D. D. Palmer
The medical profession are not agreed as to the
cause, injuries or benefits derived from inflammation and fever.
Stengel’s Text-Book of Pathology, date 1907, on pages
45 and 47, under the head of Nature of Fever, says, “These processes of
heat-production and heat-dissipation are regulated in an orderly manner
under the influence of the nervous system. Special centers for the
production, dissipation, and regulation of heat have been described by
the physiologists, though their location and method of operation still
remain in doubt. Whatever the exact mechanism may be found to be,
it is quite certain that in some way the nervous system exercises a control
over production and discharge of heat.
“While fever occasions many disturbances and leads
to various pathological consequences, it is not improbable that there is
a certain measure of usefulness, in it.”
McFarland states, “Inflammation is the sum of phenomena
manifested by an injured tissue. The phenomena are, for the most
part, reactionary and reparative; some are destructive and disintegrative.
“A careful analysis of the phenomena of inflammation
leads us to the broad generalization that they are conservative in tendency,
benign in disposition, and evidently the result of a carefully adjusted
A. P. Davis in Neuropathy affirms, “The causes of
fever are a mooted question. Many theories are advocated, but the
most plausible seems to be that of central disturbance near the corpus
striatum, due to blood pressure. The cause of the blood pressure
is as much a mooted question as the cause of fever.”
The Los Angeles Herald of May 27, 1912, reports,
“It was expected that a crisis in the fever from which he has been suffering
for seven weeks would be reached tonight. His temperature is 105
degrees. Physicians remained at his bedside throughout the night.”
The production of animal heat is no more a process,
a series of actions, than the heat created in a nail by a quick extraction
from a piece of hard wood in which it had been driven. In animals
and vegetation the temperature is increased by a greater atomic action,
while in inanimate substances the heat is increased by a greater molecular
vibration. Heat production in the animal economy is created by the
vibration of molecules of which nerves are composed. It is a biological
fact that nerves vibrate in proportion to the amount of tension.
There is no special center for heat production, regulation and dissipation.
Heat is a function of the whole nervous system, a discovery made by D.
D. Palmer on July 1, 1903.
Fever is a symptom, it is associated with pathological
conditions. Fever is not a disturber of functions; it, of itseslf,
is excessive heat, diffused throughout the body, however, it is always
concomitant with actions which are performed in too great a degree.
The quantity of heat is “regulated” by the amount
of nerve-vibration. The “orderly manner” is determined by nerve tension.
“The influence (power) of the nervous system” to produce heat in normal
quantity depends upon the ability of the creator of life to transmit nervous
impulses from a ganglionic center (Gould), known to physiologists as nervous
influence, nervous energy, nervous force and nerve stimulus. The
tissue of the nerve itself does not furnish the energy or the force.
The impulses, the incitement of the mind or spirit (Webster), the influence
of suggestion or prompting, furnishes a stimulus which arouses energy or
force for the performance of functional acts.
Instead of the nervous system “exercising a control
over the production of discharge of heat,” the animal-tissue (the nervous
system) is controlled by an intelligence known as spirit. Intelligence
produces the actions which constitute life by animating the material body.
The “usefulness” of fever is made manifest by M.
D.’s while sitting at the bedside of the patient, waiting and watching
for the crisis of fever.
Dr. Davis in his brief statement above wisely sums
up the opinions and conclusions of the medical profession regarding fever.
The word mechanism is mentioned twice in the above
quotations. Webster defines mechanism as the arrangement or relation
of the parts of a machine. Man, animal brutes and vegetables possess
life, vital force, are not machines.
Dorland’s Dictionary gives 100 kinds of fever and
Fever is a condition in which the bodily temperature
is elevated above the normal. The pulse is accelerated, its movement
increased, there is general derangement of functions, thirst and loss of
Thirst, a desire to drink because of dryness, because
of an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, fauces, pharynx,
esophagus and stomach. Excessive heat dries and thickens the mucus
of the mucous membranes, water is cooling and moistens the mucus.
Fevers are said to be symptomatic when functions
are performed in an abnormal manner, producing vital phenomena not in accord
with those of health -- recognized by signs and symptoms. Signs of
disease may be objective, apparent to the observer by examination, and
subjective, when known only by the patient. Signs include auscultation,
percussion, commemorative (those preceding the disease), diagnostic (those
which accompany it and reveala the nature and seat of the disease), prognostic
when they indicate its probable duration and termination. Fevers
are essential when general, not depending on any local affection.
