The Practice and Applied
Therapeutics of Osteopathy
Charles Hazzard, D. O.
Various chronic cases of opium, morphine, or cigarette
habit have been cured under osteopathic treatment.
CASES: (1) A young man of thirty-five came under
treatment for "nervous prostration" due to chronic alcoholism. He
was a nervous wreck; could not sleep nor digest his food; had palpitation
of the heart; the lungs and kidneys were affected, and he suffered from
frequent attacks of sick headache and constipation. His left leg
was varicosed. He suffered much from melancholia, and had unbearable
craving for opium or whisky. He had taken the Keeley cure once, another
cure twice, and another five times. After a course of treatment his
general health was very much improved, and he had no desire whatever for
(2) Chronic alcoholism in a man of thirty-one.
The patient had taken the Keeley cure three times, and had taken besides
several other cures. He had become insane from the use of drug, the
use of which he had learned while under treatment of one of these cures.
He had had delirium tremens eight times in three years. During all
this time he had never lost the desire for whiskey. He was a nervous
wreck, ate but little, and could sleep only under the influence of drugs.
At the time of the beginning treatment he was using three quarts of whiskey
a day. At the end of three weeks treatment he was using no stimulant,
and his appetite for it was under control. At the end of the second
month he was eating and sleeping naturally, and all desire for drink was
gone. Four months later he was still well.
(3) A woman addicted to the use of opium came under
the treatment. Upon leaving off the drug she was attacked with great
pain, which was relieved by the treatment. These pains were successfully
relieved whenever they appeared, and continually grew less severe.
Gradually the system was built up and the desire for the drug ceased.
(4) In a case addicted to the cigarette habit for
12 years, all desire for the article was removed by the treatment.
(5) A man of about thirty-three, who had long been
a cigarette smoker, and whose nervous system had been weakened by the habit,
was cured by a course of osteopathic treatment.
The TREATMENT in these conditions is practically
the same. In opium, morphine, and cigarette habit the effects are
the same, as the harm is done by opium.
From the use of either alcohol or opium the nervous
system becomes undermined and comes to depend upon the stimulant.
Gradually the nervous system is wrecked. In either case it is the
object of the treatment to build up and restore tone to the nervous system,
and to enable it to do without the accustomed stimulation of the drug.
The style of treatment is a thorough general spinal and cervical one, which
corrects the circulation to the brain and cord. In addition treatment
is devoted to building up the general health, and special treatment is
given to the various symptoms and manifestations as necessary. In
this way the system is strengthened and the natural functions are restored.
As strength is gained there is constantly less desire for the accustomed
drug. The desire for it is quiet taken away.
In case of opium habit the principal anatomical
changes in the tissues are due simply to malnutrition, consequently a general
treatment to the circulation, nervous system, bowels, stomach, liver, etc.,
is the rational method of repairing the effects of the drug. The
muscular cramps are treated by local and spinal inhibition; the insomnia
is treated as before described. Palpitation, weakness, dyspnea, etc.,
are readily affected by keeping the heart stimulated, the ribs raised,
In the case of alcoholism the tissues are fat-infiltrated,
degenerated, cirrhotic, congested or inflamed. Liver, kidneys, heart
lungs and stomach are quite likely to be affected by these processes.
These effects in the various organs may be treated in ways described in
considering the various diseases of them. It is obvious that a thorough
and persistent course of treatment is necessary to correct local circulation
and restore these tissues to normal.
Delirium tremens should be treated as described for convulsions.
A spinal and cervical treatment would be particularly indicated. The insomnia
yields to the treatment usually made for that condition.