Dr. A. T. Still Founder of Osteopathy
M. A. Lane
Ever since the far-off day when men first acquired the habit of leaving behind them written records of their thoughts and doings, the blood has been an object of prime interest and attention. Even long before that time, blood must have been a principal theme of thought and discussion; for not only men but the carnivorous lower animals themselves are always conscious, or sub-conscious, of blood and its uses and importance, not alone as associated with the slaughter of animals used for food, but also as the hot fluid which pulses in the arteries and flows in the veins, the brilliant red color of which is so glaringly and strikingly vivid when, upon the slightest puncture of the skin, it leaps into view.

The mere sight of blood has often a peculiar psychic effect upon certain sensitive persons. I once knew a certain anatomist of wide reputation, who grew dizzy whenever he saw blood. He had seen dissected thousands of dead men without a qualm, but to see a tiny trickling from the marvelous red river of life tended to make him swoon. In all other ways he was a strong man. No other sight could shock him. But the sight of blood made him sick.

There is a reason for all this human interest in blood, and that reason is the ancient inherited instinct that tells us, with an emphasis which no mere experience can give, that the Prophet was right when he said that "the blood is the life". Men knew that to bleed meant to die, and in fact all those animals whose blood did not have the property of quickly clotting were eliminated before they could produce offspring, so that only those animals whose blood clotted survived. Were it not for its property of clotting at the wound, thus closing the wound and stopping the flow, the blood would keep on flowing from a small wound until the animal, or the man, were dead.

But ancient as is the importance of blood in the thoughts of men, the blood is regarded with infinitely more interest today than it ever was; and if the ancient prophet could say with truth that the blood was the life, the scientist of today can assert with equal force that it is more than life. We can say with positive conviction that the blood is also the forestaller of death; that the blood is the great stream along which float the countless protecting hosts of the body that ward off the agents of destruction that threaten us from without, and build up the breaches that have been made within. The blood not only carries nourishment to every minute chink arid cell of the body, and carries away, as in a great sewer system, the waste matters of the tissues - such as carbon dioxide, urea, water and other ashes and debris of the slow combustion called metabolism constantly going on in the tissues - but it likewise bears in its swift-flowing stream we know not how many substances that protect the body from harm - substances that have been inherited from the most remote ancestors, or that have been newly introduced into the blood by disease. For a disease often acts as its own cure and prevention for the future - immunity this is called.


In previous months I have told you about the high importance which the osteopathic physician attaches to the nerves, with their millions of invisible fibers that ramify to almost all of the countless billion of cells of which the body is made up. But the osteopathic physician also realizes the importance of the blood as the great agent through which, with the cells as the intermediaries between the blood and the nerves, the nerves can react indirectly on all the tissues and even on the nerve-cells and nerve-fibers themselves.

In this review I shall try to tell you a few of the facts upon which osteopathy founds its theory and practice in the treatment of disease of every kind; for modern osteopaths have merely seized upon and taken for themselves the great body of facts which science - working quite without regard to the cure of disease - has discovered for itself during the past century.

To give you an example of how long and patiently investigators will labor with a problem, let us consider the question of the clotting of the blood. The first modern investigators of the causes of the clotting of the blood were John Hunter (1728-1793) and William Hewson (1767), who asked themselves the question, "Why does the blood clot?" and who independently undertook a most interesting (and now historical) series of experiments with the answer to the question in view. Hunter and Hewson merely broke the ice of the problem, however, and it is only within the past decade that a satisfactory answer has been provided. Hunter was struck with the fact that the blood clotted when it was shed. Why did it not clot in the vessels? One hundred reasons (at a guess) were assumed, and had to be rejected, one after another, when experiment proved them false. And it is only after one hundred and fifty years that the problem has been worked out with a measurable degree of satisfaction. But the problem is not solved yet! For each new discovery has opened up new problems that await new answers; and it has been found that to understand the clotting of the blood in any degree of thoroughness it will be necessary to understand the very nature of matter itself!

For nearly 140 years physiologists had been investigating the chemical nature of the blood in all sorts of ingenious experiments; and, while their progress had been good ip its way, it was infinitely slow when compared with the rapid work and the truly remarkable discoveries that have been made within the past 20 or 25 years in the various laboratories of the world - in Europe principally, of course.

