D. D. Palmer
HEALTH, DISEASE, LIFE AND DEATH
What do scientists, philosophers and divines know
of life and death? What knowledgge have you of the relation existing
bertween intelligence and material, spirit and matter? Is not death
an incident of life?
What is life, disease, death and eternal intelligent
existence? What force created this human organism? What is
this intelligent vital agency and from whence does it come? What
of this intellectual entity which continues our existence as an intelligent
living being? These questions have been propounded by savants of
all ages. Chiropractors are able at least in a great measure, to
answer these very important questions.
My ideas concerning health, disease, life and death
have been greatly modified by years of careful research.
Health is that condition of the body in which all
the functions are performed in the usual manner, impulses forwarded over
the nervous system at the usual rate, giving the proper force to the rebound
(reflex action) of the renitent tissue, all acts being performed in a normal
The nervous system is the line of communication of
our thoughts (impulses). Impulses are not fluids which flow.
When the nervous tissue is normal in its stucture, tension, firmness and
renitency have the degree of tone, the transference of thought, commands
(impulses) are of normal force, the result of health.
Disease has always been considered and treated as
an entity, a being with an intelligence, one which could be talked to,
commanded to go at our bidding. The body treated in such a manner
with drugs and incantations, so as, to make it uncomfortable for its habitation.
Disease is a condition.
We are learning to think aright. Instead of
a fearful reverence for irrational superstition, we are learning to reason
along biological lines.
In order to give you an idea of advancement in correct
reasoning, the difference between superstition and rationalism, I will
quote one illustration of the former from each of four old books I have.
Bate’s Dispensatory by William Salmon, Professor
of Physic, date 1694, containing “His choice and select recipes, applicable
to the whole practice of physic and chyurgery, with above five hundred
chymical processes, those so much famed in the world.” On page 897
he gave the formula for “The Sympathetic Ointment” for wounds. The
prescription is preceded by the Rx which was then, as well as now, always
placed at the commencement of a recipe. Dunglison’s Dictionary says
of this Rx “Originally it was the sign of Jupiter, and was placed at the
top of a formula to propitiate the king of the gods, that the compound
might act favorably.”
Jupiter was the ancient Italian god of the heavens.
The compound was made of “Oil of roses, linseed oil,
man’s grease, moss of a man’s skull, killed by a violent death in powder,
mummy, man’s blood, mix and make an ointment. By this ointment all
wounds are healed; anointing the instrument by which the wound was made,
once a day, every day, if the wound be great, otherwise, if the wound be
small, once every second or third day may suffice. The weapon is
to be kept wrapt up in a clean linen cloth, and in a place not too hot,
lest the patient suffers thereby.
Physicians of the past and present in selecting portions
of humans or animals always take those of the male as they are supposed
to make stronger drugs than those of the females. They chose those
who had met violent death, for the reason that those dying of disease would
sow the germs of destruction. They treated the instrument as the
producer and repairer.
The London Dispensatory, date 1716, on page 169,
gives a valuable(?) Recipe.
“The hair of the patient made into a powder and drank
cures the jaundice. The ashes of it mixt with hog’s lard as an ointment
helps luxated joints; the simple ashes stop bleeding. An oil distilled
from it with honey, anointed on bald places, causes hair to grow.
“The finger nails of the patient made into a powder
or infusion cause vomiting, great sickness at the stomach, and giddiness
in the head; the powder laid to the navel in dropsies, is said to cure
“To cure consumption, take the hair and nails of
the patient, cut them small, and put them in a hole in the root of a cherry
tree, and then stop it with clay. To cure quartans (fever) and the
gout, take the said hair and nails, cut small, and either give them to
birds in a roasted egg, or put them into a hole bored into the body of
an oak tree, or else mix them with wax, and stitch it to a live crab, casting
it into the river again.”
The above while relieving (?) the patient of the
evil was hard on the trees, crabs and birds.
The people of Europe and America are making foolish
pother over Friedman’s serum evolved from a turtle as a cure of tuberculosis.
I recall to memory Brown-Sequard’s elixir of life, Dr. Kochs consumption
serum. Koch had found the wiggler and the dope that would stop his
The above are but the survival of the old superstition,
“The hair of the dog that bit you will heal the wound.”
