Philosophy of Osteopathy
Andrew Taylor Still, D.O.




    Diseases of the chest are generally confined to heart, lungs, pleura, the pericardium, mediastium, blood vessels, with nerves and lymphatics.  As we open the breast we behold the heart, a very large machine or engine, situated conveniently to throw blood to all parts of the body.  To it we see hose or pipes that go to each organ, all muscles, the stomach, bowels, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder and womb, all bones, fibers, ligaments, membranes, and its body, lungs and brain.  When we follow this blood through its whole journey to feed the dependent parts, be they organ or muscle, we find just enough unloaded at each station to supply the demand as fast as consumed.  Thus life is supplied at each stroke of the heart, which gives blood to keep digestion in full motion while other supplies of blood are being made and put in channels to carry to the heart, blood is freely given to keep those channels strong, clean and active.  Thus much depends on the heart, and great care should be given to that study, because a healthy system depends almost wholly on a normal heart and lung.  Thus to study well the frame work of the chest should be with the greatest care.  Every joint of the neck and spine has much to do with a healthy heart and lung, because all vital fluids from crown to sacrum do or have passed through heart and lungs, and any slip of bone, strain or bruise will affect to some degree the usefulness of that fluid in its vitality, when appropriated in the place or organ it should sustain in a good healthy state.  To the osteopath, his first and last duty is to look well to a healthy blood and nerve supply.  He should let his eye camp day and night on the spinal column; to know if the bones articulate truly in all facets and other bearings, and never rest day or night until he knows the spine is true and in line from atlas to sacrum, with all ribs known to be in perfect union with processes of spine.  In reasoning for probable causes of diseases of chest, we are met with the fact that the heart and lungs are housed up, and out of reach of the hand and eye.  We hear a cough, see blood and other substances after they pass out of the lungs; we learn of general and local pain and misery, feel heat and cold on skin, note abnormal breathing, but here we are at a stop, for want of facts.  We know something is wrong, but cannot say what, until after death has done the work, then we open the chest and find tubercles, cancers, ulcers and abcesses.  How came they there?  is the unanswered question.  The servant of that breast who failed to keep his room clean, is the one to find and punish.


    I believe so much death by consumption will soon be with the things of the past, if the cases are taken early and handled by a skilled mind, -- one trained for that responsible place.  He or she must be taught this as a special branch.  It is too deep for superficial knowledge or imperfect work.  Life is in danger, and can be saved by skill, not by force and ignorance.  He who sees only the dollar in the lung, is not the man to trust with your case.

    It is such men as have the ability to think, and the skill to comprehend and execute the application of nature's unerring laws, that obtain the results required.  We believe the day has come, and long before noon, the fear of consumption will greatly pass from the minds of people.  We have long since known and proven that a cough is only an effect.  If an effect then a wise man will set his mental dogs on the track, which is (effect) to hunt the skunk, (cause.) He has all the evidence by the cough, location of pain, tenderness of spine, neck, and quality of the substances coughed up to locate the cause, and to know, when be has found it, how to remove the cause, and give relief; will grow more simple as he reasons and notes effect.  We do not think this result will be obtained every time by even an average mind, unless he has a special training for that purpose.  He must not only know that the lungs are in the upper part of the chest close to the heart, liver and stomach, but he must know the relation all sustain to each other, that the blood must be abundantly supplied, support and nourish three sets of nerves, namely sensory, motor and nutrient; also voluntary and involuntary.  If the supply should be diminished on the nutrient nerves, weakness would follow; reduce the supply from the motor and it will have the same effect.  Motion becomes too feeble to carry blood to and from lungs normally, and the blood becomes diseased and congested, because it is not passed on to other parts with the force necessary for health of lungs.

    At this time the nerves of sensation become irritated by pressure and lack of nutriment, and we cough, which is an effort of nature to unload the burden of oppression that congestion causes with sensory nerves.  If this be effect, then we must suffer and die, or remove the cause, put out the fire and stop waste of life, without which all is lost.  Nature will do its work of repairing in due time.  Let us reason by comparison.  If we dislocate a shoulder, fever and heat will follow.  The same is true of all limbs and joints of the body.  If any obstructing blood or other fluid should be deposited in quantities great enough to stop other fluids from passing on their way, Nature will fire up its engine to remove such deposits by converting fluids into gas.  As heat and motion have much to do as remedies, we may expect fever and pain until nature's furnace produces heat, forms and
converts its fluids into gas and other deposits, and passes them through the excretories to space, and allows the body to work normally again.


