George V. Webster, D.O.
OSTEOPATHY AND TRUTH. A. T. Still,
M. D., D. O.
HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY. Asa Willard,
HOW I CAME TO ORIGINATE
OSTEOPATHY. A. T. Still, M.D.,D.O.
WHAT OSTEOPATHY IS. Carl P. McConnell,
THE POINT OF
DEPARTURE BETWEEN OSTEOPATHY AND MEDICINE. E. E. Bucker, D. O.
DISEASE FROM AN OSTEOPATHIC
VIEWPOINT, M. F. HULETT. B. S., D. O.
WHAT OSTEOPATHIC LESIONS ARE.
G. M. LAUGHLIN, M.S.D., D.O.
MANNER OF TREATMENT. G. V. WEBSTER,
Differences Between Osteopathy and Massage, A. R.
Still, M.D., D.O.
An Illulstration. Asa Willard, D.O.
SCIENTIFIC PROOFS OF OSTEOPATHY.
G. V. Webster, D.O.
A SUMMARY OF OSTEOPATHIC
RESEARCH WORK. J. DEASON, M.S., D.O.
THE OSTEOPATHIC EDUCATION:
Osteopathy, A Distinct School. C.P. McConnell,D.O.
Osteopathic Teaching. C. C. Trall, D.O.
The Osteopathic Curriculum, R. H. Williams, D.O.
APPLICATION OF OSTEOPATHIC
PRINCIPLES. G.V. Webster, D.O.
Diseases of the Nervous System
Diseases of the Digestive System
Diseases of the Respiratory System
Diseases of the Circulatory System
Diseases of the Kidney
Diseases of the Pelvic Organs
Diseases of the Skin
Acute Infectious Diseases
Diseases of the Eye and Ear
THE GROWTH OF OSTEOPATHY. A.
G. Hildreth, D.O.
OSTEOPATHIC STATISTICS. G. V. Webster,
OSTEOPATHIC INSTITUTIONS. C.
M. T. Hulett, D.O.
OSTEOPATHY AND SURGERY. Geo. A.
Still, M.S., M.D., D.O.
HOW OSTEOPATHY TREATS THE
BLOOD. C. P. McConnell, D.O.
OSTEOPATHY AND THE GERM THEORY.
R. E. Hamilton, M.Ph,,D.O.
THE VALUE OF OSTEOPATHY
TO THE CHILD. Mina Abbott Robinson, D. O.
WOMAN AND OSTEOPATHY. Roberta Wimer-Ford,
OSTEOPATHY A PREVENTIVE
OF DISEASE. G.V.Webster, D.O.
A DELICATE QUESTION—LIFE
THE RESULTS OF OSTEOPATHIC
PRACTICE. G. V.Webster,D.O.
OSTEOPATHY IN THE FUTURE. Russell
DR. ANDREW TAYLOR STILL
OSTEOPATHIC HOSPITAL AND SCHOOL AT
THE MASSACHUSETTS AND PHILADELPHIA
THE CHICAGO COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY
COTTAGE IN WHICH OSTEOPATHY WAS FIRST TAUGHT
OSTEOPATHIC COLLEGES AT DES MOINES AND LOS
THE "OLD DOCTOR" STUDYING THE FEMUR
The purpose of this volume is to reflect the position occupied by Osteopathy
as a system of therapy. Osteopathy is the name applied to that school of
practice of the healing art which has developed as the result of the theories
and discoveries of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. The two basic theories, first
propounded by Dr. Still, and forming the tenets upon which the osteopathic
school rests are: first, the theory of the mechanical lesion as a cause
of disease; and, second, the theory that the normal chemical body is practically
Osteopathy has so demonstrated its usefulness to mankind that a spirit
of inquiry has been aroused as to just what Osteopathy is, what it has
done and what may be expected of it. With a view to preparing a volume
which may in a measure provide the information desired, these pages have
Little originality of text has been attempted, but, rather, in the review
of the osteopathic literature that has appeared from time to time in the
professional and other publications, an effort has been made to select
such articles as seem appropriate for this volume. These, in some instances
rearranged and condensed to omit technicalities, have been compiled in
a more or less logical order, giving the history of Osteopathy, its development
as a science, an exposition of its theories, some of its practical workings
and something concerning its founder, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still.
Acknowledgment is here made of the courtesy of the several publishers
for the permission granted to select from their pages such articles and
quotations as appear in this book. Where possible, credit has been given
both to author and to publication.
I am indebted to Dr. J. Deason, for contributing an original chapter;
to Drs. Asa Willard, Carl P. McConnell, Geo. A. Still, R. H. Williams and
R. E. Hamilton for revision of chapters; to Drs. Mina Abbott Robinson,
Roberta Wimer-Ford and E. E. Tucker for revision of articles, to Drs. G.
W. Riley, A. G. Hildreth and J. Deason for statistical information, and
to many other professional friends for valuable aid and suggestions relative
to the revision.
CARTHAGE, N. Y. G. V. WEBSTER
June 1, 1919
OSTEOPATHY AND TRUTH
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy.)
From an address by DR. ANDREW TAYLOR STILL
delivered on his eightieth birthday.
I am sure that no man of brilliant mind can
pass this milepost and not hitch his team and
do some precious loading.
A. T. STILL.
Osteopathy is the knowledge of the structure,
relation and function of each part of the
human body applied to the adjustment or
correction of whatever interferes with the
harmonious operation of the same.
G. V. WEBSTER, D.O.
OSTEOPATHY AND TRUTH
BY ANDREW TAYLOR STILL, M.D., D.O.
While for years I fought the battles of Osteopathy alone, meeting
great opposition and vilification, I knew I had the truth and that the
truth was immortal and that some day the principles of Osteopathy would
be hailed with gladness throughout the earth. The principles are in harmony
with the great laws of God as seen in Nature. Osteopathy deals with the
body as a perfect machine, which, if kept in proper adjustment, nourished
and cared for, will run smoothly into ripe and useful old age. As long
as the human machine is in order, like the locomotive or any other mechanical
product, it will perform the function which it should. When every part
of the machine is correctly adjusted and in perfect harmony, health will
hold dominion over the human organism by laws as natural and immutable
as the laws of gravity. Every living organism has within it the power to
manufacture and prepare all chemicals and forces needed to build and rebuild
itself. No material other than nutritious food taken into the system in
proper quality and quantity can be introduced from the outside without
detriment. A proper adjustment of the bony framework and the soft structures
of man’s anatomical mechanism means good digestion, nutrition and circulation,
health and happiness.
Osteopathy is not a theory, but a demonstrated fact. You may say there
are some failures. Yes, who would not expect it? We are called to treat
people who have been poisoned and diseased beyond the possibility of anything
except a little temporary relief. Or perhaps the Osteopath is not able
to apply the knowledge he should have gained before being granted a diploma
from an osteopathic school. This reflects no more upon the science of Osteopathy
than does the farmer who fails upon the science of farming. Again many
are looking for miracles and are disappointed when a few treatments fail
to bring wonted strength and vigor.
HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY
BY ASA WILLARD, D.O.
HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopahy)
The philosopher begins an ignorant man,
knows this to be his condition and uses the many
methods that occur to his mind to better his
condition by a knowledge of demonstrated truths.
A. T. STILL
The starting point of medicine is further back in history; the
starting point of Osteopathy is further back in Nature.
E. E. TUCKER, D.O.
The early history of Osteopathy is the history of one man, its founder,
Dr. A. T. Still. Its principles were first put forth by him in 1874.
Dr. Still was a regular practicing physician and during the war, an
army surgeon. He was born in Virginia, his father being a minister. The
family moved west and Dr. Still, during his early life, experienced all
the perils and hardships of pioneer life.
Dr. Still was always of an observing, investigating turn of mind. An
incident illustrative of this is told of his boyhood days. After playing
hard, he was often troubled with a headache. One day he lay down under
the swing tree, with the back of his neck slung in the swing rope which
almost touched the ground. He fell asleep. When he awoke, he found that
his headache was gone. They usually lasted him a good while and he got
to thinking of it. After that when he had a headache, he went to the swing
rope. Of course, all he knew about the procedure then or for years afterward
was that the headache stopped. The treatment, however, was rational and
its results can be explained physiologically. The pressure of the rope
simply caused the tissue at the back of the skull to relax and allow the
congesting blood to flow from the head.
In the early seventies, Dr. Still had three children die from spinal
meningitis, in spite of the employment of every means known to medical
science at that time. This experience seemed to thoroughly confirm him
in the view that something was lacking in the accepted mode of treating
disease. He began devoting almost his whole time to the study of the human
body and investigating along lines that suggested themselves to him. He
dissected animals and dug the bones from old Indian graves to get material
for his study. His "bag of bones" came to be a joke throughout that part
of Kansas, in which state the Still family then lived.
In his autobiography, he says of his study of the body of man, "By the
use of the knife and the microscope I have traced for these many years
the wonderful and perfect work therein found, carefully inspecting every
fiber, gland and all parts of the brain; I have observed the construction
of the parts and their uses."
Great thoughts do not come spontaneously, but the basic idea may, after
years of study, come in a moment to the investigator. In 1874 Dr. Still
grasped the pivotal truth of Osteopathy and that year he calls the birth
year of the science. He began devoting his whole time to the development
of his science and as he did so he experienced that derision and ridicule
which have always been the lot of those whose discoveries have meant radical
departure from the established ideas.
When, in the seventeenth century, Harvey discovered and proclaimed how
the blood circulated from the heart through arteries and veins, he was
designated as "crazy" by his medical brethren and ostracized from medical
societies. Such was the treatment accorded Dr. Still.
His medical friends sneered at him and when he made efforts to explain
to them his discovery they refused to listen to his "crazy" talk. He lost
practice, his friends fell away from him. He was well to do and had accumulated
considerable property in Kansas. He and his brother had donated 480 acres
of land for the site of Baker University at Baldwin, Kansas. When he asked
the privilege of explaining Osteopathy at the University, the doors of
the structure he had helped to build were closed against him. He gradually
lost his property and with his family moved to Missouri. For about ten
years he traveled over the state visiting patients in various places. At
times he actually wanted for life’s necessities. He finally located in
Kirksville, Mo., and practiced there and throughout the surrounding country.
His work was almost entirely confined to the poor and very little of it
was paid for. Every now and then, rumors of some wonderful cures which
he had performed pervaded the community. Among those whom he had cured,
he had loyal friends, but in the main the community referred to him as
"that old quack, Still" and they attributed what success he had to faith
cure, mesmerism, etc. "Doctor," a lady said to him one morning, "Now, be
honest with me; isn’t your success due to hypnotism?" Well, madam, it may
be," replied the doctor, "I’ve set three hips already this morning."
In spite of the aspersion and ridicule heaped upon him and the difficulty
of making both ends meet, he was always cheerful and optimistic and eternally
confident of the world’s ultimate recognition of Osteopathy. There was
always a oneness of purpose in his work. This, combined with a heart filled
with charity, seemed entirely to exclude all thoughts of money matters
or personal aggrandizement.
I remember an incident in my own acquaintance with him which was illustrative
of this and which occurred a few years after he had started his school.
I was sitting with him on his back porch and, with an open anatomy in his
lap and a skeleton at his side, he was explaining to me some point of the
bodily structure. A little crippled girl on crutches came around the corner
of the house. She was a charity patient. "Oh, yes, I want to look after
this little girl. Now you see"—and he then entered into an explanation
of her condition and how it could be corrected. While he was talking, his
wife came to the door and said, "Pa, Senator----‘s wife is waiting for
you in the parlor." "All right, in a minute," said the Doctor, and, with
one hand on the little girl’s back, he went on explaining. After a while,
concluding with, "Now we’ll go over to the school," he started for the
school, having to be reminded again of the lady who was waiting for him
in the house. He had become so interested in the little crippled charity
patient that he had forgotten all about the United States Senator’s wife
whose husband was one of the most influential men in the country.
Hard work, persistence and self-sacrifice finally won. Occasionally
some person of prominence became interested. His theory was so rational
that these brought others. In spite of the fact that his patients were
almost entirely from those claimed as hopelessly incurable by the old method
of healing, some of his cures were marvelous. People began to be attracted
from distances and the "Old Doctor" with his two oldest sons, Charlie and
Harry, soon had as much practice as they could attend to.