The modern era of our knowledge of the blood in disease dates in reality less than 20 years ago, in one respect, and less than 30 years ago in an other. I will recur to this difference a little later, but first you must understand what the blood is, in so far as it is possible to understand it at all.

Many years ago Macallum, the physiologist of the University of Toronto, analyzed the blood of animals (including man) in comparison with sea water, and found that the blood was very similar in many of its constitutents to the water of the sea.

The blood of animals (including man) consists of water in which are dissolved the chlorides, phosphates, carbonates and sulphates of sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium in about the percentage in which these saline substances are found in sea water. Sea water contains many other salts dissolved in it, but this may be neglected for the present. Also dissolved in the water of the blood are found substances being carried to the tissues and waste matters on their way towards excretion. Macallum suggested the interesting theory that the liquid part of the blood of animals had been originally inherited from bloodless ancestors - inhabitants of the sea - with water circulation like the sponge and other similar animals, whose circulatory system consisted of an intricate labyrinth of canals (vessels) with outer openings into which poured the water of the sea, to pour out again back into the sea from other openings, or pores. If we imagine that the openings through which the water flowed in and out were to close up; that the vessels, or channels, or canals, through generations of slow change, were to develop a heart; that the sea water were retained within the vessels, and was gradually supplied from the animal's tissues with specially developed cells, which floated in it as their natural habitat; and that the digested food were absorbed into the water in the vessels through the walls of the vessels from the stomach - why, then, we would have animal blood just as it is today, with its sodium chloride and some other mineral salts (in the same proportion as these salts exist in sea water), with its red and white corpuscles - that is, the floating cells, and all the rest of it.

Now this idea of Macallum's gives you a very fair rough notion of what blood really is. It is water with a few mineral salts (such as sodium chloride and others) dissolved in it; with digested (that is, dissolved) food in it; with the waste substances of the body dissolved in it (as the waste substances of the sponge's body are dissolved in the water that pours out of its canals into the sea); and with many other substances dissolved in it, of which I am about to tell you now.

It is in these other substances, as well as in the food and waste matters in the blood, that the osteopath is interested, for he, like his forerunner, the physician of the old school, realizes that health depends upon the perfect, or nearly perfect, equilibrium that maintains between the poisons that may enter the blood from without, through the activities of germs that lodge in the body (or the poisons that may be made by the body itself), and the neutralization of these substances by anti-poisons in the blood. This again is what is called immunity.

Four great names are associated with the rapid development of the modern era of our knowledge of the blood. These are Ehrlich, Pfeiffer, Bordet and Metchnikoff. Ehrlich is the world-renowned pathologist of the royal serum institute at Frankfort. Pfeiffer is another noted German investigator, who has done much to advance the science of the blood. Bordet is one of the tireless workers of the Pasteur Institute at Paris, and Metchnikoff, Russian by birth, is perhaps the greatest of all the ingenious experimenters in that famous institution.

If the osteopathic physician had nothing but the facts which these four men alone have added to human knowledge, he would have sufficient to explain, on scientific grounds, the amazing chemical mechanism of the blood and the tissues that underlie all the results which osteopathy gets - often to the amazement of the patient and the old school practitioner - in the treatment of diseases which the osteopath handles by causing blood to flow in unusual quantities to the parts of the body involved, or with unusual rapidity to all parts when toxic substances are generally distributed or by using the nerves to stimulate the cells of the body in their efforts to manufacture the anti-poisons which neutralize the poisons absorbed.

But let us begin with Pfeiffer.

It had been known that normal blood serum (that is, the clear, straw-colored fluid that separates naturally from clotted blood) would kill certain germs, such as typhoid or cholera bacilli. These bacilli are exceedingly minute rod-like bodies that are clearly visible only in the highest powers of the microscope, and measure in length about 1/12,500 of an inch. When the blood of a guinea pig, for example, is shed, and some of the clear serum that separates out from the clot is mixed with some living typhoid or cholera germs stirred up in salt solution, the living, motile germs are suddenly stricken motionless and soon are partly dissolved, or eaten away, as a lump of sugar is attacked and eaten away (dissolved) by water.

This fact had been discovered in 1888 by a young American, Nuttall, who was working in a German laboratory. One year later a German bacteriologist, Bucher, showed that if such a serum be heated to a little beyond half way to boiling (55 deg. Centigrade) it would no longer destroy the living germs.