    We believe consumption causes the death of thousands annually who might be saved.  We must not let stupidity veil our reason, and we are to blame if we let so many run into "Consumption" from a simple hard cough.  The remedy is natural, and we believe from results already obtained 75 per cent can be cured if taken in time.  What we generally call "Consumption" begins with a cough, chilly sensations, and lasts a day or two. Sometimes fever accompanies with cough, either high or low.  The cold generally relaxes in a few days, lungs get "loose," and much is raised and continues for a period, but the cough appears again and again with all changes of weather, and lasts longer each time, until it becomes permanent, then it is called "Consumption," because of this continuance.  Medicines are administered freely and often, but the lungs grow worse, cough more continued and much harder, till finally blood begins to come from lungs with wasting of strength.

    Change of climate is suggested and taken, but with no change for the better; another and another travels to death on the same line.  Then the doctor in council reports "hereditary consumption" and with his decision all are satisfied, and each member of the family feels that a cold and cough means a coffin, because the doctor says the family has "hereditary consumption." This shade tree has given comfort and contentment to the doctors of the whole past.


    If you have a tiresome and weakening cough at the close of the winter, and wish to be cured, we would advise you to begin Osteopathic treatment at once, so the lungs can heal and harden against next winter's attack.

    This is the first I have written on "Consumption" because I wanted to test my conclusions by long and careful observations on cases that I have taken and successfully treated.  I kept the results from public print until I could obtain positive proof that "Consumption" could be cured.  So far the discovered causes give me little doubt, and the cures are a certainty in very many cases.  An early beginning is one of the great considerations in incipient consumption.


    For fear you do not understand what I mean by "Consumption" I will write on a descriptive line quite pointedly.  I will give start and progress to fully developed consumption.  We often meet with cases of permanent cough, with expectorations of long duration, dating back two, five, ten, even thirty years, to the time they had measles.  The severity of the cough and strain had congested even the lung substances, and a chronic inflammation was the result.  If we analyze the sputa we find fibrin and even lung muscle.  Does all this array of dangerous symptoms cause an Osteopath to give up in despair?  It should not, on the other
hand he should go deeper on the hunt of cause.  He may find trouble in nerve fiber of pneumogastric nerve, atlas or hyoid, vertebra, rib, or clavicle, may be by pressing on some nerve that supplies mucous membrane of air cells or passages.  A cut foot will often produce lockjaw, why not a pressure on some center branch or nerve fiber cause some division -- nerve of the lungs that governs venous circulation which would contract and hold blood indefinitely as an irritant, equal to cause, perpetual coughing?


    This is not the time for the brainy Osteopath to run up the white flag of defeat and surrender.  Open the doors of your purest reason, put on the belt of energy and unload the sinking vessel of life.  Throw overboard all dead weights from fascia and wake up the forces of the excretories.  Let the nerves all show their powers to throw out every weight that would sink or reduce the vital energies of nature.  Give them a chance to work, give them the full nourishment and the victory will be on the side of the intelligent engineer.  Never surrender but die in the last ditch.

    Let us enter the field of active exploration and note the causes that would lead us to conclude we have the cause that produces "consumption" as it has ever been called.

    Begin at the brain, go down the ladder of observation, stop and whet your knives of mental steel sharp, get your nerves quiet by the opium of patience.  Begin with the atlas, follow with the search-light of quickened reason, comb back your hair of mental strength, and never leave that bone till you have learned how many nerves pass through and around that wisely formed first part of the neck.  Remember it was planned and builded by the mind and hand of the infinite.  See what nerve fibers passes through and on to the base center, and each minute cell, fascia, gland and blood vessel of the lungs.  Do you not know that each nerve fiber to its place is king and lord of all?


