Philosophy of Osteopathy
Andrew Taylor Still, D.O.
A FREE CIRCULATION.
Before we treat of the head, we must follow blood
from the heart to all organs of the head. Not only look at the pictures
in Gray, Morris, Gerrish, or some finely illustrated work on anatomy, but
we must apply a searching hand and know to a certainty that the constrictors
of neck, or other muscles or ligaments do not pull cervical and hyoid bones
so close as to bruise pneumogastric or any other nerves or fibres that
would cause spasmodic contraction of digastric, stylo-hyoid or the whole
remaining group of neck muscles and ligaments, with which you are or should
be very familiar. Ever remember that the venous drainage must be
kept normally active or congestion, and tumefaction, with inflammation
of the glands of the head, face and neck will appear, and mark for you
this oversight; because the perpetual health, ease and comfort of the head
the scalp and hair, with their nerves, glands and purity of blood supply,
a healthy eye, good hearing, healthy action of brain with its magnetic
and electric forces to the vital parts which sustain life, memory and reason,
depend directly and wholly upon unlimited freedom of the circulatory system
of nerves, blood and cerebral fluid. They must be normal in action
and quantity unembarrassed, otherwise bad hearing, ulcers of the ears,
cross eyes, pterygium, cataract, granulated lids, staphyloma, lachrymosis
and up to full list of diseases of the eye, with tonsilitis, injured voice,
tumors and cancers of face, head, tongue, mouth and throat, along with
erysipelas, blotches and pimples, and all diseases of the glandular system
of the head. and neck. Undoubtedly all these afflictions have their
origin in obstructed normal action between the heart and the termination
of all above it, for want of nerve and blood harmony.
Remember that death blows are dealt out freely above
the sternum by irritation and constriction of the parts above described.
We should often refresh our minds, beginning with the muscles that connect
the head and neck, and know to a certainty as we explore that junction
that the capitas minor, major and lateralis, long and short of both anticus
and posticus regions are indisputably normal to your hand and judgment.
It is almost useless to say to the anatomist who has had the drilling in
all branches of that science, previous to obtaining his diploma, to commence
and detail the venous and excretory system, through which all those glands
are drained, and kept in a healthy condition, but we say this much; let
your morning, noon and evening prayer be this, Oh Lord! Give me more anatomy
each day I live, because experience has taught me the unavoidable
demands when in the "sick room."
SOMETHING OF THE NECK.
Before you leave that wisely constructed neck, I
want to press and imprint on your minds in the strong6st terms that the
wisest anatomist, and physiologist, the oldest and most successful Osteopath
knows only enough of the neck, and its wondrous system of nerves, blood
and muscles and its relation to all above and below it, to say, "From everlasting
to everlasting thou art great, O Lord God Almighty!" Thy wisdom is surely
boundless, for I see that man must be wise to know all about the neck,
for we find by a twist of neck, we may become blind, deaf, spasmodic, lose
speech and memory, and all that is known as the joys of man. On that
division of the body all action of arms, legs, chest and, all mucles get
their life-power and motion. Think for a moment of the thousands
and tons of thousands of large and small fluid vessels that pass to and
from heart and brain, to every organ, bone, fibre, muscle and gland, both
large and small, receiving and appropriating the substances as prepared
in the chemical laboratory; so wisely situated, and so exact in all its
works in the production and application of all substances in the body.
ORDER OF TREATMENT.
The reader will begin with the brain or head because
I want to start with the head; first give such diseases as belong to that
division of the body. Then the neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis.
Thus we have five divisions in regular order, beginning with the head and
finishing with the sacrum. The reader will find diseases of eye,
ear, tongue, nose, face, scalp and hair under the chapter treating of the
head. Next in regular order will be the division of the neck, with
diseases of tonsils and glands of neck, swallow, trachae, nerves, blood
vessels and muscles, fascia and lymphatics, superior cervical ganglion
and other nerves of the neck, as they affect vitality in diseases.
Then we pass on to third division, with diseases of lung, heart, pericardium,
and pleura, with all parts of chest. Then abdomen, liver, stomach
and bowels, and all organs with resisting power of diaphragm. Fifth,
pelvis, with its great supply of nerves, blood and other fluids.
These give us cause to halt and seat the mind for a long season of observation.
A great field opens at this point for the observing thinker.
In the pelvis we find a system of nerves and arteries
with blood for local supply, besides blood to construct womb, bladder,
rectum, colon, cellular system and all the muscles of that cavity (the
pelvis) all of which comes from arteries and branches above. We think
it is not necessary to name them only in bulk, to a student versed in anatomy.
Perhaps less is known of the pelvic system and its functions than any division
of the body, and for that reason I have felt that we should know all that
is possible to be learned. I believe more ignorance prevails today
of internal causes of diseases than would if we reasoned that the pelvic
nerves and vessels had much to do in forming the abdominal
THE BRAIN OF ANIMALS.