Moved by these facts Pieiffer decided to make an experiment with a living animal, in order to see how far the animal could be made to destroy, in its proper living body, the living virulent germs of cholera or typhoid. Now it was known that an untreated normal guinea pig had the power of killing and dissolving a small number of typhoid or cholera germs when the germs were injected into the cavity between the inner wall of the abdomen and the outer wall of the intestine. This cavity is called the peritoneal cavity. Pfeiffer injected into this cavity of a guinea pig increasing doses of living cholera germs at intervals of a few days, and then on removing some of the fluids from the cavity he found that something had occurred in the blood and tissues of the animal which had enable it to kill and dissolve the increasing doses of the deadly germs, without the least harm to the animal itself!

By proceeding in this manner, gradually increasing the doses of the deadly germs, as the animal could support the increase without harm, Pfeiffer found that in a short time he could inject into the guinea pig, without harming it in the least, enough of the virulent cholera germs to kill one hundred ordinary guinea pigs that had not been so treated-a dose so large that only 1-100 of such dose, or even much less, would have killed the guinea pig had it been injected in the first place!

This truly interesting fact was called "Pfeiffer's phenomenon," and he first published an account of his experiments and the results in 1894 in the German Journal of Hygiene.
Immediately, over all Europe, in all the laboratories in which investigation of this kind was going on, the investigators began experiments to carry out the work of Pfeiffer, to check it, to criticize it, eternally to smash it to pieces if it were possible to do so; eternally to nail it down as true, if that were the fact. And the results swiftly verified Pfeiffer's findings; so that Pfeiffer's phenomenon took its place among the proved and accepted facts of science, with large and important effects, as you will presently see.

But Pfeiffer had done more than this. He had shown that if a small amount of the serum of such an "immunized" animal - even so small an amount that the most delicate scientific balance would be required to weigh it out, so small we might say it "amounted virtually to nothing," as the phrase has it - were injected into another ordinary guinea pig, this second guinea pig could resist without harm doses of the virulent germs which otherwise would invariably kill it. The second animal was immunized by the "immune serum" of the first.


Now what had occurred in the blood and the tissues of that guinea pig that caused it to be able, after a few doses of the deadly germs, to resist without feeling it a dose 100 and more times large enough to prove invariably fatal? Something surely had occurred, and that something must be this: that the presence, in ever increasing quantities, of the deadly germs in the body caused the body itself to manufacture, in ever increasing quantities, certain natural protective substances which would kill the increasing number of germs; and that these substances were either formed directly in the blood itself, or were manufactured by cells of the body and poured into the general circulation.

The guinea pig in the first place was slightly resistant to the germs - had already in its blood a little of the substance that could kill and dissolve the deadly germs. If we suppose that certain cells in the body could normally manufacture a little of that substance and cast it into the blood stream, and that the presence of increasing numbers of germs would stimulate those cells to over-activity - so that there would come to be an overproduction of that substance; that there was an increasing demand for this natural resisting substance which could destroy the germs by chemical action; and that this demand for over-production was promptly met by the cells of the guinea pig - why, then, we would have an explanation of Pfeiffer's phenomenon sound in every way.

That is just how the great Paul Ehrlich proposed to account for it, and actually did account for it with his luminous "theory of immunity" which, after 15 years or so of the fiercest kind of battering and criticism from his scientific opponents, who have tried every conceivable method of proving that it is wrong, is still staunch and seaworthy in all its main parts.


You can imagine how welcome these "facts of immunity", as they are called, have proved to the osteopathic physician, who has seized them for his own, and who, by their significance, can explain virtually all of the otherwise incomprehensible results he gets in the treatment of germ diseases, and other diseases to which the theory of immunity applies.

If you can imagine that the cells of the human body normally produce a small amount of anti-poison, or anti-germ substance (just as the normal guinea pig does against cholera and typhoid), you can easily comprehend how (as in the case of the guinea pig) the cells of the human would be moved to over-production of that anti-substance when an invasion of germs takes place. But-is it not entirely probable that a certain interesting thing would occur, were the cells not able of themselves to meet the demand for over-production of the resisting substance? Is it not probable that if the blood were poured in increasing quantities (more than natural) to the affected parts, or the seat of the invasion - that if the blood were quickened more than naturally in its general circulation that if the producing cells were indirectly stimulated by stimulation of the nerves by osteopathic methods of nerve stimulation, there would naturally follow an over-production of the resisting anti-poison far greater in amount than would follow the stimulation caused by the presence of the germs alone?