    I think consumption begins by closing the channels of cerebro-spinal fluid in neck, which fluid stands as one of if not the most highly refined elements in animal bodies.  Its fineness would indicate that it is a substance that must be delivered in full supply continually to keep health normal; if so, we will for experimental reasons look at the neck ligated, as found in measles, croup, colds and eruptive fevers.  Supply is stopped from passing below atlas for three days.  During such diseases fever runs high at this time and dries up the albumen, giving cause for tubercles to begin, as fever has dried out the water and left the albumen in small deposits in the lungs, liver, kidneys and bowels.  If this view of the great uses of brain fluid is true as cause of glandular growths and other dead deposits; have we not a cause for militis tuberculosis?  Have we not encouragement to prosecute with interest, in the hope of an answer to the question, "What is tuberculosis?" Our writers are just as much at sea today as a thousand years ago.  I will give the reader some of the, reasons why I think the mischief was started while fluid was cut off by congestion of neck.  How can the fluid be cut off at neck is a very natural question.  By the crudest method of reasoning we would conclude that from the form of the neck, many objects are indicated, and the material of which it is composed would give reason to turn all its powers of thought, to ask why it is so formed, as to twist, bend, straighten, stiffen and relax at will, to suit so many purposes?  A very tough skin -- a sheathe -- surrounds the neck with blood vessels, nerves, muscles, bones, ligaments, fascia, glands great and small, throat and trachae.  In bones we find a great canal for spinal cord.  It is well and powerfully protected by a strong wall of bone, so no outer pressure can obstruct the flow of passing fluids, to keep vitality supplied by brain forces, but with all the guards given to protect the cord, we find that it can be overcome by impact fluids to such degree as to stop blood and other fluids from supplying lungs and all below.

    The fluid we speak of comes from the skull, and when in process of formation must not be disturbed until it has passed through all chances of being injured by force, air or light.  Thus the great need of walls to hold the enemy outside the safety line.  Such truths surely should attract our attention when we explore for causes.  We can analyze material bodies but we have to stop at the life line for more knowledge.  Our boats have been in port over 6000 years, waiting for knowledge about the whats and whys of life, until barnacles of ignorance have accumulated to such thickness that the conchologist has called that cake of shells "allopathy" which weighed anchor and turned to the great sea of human credulity to expound, with nothing but conjectures to offer.  He toots his, fog-horn in all lands and on all seas, and says, "age before reason." Thus one generation blindly follows another.


    I think by this time the reader has gotten his mind in line with his exploring needle of thought to get some light or knowledge of why a growth and how a body that has never failed for few or many years, begins and continues to form and plant deadly bombs of decay in that once powerful engine of perfect health, to produce suicide.  We see and  know this to be the case in thousands of beings annually, and this same question is just as applicable to the herds of animals as to man.  Thus we cry piteously for help, but no answer has come in past days; we go on and give place in lungs and other parts of the deadly tubercle.  But one answer can be given in "Holy Writ" to suit these questions, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Turn the waters of life loose at the brain, remove all hindrances and the work will be done, and give us the eternal legacy, LONGEVITY.


    In America from the day of Washington and all centuries before his time, man has dreaded diseases of the lungs more universally than any other one disease.  If we compare pulmonary diseases with other maladies we find more persons die of consumption, pneumonia, bronchitis and nervous coughs than from smallpox, typhus and bilious fever and all other fevers combined.  Many diseases of contagious natures do not stay in city, town, country nor an army, but a short time; kills a few and disappears and may not return for many years.  The same is the history of yellow fever, cholera and other epidemics.  They slay their hundreds and stop as unceremoniously as they began.  But when we think of diseases that begin to show their effects in tonsils, trachea and lining membranes of the air passages, we find we are in a boundless ocean; because we find all seasons of the year, which afford changes of weather: Wet, dry, windy, hot and cold, which mark 300 to 600 in twenty-four hours, chills the lungs and whole system, closes the excretory system against renovating equal to deposits, with all other chances to throw out dead matter and gases that destroy blood and life in proportion to the amount and time of abnormal retention.

    It takes no great mind to know from past observation that a common cold often holds on and settles down to chronic inflammation of the lungs, and the patient dies of consumption, croup, diphtheria, tonsilitis, and as catarrhal trouble stays and begins to waste vitality by failing to oxyginize blood while in the lungs, diphtheria paves the way for the young and old to die of consumption.  Dance halls, opera houses, churches, school houses, and all crowded assemblies never fail to inspect and deposit the seeds of consumption in weak lungs.

    As one delves deeper and deep into the machinery and exacting laws of life, he beholds works and workings of contented laborers of all parts of the one common whole -- the great shafts and pillars of an engine working to the fullness of the meaning of perfection.  He sees that great quarter-master the heart, pouring in and loading train after train and giving orders to the wagon-master to line his teams and march on quick time to all divisions, supply all companies, squads and sections with rations, clothing, ammunition, surgeons, splints and bandages, and put all the dead and wounded into the ambulances to be repaired or buried with military honors by Captain "VEIN," who fearlessly penetrates the densest bones, muscles and glands, with the living waters to quench the thirst of the blue corpuscles, who are worn out by doing fatigue duty in the great combat between life and death.  He often has to run his trains on forced marches to get supplies to sustain his men of life when they have had to contend with long sieges of heat and cold.  Of all officers of life, none have greater duties to perform than the quarter-master of blood supply, who borrows the force with which he runs his deliveries from the brain which give motion to all parts of active life.


