteopathy relies with implicit confidence. In connection
with X-ray treatment it will be in order to quote from Medical News,
February 6, 1904:
"The use of X-ray in cancer should be limited to recurrent
and inoperable cases, with the sole exception of small superficial
epithelioina of the face. Even here, I believe, the results of excision
will prove to be better and more lasting, save in the proximity
of the eyelids and nostrils.
"It is most misleading to report as cures, cases in which
malignant tumors have merely disappeared under the influence of
the X-ray, since speedy return is the rule rather than the exception.
"At the present moment there is no evidence to prove that
any permanent cures have been obtained, save possibly in the case
of rodent ulcer."
No one can be found who will deny the influence of water upon the
human body, both in health and disease. Its use was coincident with
the beginning of life. The physical properties of water and its
own inherent harmlessness as well as its all-pervading presence
in all the tissues of the body, make it an important influence in
health and disease. On the other band, no one can read recent treatises
upon the subject of hydrotherapy without being impressed with the
limitations of this method of treating the human body when diseased.
By water in this connection is meant water, simply water, not water
plus some mineral or organic substance in solution. It would be
as reasonable to speak of alcohol water, or tea water or coffee
water as to speak of lithia water, or sulphur water, or chalybeate
water. They are all misnomers and often mislead those who discard
drugs into the belief that they are using something that has some
mysterious curative power not possessed by drug medication and that
its use is not attended with any evil results.
Water is the chief solvent for crystalline substances, salts, and
gases. Mineral waters are those in which the mineral ingredients
are dissolved in water. It is a law of physics that the greater
the amount of substances dissolved in water the less effective it
is in dissolving other substances. Hence, as water, its power to
dissolve impurities in the system is diminished.
"The purest water is universally the best. Whatever beneficial
effects are obtained from water drinking must be attributed to the
water itself, and not to any ingredients which it contains. Mineral
waters are simply diluted drugs. The ingredients may be obtained
at any drug store, and if diluted to the same extent as that in
which they are found in. the so-called natural waters, the effects
obtained from their use would be the same. Medical experience has
shown that the best of the so-called mineral waters are those which
contain the least mineral ingredients. The very best water is distilled
water which has been well aerated." - Kelloggs' Rational Hydrotherapy,
"In the employment of mineral waters for drinking-cures, it
should especially be borne in mind that much more elaborate and
complex pharmacologic preparations are concerned than those obtained
from the apothecary; and, moreover, their use at health resorts
takes place under such peculiar conditions that a curative agent
is raised to the dignity of a therapeutic method. Nevertheless,
the inference must be rejected that mineral waters are capable of
any specific action not explicable by the chemical and physical
laws applicable to other remedies of the pharmacopeia. " -
Cohen, Volume IX, page 414.
The thermic effects must not be lost sight of. Every physician
makes use of hot or cold applications in some form. No one denies
that water is an excellent and convenient means for applying or
withdrawing heat, and that it is in almost universal use for those
"Much therapeutic utility of water depends upon what Professor
Winternitz terms its 'thermic influence;' that is to say, upon its
physical availability for altering the body-temperature, generally
and locally, primarily or secondarily, by addition or by abstraction
of heat." - Volume IX, page 5.
The laity have been taught to believe that the skin will absorb
the curative elements in mineral waters, that the results are sure,
and the processes scientific. Hence the repute in which resorts
provided with mineral baths, mud baths, etc., are held by the people.
Science has destroyed another idol. Yet fortunes continue to be
made in practices of healing which have been exploded time and again.
Those who have met with disappointment by not getting satisfactory
results at famous bathing establishments comprise a large part of
those taking osteopathic treatment. They are no less forcible in
their declaration of failure by such means than the following shows
the scientists to be.
"That circumstances upon which, formerly, a particular emphasis
was placed in estimating the value of mineral baths - namely, that
the constituents of the mineral water employed for the bath were
capable of exerting a direct influence by absorption into the blood
- has been forced into the background by recent investigation. The
question as to whether the uninjured human skin is capable of absorbing
the substances dissolved in the water of the bath has been decided
in the negative by recent thorough research. The results of earlier
studies, apparently showing that increase in weight occurs after
the bath and that this is due to absorption of water; that the increase
in the quantity of urine secreted after the bath is a result of
the absorption of water; and, further, that after simple muriated
baths there is an increase in the urinary chlorids, indicating a
diffusion of the salt of the bath, have not been confirmed. The
positive results showing the presence of iodin in the urine after
bathing in water containing iodin are likewise valueless, as the
experimenters failed to make sufficient allowance for the volatility
of iodin, so that the inhalation, during the bath of the vapors
of this substance through the respiratory tract does not appear
to be excluded.
"It is true that substances capable of injuring the horny
layer of the skin as, for instance, mercuric chlorid, arsenic, salicylic
acid, salol - will, when added to the bath, be absorbed through
the human skin." - Cohen, Volume IX, pages 369-70.
"As the theory of absorption of the iron into the blood stream
through the external integument can scarcely be accepted at present,
any notable difference in effect between the steel baths and the
acid baths is not to be expected. Steel baths, like other carbonated
baths, are effective through irritation of the skin by the carbon
dioxid." - Volume IX, page 398.
There are no two other diseases that are supposed to receive so
great benefit from the use of mineral waters as rheumatism and gout.
