Treatment by Neuropathy and The Encyclopedia of Physical and Manipulative Therapeutics
Compiled By Thomas T. Lake, N. D., D. C.
Chapter I


Neuropathy is an evolution from many antecedent evolutions of drugless therapy manipulations. The immediate antecedent of Neuropathy was Mechano Neural Therapy. The other antecedents date back as far as Herodicus in the 5th century, who advocated exercise for the treatment of disease and compelled his patients to have their bodies rubbed, and also was the first to lay down principles for rational, mechanical methods of treatment. From that time, on down through history, Herodotus, Plato, Socrates and Hippocrates and many others gave various principles and explanations of how to give manipulations and what was accomplished by the manipulations. For illustration, Hippocrates said “Rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid. Hard rubbing binds, soft rubbing loosens, much rubbing causes parts to waste, moderate rubbing makes them grow.” this was the first time that information had been given regarding the various effects of different types of manipulation. From that time on until today, there has been accumulated a vast data on the effects of peripheral manipulation, and from these early investigators the groundwork was laid for the development of manipulation and physical therapy as a science and an art. Around the turn of the 19th century individual physicians in America began to pay some attention to what the ancients had for centuries been saying about peripheral manipulation and the great contribution made by these 19th century investigators was, first, the classification of nerve and physiological impulses set up by the methods of manipulation, vibration or instruments used on the body.

Second, the classification of the nerve segments corresponding to the organs or tissues in which there was a physiological malfunction or a pathological condition.

Third, the classification of the rate or mode of manual application or instrument to the body according to the physiological or pathological condition.

Neuropathy was one of the sciences created out of all these researches and iinvestigations. It was created for to great purposes: First, as an aid to medicine, which at that Early day was not accomplishing for the sick what was required of it. Second, to eliminate all the harsh and rough treatments that were complained of by patients, and a the same time be effective in bringing about beneficial results to the patient. Among those who stand out as having contributed the greatest of value to Neuropathy as we know it today are Albert Abrams, M. D., Edgar M. Cyraix, M. D., John Arnold, M. D., and W. Wallace Fritz, M. D. Albert Abrams, M. D., contributed much of the foundation by his tabulation of the reflex centers, whereby organs and tissues could be contracted or dilated at will, by concussion or pressure on nerve segments, that had the desired action on the circulations. Cyriax’s studies and work, “The Elements of Kellgren’s Manual Treatment,” also collected papers dealing with the lymphatic system, completed what was necessary for John Arnold, M. D., to form what he termed Mechano Neural Therapy. Dr. Arnold was Professor of Histology in the School of Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania. For five years he carried on his research work before writing or lecturing on his findings. Arnold did not write any books, but some articles are left that stated his philosophy and technique, also a “Table of Viscero Motor Neurons” appended to his article in the Medical News of March 18, 1905, under the title “The Importance of the Back in General Diagnosis.” Arnold’s theory was that repeated brief pressure along the spinal column arouses the reflex constrictor nerves, and brings about a certain amount of contraction in the blood vessels of the skin and muscles of the back in the region of the back treated, and also at the same time produces a certain amount of dilation of the vessels of the cord. On the other hand, continuous hard pressure along the spine arouses the reflex dilators and brings about a certain amount of dilation of the blood vessels in the skin and muscles of the back and a corresponding contraction of the blood vessels of the cord, and by the changes in the spinal cord impulses are sent to the blood vessels, and through the action on circulation in these vessels a healthful condition is brought about in the nerves, then circulations, organs and tissues. Arnold’s method of diagnosis was by pressure in the grooves of the spinal column, for he claimed that the areas of vertebral tenderness corresponded with the vaso motor segments of he spinal cord and that there exists a compensatory relationship between the spinal segments of the cord and the blood vessels leading to the various organs and tissues. (Arnold: “Some Principles of Manual Therapy— New York and Philadelphia Medical Journal, May 13, 1905.”) Arnold offered to incorporate his work into the curriculum of several medical schools, which offer was rejected. His insistence on teaching this therapy led to his severance with all medical schools and to the founding of The College of Mechano Neural Therapy in Trenton, New Jersey, and for a time the college could not supply the demand for its graduates, then in 1904 it was moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in order to have better facilities. But, opposition by the medical fraternity made the progress of the college very hard, and Arnold went back into private practices. In the year 1907 the name of the college was changed to ‘The American College of Neuropathy” and became the property of the Alumni Association. W. Wallace Fritz, M. D., N.D., D. D.  S., D. O., was elected Dean and through his studies and endeavors the school up until 1919 was one of the foremost Drugless Therapy colleges in the country. Fritz not only originated the name “Neuropathy” but contributed to changing the philosophy, pathology and method of examination and diagnosis and gave Neuropathy an almost complete new meaning.

The Philadelphia College of Neuropathy, organized in 1922 by the writer, followed the pattern of the American College of Neuropathy, but it broadened its teachings in many aspects. It was under rather unfortunate circumstances that both schools were forced to close. The American College of Neuropathy was struck a mortal blow by World War I, when nearly the whole student body left for the Service. In after years it was impossible to recover because of the large number of short-term Drugless Therapeutic schools which opened all over the country, some giving degrees for even a few months attendance, whereas these Colleges of Neuropathy required a full four-year course with dissection and other laboratory requirements. The competition of short-term schools was too great, and the American College of Neuropathy has been turned into a Post Graduate School.

There have been attempts by various physicians and schools to la claim to having founded Neuropathy. But even a cursory reading of their notes or books will reveal there is nothing in common in their philosophy, terminology and practice with the original authenticated and accepted Neuropathy of the American College of Neuropathy since 1907.