    A tubercle is a separate body being enveloped. [* Chambers]  As all descriptions of a tubercle in books amount to about this, that the tubercle is an amount of fleshy substance which may be albumen, fibrin, or any other substance collected and deposited at one place in the human body, and covered with a film composed generally of fibrinous substances, and deposited in its spherical form, and separated from all similarly formed spheres by fascia.  They may be very numerous, for many hundreds may occupy one cubic inch and yet one is distinct from all others.  They seem to develop only where fascia is abundant; in the lungs, liver, bowels and skin.  After formation they may exist and show nothing but roughened surfaces, and when the period of dissolution and the solvent powers of the chemical laboratory take possession to banish them from the system, it generally begins its labors at such time as some catarrhal disease is preying upon the human system.  Nature seems to make its first effort for the purpose of disposing of such substances as have accumulated at the catarrhal period.  At which time it brings forward all the solvent qualities and applies them with the assistance of the motor force to drive out through the bowels, lungs, porous and excretory system all irritable substances.

    Electricity is called in as the motor force to be used in expelling all unkindly substances.  By this effort of nature, which is an increased action of the motor nerves, electricity is brought to the degree of heat usually called fever, which if better understood we would possibly find to be the necessary heat of the furnace of the body being used to convert dead substances into gas which can travel through the excretory system and be thrown from the body much easier than water, lymph, albumen or fibrin.


    During this process of gas burning, a very high temperature is obtained by the increased action of the arterial system through the motor nerves, permeating those tubercles and causing an inflammation of them by the gaseous disturbance so produced; another effort of nature to convert those tubercles into gas and relieve the body of their presence and irritable occupancy.

    As an illustration we will ask the reader if it would be reasonable to expect to pass a common towel through a pipe stem.  Nevertheless nature can easily do it.  Confine the towel in a cylinder and apply fire, which in time will convert the towel into gas or smoke, and enable it to pass through the stem.  Is it not just as reasonable to suppose those high temperatures of the body are nature's furnaces, making fires out of those dead bodies, while passing them through the skin in order to get rid of these great and small towels which are packed all through the human fascia, and can only be passed from the body in a gaseous form, the gas generated by heat.,

    The blackened eye of the pugilist soon fires up its furnaces and proceeds to generate gas from the dead blood that surrounds the eye.  Though it may be considerable quantities under the skin, the blood soon disappears leaving the face and eye normal to all appearances.  No pus has formed, nor deposit left, fever disappears, the eye is well.  What better effort could nature offer than through its gas generating furnace.  I will leave any other method for you to discover.  I know of none that my reason can grasp.


    When reason sees a white corpuscle in the fascia not taken up as a nutrient, it attaches itself to the fascia with all its uterine powers during the time of measles or other eruptive diseases, and soon takes form and is a vital and durable being whose name is tubercle; in form a sphere, and place of foetal life is a cell in the fascia of life giving power to all forms of flesh.  Thus all tubercles , are unappropriated substances whom mother fascia has clothed and ordered in camp for treatment and repairs, and placed them on the list of enrolled pensioners, to draw on the treasury of the fascia, until death shall discharge them.


    The mothers of the human race give birth to children from puberty to sterility.  She may give birth a dozen times, but nature finally calls a halt, and the whole system of life sustaining nerves of the womb which are in the fascia, with blood in great abundance to supply foetal life, ceases to go farther with the processes of building beings.  Vitality for that purpose stops, never to return.  Nature has no longer a demand for her system to act as a constructing cause for other beings, of her kind, and she is free the remainder of her days.

    A question arises.  Are children all she can develop in her system and give birth to?  No, she can go through other processes of breeding.  In her fascia there is one seed, if vitalized will develop a being called measles.  She never has but one confinement.  That set of nerves that gave support and growth to measles died in the delivery of the child, and never can conceive and produce any more measles.  Another seed lives in her fascia waiting to be vitalized by the male principle of smallpox, and when it is born it always kills the nerves that gave it life and form.  And the person never can have but one such child or being during life.

    Still another seed awaits the coming of the commissary to nourish while it consumes that vitality in the fascia of the glands to develop the portly child we call mumps.  Both male and female conceive and give birth to such beings, then tear up the tracks and roads behind them, by killing the demand for such drink.