Cohen, in Volume VI, states the conclusions to which those who have
carefully investigated these subjects have arrived. He says "Mineral
springs are often resorted to advantageously by rheumatics, who
are helped both by the drinking of such waters and by bathing in
them. It does not seem probable that the chemical constituents of
these mineral springs play a, very important part in effecting the
relief which sufferers from rheumatism so often experience. Without
doubt it is through the copious use of water, the dilution of the
blood and tissue fluids and the increased elimination of the soluble
toxins by the various emunctories, particularly the kidneys and
the skin, that the most good is accomplished." - Page 349.
"There have been many spring-waters recommended as preventives
of gout. It is probable that large quantities of water do more good
by the physical presence of fluid in the blood-vessels and tissues
than the various mineral ingredients which spring-water may from
time to time contain." - Page 354.
Once in a while advocates of other systems openly admit their inefficiency
except as they can in some mysterious way stimulate the "natural
independent remedial resources of the human body." Nature is
the only healer. This fundamental principle of Osteopathy, as announced
by Dr. Still in 1874, and implicitly relied upon by him and his
followers, is slowly gaining recognition by the medical profession.
Note again what Cohen says:
"A study of the natural independent remedial resources of
the human body has been undertaken on numerous sides, and I have
myself attempted to show that the actual remedial value of the measures
applied in treatment - as the editor of this series has likewise
pointed out - is to be found in the invigoration of the organism
and of all of its functions; and that hydrotherapy, balneotherapy,
thermotherapy, and phototherapy exhibit these effects only when
the process of reaction are efficiently controlled." - Volume
IX, page 48,
A liberal use of pure water taken internally is undoubtedly conducive
to health, and often a valuable aid in combating disease; and the
same element commingled with soap applied externally is necessary
from an esthetic as well as a hygienic standpoint. But many of the
applications of this most valuable element prevalent at sanitariums,
health resorts, watering places, medicinal springs, etc., afford
temporary relief; and in many cases serve only to foster commercialism
in the healing art.
Two volumes of Cohen's System are devoted to climatology and health
resorts. All know that there are many cases that are benefited by
a change from the debilitating grind and monotony of their daily
duties. Others could so shape their daily lives, if they would,
that there would be little need of the "change" thought
so essential. And the benefits to be derived from the comforts of
life, surrounded by quiet and the conveniences of a well-ordered
home, would be immeasurably greater, in many cases, than the advantages
to accrue when subjected to the excitement and annoyances generally
experienced at resorts. Some people can't rest at home; let them
go away. Some can't find anything good enough in America; let them
go to Europe. Some can't find good drinking water where God has
provided it most abundantly, and at least expense; let them go to
some mineral spring resort where they can get impure water and pay
well for it. The following paragraph taken in connection with what
has been said about water, expresses the logical conclusion as to
the general effect of sending patients away from home:
"It is often difficult to form an estimate of how much of
the benefit derived from health resorts is due to climate and how
much to associated influences. At any rate, it must be clearly understood,
in regard to the climates and health resorts here recommended, that
the climate is merely one element in the treatment; the various
other elements, such as mental rest, cheerful surroundings, open
air life, altered diet and regimen, the use of mineral waters, and
the like, will now briefly be considered." - Volume IV, page
Tuberculosis is one of the diseases that yields most readily through
climatic influences. Cohen says, "The cure of tuberculosis,
during the early stages at least, like its prevention, is possible
in all healthful climates where good diet can be obtained and where
much time can be spent in the open air." And the Ohio Society
for the Prevention of Tuberculosis has conferred a boon upon those
afflicted with consumption by making the statement below. It contains
some good osteopathic doctrine applicable also to other diseases
"Certain climatic conditions are doubtless greatly favorable
for the cure of tuberculosis. There is much less in climate, however,
than was formerly supposed. The idea that there is some mysterious
unknown property about the air of Colorado, Arizona, California,
or any other state, which makes it a cure for consumption, should
"For the most part it is simply a question of pure air; and
pure air in Ohio is just as pure as the air in any other place.
It is true that certain cases of consumption may be much benefited
by certain climatic conditions not everywhere present.
"It should be clearly understood that there is no drug cure
for consumption. It is the natural forces of the body that destroy
or imprison the germs of tuberculosis and heal the lungs, and the
aim is to restore these forces and keep them at the highest possible
point of effectiveness.
"The body manufactures its own remedy, but can do so only
under favorable circumstances.
"The surgeon places the ends of a broken bone together and
by appliances keeps them in proper position. Natural curative processes
firmly unite them, and the broken bone is made whole.
"In a similar way nature tries to cure diseased lungs, and
the wise physician aids her by fresh air, and abundance of nourishing
food, and a proper regulation of rest and exercise. These are the
agencies used in the sanatorium treatment of consumption.
"There is no drug that will cure the disease, and drugs are
used only as temporary aids to natural forces. Beware of specific
consumption cures. There is none."