The answer is that it is not only probable, but doubtless true: for if it be not true, there is no conceivable way of accounting for the facts which are the common experience of every osteopathic physician.

I believe that if the doctors of the older school were to study the facts of immunity as they have been developed by the investigators of Europe (and the old school doctors are notably shorthanded in their exact knowledge of these luminous facts), and were then to study the results of osteopathic treatment with these facts in mind, they would not be disposed to doubt the results, or what we call the "cures," effected by osteopathic treatment. For after all, it is nature - the cells and the blood - that do the work when, with the conditions not too much against him, the osteopath undertakes the treatment of disease.

Let us now return to Pfeiffer.

After Pfeiffer's publication, Gruber began a research in the effects of the serum of animals injected with typhoid germs, and found that the serum of such an animal, if mixed with living typhoid germs, would cause the germs to become motionless, and to draw together in lumps, or clumps - the phenomenon called "agglutination" (from the Greek word which means glue, or "stickiness"). But this had a tremendous effect on the diagnosis of typhoid fever in man. Pfeiffer had proved that the guinea pig injected with cholera germs was resistant in such powerful degree only against cholera - not against any other germ! The injection of cholera germs did not make it resistant to any other germ whatever. Other germs, say typhoid, would kill it in the customary doses. We therefore say that the injection of increasingly large doses of cholera germs immunizes the animal to cholera only; that the injection of increasingly large doses of typhoid germs immunizes the animal only to typhoid germs, and to no other germ whatever.

That is to say: the resisting substance which typhoid germs cause the cells of the body naturally to manufacture will be resistant only to typhoid germs; the resistance naturally manufactured by the cells in response to the injection of cholera germs is resistant only to cholera germs, and to none other. This property of the resistant substance is called its specificity - that is, it is specific for cholera or for typhoid. The substance which kills cholera germs will have no effect whatever on typhoid germs, and vice versa. In other words, each antidote, or "anti-body" manufactured naturally by the body to resist a special germ is specific for the particular germ against which it is directed. So that a guinea pig immune to cholera can easily be killed by typhoid.


Now this being the case, Gruber, and also the Frenchman Widal, saw a good opportunity of using this specificity of the anti-poison to diagnose typhoid fever. For, very often, it is impossible for the physician to say whether or not his patient has typhoid fever or some other infectious disease. Sometimes it is impossible to say whether a patient has typhoid, or malaria, or even tuberculosis, or some other infectious disease, the signs of which are not always clear and positive in their pointing.

But Gruber and Widal were struck by this possibility: If the serum of an animal inoculated with typhoid germs possessed the power of causing the little rod-like germs of typhoid to be struck motionless and to stick together in lumps, or clumps (agglutination), and if this lumping, or agglutination, of typhoid germs could be caused by no serum excepting one of an animal that had been infected by the typhoid germ itself, why, then, if living typhoid were added to the serum of a patient suspected of typhoid fever and if the lumping, or clumping, followed, there could be no doubt whatever that the patient was infected with typhoid fever.

The test is made in this way: A little blood is taken from the patient and the serum allowed to separate out. The serum is then diluted 25, 50, 100 and 150 times with salt solution. With a drop of each dilution is mixed a little of living typhoid germs. Then some of the germs are also mixed with a drop of bouillon, and some with a drop of plain salt solution, and all the drops are examined in the microscope. If the patient has typhoid fever, clumping of the germs takes place in drops of the patient's blood-serum that have been diluted up to 100. It does not take place in the drops of bouillon or of salt solution, which are called "controls"; that is, they control the experiment; for if the clumping occurred in the bouillon or the salt solution also, one could not be sure that the clumping was caused only by the serum of the patient. To make assurance doubly sure the test should be made with a drop of serum known to have the clumping power. Then if the clumping takes place in this drop and also in the drop of the patient's serum, and not in the drops of bouillon or salt solution, the diagnosis is sure.


Of course this is all wonderfully interesting work, and is literally one of the most remarkable and valuable contributions to human knowledge; but you must understand that its main value lies in the fact that it helps the physician to diagnose typhoid. The laboratories of our city health departments usually make the test free of charge and private laboratories make it for a fee, but it does not at all help the healer to treat or to cure typhoid fever. When the physician takes a drop of the patient's blood to test it for typhoid fever, you should know (if he does not so inform you) that the test will help him only to a knowledge of the presence or absence of the disease, and not in any manner whatever to find a cure.