    I want to draw the mind of the reader to the fact that no being can be formed without material.  A place in which to be developed, and all forces necessary to do the needed work.  And as all excressences and abnormal growths, diseases and conditions, must have the friendly assistance of the fascia before development; the fascia is the place to look for cause of disease and the place to consult and begin the action of remedies in all diseases, even though it be the birth of a child.


    We can arrive at truth only by the powerful rules of reason, so the philosopher has shouted from the house tops of all ages.  He adjusts his many supposable causes, adds to and subtracts until he arrives at a conclusion based upon the facts of his observations.  Knowing the principles that exist in substances and seeds, b which when associated with proper conditions that powerful engine known as animal life gives the truth with fact and motion as its voucher.  We reason, if corn be planted in moist and warm earth, that action and growth will present the form of a living stalk of corn, which has existed in embryo, and still continues its vital actions as long as the proper conditions prevail, i. e., until the growth and development is completed.  If you take a seed in your fingers, push it in the ground and cover it up, incubation, growth and development is expected in obedience to the law under which it serves.  Thus we see to succeed we must deposit and cover up the seed in order that the laws of gestation may have an opportunity by which they get the results desired.  As nature always presents itself to our minds as seeds deposited in soil and season to suit, and it is loyal to its own laws only, we are constrained by this method of reasoning to conclude that disease must have a soil in which to plant its seeds before gestation and development.  It must have seasonable conditions, the rains of nourishment, also the necessary time required for such processes.  All these laws must be fulfilled to the letter, otherwise a failure is absolute.  As the great laboratory of nature is always at work in the human body, the chilling winds and poisonous breaths, with extremes of heat and cold at different seasons of the year by day and night, and the lungs and skin are continually secreting and excreting every minute, hour and day of our lives, is it not reasonable to suppose that we inhale many elements that are floating in the common winds that contain the seeds of some destructive element, to the harmony of fluids that are necessary to sustain the healthy animal forms.


    Suppose it should start the yeast, or kind of substance that lives greatly upon lime.  If this yeast in its action and thirst for food to suit its life and appetite should call in from the earth, water and atmosphere for its daily food lime substances only, and by its power, destroy all other principles taken as nourishment, is it not reasonable to sup-pose it would deposit such elements in over powering quantities in the fascia of the mucous membrane of the lungs in such quantities, as to overcome the renovating powers of the lungs and excretory system, by its paralyzing quantities of diseased fluids, all through the universal fascia of animal life.  This deposit acts as an irritant to the sensory nerves to such an extent that the electricity of the motor nerves is forced to take charge of, and run the machinery of the human body, with such velocity as to raise the temperature of the body, by putting the electricity above the normal action of animal life, and thereby generate that temperature known as fever?

    The two extremes, heat and cold, may be the causes of retention and detention.  One is detained by the contraction of cold until the blood and other fluids die by asphyxia.  The warm temperature produces relaxation of the nerves, blood, and all other vessels of the fascia, during which time the arteries are injecting too great quantities Of fluids to be renovated by the excretory systems.  Thus you have a cause for decomposition of the blood and other substances, to be conveyed to the lungs for purification and renewal.

    You have a logical foundation and a cause for all diseases, catarrhal, climatic, contagions, infections, and epidemics.  The fascia proves itself to be the probable matrix of life and death.  Beginning with the mucous membrane penetrating all parts to supply and renovate the fluids of life, and nourishing all the nerves of nutrition and assimilation.  When harmonious in normal action, health is good; when perverted, disease is destructive unto death.