Let living in any climate in accordance with these rational views
be accompanied by osteopathic treatment to improve the nerve and
blood supply to the diseased parts and increase the oxydizing power
in respiration, and, as proven in scores of cases treated early,
the disease is shorn of almost all its terrors. Or even if the doctors
would recognize the fact that there are "mechanical impediments"
and put into their practice the "discovery" (at least
thirty years old to Dr. Still) heralded by Dr. Work in the Philadelphia
Press, April 18, 1904, they would cease to torture consumptives
with drugs. This is what Dr. Work says:
"The reduction of the consumptives' respiration in the first
stage to about two-thirds of the normal volume, is due very largely
to mechanical impediments. The circumference of his chest is constricted,
its walls are unduly rigid and his respiratory muscles are quite
unequal to produce adequate respiratory movements. But all these
obstructions to normal breathing are readily amenable to passive
movements prescribed for and applied to the patient by which the
thorax can be expanded, the elasticity of the walls increased, and
all the muscles of respiration including the diaphragm and those
of the abdomen greatly invigorated. If by these means the volume
of respired air can be increased only three cubic inches at each
tranquil respiration over and above the reduced volume habitually
breathed, the extra amount of air entering the lungs every twenty-four
hours, would amount to about fifty cubic feet, enough to exercise
notable curative influence."
Suggestion is a prominent element in many kinds of practice. Those
who ought to know seem to think that it is the effective power in
mind cure, faith cure, Christian science, Dowieism, divine healing,
mental healing, hypnotism - in short all of those methods in which
no material agency is used in the practice. It, doubtless, is a
scientific principle and may be used to advantage in many diseased
conditions. The above statement is not to be construed to mean that
suggestion actually cures in cases where a real physical disturbance
exists. When there is really nothing the matter with the patient,
it is most effective. Probably many cases of cure attributed to
suggestion are due to the vis medicatrix naturao - the healing power
of natural ways a potent influence for good.
"In mind cure and in faith cure, the essential feature of
the treatment is the suggestion to the patient, or by the patient
to himself, of the absence of the various symptoms which he presents.
Combined with the negative hallucination of the absence of disease,
or the non-existence of disease, there is also the positive belief
of the patient in his well-being. The suggestions are made, or supposed
to be made, in the waking state. In many of the reported cases,
however, there is reason to believe that there was established some
degree of hypnosis. Indeed, the very monotony of the repetition
of the suggestion, the fixation of the mind of the subject upon
one idea, and the constant repetition of the idea to him, or by
himself in some set phrase, embrace the common factors of the induction
of hypnosis. That powerful results, however, can be induced by suggestion
in the waking state, we have already seen. Bernheim has repeatedly
declared that hypnosis is not at all necessary to achieve startling
effects by suggestion." - Cohen, Volume VIII, page 310.
"The discussion of so-called Christian science as a religion
is best left to theologians. As a therapeutic method it concerns
not only medical practitioners, but every rational human being.
Undeniably the treatment is one of suggestion, and, speaking more
specifically, of suggestion by the induction of the negative hallucination."
- Volume VIII, page 316.
Hypnotism has received a great deal of attention from the best
scientific minds. It has been subjected to scientific tests and
many wonderful cures have been reported. The results, as often pointed
out, may be dangerous. Theoretically, its influences might be as
readily exerted for evil as for good; and demonstrated facts confirm
the theory. At best, Cohen comes to the following conclusions:
"To begin, if hypnotism be at all applicable as a method of
treatment, it is applicable to an exceedingly limited number of
cases. On the whole, however, the field for hypnotism, under the
best conditions, is practically nil. Of a truth, hypnotism never
cures any affections except those which are readily curable by other
and physiologic measures; while it induces, let me repeat, a distinctly
pathologic state. In spite of all that has been maintained to the
contrary, proof is lacking that hypnotism possesses any genuine
curative power. How 'artificially induced hysteria' can cure, passeth
human understanding. It ranks of necessity with 'mind cure' and
the imbecilities of Eddyism." - Volume VIII, page 304.
American Medicine for March 12, 1904, has two articles by "regular"
medical doctors advocating "mind cure," which must prove
very gratifying to those who make most use of that factor in healing
diseases of the body. The two quotations below are not given to
support such a theory, but to show the blind pertinacity with which
drug doctors class Osteopathy with the systems based upon "mind
cure." They show also that there is a strong tendency on the
part of the old medical profession to discard the use of drugs and
fall back upon some other system that is equally mysterious and
even more limited in its application to disease. So far there seems
to have been nothing thought of, and tried, that has not received
the sanction of the profession, except the fundamental osteopathic
idea that a deranged structure may cause disease and the correction
of the derangement may cure disease.
"There can be no doubt that if the mental factor in medicine
had been properly recognized, studied, and taught by our predecessors
in medicine, quackery, witchcraft, faith cures, osteopathy, Eddyism,
etc., would never have attained the position they hold to-day.
"The neglect of the mental factor in medicine is a source
of unpardonable weakness on the part of the medical profession.
Our failure to appreciate this important fact in the past has been
the one prolific cause of so much skepticism on the part of the
laity, and 'has driven millions of our good paying and intelligent
patrons to seek relief at the hands of uneducated fanatics and quacks,
who play their role under the guise of Christian science, osteopathy,
faith cures, etc." - Page 435.
"Although, we are bound to reject what is false, we are under
the same bonds to accept what is true, which applies as much to
Christian science as to the other forms of mind cure.