Of all parts of the body of man to be well studied,
the brain should be the most attractive. It is the place where all
force centers, where all nerves connect to one common battery. By
its orders the laboratory of life begins to move on crude material and
labors until blood is formed and becomes food for all nerves first; then
arteries and veins by nerve action and forces, to suit each class of work
to be done by that set of nerves which is to construct forms; keep blood
constantly in motion by the arteries and from all parts back to the heart,
through the veins, that the blood may be purified, renewed and reenter
the arteries to be taken to all places of need.
Arterial motion is normal during all ages, from the
quick pulse of the babe's arm, to the ages of each year to one hundred
or more. At this great age the pulse is so slow that the heat is
not generated by the nerves, whose motor velocity is not great enough to
bring electricity to the stage of heat. All heat, high and low, surely
is the effect of active electricity -- plus to fever; minus to coldness.
When an irritant enters the body by lung, skin or any other way, a change
appears in the heart's action from its effects on the brain, to the high
electric action and that burning heat called fever. If plus violent
type (yellow fever), if minus, low grades (typhus, typhoid, plagues), and
so on through the list.
To think implies action of the brain. We can
grade thought although we cannot measure its speed. Suppose a person
of one kind of business thinks just fast enough to suit that profession.
A man is engaged in raising hogs and that alone. He must reason on
and of the nature of hogs. He begins about so: a hog eats, drinks,
bathes, roots and sleeps. He knows the hog eats grain, so he feeds
it corn, or some other suitable cereal, with plenty of water and good bedding.
The swine is on his mind night and day.
THE WHEELS OF THOUGHT.
Now the question is, how fast does he think?
How many revolutions do the wheels of his head make per minute to do all
the necessary thinking connected with the hog business? Say his mental
wheels revolve 100 times each minute. Then he adds sheep to his business,
and if that should require 100 more revolutions and he takes char e of
raising draft horses with 175 revolutions added, you see the wheels of
his head whizzing off 375 vibrations per minute. And at this time
he adds the duties of the carpenter with 300 more revolutions, add them
together and you see 675. To this number he adds the duties and thoughts
of a sheriff, which are numerous enough to buzz his wheels at 1500 more,
you find 2175 to be his mental revolutions so far. Now you have the
great physical demands added to the mental motion which his brain has to
support, yet he can do all so far, fairly well.
OVERBURDENING THE MIND.
He now adds to his labors the manufacturing of leather,
from all kinds of hides, with the chemistry of fine tanning, which is equal
to all previous mental motions. Add and you find 4250 revolutions
all drawing on his brain each minute of the day. Add to this mental
strain the increased action of his body which has to perform these duties
and you see the beginning of a worry of both mind and body, to which you
add manufacturing of engines, iron puddling, rolling, etc.; a delegate
to a national convention, thoughts of the death of a near relative; add
to this a security debt to meet during a money panic. By this time
the mind begins to fag below the power of resistance.
Duration of such great mental vibrations for so long
stops nutrition of all or one-half of the brain, and we have a case of
"Hemiplegia," or the wheels of one-half of the brain run so fast as to
overcome some fountain of nerve force and explode some cerebral artery
in the brain and deposit a clot of blood at some motor supply or plexus.
Thus we see men from over mental action fall in our
National councils, courts, manufactories, churches, and almost all places
of great mental activity. Slaves and savages seldom fall victims
to paralysis of any kind, but escape all such, for they know nothing of
the strains of mind and hurried nutrition. They eat and rest, live
long and happy. The idea of riches never bothers their slumbers.
Physical injuries may and often do wound motor, sensory and nutrient centers
of brain; but the effect is just the same, partial or complete suspension
of the motor and sensory systems.
If you burst a boiler by high pressure or otherwise,
your engine ceases to move. And just the same of an over-worked brain
Hemiplegia. "The half" and "I strike." Paralysis
of one half of the body. [* Chambers.]
Hemiplegia is usually the result of a cerebral hemorrhage
or embolism. It sometimes occurs suddenly without other marked symptoms;
but commonly it is ushered in by an apoplectic attack and on return of
consciousness it is observed that one side of the body is paralyzed, the
paralysis being often profound in the beginning, and disappearing to a
greater or less extent at a later period.
Hemiplegia is much more rarely produced by a tumor.
It then generally comes on slowly, the paralysis gradually increasing as
the neoplasm encroaches more and more upon the motor tracks, though the
tumor may be complicated by the occurrence of a hemorrhage and a sudden
A gradual hemiplegia may also be produced by an abcess or
chronic softening of the brain substance. Other conditions or symptoms
presented, will in such case, assist us to diagnose the nature of the lesion.