In 1892, he established a school. Many of his friends tried to deter
him, some thinking his ability was a gift and could not be imparted to
others. Others said that he was a fool; that after all these years of struggle,
he ought to hold on to his secret himself and become wealthy. But money
was the last thing about which Dr. Still thought. After the establishment
of the school, although opposition by no means ceased, recognition came
Unlike the vast;majority of the great who have made revolutionary discoveries
of benefit to mankind, he lived to see the fruit of his labors—to see his
science generally recognized. He died December 12, 1917, and would have
been ninety years of age at his next birthday. Admired as a scientist,
he was loved as a man. In the little city of Kirksville, where he lived,
the citizens referred affectionately to him as the "Old Doctor," and many
there are who will keep him in lifelong, loving memory. His staff laid
down, his labors ended, it can be said of him as it was said of another:
"Were everyone to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to
his grave, he would sleep beneath a wilderness of flowers."
A brief outline of the present status of Osteopathy will serve to show
the remarkable progress made by this system of healing since the first
school was established in 1892,--a progress unequaled in a like period
of time by any system which the history of the healing art records. The
first class, enrolled in the school which Dr. Still established in 1892,
numbered eighteen. The classes were conducted in a two-room frame cottage
which today looks across the street toward a four-story building, which
houses complete laboratories and facilities for instructing the seven hundred
osteopathic students of The American School of Osteopathy. By the side
of this building is a large hospital, one of the best equipped and most
efficiently managed of any in the country.
Since the establishment of this school, other well equipped osteopathic
schools have been established and modern osteopathic hospitals are run
in connection with them. Besides the American School of Osteopathy at Kirksville,
Missouri, there are now: The Massachusetts College of Osteopathy at Boston,
Mass.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Des Moines-Still College of Osteopathy, Des Moines,
Ia.; The Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery and the Central
College of Osteopathy, Kansas City, Mo.; Chicago College of Osteopathy,
Chicago, Ill.; and the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons at
Los Angeles, Cal. In addition to these schools, the profession has established
the A. T. Still Osteopathic Research Institute, at Chicago, Ill. Already
an endowment fund of $100,000.00 has been subscribed for its support. That
it may be of the utmost efficiency in developing the humanity-benefiting
truths promulgated by the founder of Osteopathy, it is the intention of
the osteopathic physicians and their friends to raise $,1,000,000.00 for
There are today seven thousand osteopathic physicians practicing their
profession in the United States and Canada, and the profession has representatives
in all of the leading foreign countries. Its practitioners have been accorded
legal recognition in all of the states and in a number of the Canadian
provinces. In many instances they have been grated independent State Examining
The national organization of the profession, The American Osteopathic
Association, enrolls over fifty per cent of all graduate Osteopaths. An
examination will show that this percentage of the active membership in
a profession’s national organization is paralleled by no other profession
in the world. The profession’s increase and progress simply indicates the
public acceptance of the osteopathic idea.
HOW I CAME TO ORIGINATE OSTEOPATHY
By ANDREW Taylor Still, M.D., D.O.
HOW I CAME
TO ORIGINATE OSTEOPATHY
(Reprinted by permission from the Ladies’ Home Journal.)
I first saw the tracks of God in the snow of
time. I followed them.
A. T. STILL
Tradition has been the everlasting
parent of tyranny.
A. T. STILL
My first awakening to the principles which today have culminated in
the science called "Osteopathy" came when I was about ten years old. I
was a boy on my father’s farm in Macon County, Missouri. I was subject
to sick headaches, and while suffering from one of these attacks one day
I was instinctively led to make a swing of my father’s plowline between
two trees. My head hurt too much to make swinging comfortable. I let the
line down to within eight or ten inches of the ground, threw the end of
a blanket on it, and lay down on the ground, using the line for a swinging
pillow. To my surprise I soon began to feel easier, and went to sleep.
In a little while I got up with headache and fever gone. This discovery
interested me, and after that, whenever I felt my headache spells coming
on, I would "swing my neck," as I called it.
The next incident which gave me cause for thought occurred when I contracted
dysentery, or flux, with copious discharges mixed with blood. There were
chilly sensations, high fever, backache and cold abdomen. It seemed to
me my back would break, the misery was so great. A log was lying in my
father’s yard. In the effort to get comfort I threw myself across it on
the small of my back and made a few twisting motions, which probably restored
the misplaced bones to their normal position, for soon the pain began to
leave, my abdomen began to get warm, the chilly sensation disappeared,
and that was the last of the flux.
MILL MACHINERY INTERESTED ME
My father, as a pioneer, was a farmer, a mill owner, a minister and
a doctor. I studied and practiced medicine with him.
Pioneer life on a Western farm in those days was such that all the inventive
powers one might possess were given ample chance to show forth. There was
very little to buy and less money to buy it with. My father had a grist
and sawmill run by water, in the working of which I became very much interested.
Later, I bought an interest in a steam sawmill, and took a course of instruction
in milling machinery for practical purposes.
As I studied this mill machinery I got my first clear idea of the machinery
of the human body. My mind invariably associated and compared the machinery
of the mill with the machinery of the human being: with the drivewheels,
pinions, cups, arms and shafts of the human, with their forces and supplies,
framework, attachment by ligament and muscle, the nerve and blood supply.
"How" and "where" the motor nerves receive their power and motion, how
the sensory and nutrient nerves act in their functions, their source of
supply, their work done in health, in the parts obstructed, parts and principles
through which they passed to perform their duties of life—all this study
in human mechanics awoke with new vigor within me. I believed that something
abnormal could be found which, by tolerating a temporary or permanent suspension
of the blood in arteries or veins, would produce the effect which was called
With this thought in mind came such questions as: What is disease? What
is fever? Is fever an effect? I took disease to be an effect, experimenting
and proving the position, being sustained each time by Nature’s response
in the affirmative.
Early in the sixties I took a course of instruction in the Kansas City
School of Physicians and Surgeons, studying such branches as were taught
in the medical schools of that day. I took up the regular practice of an
allopathic physician. I was called a good doctor.
"THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND IS MAN"
During all this time I had devoted a large part of my time to the study
of anatomy, which attracted me strongly. I read every book on the subject
I could get hold of, but my chief source of study was the book of Nature.
I found myself more and more believing that "the proper study of mankind
is man," and the best method to pursue it is to dissect and study the body
itself. The skinning of wild animals in my youth brought me into contact
with muscles, nerves and veins.
The skeletons of the Indians were my next study in bones, and I went
on making numberless experiments with bones until I became very familiar
with the entire bony structure of the human body. Finally, I tried an experiment
of my own: I made a picture or chart of the bones of the whole body, then
stood blindfolded, or with my back to a table. A bone would be handed to
me by an assistant. I would take it in my hands and by the "feel" of it
would name it and direct where it should be placed on the chart (right
or left). I carried this to the extent of even the smallest bones of the
hands and feet and those of the spine, until the chart was filled in completely.
This I used to do over and over again. For not less than twelve months
I studied bones alone, before t aking up Descriptive Anatomy, because I
wanted to know what a bone is and its use. I became as familiar with every
bone as I was with the words "father" and "mother." Of course all this
meant untiring work, and I have hardly expected my students to follow me
over the entire length of this portion of my road. Nevertheless, I believe
as strongly today as ever that the closer they follow this road, the better
for their patients. They must study and know the exact construction of
the human body, the exact location of every bone, nerve, fiber, muscle
and organ; the origin, the course and flow of all the fluids of the body,
the relation of each to the other and the function it is to perform in
perpetuating life and health. In addition, they must have ability to enable
them to detect the exact location of any and all obstructions to the regular
movements of this grand machinery of life, and supplement this ability
with skill to remove all such obstructions.
From this study in bones I went on to the study of muscles, ligaments,
tissues, arteries, veins, lymphatics and nerves.
I began now to feel that I was irresistibly headed for some road: what
road I myself knew not. Of one thing I was certain: I was getting farther
away from the use of medicines in the treatment of ills and ails. I was
a physician of the old school in name but not in fact.
I carried on my theories: I practiced them wherever I could find people
who would place confidence in me, until the Civil War came on. Then I enlisted
and went "to the front."
On resuming my duties as a private citizen after the war, I took up
again the study and research of my all-absorbing topic: how to cure disease
without medicine, and on June 22, 1874, there came into my mind the first
clear conception of the practical workings of what is now known as the
Science of Osteopathy. This day I celebrate as its birthday.
ONE OF THE FIRST CASES I TREATED
In the autumn of 1974 I was given a chance to try my ideas on a case
of flux. I was walking with a friend on the streets of Macon, Missouri,
in which town I was visiting, when I noticed in advance of us a woman with
three children. I called my friend’s attention to fresh blood that had
dripped along the street for perhaps fifty yards. We caught up with the
group and discovered that the woman’s little boy, about four years old,
was sick. He had only a calico dress on, and, to my wonder and surprise,
his legs and feet were covered with blood. A glance was enough to show
that the mother was poor. We immediately offered our services to help the
boy home. I picked him up and placed my hand on the small of his back.
I found it hot, while the abdomen was cold. The neck and the back of the
head were also very warm and the face and nose very cold. This set me to
reasoning, for up to that time the most I knew of flux was that it was
fatal in a great many cases. I had never before asked myself the question:
What is flux? I began to reason about the spinal cord which gives off its
motor nerves to the front of the body, its sensory to the back; but that
gave no clew to flux. Beginning at the base of the child’s brain, I found
rigid and loose places in the muscles and ligaments of the whole spine,
while the lumbar portion was very much congested and rigid. The thought
came to me, like a flash, that there might be a strain or some partial
dislocation of the bones of the spine or ribs, and that by pressure I could
adjust the bones and set free the nerve and blood supply to the bowels.
On this basis of reasoning I treated the child’s spine, and told the mother
to report the next day. She came the next morning with the news that her
child was well.
There were many cases of flux in the town at that time and shortly after,
and the mother, telling of my cure of the child, brought a number of cases
to me. I cured them all by my own method and without drugs. This began
to stir up comment, and I soon found myself the object of curiosity and
Another case which I was asked to see brought upon me still further
criticism. A young woman was suffering with nervous prostration. All hope
had been given up by the doctors, and the family was so told. After a number
of medical councils her father came to me and said: "The doctors say my
daughter cannot live. Will you step in and look at her?" I found the young
woman in bed, and from the twisted manner in which her head lay I suspected
a partial dislocation of the neck. On examination I found this to be true—one
of the upper bones of her neck was slipped to one side, shutting off, by
pressure, the vertebral artery on its way to supply the brain. In four
hours after I had carefully adjusted the bones of her neck she was up and
out of bed.
WHY I STARTED A SCHOOL OF OSTEOEPATHY
I went through those interesting yet trying days deaf to criticism and
comment. I worked alone, studying, investigating, experimenting.
Gradually people began coming to me in increasing numbers, and soon
I found that my practice was beginning to grow beyond the limits of my
strength. Several persons, seeing my increasing practice, now began to
urge me to teach them a knowledge of the practical workings of my discovery.
In the early nineties I concluded to teach others the principles that underlay
my drugless work. I realized that I must have help or break down. I had
four sons and one daughter, able-bodied young people, and the thought came
to me to educate them in this science in order that they could assist me
in my work.
I employed the best talent that I could find to teach them anatomy,
physiology and chemistry, teaching them, myself, the principles and practice
of my own science. After my school had been in running order a short time
others became interested and asked permission to join, and the class increased
in numbers. At the end of the first year I had some students who were able
to help me in a way, and in the course of two years I really had assistance.
This was the origin of what is known today as the "American School of Osteopathy."
With the origination of the school came, of course, the necessity of
a name to designate the science, and I chose "Osteopathy." I reasoned that
the bone, "osteon," was the starting point from which I was to ascertain
the cause of pathological conditions, and I combined the "osteo" with "pathy."
So "Osteopathy," sketched briefly, was launched upon the world.
NOW WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?
Many people naturally ask: "What is Osteopathy?"
Osteopathy is simply this: The law of human life is absolute, and I
believe that God has placed the remedy for every disease within the material
house in which the spirit of life dwells. I believe that the Maker of man
has deposited in some part or throughout the whole system of the human
body drugs in abundance to cure all infirmities: that all the remedies
necessary to health are compounded within the human body. They can be administered
by adjusting the body in such manner that the remedies may naturally associate
themselves together And I have never failed to find all these remedies.
At times some seemed to be out of reach, but by a close study I always
found them. So I hold that man should study and use only the drugs that
are found in his own drug store—that is, in his own body.
Osteopathy is, then, a science built upon this principle: that man is
a machine, needing, when diseased, an expert mechanical engineer to adjust
its machinery. It stands for the labor, both mental and physical, of the
engineer, or Osteopath, who comes to correct the abnormal conditions of
the human body and restore them to the normal. Of course, "normal" does
not simply mean a readjustment of bones to a normal position in order that
muscles and ligaments may with freedom play in their allotted places. Beyond
all this lies the still greater question to be solved: How and when to
apply the touch which sets free the chemicals of life as Nature designs?