"The Christian science folk very wrongly claim that their
cures are positive proof of the correctness of their theories, and
all their theories. But with the same sort of reasoning, we should
have to admit that the cures wrought by the various other forms
of mind cure (faith cure, divine science, animal magnetism, osteopathy,
the water of Lourdes, etc.) are equally positive proof of the theories
given in explanation of them. For all these have cures as certain
and theories as positive." - Page 437.
Other methods of healing, unlike the forms of suggestion already
alluded to, but practically the same, are no less mystic in their
methods because they apparently make use of physical means. Metallotherapy
was one of these which at one time had an immense clientage. Perkins's
tractors were reputed to be wonderfully successful in this country
and England. The electric belt and other appliances of a similar
nature are the more recent forms which metallotherapy uses now under
the guise of electricity.
"Doubtless both in metallotherapy and in Perkins's tractors,
as in Charcot's magnets, the dominant factor at work was suggestion.
How powerfully suggestion acts in hysteria, even in the waking state,
we have already seen. In addition, the monotonous impression produced
upon the skin by the application of a metallic surface or the steady
strokings of the Perkins's tractors, suggests the monotonous impression
of the hypnotic experiment." - Volume VIII, page 310.
Our author, Cohen, refers to "other mystic methods,"
and in the last sentence of the following quotation he may have
reference to the practices of the medicine men of today. Being a
"regular," he might not feel justified in openly arraigning
his own school of practice and in denouncing its pet methods. As
he may not have made that idea perfectly clear a quotation from
Dr. S. S. Wallian's paper, read before the section in therapeutics
and materia medica, at the International Medical Congress, at Washington,
D. C., in 1902, is also presented:
"Mystic medicine is as old as the race. Some forms have gone,
others have come, but no matter how the dress has been changed,
the method is always the same. The incantations of the 'medicine
man' differ in no essential from the incantations of the Eddyist
or the Doweyite. Each deals with disease as the result of sin and
crime as evidence of the anger or the ill-will of the demons or
of the gods, who must be appeased by prayer, charms, and magical
rites; or who must be opposed by some occult knowledge or mystic
power possessed by the healer. Civilization merely adds a complex
outward raiment, but this raiment conceals the same old puerile
superstition and magic that characterized the medical practice of
our savage ancestors." - Volume VIII, pages 317-8.
"Our inherited lunacy of logic makes us assume that this or
that substance has a certain 'affinity' for this or that organ,
tissue, or outlet. We teach, and try to believe, that it 'expends
its force' as an 'inhibitor' of this or that set of nerve terminals;
has 'primary' and 'secondary' "effects,' 'interrupts' this
or that reflex. This is but the old gibberish, rewritten and set
to music. The only notable change from the old. mythologies is a
mere change of costume. The Deities now invoked are represented,
not by brazen images and carvings in stone, but by chemic symbols
and hypothetic equations. The modern fane is a laboratory; the later
altar a dissection table. Thus we no longer ask the stars, but pin
our faith to the distortions of the microscope, the muffled echoes
of the pleximeter, the uncertain tracings of the sphygmograpb, and
the sighing murmurs of the stethoscope. From these we gather our
oracles, interrogating them each according to his personal idiosyncrasy
or mere individual whim. Even food can never be in an active sense
a factor. It is as passive as the wool that goes to the cards. The
vital forces, with their limitless and little-understood actions
and reactions are the only real factors."
The dominant school of medicine takes delight in associating Osteopathy
with the suggestive methods of the healers referred to above. As
a matter of fact it is more unlike them, than drug medication. What
can be said of bread pills and colored water (placebos), or even
the high potencies as used by drug doctors? When practiced in its
purity by one who thoroughly understands Osteopathy, both in theory
and practice, that is, by an osteopath thoroughly trained as such,
the element of suggestion is entirely absent.
Volume X of the "System of Physiologic Therapeutics"
is devoted to pneumotherapy and inhalation methods. That an abundance
of pure air and a well developed respiratory apparatus are necessary
conditions, both in health and disease, goes without saying. All
that is being done by the medical profession and physical culturists
in their efforts to teach the people to use pure air, a healing
power within the reach of almost every one, is to be commended.
When the world realizes the value of pure air as a preventive of
consumption and the doctors apply the principle of Osteopathy in
seeing that there is no interference with the nerve and blood supply
to and from the lungs, we may hope to stay the progress of "the
great white plague" and its compeer, pneumonia. Inhalation
methods have been but little more successful than other artificial
or unnatural procedures; and our author records another failure
as the result of adopting strange methods instead of holding close
"It is the dream of all therapeutists, as it is the aim of
many laboratory workers at the present day, to elevate medicine
to the rank of an exact science with immutable laws and principles.
But the dream is very far from realization. We are not yet justified
in deducing a priori from our exact knowledge of the action of a
therapeutic agent, its effect in a given case of disease. In practice,
experience goes before theory. Waldenburg determined, with what
he thought was mathematical precision, the effects of pneumotherapeutic
apparatus on the lungs and on the circulation, and laid it down
as a principle that these effects must be produced in every case.