The osteopath likewise uses the test (when in doubt) only to satisfy himself of the presence of typhoid germs.

But, unlike the doctor of the old school, he does not then stand idly by and wait for nature to win or lose the momentous battle being fought in the patient's blood, but proceeds actively to assist nature, first by adjusting any existing anatomical abnormalities in the spine or elsewhere in the body (according to osteopathic technique), and if none are present, by stimulating the spinal nerves and thus energizing cells that in all probability are doing all they can to manufacture the anti-poisons which alone, by their presence in the patient's blood, destroy the germs. These natural resisting substances destroy the germs actually; and there need be no doubt that it is the increase of these substances in the patient's blood that always saves the patient's life.

There is no way known to science of making a serum that will cure typhoid fever, and this is probably so because it is necessary to kill the germs themselves. Vaccines and serums have been prepared that are claimed by some to be preventive; that is, if a person is about to be exposed to the germs these serums and vaccines are said to prevent the infection, but it is exceedingly difficult to say whether the results are positive or the reverse. These experiments, for the most part, are made upon soldiers in active army service. The general public has shown little or no disposition to submit to such experiments.


In no case are these claims made by any of the scientific experimenters and discoverers of the rank referred to but by the commercial pharmaceutical houses which make money out of putting forth every conceivable kind of "cures", as fast as any new theory comes out to make new experimental preparations possible. These experimental' serums are urged upon the credulity of practicing physicians by relentless advertising campaigns, by glib canvassers who leave free samples and back up each new thing in turn with the most sanguine and often groundless claims for efficacy. When such serums are administered by physicians it is the solemn truth 999 times in any 1,000 chance instances that it is at the hands of those entirely unacquainted with the facts of immunity here being set forth, and, practically speaking, in no case could the physician who injects these artificiallyprepared serums, taken from the bodies of the lower animals, go into the laboratory of these experimenters referred to (or others like them) and have the least knowledge of their work - the reasons, methods, technique or signification of their experiments.

So, the occasional supposed up-to-the-minute physician who injects animal serums to cure disease like typhoid and passes in his community for "an advanced man of science" really knows no more about what he is actually doing - if anything, he knows even less of what he is doing than he did but recently when he had some special drug (or several special drugs) to prescribe in every case of disease without in the least understanding anything about drug reactions on the human body, for indeed that whole subject of drug reactions on our living bodies is not understood to this day.

If in any single disease like diphtheria there really seems to be ground to hope that antitoxin is efficacious, after hundreds of thousands of applications, the doctor who uses it is still empirical, is still "going it blind", is still experimenting, is still "practicing" upon the vitality of his patients in the strictest sense of the word. This statement of actual facts mirrors a very different state of uncertainty from what the public is generally led to believe through optimistic medical claims printed in the daily newspapers.

Actual treatment for typhoid fever is impossible, therefore, by any rational and proven means unless osteopathy be resorted to, and it is significant that osteopaths report excellent results in the treatment of this disease. The foremost medical men admit that their treatment of typhoid (and other such ills) is now drugless and is confined solely to good nursing. Osteopathy affords these cases an efficacious treatment plus good nursing.
And what is true of typhoid is true of other germ diseases.

I have spoken of typhoid simply to illustrate the general facts of the blood. These results are unquestionably due to the stimulation by osteopathic treatment of the special cells in the body (or perhaps general stimulation) which produce the substance, or substances, that destroy the germs and ultimately render the patient immune to the disease. For it is a fact that a person having recovered from typhoid (or from any other germ disease, even a common "cold") is immune to that disease for a longer or shorter time thereafter. Were such a person not immune after, recovery he could never have recovered at all - such a wonderful mechanism is that mechanism called immunity.


Here we see again where the osteopath was on the right track for a long time without knowing the entire reason why - on the right track even before Ehrlich and Behring, Pfeiffer and Bordet, Gruber and Widal and the rest of the great European scientists had made their investigations; for you will remember that A. T. Still, M. D., founder of the osteopathic school, many years ago announced that the only cure for disease lay in the nature of the tissues and of the blood themselves. For some years now the modern, scientific osteopath has understood what he is doing, and it would pay the old school doctors to look into the osteopath's methods and theory, together with their results.
Before the revelations of laboratory investigation made it possible for the osteopath to explain the results he got, he got results notwithstanding; and in this just as in other fields, the art preceded, outran the science in its unfolding.