Osteopathy to me has but one meaning, and that is, that the plan and
specification by which man is constructed and designed shows absolute perfection
in all its parts and principles. When a competent anatomist (as the successful
Osteopath must be), in treating the human body, follows this plan and specification,
the result will be a restoration of physiological functioning from disease
An Osteopath is only a human engineer who should understand all the
laws governing the human engine and thereby master disease.
Tie a string around your finger—tight. What
will follow? The finger will turn red, and
then it will turn black. In time it will
die, and perhaps in consequence you will
die too. No treatment, internal or external,
material or mental, can save your
finger so long as the string remains. The
only thing necessary is the removal of the
string. This in a crude way illustrates the
principle which is the basis of Osteopathy.
This principle is that anything which interferes
with blood currents or with nerve impulses
must be overcome in order to secure health
of the parts affected.
E. M. DOWNING, D. O.
WHAT OSTEOPATHY IS
BY CARL P. McCONNELL, D.O.
WHAT OSTEOPATHY IS
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy.)
When all parts of the human body are in line,
we have perfect health. When they are not,
the effect is disease. When the parts are readjusted
disease gives place to health.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy is not a remedy. It is not a part of
medicine or surgery. It is not a treatment for
some particular class or group of diseases.
It is a complete system of therapeutics applicable
alike to all curable diseases.
PERCY H. WOODHALL, D. O.
The science of Osteopathy primarily depends for its success upon a thorough
and comprehensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
Osteopathy has for its object the maintenance of the complete circuit of
the motor, sensory and sympathetic nerves, to and from all the organs and
tissues and the restoration of that harmonious action which must ensue
when all parts are unirritated by any cause, thus permitting a perfect
freedom of all fluids, forces and substances pertaining to life.
In the application of this knowledge to the healing art is where the
School of Osteopathy differs from its predecessors. Osteopathy retains
the knowledge gained in the medical world, but believes that the administration
of drugs in a remedial sense is a mistake and that, by a thorough understanding
of the mechanism of the human system, on an anatomical, physiological and
hygienic basis, disease can be prevented or controlled in an exact and
definite manner by the application of principles peculiar to osteopathic
More and more it is being realized that the use of drugs is not to be
depended upon; and the intelligent physician, as well as layman, is not
satisfied with the results. It is even questioned whether their use has
not been more harmful than the sum of all the diseases of mankind.
Osteopathy, on the other hand, depends for its remedial effects upon
the integrity of nature; consequently the Osteopath believes that the giving
of drugs for the cure of human ills is unreliable and unscientific.
HUMAN SYSTEM COMPLETE IN ITSELF
The human system is a perfect organism, a universe within itself, and
being complete has the recuperative power of Nature within it. If such
were not the case, the human body would be incomplete, man would be obliged
to seek extraneous aid in the alleviation of disease, and in such instance
the use of medical agencies would probably be more of a success.
The first step in osteopathic attainment is an exhaustive knowledge
of anatomical structures and the physiological functions of the human body.
Then is observed the fact that man is a complete being, capable of performing
his own mental and physical acts when in health; that disease is simply
evidence of disorder, and to restore health necessitates a correction of
The human organism contains the attributes of a physical mechanism.
Vital functions are conditioned and amenable to the structural laws of
physics. This fact determines the value of the science of Osteopathy—its
practicalness. Herein is contained the essence of the art of Osteopathy.
In the restoration of health the Osteopath works entirely in harmony
with nature, correcting disorders of mind and body upon a physical basis
through the application of his knowledge of the laws and principles of
the human body, thereby looking upon disease as some disorder of the normal
function of the body, and not as an entity to be attacked by some foreign
force which would only alleviate, antagonize or overshadow the real trouble.
EXAMINATION OF THE PATIENT
The patient is examined from a physical viewpoint. Pathological conditions
and symptoms are used as clews to find the cause of the disease. Back of
these signs and symptoms of the disease must be traced the origin of the
nerve supply and the course of the blood channels from the parts diseased
to the exact region, or primary lesion, causing the abnormal condition.
The cause of the disease may be a dislocated or sub-dislocated bone,
ligament, cartilage, or muscle, producing an inhibition or irritation of
a nerve fiber or causing obstruction to an artery, vein, lymphatic or some
fluid of the body, thereby resulting in disorder to that part of the body
to which the affected nerve or vessel is connected or distributed. When
the point of exact cause of the disease is located, aid is given crippled
nature in reestablishing the normal activities of its forces.
The mode of treatment is a scientific manipulation, applying the mechanical
principle which is indicated in each separate case. Osteopathic treatment
is not simply applicable to a particular line of diseases, but controls
with precision and success all curable diseases of the entire category.
Its newly discovered principles, peculiar to osteopathic practice, are
of an unerring and comprehensive nature.
Osteopathy’s laws and principles, being in harmony with, and, in fact,
part of the infinite natural forces of life, show its predominance over
all previous schools of medicine.
The Osteopath does not depend upon medicine to act upon the structure
or function of the disordered tissue, for the diseased tissue is simply
an effect, but he relies upon the natural forces within the human body.
He first corrects the structural deviations of any region that may be affected
and thus restores physiological harmony to the diseased parts, and this
being done, health must ensue.
A person walking over an uneven walk, may
unexpectedly step in a depression and twist
the spine. There is momentary pain that is
soon forgotten. The injured place remains.
The tissues become thickened. The movement
of the joint is practically lost, the vertebral
foramina are partly closed,, and there is
disturbance of function of everything in relation.
The person may not be aware that it
is tender until some osteopathic physician
presses directly on the spot.
M. E. CLARK, D.O.
THE POINT OF DEPARTURE BETWEEN OSTEOPATHY AND MEDICINE
By E. E. TUCKER, D.O.
POINT OF DEPARTURE BETWEEN
OSTEOPATHY AND MEDICINE
(Reprinted by permission from the Osteopathic Magazine.)
I felt I must anchor my boat to living truths and follow them
wheresoever they might drift.
A. T. STILL
In an open hearing before a committee of the State legislature of New
Jersey, a question was asked by one of the members of the committee that
"What," said he, "is the point of departure between Osteopathy and medicine?"
If we are right in believing that all who think at all about Osteopathy
ask themselves consciously or unconsciously the same question, then the
answer will be pertinent here.
The most conspicuous point of departure is that the doctor of medicine
gives medicine; the osteopathic physician does not, but instead corrects
structural disorders, which the medical doctor does not, and leaves the
rest to Nature. Many things they have in common, that is, they both correct
bad habits, advise diet, use surgery occasionally, etc.
In his mind the average man asks why this is a point of departure? Are
the two systems not compatible?
They are incompatible. And they are incompatible practically, psychologically,
historically, educationally, scientifically, and philosophically.
PRACTICAL POINT OF DEPARTURE
The osteopathic physician corrects disorders because he finds them.
No other reason need be given. And he leaves the rest to Nature because
he finds that that is all that is necessary. A purely practical thing is
the practice of Osteopathy. The practice of medicine, on the other hand,
uses medicines because it "believes" in them and because the authority
of its school teaches them; that is to say, because such is the traditional
practice of that profession. It is not because medicines have been found
efficient. What the medical world really has found out about medicines
is—that it has to keep on discarding them, and hunting for new ones.
Is the use of the word "belief" here justifiable? I think it is, and
incidentally it brings us to the psychological point of departure. "Belief"
in drugs is buried centuries deep in the mind of the whole people When
some man becomes a doctor of medicine, he carries this belief with him.
It takes years of practical experience to shake it. As fast as the belief
is destroyed at the top it is renewed again at the bottom.
Also one believes in what one does. The belief in drugs is a natural
consequence, as well as the cause, of giving them.
No fault is to be found with the medical profession for this. The medical
profession is merely that part of the great public which devotes itself
to the care and the cure of disease along traditional lines. The fault,
if it is a fault at all, is to be attributed to human nature—mystery-loving,
miracle-loving, conservative—living nine-tenths in the shadows it has itself
The historical point of departure dates from the very beginning of Osteopathy.
It was rejected by the medical profession. Dr. Still proclaimed his new
discoveries to his brother practitioners of medicine of that time and place,
and has continued to present them ever since. They were and are rejected
as being impossible and absurd; which means that they are incompatible
with the training of the medical mind and with the practice of the medical
Compelled thus to grow up outside the medical school, the new practice
nevertheless continued to develop until it became both a separate profession
and a separate science. It cured and continued to cure those who came to
it, many of whom thereupon became practitioners—practitioners on whom medicine
and surgery had failed—and these helped to emphasize the difference between
medicine and Osteopathy.
The strongest point in the historical departure was this, that Osteopathy
had an opportunity at first with only those on whom medicines had failed;
whereas medicine handled all cases as they came, of whom at least eighty-five
per cent recover anyway, with or without medicine; for which nevertheless
medicine gets credit. Thus only in the case of Osteopathy was there a fair
test of value. This test was immensely favorable to the new system.
Its success, however, did not bring about the glad acclaim of the medical
practitioners. Instead it hardened their hearts. Nor is this to be charged
against them as a bad mark. It is not medical, it is human.
We are not under the necessity of apologizing for human nature; but
it marks a point of departure between Osteopathy and medicine.
In its growth, therefore, Osteopathy followed the lines of least resistance
and grew up a separate system; though it is a matter of fact that another
medical practitioner, from Edinburgh, a fellow of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh, was farseeing enough to put the pressure of his undoubtedly
great genius behind the anti-medical tendencies, to establish the independence
of Osteopathy as firmly as he could. This man was William Smith, M. D.,
C. L., F. R. S. E., D. O.—of which titles he valued the last the most.
Far from being a disaster, this absolute division proved to be the finest
thing possible for the new science. If, by new methods, the old ones could
be shown unnecessary, then was the world so much the gainer; for the old
ones were at all times dangerous, and, with the least incompetence, deadlier
than the disease.
Thus the educational departures of the new system became absolute. This
enabled the new system to carry its measures to the highest possible efficiency.
As to the scientific point of departure, a scientific criticism of Osteopathy
by the medical profession was never made. This was at first galling to
many members of the osteopathic profession, but it need not have been.
The last possible thing that a crowd or any mass of men, or even a profession,
is capable of, is scientific thinking. Science is an individual matter.
With the mass of men, taken as a whole, it is an art. K And one art is
typically jealous of the other arts. This the public does not see, of course,
and it seems that the legal mind does not see it any more easily; for it
has tried persistently to compel the two to mix.
But the science of Osteopathy also has its exclusiveness; and in spite
of the excellence of many scientific minds in the medical profession, it
is impossible for the science of Osteopathy to lessen the rigidity of its
scientific exclusiveness. First the medical profession practically rejected
the science of Osteopathy. Then finding itself isolated and defined, the
osteopathic profession found also that it had in hand a science that would
not mix with medicine. This is in no sense a personal or a professional
matter—it is not the act of a man or men—it is a question of science. The
osteopathic profession found its science positive. It found that it could
harmonize its positive findings with the positive pathology of general
science, and with its own therapeutic measures. It found that it could
not harmonize the definite and positive facts and principles of its science
with the guesswork of the medical practice. Osteopathy was positive and
exceedingly helpful. Where its helpfulness failed and its logic would not
reach, there it was admissible to have recourse to experiment again, as
the world had always done – had always had to do. But in so far as there
was a definite and positive thing, experimental practice was simply shoved
farther away from the problem of disease.
So long as the medical profession held the medical system to be fundamental,
to be curative and not merely experimental, to be positive and not merely
palliative or an emergency system, so long was no compromise possible.
This is, of course, a matter between the professions, not between the sciences.
Science is impersonal and cannot take sides. It is a matter for proof,
not for warfare; science cannot disagree with science. Scientists may dispute
with scientists, however, and will to the end of time.
In practice, as all of the world knows, from the beginning up to the
present time, the majority of the medical profession has acted upon this
principle; it has claimed exclusive rights in therapeutics and in authority.
It has again and again shown an inability to develop self-criticism. This
is not the fault of the men but of the system, or perhaps one might say,
of human nature. The whole spirit of the miracle-search is opposed to pure
science or any science. Mystery and miracle go hand in hand.
But granting this fault in the philosophy and in the practice of medicine,
is there yet no basis on which any of the great mass of work done by medical
men can be made available—can be found compatible with the osteopathic
science? The omission of materia medica from osteopathic schools does not
mean the omission of surgical and sanitary medicines nor is it to be understood
as meaning necessarily a denial of any truth or value in materia medica.
Science cannot take negative attitudes. It is, however, a very positive
assertion of the superior value of osteopathic means and of the greater
need of developing those means.
The contrast must be made between the traditional practice of medicine
and the wonderfully valuable research work being done in the medical laboratories.