"Granted that the thoracic cage is comparable to the vessel
with elastic walls, it must not be forgotten that the organism,
in this, as in every other case, possesses the power of accommodating
itself to the new conditions to which it is subjected; and Waldenburg
was mistaken in denying the influence of nervous neuro-muscular,
and vasomotor processes. On the contrary, the effort on the part
of the organism, when suddenly placed under unusual conditions,
to call these protective agencies into action, has been considered
by many authors to be chiefly responsible for the main physiologic
effects produced by the active (or differential) pneumotherapeutic
methods. It is probably along these lines that the most satisfactory
explanation for many of the therapeutic results obtained will be
found, although I believe that in the majority of instances the
results must be ascribed to purely mechanical causes." - Volume
X, pages 236-7.
Newspapers often give unstinted praise to doctors upon insufficient
grounds and long before the ultimate results of the treatment can
possibly be known. A case in point is the enthusiasm with which
they reported Dr. Lorenz's treatment of dislocated hips when he
visited the United States in 1902. The reports by the newspapers,
apparently sanctioned by the doctors, and even the claims of the
medical journals would lead most readers to believe that the Lorenz
method was almost invariably successful. The hopes of most doctors,
except osteopaths and a few conservative surgeons, as will be seen
by opinions freely expressed at the time, were unduly raised. While
there is doubtless much to commend in the method, it has proven
thus far to be a great disappointment. The New York and Philadelphia
Medial Journal for April 2, 1904, reports a discussion on the results
of Lorenz's work, in which Dr. Townsend said the cures "would
probably be under twenty five percent." He also said:
"That Dr. Lorenz himself returned to this country and removed
several plaster casts. He dictated the notes. He examined four cases;
there was not a case of the four which he said was a perfect anatomical
reposition." Dr. Fisk said "The last time he looked up
the record, about sixty percent had relapsed. He did not mean to
say that forty percent were cured" "Dr. Myers mentioned
a case, reduced three times with the ordinary manipulations of Lorenz,
each time relapsing."
The following special dispatch to the Cincinnati Enquirer is in
marked contrast with the laudations freely bestowed upon Dr. Lorenz
by the newspaper and press generally about the time he was engaged
in performing his wonderful feats. The "cures" are on
a par with most other cures, whether by drugs, surgery, or any other
method in which resort is had to unnatural or violent means.
"New York, March 4, 1904. - New York doctors are discussing
the statement of Dr. John Ridlon that the Lorenz operation on Lolita
Armour had been a failure.
"Dr. Ridlon stated that the limb operated on by the Austrian
surgeon was now an inch and a half shorter than before the operation.
On the other hand, the leg which was operated on, in accordance
with the usual surgical methods - under the knife - had been successfully
"Dr. Ridlon declared that the bloodless operation for congenital
hip dislocation had been successful in only ten cases out of ninety
Osteopaths had done similar work by their own methods before Dr.
Lorenz had been heard of; but some of them, notably Dr. H. W. Forbes,
have appropriated his good points, and, so far as the facts are
at present obtainable, secured much better results than Dr. Lorenz
or any of his followers.
There is much in Cohen's chapters on exercise that every osteopath
can recommend to some of his patients with advantage; on the other
hand, there is much that every osteopath should shun as he would
calomel or digitalis. Exercises as remedial agents are of little
use, and have often been positively dangerous, to many who have
finally had to resort to Osteopathy for relief. On the other hand,
they are often just what is needed, and, if wisely directed, they
acre of special value as prophylactic agents for persons engaged
in sedentary pursuits.
Many of the recommendations as to exercises, games, sports, and
gymnastics are valuable, and may be used to great advantage by all
practitioners. In the estimation of the osteopath the unexcusable
weakness of all these exercises is the failure to recognize the
numberless small defects, especially in the spine, that are the
primary causes of the gross lesions and weaknesses upon which so
much stress is laid. A knowledge of these little abnormalities before
they have culminated in disease would enable the trainer to understand
the futility of most exercises as curative agents and the danger
in some that might be suitable to other conditions.
The instruments of torture described in the chapter of Cohen's
work on orthopedic apparatus are almost invariably relegated to
the junk pile by the osteopath. Some of them may be used as a temporary
expedient when indicated, or as a constant aid in a permanent deformity;
but as curative agents they are scarcely worthy a moment's attention.
The chapter on corrective manipulations in orthopedic surgery comes
nearest to the osteopathic idea of any in the ten volumes; but as
the treatments described apply only to correcting deformities, not
to the removal of the cause of those deformities and the effects
produced by them, it is, perhaps, doing violence to language as
well as to truth to say that anything is to be found even here savoring
of Osteopathy. Of course osteopaths do use the same procedures when
they treat directly the place of disturbance; but they are such
a small and ineffectual part of his work that they cannot be considered
an element in osteopathic treatments.
Let it be stated again that osteopaths do not deny the efficacy
of other methods of treatment. Massage is beneficial in many cases,
and is sometimes used by osteopaths. In general, they believe its
practice is unscientific because it does not strike at the cause
or causes of the trouble. Like other methods it treats effects instead
of causes. But the climax of ignorance or misrepresentation is reached
when the claim is made that Osteopathy is massage. In reading on
massage, Volume VII of Cohen's System, you will not find one osteopathic
idea. You will not find in the chapters on massage a suggestion
of the osteopathic idea as to the disturbance to the bones, not
a hint as to the use osteopaths make of the spinal column, ribs,
innominates, or joints in the treatment of diseases. On the other
hand, you will find so much that is positively nonosteopathic, and
diametrically opposed to all osteopathic ideas and practices that
we can scarcely help marveling that a scientific mind should be
so reckless as to confound the two. For example, the masseur lays
stress upon movements which are accurately classified and described;
he says, page 19, "As the value of massage and its good effects
are wholly dependent upon the exact performance of the movements
used, it will be necessary to describe them with some minuteness."