    I have perused all the authority obtainable, advised with and counciled for information in reference to the cause of whooping cough until I am constrained to think, whether I say so or not, that I have had many additions of words during the conversation, and to use a homely phrase, less sense than I started out with.  My tongue is tired, my brain exhausted, my hopes disappointed and my mind disgusted, that after so much effort to obtain some positive knowledge of the disease in question, which is whooping cough, that I have received nothing that would give me any light whatever pertaining to the subject.  It winds up thus, that it may be a germ that irritates the pneumogastric nerve.  I go off as blank and empty as the fish lakes on the moon.  I supposed writers would say something in reference to the irritating influence of this disease on the nerves and muscles that would contract or convulsively shorten the muscles that attach at the one end to the os hyoid, and at the other end at various points along the neck, and force the hyoid back against the pneumogastric nerve, hypoglossal, cervical, or some other nerve that would be irritated by such pressure on nerves by the os hyoid, when pulled back and held against such nerves.  The above picture will give the reader some idea why I became so thoroughly disgusted with the heaps of compiled trash.  I say trash because there was not a single truth, great or small, to guide me in search of the desired knowledge.  And at this point I will say on my first exploration I found all of the nerves and muscles that attach to the os hyoid at any point contracted, shortened and pulling the hyoid back to and pressing against the pneumogastric nerve, and all the nerves in that vicinity.  Also each and every muscle was in a hard and contracted condition in the region of this portion of the trachea, and extended up and into the back part of the tongue.  Then I satisfied myself that this irritable condition of the muscles was possibly the cause of the spasms of the trachea during, the convulsive cough.  I proceeded at once with my hand guided by my judgment to suspend or stop for awhile the action of the nerves of sensation that go with and control the muscles of the machinery which conducts air to and from the lungs.  That my first effort while acting upon this philosophy was a complete relaxation of all muscles and fibers of that part of the neck, and when they relaxed their hold upon the respiratory machinery the breathing became normal.  I have been asked what bone I would pull when treating whooping cough?  My answer would be, the bones that held by attachment the muscles of the hyoid system in such irritable condition that begin with the atlas and terminate with the sacrum.  To him who has been a willing student of the American School of Osteopathy the successful management of whooping cough should be absolute, reliable and successful in all cases, when taken for treatment in anything like a reasonable time.


    One is always the same in form and stays in the body of animals, while the clouds, the lungs of the sky, are never the same in form.  They are sometimes very dense and separated from all others.  Such are more furious in display.  Then we see the softer clouds which cover all visible space above; they too give us rain but in a more quiet way and are more extended in space; they shade the sun, and form water by uniting oxygen and hydrogen, and supply vegetation and all demands for water.  Now we see and know the uses for the clouds or lungs of the sky, and we are led to hunt and locate the water forming clouds of the animal beings.  As we behold above us the forming clouds we see great activity, with darkness and attending shadows, without such shadows or darkness no rain can form.

    The lung of man, too, is in the shade, and surely like the clouds have much to do with the air which contains both gases, which compose water and other elements of life.  With my power of reasoning, if the lungs do not generate water and supply the human system through the secretions to sustain life, and keep the body clean and healthy by the excretories, I am at a loss to know why so much wind is taken into the body just to blow out.  One would say we live by the wind, and to cut it off we die.  At this point I will ask the question, Where and how do fishes get their wind?  If they can live on oxygen and hydrogen when united in the form of water, is not this the strongest conclusion we can come to that the lungs generate water of a purer quality than is found in the running brooks or ocean?

    Is it not reasonable to suppose that in the lungs can be found the fountain from which water is conveyed to the lymphatics and other parts of the body, to mix with the blood and keep it in proper condition while in construction and processes of renovation?  Then if this be true, have we not established and located the fountain head and supply of the nutrient waters of life?  If so are we not justified in going to that fountain for water to extinguish a fire that is consuming the body, which we call fever?  This heat never appears until the water supplying the lymphatics is very much exhausted, previous to this exhibition of heat; which the chemist would conclude was the result of the action of phosphorous uniting with oxygen without hydrogen.

    We as philosophical machinists, to extinguish this fire by every method of reason, would be forced to go to the lungs, and place them in a condition that they can generate water at once and supply the excretory ducts, which will at the first pulsation of the heart throw water upon the consuming fire, and extinguish it by uniting-oxygen with hydrogen, and cover the burning building with water by disabling the power of phosphorous and oxygen from uniting and keeping up the flames of destruction.


    For all my life previous to the day I spoke out with my conclusions of the wisdom of nature as a very wise end careful mechanic, I had been told that "God" was wise to a finish, -- from my birth until I was thirty-five years old, -- when I saw that all work done by that law of power and wisdom was absolutely perfect in all its requirements.  In vegetable life no power of human can detect a flaw or even suggest an additional leaf, limb or fruit.  I had made a long study of mineralogy in which I found each stone or mettle was in a division of life that was its own, and no other stone could appear dressed in its garb, from the black silurian to the purely transparent crystal.  I saw that a diamond could not be a ruby, neither could it be an oak, a goose nor a goat.  With all the teaching which had given God credit for his perfect construction, wisdom and ability in all nature, I reasoned that in parching seasons that the suns' fires were put out, and a feverish earth cooled by the falling dews of the clouds.  I asked of my own reason if there was not a cloud of water in the human body that could be caused to drop its dews, put out the fires of fever, and save the forests of life that were being burned every fall season.