Of this latter it is impossible to speak in terms of too high praise. The
devotion and ability there has brought this age a degree of progress which
must, when true perspective is obtained, stamp it as the great therapeutic
age. The research that is of value, however, is that in physiology, biology,
bio-chemistry and surgery, rather than in medicine. All the progress in
medicine that is of value has come through surgery. Sanitation is a department
of surgery, as are the wonderful agencies for the deadening of pain. In
all of this Osteopathy rejoices and profits.
[*PHILOSOPHICAL is here used in its commonly accepted
meaning as pertaining to the knowledge of the causes of all phenomena both
of mind and matter, rather than in its strictly technical sense.—Ed]
The philosophical point of departure is no less definite and absolute.
In medicines and other systems we have experimental methods for curing
diseases. Whether it be drugs or electricity or hydrotherapy or psychotherapy
or any form of therapy, they are all attempts to make a wide or universal
application of a thing that proved good in some cases. They are entirely
experimental methods, merely trying for further results with little reference
to causes, processes and laws which are almost entirely unknown.
They prove themselves mere methods, because they adopt other experimental
methods and find no incompatibility in doing so. They prove themselves
experimental methods in the very criticism their exponents make of Osteopathy,
being unable to see in it anything but another mere method. In contrast
to these experimental methods stands the osteopathic practice, based on
the actual facts discovered in the individual case, agreeing with biology
and explaining pathology; moving not at all until it finds disorder and
then only moving to correct this disorder and not allowing itself to be
drawn into mere guesswork, preferring rather to leave all to the understanding
of Nature except in so far as it can remove the causes of disease.
Osteopathy holds that since all the forms and processes in the body
are the expression of laws, therefore disease also is the expression of
laws, is a normal result of causes. Any attempt to cure except by removal
of causes is an attempt to suspend the operation of law.
These two contrasting systems cannot live together in the same mind.
Those schooled in experimental methods who have sufficiently considered
the osteopathic doctrines are convinced by them, and become osteopathic
physicians and cease to be "believers" in medicine or "believers" in anything
else; but rise to the higher scientific plane of working with the facts
and trusting in them.
Osteopathic philosophy is based absolutely upon this principle. It considers
no move justifiable until that move can be based upon knowledge. It considers
it rarely justifiable to interfere with or to suspend Nature’s processes,
for which she has reason; or to nullify her laws, which are the conditions
under which she moves. All honor to scientific experimentation, but the
worst possible travesty of science, the most pessimistic, indeed the most
atheistic and chaotic attitude toward Nature, is that which justifies blind
experiment in an ordered physiological being. No justification can be found
for experimental methods, except in the absolute lack of sufficient knowledge
of cause and effect, and then only in the effort to find such cause and
effect. In fact, this effort is continued only because the public demands
that some effort be made to cure or to discover a cure for their diseases.
The philosophy of the medical system, if it can be said to have a philosophy,
seems to have been based upon the doctrine that everything made by the
Creator was made for some purpose of man. Possibly most of us would agree
with this, but when the medical profession goes on to assume that He put
ready to our hands all the herbs of the field and all of the chemical and
other forces of nature, therefore He meant that these be used for our relief
in disease, we most heartily disagree. The logical fault of such a doctrine
is that it has no virtue. As well say, twice two is a pot of beans. It
has been broad enough, however, to justify almost any conceivable vagary
that any dreamer with the medical degree could devise.
This philosophy can hardly be called a philosophy. It is merely an inheritance.
What the facts really are is as follows: In so far as it is a mystery the
only way to reach it is through experiments. The public demands that some
effort be made, and it loves miracles. The search for specific remedies
is the search for a miracle. Mystery and miracle go hand in hand and must
forever go hand in hand. This miracle idea is a lineal descendant of the
Philosopher’s Stone, with which students of history are familiar, the parent
of alchemy and through alchemy the parent of medicine. The survival is
not a science but a psychological phenomenon; not a fault of any group
of men but an expression of human nature.
In contrast with this, the philosophy of Osteopathy asserts that since
the majority of mankind remains healthy under given conditions, and one
or two become sick under these conditions, therefore the power exists in
the organism to remain healthy, and the reason why illness arises in some
cases and not in others is to be sought for in some difference in those
individuals. That difference is hunted for and found; and on it is built
the practice of Osteopathy. Nature does not create functions to exist only
as diseases When disease does arise, it presents a question for determining
what are the compelling causes. These compelling causes were found by Dr.
Andrew Taylor Still to consist of actual disorders in the parts of the
body. As such they were studied. Thus developed the science of Osteopathy.
The philosophy of Osteopathy is the philosophy of fact. The osteopathic
profession makes a positive diagnosis of actual disorders found in the
structure of the body, affecting its functional balance. It makes a positive
claim of being able to remove such disorders. It shows in terms of known
physiology the relation between the disorders and the result. In most cases
it presents records (made by men capable of making such records), of benefit
or of cure, from the removal of these causes.
The great point of departure than between Osteopathy and medicine is
that between a practical fact and experimental practice.
In Osteopathy not only was there an evolution
but there was a revolution. Every system of
treatment previously developed had been designed
primarily to combat effects. Dr. Still’s great
work lies in the determination of cause,
and through a knowledge of that cause,
the application of an effective treatment.
G. D. HULETT, B.S., D.O.
DISEASE FROM AN OSTEOPATHIC VIEWPOINT
FROM AN OSTEOPATHIC VIEWPOINT
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy.)
God’s pay for labor and time is truth and truth only.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy walks hand in hand with nothing
but Nature’s laws and fothat reason alone
it marks the most significant progress in the
history of scientific research.
A. T. STILL
The history of medicine is a record of empirical practice upon an all
too credulous public. Hoping for relief we grab at a straw. Promise of
cure, though without a semblance of reason back of it, like the candle
light to the moth, lures its victims by the thousands, heedless of the
consequences. Unfortunately, disease has been too little understood—and
its remedy less so. Too long has it been considered that disease is a mysterious,
devouring monster, separate and distinct from bodily mechanism—an invader,
usurper on a mission of destruction. Very naturally, with this conception
as a premise, the search for curative measures has been largely confined
to attempts to discover some agency that would drive out, absorb or annihilate
this grim terror. This search is largely the history of medical therapeutics,
its nostrums, its poisonous compounds, its serums, its germicides and much
of its surgery, all pointing with unerring aim to such a conclusion. Something,
however, has been done in recent years on a more rational basis; but even
yet not a small amount of this ancient superstition still remains.
It is a hopeful sign, however, to observe that the foundation of this
false therapeutic structure is being undermined—is crumbling away. We are
searching more deeply into the cause and studying less the effect (except
as it points to a cause) and its remedy. It is gratifying to note, too,
that this change is largely co-existent with the origin and development
of Osteopathy. This science, making less prominent the effect, the symptom,
and being satisfied with nothing short of the discovery of a first and
primary cause, has done more to bring about a better understanding of the
"human machine" in its relation to diseased (or disordered) conditions
than any other one therapeutic system. Its viewpoint is from an entirely
different field and we will endeavor to demonstrate that it has a more
In order to understand better this new conception, let us for the moment
forget all about Osteopathy which may, in our individual interpretation
of its meaning, seem vague and indefinable, and, without being prejudiced,
consider in a rational way a few well-known physiological principles.
Bodily tissues, muscles, glands, organs, etc. (without nerves to govern
their actions) are inert, mere masses of matter, unresponsive and lifeless.
Every movement of the body is the result of muscular contraction—an approximation
of the different points to which the muscle is attached. But the muscle
cannot contract itself; it has no inherent power to act, it lies there
dormant until put into motion by an independent force. This force, generated
in the brain, or other subsidiary center of origin, is transmitted along
the nerve especially created for it to its point of action. Without this
impulse, or stimulus, the muscle is helpless. This is true of all muscular
contraction and is demonstrable beyond any question. A similar phenomenon
is undoubtedly true of all other functions. For instance, the stomach secretes
certain digestive fluids. In this process of secretion, the secreting gland
acts, as does the muscle, only when influenced by the nerve impulse starting
from its center of origin and terminating in the gland. In like manner,
we can logically assume that every other tissue and organ exhibits similar
phenomena. Even the blood and lymph circulation, on which bodily health
so much depends, is similarly controlled. The heart, the greatest propelling
force, is a muscular organ acting as do other muscles. The walls of the
blood channels are everywhere supplied with muscles and their governing
nerves control their caliber, thereby regulating the quantity of fluid
passing through them. Knowing these facts by practical experiment upon
most of the bodily tissues, we dare assert that all function is governed
by nerve stimulus, originating in the brain—or similar subsidiary center—and
transmitted through the nerve to the organ or part.
With this conception of physiological function, we reasonably assume
that health exists when functional life is normal—when the organ or part
is in action in response to a normal nerve stimulus and that disease is
the result of the opposite condition—a friction of parts, an interrupted
nerve current and other causes to which these are contributory.
But why the opposite condition, this abnormal action? Let us consider
for a moment a condition that might produce this friction, or interference
with the nerve current. The human machine, as are other machines, is subject
to certain mechanical laws which must be obeyed. On account of its delicate
structure and sensitive nature, it is even more susceptible to a violation
of these laws than is the mere mechanical device. A disturbance of the
relation of the parts, even though slight, produces friction somewhere,
or impedes or restricts the nerve current. This done, function is impaired
or ceases in the organ supplied by that nerve. The products of that organ
become deficient in quantity or quality—often in both—or its power to excrete
the poisonous bodily waste ceases. Disease results with severity in direct
proportion to the importance of the function impaired, to the amount of
destroyed tissue, or according to the amount of poisonous matter retained
in the system. To restore health, function must be re-established. How
shall this be done? We might cut away the diseased part; we might cauterize
the area involved and cleanse it. But if we do nothing to re-establish
the function, to adjust the structure interfering with that function, continued
or progressive destruction must follow.
There is only one way in which tissue can be reconstructed. The work
must be done by the natural tissue-building properties of the body, the
normal blood and lymph and the products of digestion properly assimilated.
No medicine will do this for the organ. The most expert chemist, with any
possible combination of drugs cannot construct tissue—no drug or combination
of drugs will build tissue. In order to heal a wound there must be brought
to it, through the natural channels of the body, the tissue-building materials,
food elements, the product of digestion.
Obstructions are referred to above. What are they? Why do they exist?
How do they originate? What effect have they on functional life? For the
purpose of this article reference to one class will suffice. The spine
is composed of a number of bones, vertebrae, one upon the other, being
so perforated that together they form a bony canal in which lies the spinal
cord. A joint is formed at the juncture of each pair of adjacent bony segments
of the spine. The spine, therefore, is a series of joints as well. Now
the function of a joint is motion. This is what it is created for—movement.
Sometimes this motion is impeded; sometimes it ceases altogether. Strains
and injuries of various nature induce inflammatory action, forming adhesions
or producing thickening of the component parts of the joints. This is one
form of obstruction. The result is disease—disorder. But this obstruction
in itself is not necessarily a serious condition. The stiffness of a single
joint of the spine need not interfere with much bodily activity. The bending
of the spine is not an absolutely essential element in life. But passing
between adjacent vertebrae are two nerves, one on either side, the media
through which is transmitted the energy governing other and often much
more important functions. As the joint becomes restricted, ligaments around
it contract and harden, excretions infiltrate the tissues and disturb or
decrease the size of the passage in which the nerves lie to such an extent
that all nerve energy may there be dissipated. The organ supplied by such
nerve, therefore, becomes inactive—its function ceases and its individual
life is impaired. Again, since the spinal cord receives its blood supply--nutrition—through
these same openings, most serious damage may result from a lack of blood
there and a consequently starved nervous system.
Impaired motion of the spinal joints and the accompanying hindrance
to the spinal cord circulation are not the only obstructions that may exist.
Strains and contractions of muscles often cause various irregularities
of the joints. A single vertebra may be "slipped" to the side (of course
only slightly, otherwise severing the cord or causing a pressure upon it
sufficient to produce paralysis at that point), a rotation may exist, or
a slip or rotation of a series of vertebrae—thereby irritating, directly
or indirectly, the nerves passing from the spinal cord, by drawing tight
the vertebral ligaments.
Thus far, it has been the aim of the writer to make plain one form of
"lesion"—"perverted structure which by pressure or other irritation produces
or maintains functional disorder." It is not the intention so to confine
the subject. There are other forms of lesion, many of them; but to go into
detail with each class, since the principle is generally applicable, is
The osteopathic viewpoint, therefore, is based in general upon the principle
that "structure (anatomical relations) determines function." Health exists
when there is harmony in structure. Disease follows disordered relations;
or disease is the result of (first) structural derangement which inevitably
produces (second) perverted or suspended function. (The writer is aware
that abuse may modify function thereby originating pathological conditions,
but that phase of the subject cannot be considered in the brief space allowed
for this subject.)