The osteopath cannot, in one case in ten, use any routine or predetermined
movement. He must always be guided in his movements by the conditions
he finds in the tissues, that is, their approach to or departure
from their normal condition.
Many cases in which Osteopathy is indicated are not to be treated
by massage. Cohen specifies a number of cases in which massage is
counter-indicated, in all of which Osteopathy is indicated. Evidently
massage would be injurious in most of the cases mentioned and the
warnings given are timely. But as the movements described are not
even suggestive of the work of the osteopath in the diseases named,
the warnings do not apply to the qualified osteopath. The following
is Cohen's paragraph relating to the treatment of fever by massage:
"First, as a rise of temperature is one of the results, the
presence of fever in a case should forbid massage. It has, indeed,
been used to reduce temperature, an end which may be attained by
reversing the usual centripetal direction of the hand-grasps and
thus slowing instead of hastening the blood-current; but the benefit
of the procedure is more than doubtful, the possible evil results
serious, and the operation disagreeable to the patient and very
trying to the masseur. In certain feverish cases in which the treatment
is indicated for general nutritive failure, - for example, in phthisis
- a moderate application may be cautiously made during the afebrile
interval." - Volume VII, pages 46-7.
Just imagine an osteopath who would think of "reversing the
usual centripetal direction of the hand-grasps and thus slowing
in stead of hastening the blood-current," instead of resorting
to the osteopathic way of controlling and reducing fever. The author
also mentions the following "counter-indications to general
massage," in all of which Osteopathy has won many a signal
victory burns; wounds; cutaneous inflammations; pus formations;
malignant growths; cystic tumors; menstruation; pregnancy; miscarriage;
after child-birth; "where the pathologic tissue changes are
limited in extent, massage may be used in the affected areas only;"
"acute inflammatory conditions, local or general, periosteal,
peritoneal, and so on, are with a few exceptions unsuited for treatment
by massage;" "gastric and duodenal ulcers;" atheroma,
aneurism, and severe varicose veins.
Cohen's estimate of many of the mechanical devices intended to
give massage, as "muscle-beaters," "roller apparatus,"
etc., is but little greater than that placed upon such machines
by osteopaths. But a conservative agent would not speak more kindly
of "the eclectic percussor by Granville" and "the
gander system of massage by machinery" than does our author.
We have often heard of the psychic effect of different methods of
treatment, but the zenith of incongruity is reached when he says
that some people,
"May be given the necessary manipulation by machinery nearly
as well as by hand, with the additional advantage that the mental
effect produced by the huge and complicated machines may be a valuable
adjunct. Moreover, if long continued treatment is necessary the
cost to the patient of massage by machine will be less than that
of treatment by hand a like period.'" - Volume VII, page 135.
The claim that "the cost to the patient of massage by machine
will be less" is a forcible argument to present to the poor;
and the following concerning the Zander machines will surely catch
the snobbish rich, who always measure the value of every thing by
its cost in dollars and cents
"The motive power is entirely separate and may be steam or
electricity. The apparatus is only sold in sets, the first cost
is very great, the expense of running and maintenance large, and
the machines of considerable complexity." - Volume VII, page
The change in fashion in drugs is not more noticeable than the
change in mechanical appliances for the correction of deformities.
Manufacturers seem to be competing with each other to see which
can produce the greatest number of complicated machines for the
avowed benefit of mankind. The cuts shown opposite pages 340 and
388 are taken from Cohen, Volume VII. These machines are highly
praised and are spoken of as up-to-date appliances for the purposes
intended. How crude, cruel, and complicated are all such procedures
compared with the methods used by Osteopathy ! Below is the description
given for the treatment of lumbago:
"As an example of the complexity of the treatment by apparatus,
Friedlander's prescription for lumbago employs the Zander machines
as follows: The letters are the designations of separate pieces
of apparatus; 'C 1, by which the trunk is bent forward, sitting;
C 2, by which the trunk is extended, sitting; C 4, in which the
patient, sitting bent forward with extended legs, has the upper
trunk extended; next, C 6 and C 7, for sidewise trunk-movements
and trunk-twisting; finally several machines for active leg-movements,
followed by B 2, which performs effleurage of the hip, and B 4,
which applies simultaneous effleurage to the hip- and knee-joints.'
Other authors suggest adding to this list of nine or ten machines,
another for applying vibrations to the lumbar regions." –
Volume VII, page 136.
The popular clamor for Osteopathy has also stimulated the medical
profession to try to furnish "something just as good."
Believing as many do that Osteopathy is simply a system of mechanical
stimulation, a dozen or more vibrators, sometimes also called "riveting
machines," "pummeling machines," etc., for "vibratil
massage" have been placed upon the market. It is not necessary
to go into details. Suffice it to say, that all such machine treatment
is as unlike Osteopathy in its application as is massage or hydrotherapy.
