D. D. Palmer
BONES AND NERVES
Medical, osteopathic and chiropractic schools give
more or less attention to the study of osteology and neurology, but not
a page, paragraph or even a sentence is found in any one of the many works
I have on anatomy, neurology, physiology and pathology regarding the all
important fact that, the position of bones has all to do with the amount
of nerve tension.
Dr. A. P. Still’s philosophy and mechanical principles
of osteopathy, “date 1902,” has less than a half page referring to the
vertebral column. He says, “Every joint of the neck and spine has
much to do with a healthy heart and lungs, because all vital fluids pass
through the heart and lungs.
“He (the osteopath) should . . . never rest day or
night until he knows the spine is true and in line from atlas to sacrum,
with all the ribs in perfect union with the processes of the spine.
“Slipped or twisted vertebrae and ribs must be sought
out and adjusted, giving intercostal nerves thorough freedom to act and
soften muscles and let blood loose to feed and nourish the whole spine.
“Adjust the bones of the neck and let blood flow
to and feed the nerves and muscles of the neck and stop the constrictures
that have been holding the blood in check until it has died.”
Doctor Still, the founder of osteopathy, believed
that wind, air, electricity and gas existed in the joints, between the
articular surfaces, that a change in the amount of these fluids accounted
for health and disease. I quote from page 130. “Before pain
begins at the joints you are sure to find that all gas or wind has left
the joints. Thus, electricity burns because of bone friction.
Some gas must be between all bone joints. Thus, we find great use
for atmospheric pressure to hold bones far enough apart to let the joint
water pass freely over the opposing ends of bones. There is a natural
demand for gas in all healthy joints of the body. Reason leads us
to believe that gas is constantly being conveyed to or generated in all
joints. Before rheumatism appears the separating gas has been exhausted,
and there follows friction and electric heat because of there being two
or more joints in one electric current or division.
“We thus get what we call neuralgia, rheumatism,
sciatica, and so on to the full list of aches and pains not accounted for
to date by our philosophers.
“On this plane of reason you can see and know the
whys of consumption, dropsy, tumors, fits, grey hair, baldness, and so
on to a surprising number of diseases.”
The above does not read like, nor is its philosophy
that of chiropractic. Evidently, Dr. Still was looking to joints
for the cause of disease.
On the title page of McClelland’s Regional Anatomy,
two large volumes, Date 1892, is a line in French, in English it says,
“Anatomy is not such as is taught in schools.” In other words, anatomy
as taught in schools is not anatomy.
Schools of chiropractic put in many months studying
anatomy. The students are led to believe that the study of anatomy
furnishes the all important education for a chiropractor, that to know
anatomy is to understand chiropractic. A course in dissecting and
the diffferent branches of medicine will not furnish the principles of
chiropractic, reason out its philosophy, nor educate one in vertebral adjusting.
Bones give rigidity and shape to the body, form a
case around the brain and spinal cord, protect delicate organs in the body
cavities, constitute a frame-work of which individual bones are used as
levers by muscles and nerves. In many invertebrate animals the muscles
are attached to the exoskeleton. In man they are connected to the endoskeleton.
Bones serve as a tension-frame; their position determines the amount of
muscle and nerve tension. Nearly half of the body weight is of muscle.
Movements are performed by means of muscles, leverage is obtained by their
attachment to bones. Displaced bones cause muscles and nerves to
become stretched or relaxed.
Traumatism is a diseased condition of the system
due to an injury or a wound.
Luxated joints, more especially those of the vertebral
column, cause traumatism, a diseased condition. Dislocated bones
impinge upon nerves, cause irritation; or, by their displacement relax
or elongate the nervous tissue, thereby modifying tension, vibration, the
transmission of impulses, the production of heat and organic function.
Poisons affect nerves, cause their relaxation or
contraction. Loss of tension produces atony, enervation, a diminution
of muscular power. Innervation is increased by nerve contraction.
Contracted nerves by their action on muscles draw vertebrae out of alignment.
Autosuggestion, or hypnotism (suggestion by another)
relaxes or contracts nerve tissue, causing more or less tension.
The importance of bone pressure, nerve impingement,
nerve tension, the all important fact that the position of the osseous
frame, the neuroskeleton of the human budy, has all to do with the amount
of nerve tension, normal or abnormal, known as nerve strain, the amount
of heat, is never mentioned, in fact, is never thought of by the teachers
of medical or chiropractic schools. It is, therefore, manifest that
the would-be teachers of chiropractic know but little of the principles
of chiropractic, do not know of it as a science, or of its philosophy.
Nerve tension is accomplished by the bones acting
as levers. A knowledge of this principle is essential for the comprehension
of chiropractic as a science, and specific adjusting as an art.
A student may become familiar with the different
branches of anatomy by the study of one or more books and dissection on
the cadaver, and yet not know anything of the relationship existing between
bones and nerves. Knowing the structure of bones and nerves, the
names of each and all their surfaces, the descriptive terms, nomenclature
and classification, their location and functions, do not inform us of the
importance which chiropractors should attach to the position of bones.
Do not forget for one moment that all vital and intellectual
forces depend upon the condition of the nervous system for their expression,
that there is a vital principle which distinguishes organized matter from
inorganic, that when associated with matter of organized bodies controls
Bones are the only hard substances which can press
against, impinge upon nerves, by their displacement cause nerves to become
stretched. Displaced bones are the direct cause of a large per cent
of diseases. Any pressure upon or against nerves excites and creates
abnormal tension. Bones displaced ever so little cause nerves to
become contracted or relaxed; either condition modifies vibration, alters
the force of an impulse and the amount of heat.
A knowledge of the structure of bones and nerves
is well and good. To be able to name and locate the depressions,
articular and nonarticular eminences is of especial benefit to surgeons,
but to a chiropractor it is all important and of more service to be acquainted
with the relationship existing between bones and nerves. In order
to have health, nerves must have normal tension, innervate each and every
organ of the body, so that their functions may be properly performed.
Displaced bones, luxated or fractured, cause disease
(not ease), by overtension of nerves, therefore, chiropractors whould be
especially interested in the study of bones and nerves, more particularly
regarding the effect either one has upon the other.
See pages 761 and 766 of The Adjuster.
Normal nerve tension depends upon the usual position of
bones. Displaced bones modifying nerve tension, vary the amount of heat.
Molecular vibration produces heat in animate and inanimate bodies. Excessive
nerve vibration, molecular disturbance, causes inflammation. Diffused
inflammation is known as fever; heat expanded, spread, scattered, extended,
dispersed throughout the body is known as fever.