Osteopathic therapeutics, therefore, depends upon the mechanical principle
of adjustment of structure. It contemplates that the bodily functions are
maintained by the harmonious, unrestricted action of all parts. The presence
of disease indicates primarily structural derangement--interference with
the free action of the vital forces. To locate this derangement, together
with a consideration of all its associated consequences, constitutes the
substance of the Osteopath’s diagnosis. Then, his therapeutics is an adjustment,
by manual operations, of that abnormal structure, adapted to the individual
condition and varying according to the particular needs. When this adjustment
is secured, by the removal of the obstruction and a consequent liberation
of nerve energy—a restoration to normal function—nature rebuilds or restores
the weakened tissue.
Nature always tends toward the normal so long as she has freedom of
action. Her power to do this is inherent. There is no external force which
will supply her demands in artificial doses. She needs no tonic or stimulant—no
whip. All that is required is the freedom of action with which she was
originally endowed by an all-wise Creator.
Dr. Still found that manipulation of the spinal
column and its dependent tissues produced
certain startling and special reactions, and
this was strikingly the case whenever there
was in the backbone any visible or palpable
irregularity, lesion or deflection. His studies
of the spinal mechanism led him to the conviction
that virtually all so-called diseases,
pains, symptoms and so on, were indirectly
caused by these spinal lesions.
M. A. LANE, B.SC.
WHAT OSTEOPATHIC LESIONS ARE
By G. M. LAUGHLIN, M.SD.D., D.O.
(Reprinted from the Stillonian.)
From Notes on a Lecture Delivered to the Stillonians.
Man, the most complex, intricate and delicately
constructed machine of all creation, is the one
with which the Osteopath must become familiar.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy is the practical knowledge of how
man is made and how to right him when he
A. T. STILL
From an osteopathic point of view, a lesion is any abnormality of structure
which interferes with function. Do not get the idea that these lesions
are great big things, that there must be a dislocated vertebra or rib,
or a spinal curvature or some great abnormality in order to constitute
a lesion. There are comparatively few lesions of that kind. When there
is the least particle of abnormality of position of spinal structure or
when there is a change in the relation of bones, ligaments and muscles,
these conditions constitute lesions. We may have a rotation of a vertebra
and that is a lesion; we may have a curvature of the spine and that is
a lesion; we may have a straight spine and that is a lesion; a rigid spine,
hardened or tensed muscles all constitute lesions. They are all lesions
because they are abnormal structural conditions and interfere with the
origin and transmission of nerve force.
We must recognize that the nervous structure is the master structure:
nerve tissue the master tissue. When there is anything wrong with the nerve
impulses, some disturbance of function is going to occur. You all know
that the nervous system is very much like an electric-light plant. The
impulses originating in the central portion of the nervous system, the
brain and spinal cord, are transmitted all over the body. The brain is
the dynamo, the nerve fibers are the wires. In the electric-plant, if the
dynamo should get out of fix, we could have no light; so if something is
wrong with the nutrition to the brain or spinal cord, the impulses will
not be normal. If the wires are broken or short circuited, the light goes
out; so with the nervous system, if the nerves are impinged upon or irritated,
of course there will be interference with function—the impulses will not
In order to have good digestion, good elimination, etc., we must have
the proper distribution of nerve force and no interference with the nerves
after they leave the central nervous system. Any of the lesions spoken
of might interfere with the nutrition to the central system where the nerve
cells are allocated. The spinal cord and brain must be nourished with good
blood. The blood carries nutrition from the gastro-intestinal tract to
the central nervous system. If there is any interference to the blood supply
on account of spinal lesions, the nervous impulses will be weak and the
individual will not have good health. Wherever there is a lesion, there
is obstruction; interference with the intervertebral foramina, interference
with the vaso-motor nerves which control circulation and interference with
the central nervous system.
We find the principal cause for most of our chronic ailments to be either
reduction of vitality at the nerve center due to interference with nutrition
or some mechanical interference with the nerves themselves.
All lesions found along the spine do not result from injury or trauma.
Some do, of course, but most of them come on slowly; not in a day or a
week and not because we step into a hole or fall. Most of them come on
slowly and may be two, three, four, five or even twenty years in developing.
Then how did they come about? Strain is one cause, overwork, exposure and
many times infectious diseases, where the individual is extremely ill for
a period of time; all these are causative factors which will produce a
warping and twisting of the spinal column and bring about mal adjustment.
Chronic diseases come on as a result of these slowly developing lesions.
In practically all cases where there is lesion, there is limitation
of motion. The question is sometimes asked, "How are lesions maintained?"
I have made the statement that we do not have complete dislocation in order
to have lesion, but limitation of motion which interferes with nutrition
to the nervous system. As the lesion develops, the abnormal position produces
a local irritation or inflammation. New tissue forms about the site of
the lesion, causing adhesions at that point, and as these adhesions thicken,
the ligaments and muscles lose their elasticity, stiffen and harden, maintaining
In chronic diseases, by breaking up the adhesions, where there is fibrous
tissue formed; by the establishment of motion, where motion is indicated,
and by the correction of structure, we remove the interference to the nutrition
to the nervous system so that impulses may be properly originated and properly
transmitted and the organs perform their normal functions.
MANNER OF TREATMENT
By G. V. WEBSTER, D.O.
MANNER OF TREATMENT
Find it, fix it, and leave it alone.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathic treatment is scientific in that it
recognizes the relation between cause and effect,
in disease, and seeks to remove the cause rather
than to treat the symptoms—the effects of the disease.
ORREN E. SMITH, D.O.
The object of osteopathic manipulations being largely to adjust the
bony structures of the body to their proper relative position for the purpose
of removing interference to the physiological action of organs and to promote
the cure of disease, the manner of procedure is of interest.
The first consideration is the establishment of a correct diagnosis
of the pathological condition, to which end the usual methods of physical
and laboratory diagnosis may be employed. Having located the seat of the
pathological condition and the extent of organic changes in the tissues
of the body as far as possible, the next step is the analysis of the cause
which might have led to the perverted functioning or to the organic change,
determining whether motion, sensation or nutrition be interfered with.
The avenues of travel for the impulses controlling each of these functions
that may be found disturbed are then searched for possible cause of interruptions
to the normal movement of such impulses, or for reflexes that might divert
or augment them. The nerves and blood vessels being seldom subject to abnormal
pressure while passing through the softer tissues of the body, it is but
reasonable to suppose that the most likely point of mechanical interference
is at some point where they come into relation with the denser structures
of the body. It is then the duty of the Osteopath to examine closely the
relation of the vertebrae, ribs, innominates, etc., to find the exact point
or points of interference to the forces that present evidence of disordered
physiological action in the case at hand. In this the osteopathic method
is peculiar, individual and distinct from all other methods of examination.
The usual physical examination for the determination of the organ functioning
improperly, guides the Osteopath to certain definite points along the spine
where the nerves controlling that function center and, on the other hand,
should the Osteopath make the spinal examination first his findings of
structural deviations there would, according to their location, indicate
to him more or less accurately the organs whose functions are disturbed.
So much for the diagnosis, and having established the same both pathologically
and osteopathically, the Osteopath proceeds to treat the case along osteopathic
lines in accordance with the findings, or he may refer the case to the
best means available for the care of the conditions, whether it be surgical,
institutional or otherwise, as may be indicated.
Proceeding with the osteopathic treatment, for that concerns us most
at this point, the patient, dressed in clothing that will permit of freedom
of motion to the spine and extremities, occupies a sitting or reclining
posture that will afford the greatest ease of operation for the physician
and will allow muscular relaxation of the parts to be adjusted. The Osteopath
uses his hands to make the adjustments. From his knowledge of the structures
of the body and the relation of the parts under operation, he chooses a
point to be used for a fulcrum, while the leverage necessary to place the
structures in their proper relative position is usually obtained by the
use as a lever of one or more of the bones adjacent to the point of lesion,
or structural abnormality, which is the object of his attention. Not so
much force as skill is required to bring about the adjustment desired.
Each particular lesion requires a certain definite fulcrum or fulcrums
and a certain definite lever or leverages used singly or successively to
move the structures to their normal position.
The technique of each osteopathic adjustment is exceedingly complex
and difficult of proper execution, requiring, as it does, a highly sensitive
touch, complete knowledge of the structures and their physiological relations
at the seat of the operation, judgment as to the placing of the fulcrum
and the choice of levers, acquaintance with the laws of mechanics governing
the use of levers, consideration as to the amount of energy necessary to
operate the levers used to bring about adjustment without producing pain
or discomfort for the patient. All these and more the osteopathic physician
must bring to bear with skill upon each problem of adjustment that he attempts
to solve. Every movement that the physician makes during each manipulative
procedure is done with a certain definite end in view according to the
needs presented by the situation. Nothing is done by rote, the individual
case requires definite and specific treatment, whether it be to secure
the adjustment of one vertebra or a dozen that may be out of normal position.
The question is often asked how many treatments, corrections or attempts
to correct a given lesion, may be necessary before it will remain in normal
position, and it is a very difficult question to answer, there being so
many factors concerned in the cause and maintenance of these structural
perversions. Practically speaking, each case is a law unto itself. A single
correction, which being afterwards maintained, has given Osteopathy many
a glorious victory over disease. On the other hand, in old curvatures for
instance, where there is change in form as well as in position of the vertebrae,
no number of attempts at correction could be crowned with perfect success.
Often the ligaments about the lesion have thickened as the result of inflammatory
changes, just as they do about any sprained joint, in which case the Osteopath
is confronted with a problem that will take time and repeated efforts at
correction to successfully solve. Other things being equal, the relief
of functional disturbance or the benefit given organic disease is usually
in direct proportion to the degree of success obtained in the correction
of the lesions, provided, of course, that the organic changes have not
progressed beyond all possibility of help from natural sources.
The length of time necessary for a treatment varies according to the
needs of the case at hand, and the dispatch with which the physician is
able to recognize such need and apply suitable remedial measures. In a
case presenting a single twisted rib that is manifestly the sole source
of functional disorder, it would be folly to spend time in going through
motions about the other ribs. The single rib might be adjusted in a minute
or two. On the other hand, it would be equally as unwise to confine the
attentions to one rib when several ribs or vertebrae are concerned in the
lesion. Here again each case is a law unto itself and the judgment of the
practitioner must interpret the law.
There are those who are burdened with the idea that osteopathic treatment
is strenuous, rough and painful, and from certain quarters this idea is
encouraged by statements to the effect that only the strong can withstand
the treatment. However, the truth is that the treatments are gauged to
meet the needs of the patient whether it be a babe, a feeble old person
or an athlete. Here is where the Osteopath’s judgment is called into play
to meet the condition of the patient, as is a medical physician’s judgment
in the choice of dosage. Even the most skillful operator cannot promise
to work always without discomfort or pain to his patient, but if he is
conscientious, he will accomplish the end desired with the least possible
discomfort to his patient. Points that are extremely sensitive to the touch
because of the conditions incident to the lesion or areas of inflammation,
are treated indirectly so that the pain of treatment is minimized, but
most osteopathic procedures are not necessarily associated with pain.
With regard to the frequency of treatment for the individual case, this
too is a law unto itself. In acute conditions several treatments within
twenty-four hours may be indicated. Others may require treatment daily,
and from that to once weekly or only occasionally, according as the need
may be apparent.
Another question frequently asked is concerning the corrections and
the permanency of the results of osteopathic work. Here nature assists
the physician with a tendency to maintain normal structural and functional
conditions. While the same circumstances that produced the lesions in the
first place may operate to produce the same again, yet with the tendency
being toward the normal and the patient instructed to avoid possible repetition
in the action of the forces that produced the lesion, the results are largely
of a permanent nature, the improvement being both specific and constitutional.
It has been truly and wisely said that Dr. Still’s
one grand discovery as a practical therapist
was the fact that one human body, with all
its wonderful structure and function, with
all its marvelous resources and susceptibilities,
could be brought under the control of
another individual, who, with intelligent
understanding of anatomy and the application of
the special technique worked out by Dr. Still,
could play upon the mechanism of that body
as the skilled performer plays upon the
complex musical instrument.
M.A. LANE, B. SC.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OSTEOPATHY AND MASSAGE
By A. T. STILL, M.D., D.O.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OSTEOPATHY AND MASSAGE
A. T. STILL, M.D., D.O.
ASA WILLARD, D. O.
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy)
The Osteopath’s business is to know the plumbing of the house
A. T. STILL
Merely to be able to manipulate no more constitutes
an Osteopath than the ability to hold a knife makes a surgeon.
PERCY H. WOODHALL, D.O.