Idiopathic when they arise without any known cause. Self-limited
when they run a definite course under any and all treatment, and terminate
in health or in death.
Surrounding temperature makes no difference in the
temperature of the body. The body does not depend upon external heat
for its temperature, but, upon nerve tension. Esquimaux often experience
60 to 80 degrees below zero. Equatorial countries endure 130 degrees
above, making a variation of 210 degrees. The heat in oceanic steamers
often 150 degrees. Some persons take Turkish baths which by frequent
exposures are brought to the boiling point. Persons have lived for
a few minutes in rooms wherein the temperature was 211. The “Salamander”
withstood for 14 minutes a temperature of 338 degrees. His pulse
on entering was 76, on coming out 130, yet there was no variation of bodily
temperature. While the pulse varies, more or less, with the change
of bodily temperature, exercise and mental agitation, but it does not accord
with animal heat.
A rise of 2 or 3 degrees in the aged is more alarming
than in the youth. As age advances nerve-tissue is less elastic,
firmer, less yielding, not so pliable, does not so readily adapt itself
to heat modifications.
Fever may be the result of traumatism of poisons.
Nerves excited cause hyperthermia. Heat is a function of nerves--not
Rheumatism may be from trauma or poison. Gonorrhea
is a direct effect from poison, while gonorrheal rheumatism is indirect,
the poison causes nerve contraction, nerve tension draws vertebrae out
of alignment; vertebrae awry stretch nerves, the effect of which we name
The pulse in scarlatina is more rapid, in typhoid
fever slower. Some poisons excite, while others depress. In
scarlatina the poison excites, in typhoid it depresses. This difference
is owing to the nature of the poison ingested, injected or inhaled.
Delafield and Pruden in their work on pathology state,
“Inflammation is a modification of physiological processes.” They
should have said, inflammation modifies physiological processes and the
general temperature of the body.
Fever is destructive, not conservative.
In fever anabolism is decreased and catabolism increased.
The normal temperature of the body is about 98.5,
although it drops almost two degrees after we have gone to sleep.
It is ordinarily the highest at 5 p.m. because of labor, and the lowest
at 4 a.m. on account of relaxation. The body temperature may be two
or three degrees higher during violent exercise owing to nerve excitation.
Bodily temperature depends upon nerve innervation, nerve excitation, not
Bodily heat may be increased by exercise, electricity,
poisons, pressure on nerves and an undue amount of tension. Mechanical
action excites, feet and hands are warmed by friction, temperature is increased
because of nerve excitation. The chafing of nerves excite greater
action, while blood circulation and its temperature remains the same.
Masseurs, osteopaths and spondylotherapists, who rub, stroke, knead and
tap the superficial soft parts of the body with the hand or an instrument
for remedial purposes, excite or depress the action and functions of the
nervous tissue, increasing or lessening nerve vibration, consequently,
changing the temperature of the body. Operations are followed by
a rise of temperature because of injury to the nervous tissue. Electricity
stimulates, because of greater nerve tension. Poisons create more
or less contraction of nerve tissue. Impingements excite, create
greater nerve tension. Nerve injuries produce excessive
heat, consequently, pathological conditions.
We may have healthy (physiological) changes of temperature
during the healing of wounds and fractures of bones.
In neuralgia there is no fever, no constitutional
disturbance. Why? In neuritis the tension and pain is in the
whole length of the nerve, while in rheumatism and many other diseases
the stretch, the tension, is confined to a very short portion of a nerve.
Acute and chronic are antithetical terms; when applied
to disease they refer to the duration. A disease is said to be acute
when it is severe, of short duration, attended with danger, of rapid progress
and its termination for better or worse is quickly reached. Chronic
diseases progress slowly and are of long duration. Acute diseases
should not become chronic and will not if the displaced portion of the
neuroskeleton is properly adjusted.
Brain fever is diffused heat from an inflamed cerebrum or
cerebellum or their membranes. Pneumonia, pneumonitis, is an inflammation
of the lungs, when its diffused heat is spoken of it is referred to as lung
fever. Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, a serous membrane which
covers the walls and viscera of the thoracic cavity. The exudation which
collects upon its surface or in its cavity is the thickened viscid liquid serous
secretion of the pleura. These diseases are acute, each should be relieved
by one adjustment, one thrust upon the vertebra which is impinging upon the
nerve whose fibers ramify the portion affected. In diseases of only a
few days’ duration, the vertebra does not become ill-shapened. In chronic
diseases, those of long standing, the vertebrae become wedge-shaped; such require
much time to reshapen back to normal.