While they may be useful, they are doubtless harmful in many cases
in which Osteopathy is specially indicated. A bony lesion can not
be removed by a senseless machine in untrained hands any more successfully
than by untrained, uneducated, short term, or correspondence school
Volume VII of Cohen's System appeared in March, 1904, and is supposed
to be up to date. It gives one and a half pages to Osteopathy, all
of which is quoted below. This is done to enable the reader to see
for himself the extremes to which opponents of the system go, the
recklessness of their statements, and their ignorance of the subject.
It would require a past master of the order of Ananias, and Baconian
terseness, to condense a greater number of falsehoods in so short
a space; particular attention is called to the last two sentences
in the second paragraph below. In the next paragraph he admits.
the fact that if "educated physicians had known what osteopaths
know," the osteopaths would never have had a chance. Oh, that
"if." As the eleven volumes are designed especially for
the medical fraternity, and may be read but little by others than
doctors, what is said about Osteopathy will help to deepen the ignorance
of a class of doctors that have long been devoted to an unswerving
opposition to truth, and to arouse the indignation of another class
that recognizes that there is yet much to learn, and believe in
old-fashioned truthfulness and fair dealing between man and man.
Here is what Dr. J. K. Mitchell says on pages 79 and 80, including
a foot-note, which repeats the old senseless claim that Osteopathy
is "mental suggestion," and that it is "so severe
as to be dangerous:"
"Since the admirers of the very latest curative system that
has gained vogue proclaim loudly that it is not massage, there is
an evident necessity for one writing on massage to say something
about that method which rejoices in the sufficiently barbarous name
of Osteopathy. Its prophets announce that it is destined altogether
to supersede ordinary medical practice. Ordinary medical practice,
according to the prophets of the new dispensation, consists only
in the administration of drugs; and with these, osteopathic practice
asserts that it does not concern itself. In short, we have to deal
with a new 'pathy,' that is to say, with an exclusive system, founded
on one idea; an idea, to be sure, rather more rational than that
now abandoned theory on which another exclusive system was built
- namely, the origin of all chronic diseases in the itch. This 'osteopathic'
idea is - or was that nearly all diseases are the result of displacements
of bones, which, thus displaced, press upon various nerves and organs,
and so give rise to manifold and varied symptoms. The 'osteopath'
treats the resulting conditions, theoretically, by replacing the
bones; practically, by a rather rude massage. It hurts his feelings
to call the proceedings massage, and it is indeed rather hard -
on massage; but that is what it is - a fact which is not altered
by the claim of its having been invented in Missouri. The books
of the school are numerous, and generally hyperbolic or ill-written;
the work of its founder being particularly vague, windy, and pompous.
In their manuals of practice may be found directions for the treatment
of small-pox, scarlet fever, apoplexy, whooping-cough, and headache,
by manipulation of certain regions in which they find 'lesions.'
Everything is due to a ‘lesion,’ and a lesion apparently
means only a bone out of place. Some of the 'lesions' which they
commonly find are interesting. For example, 'Dr.' Hazard's book
on the subject describes dislocation of a vertebra as a very frequent
cause of disease and one easily remedied by proper manipulations;
the atlas vertebra is particularly subject to 'lesion,' but is fortunately
readily restored. Another fruitful source of trouble is 'displacement
of a rib!' This causes heart disease, dyspepsia, constipation, and
"Except for its wide spread, the matter is hardly worth wasting
time on. The 'new school,' as it likes to call itself, knows nothing
that is not already a part of legitimate medical literature, barring
its absurd invention of ‘lesions.’ It magnifies and
verbosely misapplies its little knowledge - and much unfounded assumption
concerning the vasomotor or sympathetic nervous system. The 'osteopaths'
put aside as useless lumber all physiology, all pathology, all etiology,
all physical diagnosis except what they pretend to learn by touch
- a wide enough claim, since they assert that they can touch a number
of unreachable organs. Bacteriology, chemistry, and the normal and
abnormal functions of the organs of digestion and assimilation are
impartially ignored by them.
"The fact is that if all educated physicians really knew and
appreciated the proper place and value of massage and other forms
of mechanical therapeutics, and made right use of the knowledge,
the osteopaths would never have had a chance; for, let them say
what they will, if study of their books makes any one thing certain
about the system, it is that they have found out and exploited the
usefulness of massage and manipulations. The force of the accusation
against them lies in their claiming impossible things and doing
harmful ones. [Footnote.] In a recent article (American Medicine,
October 17, 1903) Dr. R. C. Newton, who states that the practice
is of old Italian origin, suns up the osteopathic matter in the
following excellent terms: 'Whatever permanent good the osteopaths
do, they do by mental suggestion, followed by massage and manipulation,
and in some cases by hydrotherapy and the use of beat and cold.
They probably accomplish more than ordinary masseurs because they
are fiercer and bolder in the application of their methods. The
lesson they teach is that the human frame can not only endure, but
can be benefited by maneuvers which are usually regarded as so severe
as to be dangerous. To teach people the necessity of bodily exercise,
if they wish to enjoy good health, has been and still is a difficult
and discouraging task. But the people are learning their lesson
for all that; and the osteopaths are contributing (albeit unwittingly)
their share to the fund of human knowledge."'