Osteopathy absolutely differs from massage. The definition of "Massage"
is masso, to knead: shampooing of the body by special manipulations, such
as kneading, tapping, stroking, etc. The masseur rubs and kneads the muscles
to increase the circulation. The Osteopath never rubs. He takes off any
pressure on blood-vessels or nerves by the adjustment of any displacement,
whether it be of a bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon, muscle, or even of
the fascia which enfolds all structures; also by relaxing any contracture
of muscle or ligament due to displacements, to drafts causing colds, to
overwork or nerve exhaustion. The Osteopath knows the various nerve-centers
and how to treat them, in order that the vaso-motor nerves can act upon
the blood-vessels, bringing about in a physiological manner a normal heart-action
and freeing up the channels to and from the heart. The Osteopath deals
always with causes, has no "rules of action," as such, but applies reason
to each case according to the conditions presented, treating no two cases
quite alike. He knows from past experience that the effect seen is produced
by a cause with which he must deal in order to give relief.
The Osteopath is a physician. The masseur does not take the responsibility
of the full charge of a diseased condition, but works under the direction
of a physician, and has to do with effects, applying by rote to the body
so much rubbing, so much stroking, so much tapping, so much kneading, etc.,
there being definite rules laid down applicable to general cases.
Osteopathy is a science and an art also. It includes a knowledge of
anatomy, biology, physiology, chemistry and pathology. Its therapeutics
are independent and original, and as extensive as the entire medical and
By Asa Willard, D.O.
A barber and a surgeon both work on the body with sharp instruments,
yet their work is different. A Homeopath is not an Allopath because they
both use drugs. There is a difference between the stone mason and the sculptor.
The masseur uses his hands in his work; so does the Osteopath, and there
the comparison ends.
Massage is a system of movements, certain slappings, rubbings and squeezings,
done by rote and learned in a few months. An Osteopath is a trained physician
seeking out the cause and removing it. The masseur finds a limb congested
or badly nourished and goes about rubbing and squeezing to stir up the
stagnant circulation. You could do this in the case of the arm which has
gone to sleep because it has been hanging over the back of the chair, or
the leg because it has been crossed, but only temporary relief would be
afforded if the limb is not moved in such a manner that the pressure upon
the nerves and blood vessels is removed. The Osteopath would seek out the
point where obstruction exists to these nerve and blood currents, remove
that obstruction and open the channel. This done, he reasons that the heart
will propel the blood, and that the nervous system will attend to its distribution
in a normal manner. He stretches muscles when necessary; he relaxes ligaments
and adjusts to their normal relations bones, cartilages and other dense
structures, but he does not stroke and rub the surface.
The basic principle of Osteopathy
is the basic
principle that runs through all nature.
Adjustment is the basic principle of every science.
Osteopathy is a Science. It maintains the same
relationship to the great family of science
that every other science does. It bears the
finger markings of the Omnipotent and Eternal God.
The "Old Doctor" once said to me
that life is
intelligent wherever you find it; whether in the
tree or in the flesh, there is a force that goes
to work at once to "fix" the abrasion in the most
intelligent way. This force is life. Life is the
great healing agent of God’s universe. It is
in every living cell in the animal and the
The basic principle of Osteopathy
The mechanics of Osteopathy is adjusting.
The theory of Osteopathy is that,
if the adjustment
is made, Life, the great healing agent,
will repair as far as possible all damages.
H. J. EVER;U, D. O.
SCIENTIFIC PROOFS OF OSTEOPATHY
By G. V. WEBSTER, D.O.
The scientist is only an ignorant man well fed with experience.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy stands for the truth wherever it is scientifically
H. S. BUNTING, A.B., M.D., D.O.
Dr. Still has been described as, "The original citizen of Missouri to
demand visual demonstration." He applied the "Show me" test to the theories
of medicine and to his own theories of treatment as well. He was always
searching for demonstrable evidence of the scientific value of any theory.
That which stood the test was retained as truth; that which failed in the
test was rejected.
From the first announcement of the osteopathic theory, there have been
those who have pooh-poohed the idea of structural perversion being responsible
for disease. Their conception of structural derangements was limited to
gross dislocations of the joints. They could neither recognize nor conceive
that it was possible for minor displacements of the structures of the body
to occur. That such should be a controlling factor in disease was to them
Such evidences as have been gathered by trained observers point unerringly
to the support of the principles of Osteopathy as advanced by Dr. Andrew
Taylor Still. These scientific observations include those made in the clinics,
in the anatomical and experimental laboratories of the several osteopathic
colleges, and the observations and experiments at the A. T. Still Research
Institute in Chicago, besides the work of many individuals in private practice.
The evidence gathered in the clinics shows that a group of symptoms
in an individual which is recognized as a disease is with great uniformity
secondary to certain structural deviations, usually of the ribs or vertebrae,
which are anatomically associated with the parts in which the symptom or
symptoms are manifest.
Examination and graphic tracings of spinal structural relationships
reveal that certain definite alterations of the normal relationships are
associated with the disorders in the organs anatomically associated with
that portion of the spine where such alterations occur. The readjustment
of the structural relationships is followed by relief of the functional
In the hundreds of dissections of bodies that have been made in the
anatomical laboratories at osteopathic colleges, observations have been
made and recorded of existing altered relationships in the framework of
the body which, it could be demonstrated, interfered with the blood or
nerve supply of organs that were found to be diseased. The same points
have been observed and recorded at autopsies.
The X-ray has repeatedly been able to present on the photographic plate
a record of the faulty position of some of the ribs and vertebrae constituting
an osteopathic lesion, when the same condition escaped the tactile sense
of those not accustomed to spinal palpation. In numerous instances the
X-ray has shown such parts in correct relationship after adjustment by
osteopathic treatment. The X-ray, then, offers scientific proof of Osteopathy.
Besides the clinical evidences, the spinal tracings, the dissections
and the X-ray findings, various animal experiments have been conducted
by several competent observers over a period of about ten years. These
experiments have all tended to prove the osteopathic theory that spinal
strains, curvatures and slight displacements affect the nerves and blood
vessels of the organs to which the nerves are distributed.
The spinal lesions experimentally produced in the animals were not accomplished
by violence. With the animal relaxed under anesthesia, slight displacements
were made by pressure and rotation without greater force than a child might
receive in play and immediately forget. After being under observation for
varying periods of time, up to several months, the animals were killed
and careful examinations made of the site of lesion, the associated nerves
and the organs to which the nerves were distributed. In every series of
cases in which experimental evidence was thus sought for the support of
the osteopathic theory, the nerves showed congestion and inflammation at
the site of the lesion, and the organs they supplied gave evidence of congestion,
inflammation and disordered functions. An account of some of the results
obtained by animal experiments follows:
DR. McCONNELL"S EXPERIMENTS
Dr. C. P. McConnell has experimented upon healthy dogs, producing slight
displacements of the vertebrae and ribs and studying the effects produced.
The following is a summary of the results announced in the first twelve
"In nine of the twelve cases, inflammation of the nerves at the seat
of the lesion was noticed and in one a nervous degeneration was manifest.
In each case the diseased organs observed were under the control of the
nerves coming off from that part of the spinal column in which the lesion
Dog 1.—Showed a stricture of the small intestine.
Dogs 2 and 3.—Had spleens very much enlarged.
Dogs 3 and 4.—Became very sick.
Dog 5.—Lost flesh rapidly.
Dog 6.—Dissection showed an inflamed area in the stomach and an enlarged
Dog 7.—Became blind.
Dog 8.—Became blind.
Dogs 9-10.—Developed goiter.
Dog 11.—Dissection showed hemorrhagic inflammation of the kidneys.
Dog 12.—Died in three days with hemorrhage of the intestines.
Thus the osteopathic lesion theory has been demonstrated: First, by
the cure of disease by the removal of lesions; second, by causing disease
by producing lesions."—Journal of Osteopathy, May, 1906.
Since the experiments referred to above, Dr. McConnell and his associates
have conducted experiments along similar lines on several hundred animals,
gaining therefrom further scientific evidences of the effects of bony lesions
in the production of disease.
His latest series of experiments have been relative to the influence
of the specific spinal lesion as a causative factor in goiter.
The statistics cover about eight hundred cases of goiter in man and
the experiments made upon twenty animals. Nine dogs having goiter were
treated specifically. All showed reduction in size of the thyroid gland,
some of the cases reaching normal. Two cases kept, as controls, under the
same hygienic conditions did not show improvement. Nine dogs having normal
thyroids were lesioned specifically and six thus lesioned developed goiter.
This proves, both by the cure of goiter in humans and dogs by the correction
of lesions and also by the development of goiter in dogs following the
experimental production of lesions, the scientific basis for the osteopathic
theory that the cause of goiter lies in the faulty mechanical relationships
of certain vertebrae associated with the nerve supply to the thyroid gland.
DR. LOUISA BURNS’ EXPERIMENTS
Dr. Louisa Burns conducted a series of experiments at the laboratory
of the Pacific College of Osteopathy to determine the immediate effects
of bony lesions. The experiments were conducted upon animals and human
subjects. The animals used for the purpose were cats, dogs, guinea pigs,
and white rats. In every case the animal was given an anesthetic and none
were ever permitted to regain consciousness after once losing it. No anesthetic
was given the human subjects. These were intelligent men and women in good
health and ignorant of the nature of the reaction to be expected from the
The experiments included lesions of the vertebrae, careful note being
made of the immediate effects of the lesions experimentally produced. Cases
were excluded from consideration where there was any doubt as to the lesion
or any of the observations. One instance of lesion, namely, the ninth and
tenth dorsal vertebrae, is here given to illustrate the effects repeatedly
Animal tests showed that lesions of these vertebrae were followed by
lessened peristaltic movement of the stomach and intestines; dilatation
of the blood vessels of the stomach, intestines and pancreas; increase
in the size of the spleen; accumulation of gas in the intestines, and sometimes
the peristaltic movement of the intestines was reversed. In some cases,
after the lesion had been maintained for some time, bile was found in the
The human tests showed that lesions of these vertebrae produced a lowering
of the blood pressure, increased reaction time, noises of moving gas in
the intestine and a sense of sleepiness. The accumulation of gas in the
intestines sometimes caused discomfort, but there were no symptoms of nervousness
or headache that appeared, although these discomforts were present when
the lesions of the vertebrae higher up in the spine were experimentally
The clinic records show that the diseases associated with lesions of
these vertebrae are inflammation and dilatation of the stomach, inflammation
of the colon, congestion of the spleen, catarrhal jaundice, and constipation.
The tests were carefully conducted and the recorded observations add
scientific proof to the osteopathic theory.
Dr. Louisa Burns is now with the A. T. Still Research Institute. She
has conducted several interesting series of investigations concerning the
relationship of lesions to various diseases. She thus summarized the scientific
proofs of Osteopathy in the Journal of Osteopathy:
"If the work of Dr. Still had included nothing more than the recognition
of the relation between maladjustment of bones and other tissues to certain
forms of disease, this alone is enough to place him first among discoverers
in the field of medicine during the nineteenth century. That these slight
misplacements, called "bony lesions," do act as efficient factors in the
production of abnormal function is proven by the facts:
1. The examination of patients suffering from disease not due to local
injury shows that there are bony lesions affecting the regions most closely
associated with the nerve centers controlling the organs which are abnormal.
2. The examination of people in fairly good health
may show that there are bony lesions affecting the nerve centers in certain
parts of their bodies. In such cases it is found either that they are subject
to malfunction of such organs, or it will be found later that these organs
are more subject to infection, etc., than the rest of the body.
3. In persons who are sick, and in whom the bony
lesion is found, the correction of the lesion is followed by as relief
of the symptoms; and if there has been no destruction of the tissue, by
return to health.
4. The examination of cadavers frequently shows
the existence of bony lesions, and of abnormal visceral conditions associated
with the related nerve center.
5. Slight and temporary bony lesions, experimentally
produced upon human subjects, give rise to those changes in the pressure
and circulation of the blood which initiate the beginnings of disease and
the lowering of vitality.
6. Bony lesions experimentally produced upon animals
are followed by circulatory and functional changes of the organs in closest
central connection with them, and these changes are to be predicted from
the location of the lesions produced. In anesthetized animals, the changes
may be watched as they follow the production of the lesion.
The physiological effects of the bony lesions upon the visceral, vascular
and skeletal muscles and the glands of the body are explained by the anatomical
relationships of these structures.
DR. WHITING"S EXPERIMENTS
Dr. C. A. Whiting conducted a series of experiments on the influence
of osteopathic manipulations upon the germ-destroying power of the blood.