But let us figure a little on what Bordet, the Frenchman, did with the blood. Bordet, working as one of the associates of the great Metchnikoff in the Pasteur Institute at Paris, had been experimenting with cholera germs and the blood of goats, and one of his observations led him to make the following experiments: He took a little blood from a rabbit and injected it into a guinea pig. This he did three or four times. Then he bled the guinea pig, and taking some of the blood serum - the colorless fluid of the blood from which the red corpuscles had been removed - he mixed with this serum some of the red corpuscles from the blood of a rabbit. Rapidly and intensely the serum of the guinea pig dissolved the red corpuscles of the rabbit - just like the cholera germs were dissolved in "Pfeiffer's phenomenon".

Do you not see the meaning of this remarkable fact? The red blood corpuscles of the rabbit had acted as a dangerous poison to the body of the guinea pig, and the guinea pig's cells, to protect the guinea pig against the invading poisonous blood of the rabbit, produced antidotes, or antibodies, which would promptly destroy the invaders. This protecting substance in the guinea pig's blood had a most wonderfully destructive effect upon the living red corpuscles of the rabbit. The moment the rabbit's red corpuscles were mixed with the clear serum of the guinea pig they began to dissolve - to be eaten away, as a lump of sugar is eaten away, or dissolved, by water; and presently, of the many millions of these minute microscopic bi-concave straw-colored disks (called the red corpuscles) that had been mixed with the clear serum of the guinea pig, not one remained intact.

Furthermore, Bordet made other experiments by which he proved that this quickly acquired protecting power of the guinea pig's blood against the blood of the rabbit was effective only against the blood of the rabbit, and against the blood of no other animal, against which the guinea pig's serum did not have a natural solvent power. This anti-rabbit blood power was acquired by the guinea pig's blood only on the injection into the guinea pig of rabbit's blood. For guinea pig's serum will not naturally dissolve the blood cells of the rabbit. To do so the animal must first be injected with rabbit's blood cells.
Now this little experiment with the serum of the little animal called the guinea pig and the blood corpuscles of the rabbit demonstrated a fact of tremendous value to mankind. It added an other to the many practical proofs that were then in process of accumulation, of the almost infinite capacity of which the animal body (including the human body, of course) is possessed, not only to resist disease germs, whether they be bacteria, or the blood cells of other animals, but also to resist them and destroy them to an extent infinitely more vast than is necessary for the bare preservation of life and health! The vastness of this resisting power newly made in the body of such an animal, or of such an infected person, reminds one of the stories told by early travelers in China. When a stranger (foreign devil, the Chinese call them) would appear in a neighborhood, 5,000 or 10,000 Chinese would rush out at him to kill him, or otherwise safeguard the community from possible harm. The Chinese were taking no chances; and the body's "chemical soldiers", the anti-bodies, (as also the body's "soldier-cells", the leucocytes, of which I will speak later) act on the same principle. Foreign redblood corpuscles, or dangerous bacteria, rouse up by their presence in the body, a million times more than is necessary of the substances that destroy the particular blood corpuscles or disease germs that threaten danger.

Does not the recital of these interesting facts tend to convince you that the sole source of resistance to and cure of disease lies in the tissues and the blood themselves, and not in anything whatsoever (whether drug or otherwise) that can be stuffed into the body from without? It should.

Indeed, it is these very facts which during the past twenty years have struck down the drug system of medicine, so that intelligent, up-to-date, scientifically educated doctors (and they are very few, by the way) never give drugs to their patients, excepting when the patient will not be satisfied until he or she is being fed on drugs; and even then the wise doctor of the old school hesitates, for he knows that in the end he is bound to lose his patient - in all probability to an osteopath.

It is part of the mission of the osteopath to educate the public in the discoveries that have been made (and are being made) in the great laboratories of the world in this very line of infection and immunity. For with sufficient education in this respect an intelligent public will be able to understand the osteopathic theory of treatment, and have some real knowledge of the great scientific truths of which the practical results of osteopathic therapy are the natural and logical outgrowth.


