D. D. Palmer
In physiology a function is a normal and specific
action of any tissue, organ, or part of a living animal or plant, and is
applied only to the action of an organ.
A function is a peculiar action of an organ which
has a duty to perform. The performance of a physiological duty is
a function. A physiological function is performed in obedience to
An organ is a part of, or a definite structure of
an animal or plant adapted to perform some specific function.
The action or actions of an organ are known as functions.
A function may be expressed normally, or in too great a degree, or subnormal;
a deviation either way fom the standard creates conditions known as disease,
The functions include all of the vital phenomena
of plants or animals, understood to be performed in a proper manner, unless
otherwise stated. All functions are vital, directed by vital force,
a force directed by an intelligence. Mechanical, thermal, chemical,
electrical, magnetic, cohesion, gravity, centripetal and centrifugal forces
differ from vital force which depends upon two original and independent
elements, spirit and matter.
Vital force may be divided into neurism, nerve force,
and bathism, growth, force, energy. These two divisions of vital
force are under the direction and control of individualized spirits.
Phrenism, that force is of the mental, under the direction of the human
will. Vital force is inherent in the organ or organism. Vital
energy is the expression of vital force. Function is energy expressed
by or through vital force. The actions which cause us to live are
controlled by intelligences. Spirit is everywhere throughout the
body. There are 144 brain centers from which spirit directs all the
Functions are divided into animal and vegetative.
The animal functions are those of the intellect, the voluntary motions.
The vegetative relates to metabolism, anabolism (constructive m.) and catabolism
(destructive m.). The vegetative function includes the unconscious,
involuntary growing, or functionating after the manner of vegetables.
The vegetative function is of the body; the cumulative is of the spirit.
Either may be normal or abnormal. Bear in mind that a function is
a duty to be performed, that behind the service there is an intelligence
demanding a certain obligation, the performance of which is a function.
These orders are known as impulses sent out over the communicative nervous
system. Nerves carry motor impulses outward and sensational intelligence
of the external requirements inward.
Physiology treats of the functions performed normally
-- in the usual manner. Functions which are pathological are performed
in an unusual manner. Functions performed as desired are physiological.
Innate is a director of the organic functions. Agents which cause
an increase or decrease of functionating (disease) are from without, never
Animal economy includes the laws which harmoniously
govern an organization as a whole, man or animals. The functions
of a human body, as a whole, are spoken of as the economic functions, the
disposition and regulation of all the organs of the body. The organic
functions are directed by spirit, as well in the new-born as in the educated
Functions cannot be percented. We may speak
of them in a comparative way, or a relative amount.
Functions in physiology is applied to and refers
to the action of an organ, or a part of an animal or plant. Function
particularly refers to the special duty to be performed by an organ or
Normal or proper functionating requires a normal
condition of the nervous system; a condition, we will learn in our next
lesson, depending upon a correct position of the osseous framework.
Science, we will learn in our last lesson of this
course, is a systematized knowledge which enables us to demonstrate and
assign to their place anything and everything known as phenomena which
we can perceive with one or more of our senses; the science of functions
include the accumulated knowledge of the qualities of the various functions
of living tissue.
Functional activity refers to the physiological or
pathological action of an organ.
Instead of examining the cells of dead tissue with
a microscope for aberrant functions I have given my investigations to functional
deviation in living tissue.
I want to repeat, in order to emphasize one of the
physiological principles of chiropractic, that the performance of functions,
normal or abnormal, depend upon the condition of the organ and the quality
of innervating nervous tissue.
The vegetative function is that office in the human
economy which controls the power of growing. It is concerned with
nutrition and growth. In anatomy it refers to those organs and tissues
which contributed to nutrition, the development and reproduction; those
organs which have to do with the growth of the physical body. The
processes of assimilation of nutritive material and its conversion into
living substances is known as anabolism.
The cumulative function determines the quality of
that which is accumulated by the mental, it corresponds in the spirit to
the vegetative function in the physical. The quantity, character,
peculiarity and the nature of the contents of the mental storehouse depends
upon the condition of the physical; therefore, chiropractors knowing how
to adjust the osseous system, the tension framework, have a normal and
a religious duty to perform. As the vegetative function is subservient
to the vital, so the cumulative is subordinate to the mental. It
is to the spiritual body just what the vegetative function is to the physical
Normal functionating and normal temperature are co-existent,
they constitute health. Disease is an alteration in tissue and function.
The performance of functions above or below that of normal activity is
due to the change in renitency, firmness and tension of the organ or part
performing the act. Impulses delivered with normal force result in
orders normally performed. Motive force exaggerated or decreased
during the transit of an impulse over the nervous system results in conditions
known as disease. The vegetative function depends upon the amount
of vital force used in arousing latent energy. The quality and amount
of mental impressions depend upon the cumulataive function. Sane
or insane ideas are the result of normal or abnormal perception.
We receive impressions from the external world through the senses of touch,
taste, smell, hearing and sight; qualities of the nervous system.
We obtain knowledge, receive impressions, take cognizance of the existence
and character of phenomena by means of sensation -- molecular vibraton
of the nervous system. The force of sensations and impressions depend
upon the condition of the nervous tissue.
A change in the structure or position of an organ
creates over or under, too much or too little, function, a condition known
as disease. There is a difference between “disease is the result of over
or under function” and over or under function is disease. Functions
performed normally is health, in an abnormal manner or amount is disease,
a departure from a state of health.
Physiology treats of functions performed normally.
Pathology discourses upon functions performed in an unusual manner.
The performance of functions depend upon the amount
of energy stored and aroused by innervation.
Pathological physiology is the performance of functions
by an excess or a deficiency of vital force.
Teratology is the science of abnormal growths, the
result of vegetative functions performed in an abnormal and unusual amount.
All agents which cause increase or decrease of functionating
(disease) are from without -- could not be from the spirit--from within.
Vitality runs the vegetative function, while intellectuality
directs the cumulative function. As the vegetative function may produce
teratism, even so, the cumulative may accumulate monstrous intellectual
conceptions. As we carry with us in this world perfect or imperfect
bodies, just so, we take with us into the next world sane or insane ideas
gathered in this world.
The cumulative function determines the contents of the intellectual
storehouse. The condition of the physical determines the qualifications
of the mental. We take with us into the beyond just what we have mentally
gathered in this preparatory stage, whether those thoughts, impressions and
recollections, are sane or insane, normal or monstrous, of reason or of a freakish