In a letter he summed up the result s of his work as follows:
"Of the little I have done, the most important seems to me to be the
demonstration of the increase of phagocytosis (destruction of germs) as
the result of mechanical stimulation. I feel quite safe in asserting that
phagocytosis is increased to marked degree by physical stimulation. In
the early days of opsonic work, our drug friends believed that the only
way in which phagocytic powers of the blood could be increased was by the
use of some vaccine. I feel quite certain, as the result of a considerable
number of experiments, that we get the same result by mechanical stimulation
of the liver, spleen, etc. If this belief is true, it is of great value
to the physician, for not only does it guide him in his treatment, but
it saves him from the necessity of introducing foreign serums into the
DR. DEASON"S EXPERIMENTS
Dr. J. Deason at the laboratories of the American School and at the
A. T. Still Research Institute has been able to demonstrate in a scientific
manner, by a large number of animal experiments, many of the practical
workings of the osteopathic idea. Among the results secured with positive
evidence by animal experimentation may be mentioned:
That lesion of the spine affects the function of the pancreas, liver
and kidneys, and is often a controlling factor in the production of diabetes:
That spinal manipulations with fixation produce marked effects on the
functional activity of the internal organs:
That lesions by nervous reflex cause disturbances in distant organs:
That lesions in the mid-dorsal region of the spine influence the secretions
of the stomach and intestines:
That abnormal action of the intestines can be caused and ended by manipulation:
That certain manipulative work upon the spine causes certain definite
changes in the blood pressure:
That the secretions of the liver and kidneys can be increased by manipulation.
These are some of the practical results of the research work along experimental
lines which Dr. Deason has been able to demonstrate scientifically. In
the next chapter Dr. Deason gives a summary of the work of the Research
To review in a word the scientific efforts made to test the claims of
Osteopathy, we find that clinic records, spinal tracings, dissections,
autopsies, the X-ray, and animal experimentation each contribute their
share of demonstrable evidence in support of the theory of Osteopathy that
structural abnormalities are a fundamental cause of disease and that the
cure of disease is accomplished by the removal of the causes, i.e., by
There is only one thing to do with
and that is to obey. We may violate a man-made
law and escape the penalty, but this
is not the case with natural law. The penalty
for each disobedience must be paid in
full. There can be no appeal. The only
avenue to liberty and freedom is that of
Osteopathy is unlike all other methods
in that it takes its stand firmly on natural
law. Practitioners of this school attempt to
cure by cooperating with Nature. Their
aim is to "understand the law, to work with
it and not against it."
GOE. W. REID, D.O.
A SUMMARY OF OSTEOPATHIC RESEARCH WORK
By J. DEASON, M.S., D.O.
OF OSTEOPATHIC RESEARCH WORK
SPECIAL ARTICLE BY J. DEASON, M.S., D.O.
Former Director of the A. T. Still Research Institute
O Lord, grease our heels with the oil of energy
that we may slip forward a little. Keep all
grease from our toes; we want them dry and
sharp so they will hold fast to every inch of
progress our greasy heels have gained for us.
A. T. STILL
An Osteopath should never speak until he
knows he has found and can demonstrate
the truth he claims to know.
A. T. STILL
During the past five years while teaching in the American school of
Osteopathy and since coming to the A. T. Still Research Institute,
by the aid of a number of assistants, we have been studying the principles
of Osteopathy experimentally, and have, we think, determined some things
of real value.
In much of our work we have used animals,--monkeys, dogs,cats, rabbits
and guinea pigs,--for the purpose of studying the results of osteopathic
lesions. The animals are first normalized by keeping them under perfectly
normal conditions for a number of weeks or months, and are observed very
carefully. They are then lesioned by placing them under complete
ether anesthesia and producing a subluxation in the spine. After
this they are again carefully observed for a number of weeks or months
and the results recorded. Only those animals are used for such work
which are found to be entirely normal in every respect. After the
animal has developed some disease or perverted physiological condition
from the results of the lesion produced, it is killed by means of ether
or chloroform and a careful study, both macroscopic and microscopic, is
made of the various bodily tissues.
By this method of study we have found that nearly every organ of the
body can be influenced by the effects of bony lesions (subluxations)
in different parts of the spine. Such resulting conditions as abnormal
physiological action and pathological changes of the stomach, liver, intestines,
kidneys, spleen, pancreas, adrenals, etc., have been positively demonstrated
many times. A detailed account of this work would require too much
space and would be uninteresting to anyone other than the physician or
experimental scientist. The results of this work on about one thousand
animals confirms the findings of Drs. Burns, McConnell, Whiting and others
who have done similar work.
The experimental work on dogs shows that the kidneys and liver can be
affected mechanically. By osteopathic manipulation of the spine,
it was shown that production of urine by the kidneys could be greatly increased.
In some cases the increase amounted to more than one hundred percent.
Since the kidneys are the filters of the blood it may be seen that
the elimination of toxic substances from the blood may be accomplished
by Osteopathic methods. This has been put to practical test by many osteopathic
physicians since the results of the experimental work were published and
has proven to be of actual practical value.
Similarly it was shown that the functional activities of the liver could
be controlled. By measuring the amount of bile (counting the drops and
by weighing) secreted in a definite time and then manipulating the segments
of the spine from which segment of the spinal cord the nerves originate,
which supply the liver, it was found that not only the amount was increased,
but that it was higher in specific gravity. Thus we have definite evidence
of the value of osteopathic therapy on the functions of the liver.
When any animals chosen for this work failed to normalize, i.e., if
they were not found to be in perfect health in every way, they were not
used but were treated osteopathically, and in most cases we were able to
normalize such animals after this treatment. Our work on filariasis in
monkeys is an interesting example of this. Fourteent months ago we received
two dozen monkeys which had recently been imported from the tropics. All
but one were found to be affected with filariasis, a disease somewhat similar
to sleeping-sickness, caused by an animal parasite. Two animals died before
the cause was discovered.
The affected monkeys were then divided into two groups. Seven
were treated by the best known medical methods and fourteen were treated
osteopathically. Of the seven treated by medical methods all died.
Of the fourteen treated osteopathically, ten recovered. We kept a
few of these to determine whether the recovery was temporary or permanent.
As yet none have shown any further signs of the disease but have grown
much larger and stronger which shows that the cures are both complete and
It will be seen that our work differs from the work of most research
workers in that we are studying the natural methods by means of which parasitic
and bacterial disease can be cured rather than the methods of producing
disease in animals and then treating the results by vaccines, serums, etc.
Another part of our work consists of making a more thorough and careful
study of human anatomy by dissections. It has been our purpose to
dissect in such a way as to determine how we can best reach certain organs
by manipulation and therefore correct abnormalities. This work has
also resulted in gaining some valuable information. As an example
of this we may cite the new method of treating catarrhal deafness.
It was found that the pharyngeal opening of the Eustachian tube (the tube
which leads from the middle ear to the pharynx) was frequently closed by
catarrhal inflammation of the nose and throat and that deafness and ringing
in the ears might be a result. It was Dr. J. D. Edwards, then a student
in my classes, who put this information to practical test and it was he
who did most to bring it before our profession. During the past two
or three years we have been working together on this problem and now many
of our physicians are successfully applying this technique in practice.
While we have not as yet studied our cases sufficiently to know the exact
percentage of cures, I believe that it is safe to say that we get favorable
results in at least seventy percent of cases of catarrhal deafness.
Another part of our work has been the study by means of bacteriological
methods of vaccines and serums and their effects. We want it to be
definitely understood that Osteopahy as a profession or as
a school of practice takes no stand for or against vaccination or serum
therapy or any method of treating disease the value of which has been demonstrated.
Our physicians, however, have not been taken by the serum craze as has
the medical profession, and this is because we are not without a reasonable
and natural method of therapy.
The results of our study of smallpox vaccine showed that there was no
such material on the market which did not contain various living bacteria
which were dangerous. From specimens of such virus prepared by two
of the best known manufacturers in America we isolated more than thirty
different kinds of bacteria, eighteen of which were pathogenic or disease-producing
bacteria. For the results of this work in detail we cite the reader
to the Journal of Osteopathy for March, April, May and June 1911.
Some of our most recent work has consisted of the examination and testing
of various nose and throat washes commonly sold on the market. Of
fifteen such preparations we have not found one that will kill the bacteria
in the sputum when mixed with it for as long as an hour, nor do they seem
to have any marked beneficial effect on the mucous membranes. The
above is only a brief summary of some of our work. The detailed reports
may be found in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association and
I am greatly indebted to my co-workers in the A. T. Still Research Institute
and others for assistance in this work, for without their valuable suggestions
and assistance it would never have been accomplished.
OSTEOPATHY, A DISTINCT SCHOOL
By CARL P. McCONNELL, D.O.
THE OSTEOPATHIC EDUCATION
OSTEOPATHY A DISTINCT SCHOOL
C. P. MCCONNELL, D.O.
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of the American Osteopathic
THE OSTEOPATHIC TEACHING
C. C. TEALL, D.O.
(Reprinted from the Bulletin of the Atlas Club)
THE OSTEOPATHIC CURRICULUM
R. H. Williams, D.O.
(Reprinted by permission from the Osteopathic Magazine.)
Knowledge is the result of the training of our
mental faculties in the school of Nature.
Knowledge is Nature understood. He who
knows the most of Nature is the wisest man.
After all has been said, after all theories have
been spun, no matter by what school, the very
kernel of the healing art is simply what can
you or I do to assist Nature.
B.P. MCCONNELL, D.O.
Osteopathy is great because its merits are inclusive of a broad field.
Osteopathy is a system of healing, not alone a method of treatment.
It is a system or school because it has a distinctive and embracing etiology,
diagnosis, pathology, and therapy. Other schools are divergent on
the therapeutic plane only. Therapeutics can amount to but little
if it is not based upon the other factors, and those factors consist of
etiology, diagnosis, and pathology. Thus the reason of an unstable
and shifting therapy of the drug schools. What will make a school
of the healing art stable, consistent, and hence scientific is its etiology
and therapy. The latter, at best, is only a means to an end.
Osteopathy presents, logically and practically, this necessary fundamental
based upon the bedrocks of anatomy and physiology.
By C. C. TEALL, D.O.
Osteopathic teaching is revolutionary. Old and accepted ideas
were broken away from and an entirely new field of investigation was opened.
In the beginning, a condition was found in the patient; it was corrected
and the result was health. That was all the public asked. One
ounce of cure was worth tons of theory and they did not inquire into the
means of their relief. But adequately to teach Osteopathy a vast
amount of original work had to be done. Anatomy is anatomy but there
is a vast difference in its application. Physiology must be taught
to mean something more than an interesting phenomenon. Pathology
had an unfilled gap between cause and effect which must be bridged.
The post-mortem had a great story to tell but an Osteopath must tell it.
A slide of degenerated tissue under the microscope is of interest, but
why the degeneration? It is described at length by the authorities
but the causes and morbific changes are not carried out. Obstetrics
along strictly natural and physiological lines insuring both mother and
babe against injury; Gynecology minus the knife and plus common sense;
all these and more had to be shaped to teach the osteopathic student.
The archives of Osteopathy were empty a few years ago. There was
no precedent to follow and the ideas in teaching which had prevailed for
centuries dominated. All this is changed. The colleges teach
the science along strictly osteopathic lines, making the application of
the truths which have escaped the notice of centuries of investigation.
There is a much discussed subject, just what is osteopathic and what
is not. Dr. C. M. T. Hulett, at a Greater New York Osteopathic Society
“Every application, appliance, method or procedure used in treatment
of disease may be classified under two heads. If its effect is to
modify the vital processes themselves, it is medical. If its effect
is to remove conditions which are interfering with processes, it is osteopathic.
Among the first are most drugs used for their physiological effect, much
surgery, electricity, hot air, vibrators and similar devices. Among
the second are manipulation, germicides, regulation of diet, habits and
life environments. If the X-ray or Finsen light will kill the lupus
or cancer germ the principle of their action is osteopathic.”
That is the best opinion on that much-mooted question I have ever seen
and it is a guide-board for all who are in doubt.
THE OSTEOPATHIC CURRICULUM
By RALPH H. WILLIAMS, D.O.
The difference in the training of an osteopathic physician and a doctor
of medicine is one of quality, not of quantity.
To the lay mind the perusal of the curriculum of an osteopathic and
a medical college would indicate a difference in but one subject, that
of therapeutics. Naturally in the training of a doctor of medicine
this covers drugs and their use in practice, while the osteopathic physician
is trained in the application of the osteopathic theories to the treatment
The difference is greater than appears on the surface. In the
osteopathic college every subject is taught with the osteopathic or mechanical
principle of the causation of disease coordinated with the instruction
in anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. The incorporation of osteopathic
principles begins with the first lesson in anatomy and ends with the last
The length of the osteopathic course is the same as the medical course:
four years of approximately eight months each.