The fact that osteopaths do not always draw clearly the line of
demarkation between Osteopathy and massage or other systems of mechano-therapy
is not denied or ignored. There can be no doubt but many so-called
osteopaths give more or less massage along with Osteopathy; in fact,
so much, that their treatment might be called massage. But even
that, lacking as it does the exactness of routine described in works
on that subject and followed by the best masseurs, is so unlike
massage in method and purpose that it can hardly be called by that
name. Truly, massage, as practiced by osteopaths, if practiced at
all, may justly be considered a crude form of massage, when judged
by the standards of that system. Many a time has the writer heard
patients who had taken massage say that they did not see how any
one who was familiar with both could say that they were alike.
Dr. F. J. Fassett draws the following conclusions in an exhaustive
paper on "Systems of Mechanical Therapeutics - A Comparative
Study," read at the Cleveland meeting of the American Osteopathic
Association. It was published in the Journal o f the American Osteopathic
Association for March, 1904, and is worthy a careful perusal by
all who desire to be informed upon that subject:
"I. In so far as osteopathic procedure consists in abdominal
manipulations or in kneading of muscles intended to stimulate or
to numb the nerves, or press out abnormal deposits, it differs very
little from massage, and should be called by that name.
"II. That which is new and essential in Osteopathy, properly
so called, may be represented in the following:
"(1). In theory: The habit of relating disease of tissue with
irritation or malnutrition of the corresponding nerve centers, or
disturbance along the nerve path connecting the tissue and the center.
"(2). In diagnosis: The practice of searching for the cause
of this malnutrition or irritation by detailed examination of the
position of the bony structures, the tension or hardness of muscles
and the development of the ligaments, all of these within a relatively
circumscribed area about the center or in the region known to be
physiologically connected with it.
"(3). In treatment: The practice of directing the manipulation
primarily to the region of the nerve center or to the exact point
of discovered irregularity; of limiting the manipulation to such
work as is thought necessary to remove the ultimate cause of the
disease, and of then trusting restoration of nutrition and adjustment
of normal degrees of activity to the natural regulating mechanism
of the body."
The late Dr. G. D. Hulett made the following clear statement in
a brief article on "Wherein Osteopathy Differs from Massage,"
in the Journal o f the American Osteopathic Association, June, 1904:
"In a recent communication from an author of a work on massage
some reference to osteopathic writing was made which calls attention
to a subject of prime importance to the further presentation of
osteopathic principles. In the communication the charge was made
that if osteopaths were at all familiar with the history and methods
of manual treatment they would no longer make the claim that Dr.
Still had 'discovered Osteopathy.' Unfortunately for our system,
as well as for the information of the author in question, the article
to which the latter called attention laid apparently greater emphasis
upon mechanical stimulation and relaxing muscles than upon the essentially
adjustive treatment. And this is the fact and the subject that requires
careful consideration, if we expect to be able to defend ourselves
against the unjust charge that our practice is but a 'crude form
of massage.' If osteopaths would take the trouble to read Graham,
Eccles, Teen, Kellgren, Ziegenspech, or any other authority on mechanotherapy,
they would forever refrain from attempting to differentiate between
certain procedures employed by osteopaths and those used by masseurs
throughout the centuries. As soon as we get it pounded into our
heads (we are unable to make use of a stronger expression, under
the circumstances) that mechanical stimulation and inhibition, 'a
good toning-up treatment,' direct relaxation of muscles, and the
like, are not new, are not essential Osteopathy, but are fundamental
massage procedures, we will be a little more careful in our expressions,
and let us hope, a little more correct in our treatment, and much
more successful in therapeutic results."
Volume XI of "The System of Physiologic Therapeutics"
had not appeared in May, 1905. It is to present the latest information
on radiotherapy, serotherapy, organotherapy, blood-letting, principles
of therapeutics, etc. Recent opinions by the highest authorities
on most of these subjects have been presented in other chapters
of this book. It remains to be seen whether these methods also have
proven entirely futile, according to the latest conclusions, in
preventing the ravages of disease.
From what has appeared in this and the preceding chapters of this
book, as well as from the thoughtful study of the history of medical
theories and practices, as presented by reputable authorities, it
is evident that present prevailing methods are substantially the
same as for centuries. The preparation of drugs has become more
refined and elaborate, their terminology has been altered to conform
to new chemical compounds, and their administration has been varied
to suit changing fads or fashions. But with it all the assumptions
of the profession are unchanged, its empiricism is unaltered, and
its arrogance is more lofty than ever before. Mineral poisons are
used as hitherto; and the putrefactive and toxic products of animal
life are more highly praised than ever before. There may be "refinement"
in the preparations, but the same old theories and practices remain,
notwithstanding the claim of the profession that medicine is now
scientific and far in advance of all previous conditions.
Still clinging to the idea of stimulating, or depressing, or inhibiting,
or soothing, or hypnotizing, or doing something by the use of extraneous
agencies, the profession has not only tried almost every conceivable
means of drug medication, but has also invented numberless appliances
equally unscientific and ineffective. It has sought in vain for
some specific that could overcome each disease or each symptom and
restore health. Not till Dr. Still laid down as a verified fact
the principle that all protective and curative power lies within
the body itself, and that the body is a perfect mechanism, able,
when properly adjusted, to perform all the duties devolving upon
it, did it dawn upon the world that most of the agencies used by
the medical profession are useless in nearly all cases, and positively
harmful in many.