I wish now to say a few words about some of the things which the great Paul Ehrlich did to advance our knowledge of the blood in health and disease, for perhaps there is no one man who has done so many original and deep-reaching things as the world-renowned investigator at Frankfort. Not long ago somebody said that, were it not for Ehrlich, the world would not know any more about the blood today than it did before Ehrlich was born. That is saying a good deal, and yet it is approximately true. Not that Ehrlich found any cure for any disease, for the truth is that he did not. In German, the word Ehrlich means honest, and if there is one thing Ehrlich was he was honest. He tried to find a cure for the disease syphilis, and it was hoped he would succeed before he died, but he never made any claims for anything, nor indeed did any other of the great investigators in immunity. They do not look so much for cures as they look for facts about the conditions under which the body resists or succumbs to disease in a natural way. You must understand that neither Ehrlich nor any of these other investigators mentioned were physicians. They were all laboratory experimentalists. Their incentive was to find out the facts of the body - not to develop cures.

Ten years before this modern idea of natural resistance and natural cure for disease began to get itself a shape, Ehrlich was studying human blood and the blood of animals. The blood of animals is studied because it is as interesting to the man of science as is human blood, and its study very often enables the investigator to understand certain facts about the human blood which, if studied by themselves, would be incomprehensible. Thus we can interpret the meaning of certain facts of human blood more clearly by the study of the blood of animals than we can by the study of the human blood itself.

Ehrlich, however, spent most of his time, in those old days, in the study of human blood; and were it not for him, it would be quite impossible for the surgeon today to predict whether his patient would in all probability die of septicaemia, or blood poisoning.
In order to facilitate his understanding of the blood Ehrlich found it necessary to make a very complete study of the chemistry of numerous colors used in the dye industries. These he studied in relation to the white, or colorless, corpuscles of the blood. By using various dyes he was able to prove that there were several different species of these white corpuscles in the blood, whereas this was not known previously. The red corpuscles of the normal blood are all much the same size, and otherwise uniform, each being a slightly bi-concave disk about 8-25,000 of an inch in diameter. Of these there are about 5,000,000,000 in every 61-1,000 of a cubic inch of the blood. The leucocytes, or white corpuscles, are mostly somewhat larger, however, and there are several distinct kinds, which vary in shape, size and chemical nature. They are far less numerous, numbering only about 8,000,000 on the average in every 61-1,000 of a cubic inch of blood - a ratio of say, 8 to 5,000. Of the total number of white corpuscles about 60 to 70 per cent are the now celebrated "soldier cells", or phagocytes, of the blood, that are known to eat and destroy disease germs that enter the body.

Ehrlich, by his use of the dyes already referred to, succeeded in classifying these white corpuscles in such a way that diagnosis of disease by the blood was made possible. The white blood corpuscles (and likewise the red corpuscles) are changed by certain diseases-changed in appearance, and changed in their relative numbers - and Ehruch did far more than any other one man to perfect the methods by which these changes are known and recognized.

Understand well that neither Ehrlich, nor any other investigator of his kind, has found, or even sought especially to find, cures for these diseases. He has found ways of identifying the disease by an examination of the blood. But that is all. When the natural tendency of the body to restore itself to the normal has won the day, the blood cells tell the story, and use is made of these facts in determining whether the patient is improving or otherwise.
Ehrlich, in addition to all this work, was the only one who could devise a theory to account for all the remarkable phenomena (and they are exceedingly numerous and highly complex) which investigators like Pfeiffer and Bordet (to say nothing of Ehrlich, who discovered many new and interesting facts of this kind, himself) found out. And the name of Ehrlich will probably remain known for many centuries as that of the most original investigator in this line that appeared at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.


Lastly, let me recite only one discovery made by the fourth great creator of our knowledge of the blood - Metchnikoff. It was Metchnikoff who, in 1883, in the Annals of the Zoological Institute of Vienna, first announced the fact that certain white corpuscles of the blood possessed the power of engorging or eating the germs of disease, and it was for long thereafter assumed that these soldier-like cells of the blood were the only protection the body had against disease-making germs. These white corpuscles are tiny spherules, little microscopic globes of protoplasm, about 9-25,000 of an inch in diameter. A single germ of disease is very much smaller, so that the white "soldier cell" can take it in - can take several such germs into itself. The germs thus taken in (ingested, it is called) are killed by the cell, but the little soldier cell loses its own life, too, in the combat. The dead white corpuscle - killed in the defense of the body - is cast off by the body; and where great numbers of these dead white corpuscles are gathered together in an infected wound, or other infected place, they are known as pus. So, when you see pus in a wound, or other sore spot, you may know that this yellow pus is in reality millions of the dead soldier-cells that have lost their lives in the defense of your body. Isn't this highly interesting?

