A. P. Davis, M.D., N.D., D.O.
    Starting with a morsel of food in the mouth, we begin the process of digestion; for in the mouth are the teeth, consisting of incisors and molars, or grinders; and at the sides of the neck, at the angles of the jaws, are the parotid glands, situated just under the ears; and at the angles of the jaws are two more glands, and under the tongue another gland. These are named respectfully the parotid, submaxillary and sublingual glands. The jaw excites the glandular systems above named to action, and as the mastication proceeds - as the chewing is carried on - there is secreted and thrown out through small channels, called ducts, into the mouth a secretion of an alkaline constituency, which is mixed with the food as the process of mastication proceeds, which Nature has provided for a lubricant and dissolver of the food, and thus prepares it for the next step in the process of digestion. As the food is thus prepared, being mixed with the saliva - the name of the secretion from these several glands - it passes down into the stomach through the tube called the esophagus, and there meets a secretion called the gastric secretion, and this is an acid secretion, manufactured in the stomach itself; and this secretion, through what is termed a peristalsis, a vermicular motion of the walls of the stomach, is thoroughly mixed with the food and the alkaline secretion from the mouth, and by the peculiar onward motion of the muscular walls of the stomach, the contents of the stomach, with its combined secretions and food, ushered on through to the third department of digestion into the duodenum, where it meets another secretion of an alkaline character, manufactured by the pancreas and the liver, emptied into the duodenum through a duct called the ductus communis choledochlus, and this secretion completes the process of digestion, and the whole mass there, in the second stomach, is called chyme, and by a process of motion of the intestinal canal, called peristalsis, ushered on through the lumen thereof for a distance of twenty to twenty-five feet, to the ilio-caecal valve, where its unabsorbed material enters the large intestine, called the colon; this is four to six feet in length and has three divisions - first, the ascending; second, the transverse, and third, the descending colon; and these angles are named flexures - hepatic, splenic and sigmoid flexures, the latter emptying into the rectum. All these processes described are the natural order of that process we denominate digestion, and are all controlled by nerves.

    The glandular secretions which flow into the mouth are the product of nerve action in the several glands mentioned, drawn from the blood as it passes through the glands, the special kind of secretion necessary to the performance of the function required for that particular purpose, in that special locality, at the beginning of a process which finally culminates into blood. A similar process takes place in the stomach, but the secretions are of a different constituency - that of an acid nature. The acid in the stomach and the alkaline secretion from the mouth meet and neutralize each other, and mix with the food, and through the irritation of the presence of the food and the acid secretion in the stomach, the walls of the stomach contract in its various circular and longitudinal muscular fibers, and push the contents on into the pylorus, into the duodenum, where the secretions from the pancreas and the liver meet and finish the process of digestion, by the solvent properties of the alkaline secretions from the liver and pancreas.

    It will be understood that all of these secretions above named are the product of mind, through the nerves, acting upon the blood as it passes through the structure of the various glands above named, showing that, in each division of the digestive apparatus, the mind, through the nervous system, controls the selection of elements essential to the performance of the functions designed by an Allwise Creator, to keep in order all the parts of this wonderful creature called man.

