A Manual of Osteopathic Manipulations
Wilfred L. Riggs, D. O.
A GENERAL TREATMENT
The osteopath who treats all cases alike is not in
any sense deserving of the name, yet there are many cases in which it is
helpful to administer what is known as a "general treatment;" as when there
is complaint of "ennui," lassitude and drowsiness, torpidity of glands,
weariness, lack of circulation, loss of appetite and similar conditions.
This is the most easily administered of osteopathic manipulations, and
has given use to the common belief that there is no possible harm in osteopathic
treatments. This is an error. A general treatment, if given gently, produces
no harmful effect, but if incautiously administered by one ignorant of
the science, may do incalculable injury.
Proceed as follows: First, have patient (prepared
by removing clothing so as to permit spine to be exposed) recline on table.
Relax muscles of neck by gently rocking head from side to normal position,
at same time putting pressure with other hand upon muscles of side of neck.
Do this for each side. Then lift patient's head in one hand and put pressure
on muscles on back of neck. Repeat this three or four times. This will
relax the muscles of neck and aid in equalizing the circulation through
the cervical sympathetics. Next, with patient on side, using arm as lever,
press upon muscles of the spine, beginning at first dorsal and going downward
through each region of the spine successively. This is done for both sides.
The patient next lies on face, the arms hanging freely. Thorough relaxation
is necessary. The physician then presses strongly upward and outward on
the muscles from upper to lower portion of spine. Patient now lies on back
with legs flexed. The abdomen is kneaded thoroughly, following the course
of the colon. The regions of liver, spleen and pancreas are thoroughly
kneaded. Lastly, spine is thoroughly stretched by placing patient
in "swing" so feet will just reach the floor, then standing behind him
he is pushed forward or laterally; or patient lies on back and an assistant
grasps ankles while operator takes hold of the shoulders and steadily stretches.
The value of this is accentuated by steadily oscillating the body from
side to side. The physician may place palm of one hand on patient's chin,
another at occiput and stretch as before. Use care in this treatment as
injury may be done.
TO SET A RIB
All osteopaths agree that the dislocation of a rib
is of frequent occurrence. To correct, first determine the exact nature
and amount of the dislocation. To raise vertebral portion, patient lies
on opposite side; with one hand grasp patient's arm and forcibly
extend it, swinging it upward across face; at same time, with the other
hand, strong pressure is applied at head of rib with fingers and at angle
with the thumb, presses inward and upward. The patient strongly inhales
as the arm is thrown upward, then the arm is brought downward and the patient
exhales. The pressure at the vertebral portion is maintained until the
arm is returned to its normal position. (See plate 17.)
Position same as above. Place patient's elbow against
your abdomen or chest. Reach over and with your hands free ribs from vertebrae
by pressure outward on angles. Then turn them upward or downward as is
Patient lies on face; after a thorough relaxation,
place thumb of one hand on angle of ribs, or between angle and head, the
other hand beyond the angle pressing upward or downward as is necessary,
then suddenly through pressure on head of rib with thumb turn the head
into its place.
Patient may lie on back, the physician places his hand under
the patient with palms of fingers under the affected rib. Draw arm across chest
and grasping elbow firmly press outward and downward. This relieves the rib
from pressure and allows it to slip into place. A very successful method of
raising a rib consists of putting the knee in back against the angle of rib,
reach around opposite side to sternal articulation. Have patient draw
full breath. Then draw the arm up and backward, pressing the rib into its position
by the hand in front and knee behind.