This was the main discovery of Metchnikoff, and surely it was worth making.


I have told you only a few little facts about the blood, and have tried to bring home to you the lesson that, while science has done much to ascertain the facts of health and disease, it has done next to nothing to give mankind a proportionate measure of relief. It has given us, however, the most excellent reasons for understanding better than ever before the solid and safe theory upon which the practice of osteopathy is founded, not in one of its parts, but in all; and if this lesson is rightly taken the reader should begin to see why osteopathy is a growing school and the ranks of its practitioners are yearly enlarging with recruits from the most intelligent and enlightened men and women in America.

Osteopathy is the one system of treatment which demonstrates in practice that it is able to help and hasten these processes that prepare the blood to rout disease. It is able in a practical way to increase blood flow to the particular organs that are diseased which, then more than ever, need the healing blood stream, with its mysterious gift of anti-bodies, potent for protection and recovery.

This, then, is the contribution which the great Still, of America, has added to the work of his compatriots in blood-research, of Europe, namely, the discovery of a practical way to control and use the circulation, through controlling the nervous system, for the practical cure of disease. When this knowledge was applied by him as a new form of therapeutics, he developed a complete system or science of healing called osteopathy. Now you are in a position to understand why this system of practice is drugless. There is this additional noteworthy fact, too, that while both scientific and medical thinkers today largely devote themselves to perfecting diagnosis to recognize diseases but not to cure them, Still has given the world a cure, a system of treatment that in a perfectly natural way helps the body to resist and overcome the agencies that make for its destruction. And this osteopathic way of purifying the living blood stream has the merit of efficiency both as a prophylaxis - that is, as a preventive of disease-and as a cure.


Thus it comes about that, while drug-school physicians, inspired by all this laboratory investigation outside the profession, have been experimenting in the hope of finding cures for all infectious diseases by the avenue of "serum therapy" - that is, by introducing into the human blood stream the serum of lower animals that has been first infected with and then immunized to these diseases - thereby going about the solution of the problem in a wholly artificial way, osteopathic investigators have approached the task from a totally different angle - in fact, from the very opposite direction, by commanding, utilizing, directing and reinforcing the recuperative resources of the body itself, and this through perfectly natural and harmless means. Happily for human welfare, they have gone a long way toward solving the problem.

By their system of manipulative therapy the osteopaths treat the human body itself. Instead of dealing with lower animals first, they treat the patient immediately and solely; they do not artificially introduce poison from lower animals into the human body, at all ; but they make all needed tissue adjustments and harmonize all the operations of the human organism so that without let or hindrance it may be able to prepare its own natural defensive substances as needed; and, then, further, by their art of stimulating the body's cells through work upon the nervous system which in response demonstrates the mysterious power of releasing increase of cell energy wherever this stimulation is applied - they enable the body in a practical way to manufacture its own anti-bodies, or contra-poisons, or antidotes which rout the disease germs, thus causing recovery from the disease.

Discovering, as Still did, that this was possible in a thoroughly practical way - when confined to the hands of practitioners trained in his method of observation, reasoning and technique - constitutes one of the gigantic achievements of the human mind when measured by its power for good to the human species.

This discovery - that the forces of the body may be applied by the trained physician through intelligent manipulation - was made one of the foundation stones of osteopathic science; and it early revealed the necessity of developing a new and distinct profession with a differently trained body of practitioners who would apply these fundamental facts of science to the care of the body in a wholly new and revolutionary manner. Hence the practice of osteopathy as it is known today.

Of course in a brief popular discussion you will appreciate that it is only possible to present some one aspect of a subject as profound and complex as osteopathy and the group of underlying sciences on which it is based. No doubt there arises at this moment a number of questions you would like to ask about these matters to bridge the gap of your present knowledge. I wish there were opportunity to anticipate your perplexities here. You surely cannot as yet hold very clear or adequate conception of what osteopathy is and does and how it does it if your knowledge of the subject is confined to what you learn in such a brief presentation. But what you have considered is fundamental, and without understanding these matters somewhat you never could have any real insight into all the wonderful things which are taking place in the body whenever an osteopath treats his patient. Now you have a glimmering of it - and in other chapters I have endeavored to tell the story in a different way, easy to understand if you keep these main facts in mind that you have learned about the body's twin mysteries of immunity and infection.