In 1776 Baron van Swieten, counsellor and first physician
to their majesties the Emperror and Empress of Germany; perpetual president
of the College of Physicians in Vienna; memaber of the Royal Academy of
Sciences and Surgry at Paris; H. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
at Edinburgh, published a book. On page 37 he says, “A pleurisy terminates
either in a cure, in other diseases, or in death. This is a circumstance
which a pleurisy has in common with all other diseases.” The Baron
had made a wonderful discovery, that persons affected with disease either
got well or died, unless their affections ended in some other disease.
Samuel Frederick Gray published a treatise on pharmacology
in 1824. On page 159 he says, “In a medical or chemical point of
view, animals are inferior in rank to vegetables, as neither affording
remedies of such power, nor consisting of so many distinct principles,
as the latter.
“There is even reason to suppose that most of the
virtues attributed to animal substances are imaginary, and that their apparent
effects ought to be ascribed to the other substances exhibited in them.
In general, we only mention those substances, which are, or rather have
been, kept in the shops.
“Human skull. Cranium hominis. The powder is
used in epilepsy: those which have been long buried are to be preferred;
and some even limit the effect to that triangular bone called the os triquetrum
(os triangulare, cuneiform bone of the wrist).” Age and distance
lend enchantment to superstition.
Hundreds of scientists are devoting their lives to
the study of bacteriology, germ investigation, a microscopical branch of
biology, in order to determine their relation to health and disease, not
realizing that life action is due to the combination of intelligence and
matter, spirit manifestation through material.
The isopathic theory and system of treatment of
disease by means of the causal agent, that it is possible to cure a disease
by means of the virus of the same disease; also, the treatment of a diseased
organ, that its abnormal functions may be returned to normal by an extract
of the same organ from a healthy animal, the curing a diseased organ by
eating the analogous organ of a healthy animal, savors of canibalistic
barbarism, eating an enemy transfers his fighting qualities to the devourer.
“The explanation of this natural immunity is still uncertain.” “All
the phenomena of immunity have not been satisfactorily explained.”
Medical men, who believe in this dogma, think natural immunity hereditary,
that thon’s ancestors were immunized as a result of being infected.
The immunity being transmitted to their descendants. “But little
is known regarding the antitoxins.” The theory is, the serum of one
animal when introducted into the blood of another may destroy or modify
the form, nature and structure of the red corpuscles.” “This wonderful
protective adaptation of the body toward the invasion of foreign cells;
the nature of the processes involved is not at all understood, the phenomena
is, therefore, designated provisionally as a biological reaction.
By referring to Dunglison’s Medical Dictionary, date
1903, page 1100, you will find that animal extracts are yet in vogue.
Disease consists of a change in structure, position
or function. Disease is a disturbed condition, functions performed
abnormally, in too great a degree or not enough; it is not something foreign
to the body which by some means enters it; it is not a thing of enmity
which we have to fight.
Disease does not involve any new functional expressions
which it did not already possess. Disease is a manifestation of too
much or not enough energy. Energy is liberated force; in the living
being it is known as vital force.
A normal amount of energy released from that which
is stored, results in health. The amount of energy stored for future
use depends upon the condition of the organ as a storage receptacle.
Disease is the result of releasing too much or not enough stored energy.
Energy is the latent power or force in an organ, which when released creates
action. Energy is aroused by a motor impulse; if the impulse is normal
in force then the normal amount of energy is expended. Disease is
abnormal functionating -- not enough or too much action -- too much or
not enough life. Life consists of intelligent action. Disease
is morbid tissue and abnormal functionating. The quality of tissue
and the amount of functionating are coexistent. In all diseases we
find an excess of, or a diminished amount of energy (force) expended.
In one lesson I cannot fully cover the cause of disease,
as it takes in a large amount of chiropractic education in principles and
facts regarding the science of biology.
Abnormal structure cannot do otherwise than be the
creator of disease.
What is that which is present in the living body and absent
in the dead? It is an intelligent force, which I saw fit to name Innate,
usually known as spirit. It creates and continues life when the vital
organs are in a condition to be acted upon by that intelligence.