    Having thus followed this process to a terminus where the digestion is complete, and the result being what is denominated chyme, we are ready to take up the line of march to the goal where this chyme is converted into blood. On examination of the inside, the mucous membrane, of the intestinal canal, it will be observed that there are folding vessels just under the smooth surface, exposed as the peristalsis, the vermicular twisting and folding, takes place - little openings into the intestinal walls, called suckers, absorbents - and as the fluid. The chyme from the duodenum, passes along the lumen of the mucous membrane of the intestine, these vessels are exposed and the fluid passes into them, and this fluid passes through small tubes along down the walls of the intestine until it comes to a point in the abdomen about opposite the second lumbar vertebra, and is there emptied into large vessels called receptaculum chyli, and there, by a continued process of peristalsis, ushered into a duct which ascends onward through the posterior part of the lower abdominal cavity, through the posterior chest, and close to the back bone, and ends in the left subclavian vein. This is called the thoracic duct; this tube conveys the secretion called chyle into the vein named, and thence into the right side of the heart, into the right auricle, thence into the right ventricle, and from there it passes out of the ventricle into the walls of the air-cells of the lungs, where it undergoes a process of purification by exchanging the carbonic oxide for oxygen, and is thence returned to the heart - the left side of it - and from thence out through the arterial system to every part of the body as arterial purified blood, having all the elementary chemical constituents essential to the building up of tile tissues of the body; and this is the interesting part of the whole process of life - the starting-point of vitality from the food eaten; for be it remembered that all the above process has been consummated through the forces already in the body; but now we begin to furnish supplies for the perpetuity of animal life. We have the blood in the arteries - away out in the smallest terminals, even into the arterioles, and entering into the capillaries - the terminals of the arterioles denuded of their outside covering, and so constructed as to be full of pores, or small holes, in their walls, through which the chemical elements are drawn as the blood passes through the capillaries on into the veins. At the sides of these capillaries there are terminal nerve filaments - the sympathetic and motor nerve footlets - and through these the process of selection and extraction of chemical elements needed for the surrounding tissue is carried on, whether it be lime, sulphur, carbon, hydrogen, phosphates or nitrates, and the unused of the elements pass on into the veinlets - the beginnings of the veins - to be carried back to the heart, thence to the lungs, to be rejuvenated again. Thus the process of circulation goes on all the time. In the vicinity of the capillaries, where the elements are drawn out to supply the deficit of waste tissue, the waste is dissolved and pressed into the small tubes, called lymphatic tubes, and carried through them into the veins, beyond the capillaries, and thus we see that the nervous system superintends all the workings of this wonderful structure called the human body. This process goes on whether we are asleep or awake. It is Mind directing every minute detail, from the manufacture of the first secretion to the last finishing-up process, which makes food into blood and then distributes it where needed, in all parts of the great house we live in - the house that mind built, and is building and replenishing from youth to old age, and finally finishing the work of construction and decay; and when we become old and worn out, it leaves this lump of clay and lets it go back to its original elements, and mingle with the clods of the valley, and we go out to join the everlasting hosts, freed from earthly environments, according as we have cared for this body. The mind is the We, the habitant, and superintends the house in which it lives.

    It will be understood that mind does not literally take hold of this body and move it of its own accord. The medium through which it directs is the organic nervous system, and the agencies concerned in the movements are the muscular system. There are five hundred and twenty-seven of these muscles (musculares), and they are said to be capable of performing at least fourteen thousand movements; but each and every muscle is controlled by nerves ending in its structure, and no movement takes place without nerve influence. Any disturbance or interference with these filaments, called nerves, produces inharmony of action, and the disturbance is directly in the ratio of the disturbed nerves involved, considering the locality and the character of the nervous system as to function.

    Seeing that the nervous system controls every function of the human body, is it not worthy of profound consideration and intelligent care? This proposition can not be so expanded as to get beyond the realm of mind influence through nerve filaments; for this understood, in all its relations to the human body, its association with all other things, embraces the entire field of thought. The structure of the nerve elements, and the keeping of them in proper condition, makes up all there is in the healing art. The only mystery is not understanding the mind which directs and controls the body. The forty-two faculties in the cranium are factors of the mind, and suggestion accepted, rules the body in its every relationship to environments. The constituents of nerve elements are essential to know in measuring the nerve power. These constitute the medium of communication to each and every part, and there are two things always essential to consider; and these are, first, the nerve supply, and second, its freedom from origin to terminus. These constitute the secret of the healing art. Whatever overtaxes, overstrains, exhausts the nerve elements, produces inharmony - disease. It may be due to lack of elements in the blood, or to pressure on the nerves, or to the excessive use of the nerves ending in a particular organ using up the elements which constitute the medium of power, which is mind. This philosophy will have to be accepted by the healer, or his action will always be in the dark, vague, and merely conjectural.