    I reasoned that water was made by the union of two gases, hydrogen and oxygen, then a question arose, Is it not fully in line with reason that union of the two gases can and does occur in the lungs and form water, that is taken up by the secretions carried to the lymphatics, and by them to all of the system and stored away for use? Thus I reasoned, and proceeded to seek nerve centers to cause the lymphatics to discharge this water on such places and in quantities sufficient to reduce the heat called fever.  I succeeded, fevers vanished as with a magic touch, and left the persons, both old and young, in their normal temperatures without any difference as to kinds of fever to the complete list.

    Our lungs are surely the half-way place between life and death.  We are told by chemistry that two gases make water for the uses of the body.  Is it not true that nature makes water in great quantities often for special cases or conditions, for relief purposes, such as in asiatic cholera, cholera morbus, chills and fever; when the contents of stomach, bowels and skin run off many gallons of water, running through sheet and mattress and on floor, not from kidneys but skin.  Is it not plain to the man of reason that the two gases, oxygen and hydrogen, do unite in the lungs, form water and give supply to this great river of water that washes life out in but a few hours in cases of cholera and other diseases.  The person is very cold at such times, breath
and lung far below the normal, and fully enough to condense gases to water.


    Lungs have five lobes, three on right lung, and two on left.  Liver has five lobes, three on right lobe, and two on left lobe.  Nerves have five qualities, nutrition, sensation, motion, voluntary and involuntary.  Nerves have five senses, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting.  Since all principles differ in qualities or kinds of service, would it be amiss for us to inquire a little farther why the lungs and liver are provided with five divisions each, if not to do five kinds of work, and different from all other kinds in many ways?


    I want to draw your attention to the facts that there is no method known by which electricity or magnetic forces can be weighed.  When we find the nerves that connect the heart and lungs to brain limited by pressure from twist or slip of neck, do we not see cause for croup?  How would we reason to convey electricity without a connected wire?  Not at all, we would know no electric force could reach to any point unless a continued connection was made.  Now to the point; suppose the vagus nerve should be oppressed to a condition to cut off part of the electricity, would we be surprised if the heart should be feeble in action.  I think much of the diseases of the "heart" are not of the organ but from a feeble supply of electricity that is cut off in medulla or heart nerves, between heart and brain.  Why singing and roaring of ears in heart diseases, if there is no
waste of pectoral electricity?


    With the knife of reason in hand and the microscope of mind of the greatest known power properly adjusted, we cut and lay open the breast of man.  Here we dwell indefinitely.  This is the engine of life, the self-propelling machine which has constructed all that is necessary to its own convenience and comfort.  It has brought and deposited its own nourishment in the coronary arteries, whose duty is to construct and enlarge the heart from time to time as its demands increase.  We see its main trunk of supply placed lengthways with the spinal column for the purpose of constructing a manufactory of nutriment.  We pass from the heart upward about one foot, here we find it has constructed a battery of force and sensation, and contains all power necessary to carry on construction to the completed man.

    In that brain or battery is found all the motor and sensory elements of life, with nerves to transmit all nerve powers and principles found in the human body.  There is not a known atom in the whole human make-up that has not been propelled by the heart through the channels by which it has provided for such purpose.  Every muscle, bone, hair, and all other parts without an exception have traveled through this system of arteries to their separate destinations.  All are indebted to the heart for their material size, and all qualities of motion and life sustaining principles of the human body.

    If the carotid artery should tire out and not be able to perform its duty the brain would tire out also, and cease to operate.  Should the descending aorta come to a halt from any cause, all parts of the body depending upon that vessel would suffer a total loss of blood supply.  Equally so with any other principle artery of limb or body, all mark a failure equal to the suspended supply.  The parts and principles of the human body depending upon the, heart are numerous beyond computation.  Every expulsive stroke of the heart throws into line armed and equipped for duty thousands and millions of operators, whose duties are to inspect, repair injuries and construct anew if need be from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot.  With the best eye of reason we see but dimly into the breast of man which contains the heart, the wonder of man and the secret of life.

    I have given these bulky descriptions of the forest and ocean to prepare the mind of man to begin the inspection of the machinery that has constructed the body of which he is the indweller.  If we cannot swallow all, we can taste.


    The hearts of all animals should call the most careful attention of the student of nature.  He finds in it the first act of life; from it go all parts or by it all parts of the body are made, and the student of nature soon learns that at the heart he finds the first evidence of the power of life to continue and give useful shape to matter.  Its first work is to complete itself in material form with necessary chambers to hold blood and with tubes to convey to all places of need.  He sees vessels leaving the heart to form brain, lungs, liver, trunk and limbs, and with each and all he can see the nerves of motion, sensation, nutrition, the voluntary and involuntary -- all working in perfect harmony and content to do their part in the economy of life.  Without that union in action a confusion will show in form of abnormality which is known as disease.  On its work all nerves do depend for force and
strength to build and renovate the body in all its bones, muscles and nerves -- thus all channels to and from the heart must be cleared from all hindrance.  No nerve can do its part unless it be well nourished.  If not it will fail to execute its part for want of power -- for by it all blood must move.  These nerves are found in plexuses in all parts of the body; they are abundant in the skin, fascia, muscle, lymphatics and all organs great and small.  The Osteopath must know or learn that no infringement can be tolerated in any part.  Nature's demands are surely absolute, and require that the last farthing shall be paid in full.  Now for a start we will explore the neck; here we have the great and small occipital and the cervical group all receiving from the brain and feeding parts below.  Thus we must stop at the neck and read the lessons that can be found there, and learn them well; or we will find that we will not be able to meet diseases only to be defeated.  We must have the fight during the four seasons of the year.  In the cold seasons we will find lung and other diseases -- croup, pneumonia, diphtheria, sore throat.  All these do their mischief through the nerves of the neck.

    Where is or who is the great thinker who knows and can tell all of the duties and actions of the nerves of the neck, or what nerve failed and slept while a tubercle was formed in the lungs?  Which nerve slept while fat is heaped up in useless piles in the body?  Let us wake up!  Consumption does not come without a cause.  What plexus is overcome and allows the lungs to waste away?  To what ganglion of the spine would the finger of reason point, and say, "that is the cause of phthisis pulmonlis?"  In our search we find a division of nerves run from the brain through the regions of the neck, and find a point at which a branch leaves a greater nerve on a line that leads to the lungs.  We will likely find a ganglion at which place all or much of one or both lungs are supplied.  Then we, by reason, would see that freedom of action cannot be.  If some substance should intrude by pressure on any nerve in that region, we must judge by conditions if that pressure has cut off nutrition equal to feeble condition of the lungs.


    In our physiologies we read much about digestion.  We will start in where they stop.  They bring us to the lungs with chyle fresh as made and placed in thoracic duct, previous to flowing into the heart to be transferred to lungs to be purified, charged with oxygen and otherwise qualified, and sent off for duty, though the arteries great and small, to the various parts of the system.  But there is nothing said of the time when all blood is gas (if ever) before it is taken up by the secretions, after refinement, and driven to the lungs to be mixed with the old blood from the venous system.  A few questions about the blood seem to hang around my mental crib for food.  Reason says we cannot use blood before it has all passed through the gaseous stage of refinement, which reduces all material to the lowest forms of atoms, before constructing any material body.  I think it safe to assume that all muscles and bones of our body have been in the gas state while in the process of preparing substances for blood.  A world of questions arise at this point.


    The first is, Where and how is food made into gas while in the body?  If you will listen to a dyspeptic after eating you will wonder where he gets all the wind that he rifts from his stomach, and continues for one or two hours after each meal.  That gas is generated in the stomach and intestines, and we are led to believe so because we know of no other place in which it can be made and thrown into the stomach by any tubes or other methods of entry.  Thus by the evidence so far the stomach and bowels are the one place in which this gas is generated.  Now comes question two: As I have spoken of the stomach that generates and ejects great quantities of gas for a longer or shorter time after meals, this class of people have always been called dyspeptics.  Another class of the same race of beings stand side by side with him, without this gas generating.  He, too, eats and drinks of the same kind of food, without any of the manifestations that have been described in the first class.  Why does one stomach blow off gas continually, while the other does not? is a very deep, serious and interesting question.  As number two throws off no gas from the stomach after eating, is this conclusive evidence that his stomach generates no gas?  Or does his stomach and bowels form gas just as fast as No. 1? and the secretions of the stomach and bowels take up and retain the nutritious matter and pass the remainder of the gas by way of the excretory ducts through the skin?  If the excretory ducts take up and carry this gas out of the body by way of the skin, and he is a healthy man, why not account for No. one's stomach ejecting this gas by way of the mouth, because of the fact that the secretions of the stomach are either clogged up or inactive, for want of vital motion of the nerve terminals of the stomach.  Another question in connection with this subject: Why is the man whose stomach belches forth gas in such abundance also suffering with cold feet, hands and all over the body, while No. 2 is quite warm and comfortable, with a glow of warmth passing from his body all the time?  With these hints I will ask the question: What is digestion?