The New York State Board of Regents requires that an institution recognized
by them shall maintain a four-years’ course contemplating not less than
thirty-four hundred hours.
The American Osteopathic Association requires a course of four years
with a minimum of four thousand hours. Some of the osteopathic colleges
have a curriculum calling for over fifty-five hundred hours, and compare
with the highest grade medical colleges.
The American Medical Association requires a minimum of four thousand
hours’ work in a period of four years for all Class A medical schools.
The minimum requirements of the American Osteopathic Association exceed
the requirements of the New York State Board of Regents and are the same
as those of the American Medical Association.
One of the osteopathic colleges registered by the New York State Board
of Regents maintains a four-years’ course with a curriculum of five thousand
four hundred sixty hours; over twenty-one hundred hours more than required
by the Regents and fifteen hundred more than required by the American Medical
In order that a definite idea as to the requirements of an osteopathic
education may be had, we append hereto a copy of the standard curriculum
required by the American Osteopathic Association of all osteopathic colleges
which are affiliated therewith.
CURRICULUM REQUIRED BY THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION
Anatomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 550
Physiology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
Chemistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Biology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Physiologic Physics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . 54
Histology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Bacteriology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Osteopathic Technic and Tactile Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . 198
General Pathology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . 108
Osteopathic or Special Pathology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . 54
Embryology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Post Mortem and Medical Jurisprudence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . 26
Gynecology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Obstetrics (including three deliveries) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 180
Diagnosis (including General Physical Diagnosis, Osteopathic
and Laboratory Diagnosis) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . 220
Surgery (including Orthopedics) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 320
Dietetics, Hygiene and Sanitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 108
Toxicology, Effects of Drugs and Urinalysis . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . 72
Practice of Osteopathy (covering Nervous and Mental
Diseases; Alimentary and Urinary Tract; Infections and
Constitutional; Circulatory and Respiratory; Skin and
Venereal; Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat and Pediatrics) . . . . . . . .
. . 520
Non-Medicinal Therapeutics and Emergencies . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . 18
Amphitheater Clinics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . 252
Clinical Treatments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . 324
Under the head of Osteopathic Technic and Tactile Training will be
found the requirement of one hundred ninety-eight hours. Unlike the
training of the doctor of medicine the training of the osteopathic physician
cannot be wholly theoretical. He must have the training in his hands
as well as in his brain. He must learn to recognize by the sense
of touch the slight abnormalities which would escape the untrained practitioner.
It is for this reason that the medical practitioner is unable to recognize
and appreciate the importance of abnormalities which can be discovered
by the trained osteopathic fingers, abnormalities which are the keys to
the success of osteopathic practice. The medical practitioner is
endowed with the same sense of touch that the osteopathic physician possesses,
but just as the ordinary individual is unable to read the books of the
blind through the lack of special training, so is the medical doctor unable
to recognize and understand the meaning of the slightly altered conditions
which mean so much to the osteopathic physician in the making of his diagnosis
and his treatment of diseased conditions.
With the growth of the osteopathic profession there has grown up an
appreciation of pathology from a different viewpoint as to cause and effect;
an understanding of pathology supported by experiments demonstrating their
correctness, a phase of pathology that is little understood, taught or
appreciated in the existing works on the subject from a medical point of
view. This growing subject is provided for in the osteopathic curriculum.
Only recently one medical author has approached the osteopathic concept
The Principles of Osteopathy are the counterpart in the osteopathic
course of the study of pharmacology and materia medica of the medical course,
and that which makes the training of the Osteopath distinctive as compared
with the training of a medical doctor.
The osteopathic student studies the human body in health as well as
in disease, together with the body’s own power of combating disease.
The medical student spends much of his time studying the influences outside
of the body which cause disease overlooking the structural conditions within
the body which make the effect of the outside influences possible.
The medical student completes his education and receives his diploma
with little or no practical experience. The osteopathic practitioner,
on the contrary, spends a considerable portion of his time during the last
two year’s work in the actual care of patients. While this is, of
course, under the observation of trained clinicians, the student does the
actual work, and is responsible for the results accomplished. He
has, not theory alone, but practical knowledge, drawn from the most efficient
of all teachers, “Experience,” to guide his work.
In addition to a large out-patient clinic which is available in each
of the colleges for the practical instruction of the student, each has
a well equipped hospital for the care of all kinds of acute and surgical
cases, insuring to the student body a wide range of experience in the recognition
and actual treatment of acute, infectious, contagious and surgical diseases.
No modern theory of the causation of disease is left out of his training,
whether this theory be in the theoretical stage or has become a demonstrated
fact. He is trained to recognize all forms of bacteria and is taught
their relationship to diseased conditions. Every known and accepted
method of diagnosis in use by the medical profession is taught to him in
addition to his own methods of osteopathic diagnosis which is peculiar
to and distinctively characteristic of the school he represent.
In his fundamental training and knowledge of the human body the osteopathic
physician stands second to none.
Osteopathy is a comparatively new system of
practice, having existed for only about twenty-five
years, and yet much valuable research
work has been done along new lines. I believe
that no other school of practice, in proportion
to the length of time it has existed,
has done as much original and scientific
investigation pertaining to the theories and
methods of its treatment. I am sure that
no other school has been more successful in
confirming its theories by research.
J. DEASON, M.S., D.O.
OF OSTEOPATHIC PRINCIPLES
Osteopathy’s own philosophy of surgery, mid-wifery
and general treatment is complete and defies refutation.
A point that appeals strongly and is particularly
gratifying to the osteopathic practitioner,
is that not a certain line of diseases only is
treated more successfully by osteopathic work
than other diseases, but that the entire field
of medicine is covered by osteopathic therapeutics.
B.P. MCCONNELL, D.O.
APPLICATION OF OSTEOPATHIC PRINCIPLES
By G. V. WEBSTER, D.O.
The application of the principles of Osteopathy to the field of therapeutics
has demonstrated that they are eminently practical. If the Osteopath
could not accomplish in a better way things that have been attempted, or
could not do things which would otherwise be impossible, there would be
no excuse for his existence. In the charter of the first osteopathic
school, the purpose of the school is set forth as being to “improve our
present system of surgery, obstetrics and the treatment of diseases generally
and to place the same on a more rational and scientific basis.” That
this purpose has been fulfilled, the practical workings of Osteopathy bear
The application of osteopathic principles to meet the problems of bodily
disorder has demonstrated their efficiency in practically all diseases.
The individual Osteopaths may vary in proficiency, but the principles remain
true. Results depend upon the degree with which the practice is made
to approach the principle, Osteopathy being both an art and a science.
An understanding of the field in which osteopathic principles are applicable
may possibly best be gained by a review of some of the basic osteopathic
considerations in several of the general classes of disease.
DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
A nerve cell with its attendant fiber may be likened to an electrical
battery with its attached wires which convey the power of the battery to
a point of usefulness. Electricity may be interpreted in terms of
light, heat or motion—all different forms of energy. Nervous impulses
in the body are interpreted in terms of motion, secretion, sensation, nutrition,
consciousness, and by the special senses.
In the case of electricity, the integrity of the battery, the wires
and the end instrument, which evidences the impulses as light, heat or
motion, must be maintained. The battery cell may be impaired, the
wire broken or short-circuited, or the instrument may lack adjustment;
in any case a failure of function results. With the battery, the
cause of failure may be mechanical or chemical. The same is true
of the nerve unit. A mechanical interference, as by pressure, with
the nerve cell, fiber or end organ, a chemical or vital change through
degeneration of the nerve unit from exhaustion or impaired nutrition, may
take place. Abnormal pressure is the primary cause of impaired function
in either case. In the first, the pressure is exerted, by some structure
out of its position, upon the nerve cell or fiber; in the second, the pressure
is upon the vessels carrying nutrition to the nerve unit.
The Osteopath is the electrical engineer of the nervous system.
It is his aim to preserve the integrity of the individual nerve, cell,
fiber and end organ by relieving them of any abnormal pressure, or interference
with their supply of nutrition.
Of the disorders incident to nerve tissue, we may have, as has been
suggested, those that are either functional or organic; each with possible
resultant disturbances of motion, secretion, sensation, nutrition, consciousness
or of the special senses. A great number of these cases of both classes
have come under osteopathic observation and the osteopathic search for
the causes of such diseases with the application of the principle of correction
of structural abnormalities has resulted in lessening a large amount of
DISEASES OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Of the cases which have presented themselves for osteopathic examination,
a large number have been disturbances of the digestive system. Of
these a portion have resulted from some abuse of the organs of digestion
by dietetic errors, in which case correction of the errors of diet would
be indicated, but most of the cases present some structural derangement
which is manifestly interfering with the functioning of the stomach, liver,
pancreas, or intestines.
The stomach receives an extensive nerve supply, partly from the pneumogastric
nerve which leaves the cranium and passes downward to be distributed to
the organs in the thorax and abdomen, and partly from the nerves that leave
the spinal cord and chain of sympathetic nervous ganglia along the spine.
These nerves carry impulses that control the movement of the muscular wall
of the stomach, the action of the various glands that secrete the gastric
juice, the quantity of blood that is distributed to the organ and the nutrition
of the organ itself, as well as sensation to the nerve centers in the cord
If motion, secretion, nutrition or sensation be impaired in the organ,
the organ is not to be blamed. One could scarcely, with justice,
blame the telephone if the wires were down. Somewhere thee is a mechanical
defect—an interference with the origin or transmission of the nervous impulses
which govern these functions. A careful osteopathic search will reveal
the point of interference. A careful physical examination, with possibly
a laboratory examination of the stomach contents if necessary, will give
the evidence as to the functions impaired or of any organic trouble that
may have resulted from long continued functional disturbances. A little
engineering skill is needed to remove the interference and if successfully
accomplished the organ will go about its work without further hesitancy,
provided that these interferences have not been operating so long as to
have produced organic changes. Even then nothing could be of greater
value to the suffering organ than to have its struggle for existence extended
a helping hand by way of improved blood and nerve supply.
One could supply from an outside source some of the deficient constituents
of the gastric juice, one could knead the stomach and supply in a measure
impaired motion, one could use an anodyne and relieve distressing sensations,
but it would seem the more logical course to so put in order the bodily
mechanism that the constituents of the gastric juice would be naturally
supplied in proper proportion, the contents of the stomach be churned by
its own power, and then with perfect digestion there would be no occasion
for annoying sensory disturbances to reach the consciousness.
The functions of the other organs of digestion, the liver, the pancreas,
the intestines, the colon, may likewise be impaired, and a long list of
names has been applied to the various symptom and conditions. In these
as with the stomach, faulty diet, micro-organisms, etc., may play a part,
but analyzed carefully it will be found that primarily the cause rests
in some structural abnormality operating to derange the blood or nerve
supply of the organ or part. In diseases of these organs it would likewise
be the logical thing to find and remove such an obstruction, whether the
case be congestion of the liver, intestinal indigestion, appendicitis,
colitis, constipation, dysentery, or any one of the list of diseases of
the digestive tract, where the organic changes have not reached the stage
of degeneration that might require operative interference.
DISEASES OF THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Under this heading may be included all disorders of the nose, larynx,
bronchial tubes, lungs and pleua whether or not accompanied by specific
infection. Nearly all of these, it has been shown, are primarily due to
interrupted nervous impulses.
Since the nerves hold under their control the caliber of the blood vessels
and so determine the quantity of blood distributed to a part, it is obvious
that an interference with the vaso-motor nerves, as they are called, would
result in either too little or too much blood being driven to an organ.
Too much blood and we have a congestion; too little and the nourishment
of the tissue is impaired—in either case the vitality of the part is lowered.
Germs, whether they be the germs of la grippe, pneumonia or tuberculosis,
find a convenient lodging place in tissue with lowered vitality—otherwise
they might be destroyed, before they had time to multiply and colonize,
by the white blood corpuscles which act as little policemen throughout
the body, arresting and devouring invading germs. Perfect circulation
through a part would mean that these policemen were “covering their beat”
with due regularity and in sufficient numbers to repel any ordinary invasion.
Osteopathic work by correcting any mechanical interference with the
vaso-motor nerves to the lungs is of value in maintaining the normal healthy
tone of the lung tissue by preventing congestion or faulty nutrition.
It aids in helping the lung to resist the invasions of germs and in strengthening
and restoring to health weakened tissues.
All diseases of the respiratory tract are not associated, however, with
germs, but in all, structural conditions play a large part, and the axiom
that normal structure is a prerequisite of normal functioning holds true
in disorders of the respiratory tract, whether the symptoms of such structural
disorder be grouped under the name of asthma, hay fever, catarrh, croup,
bronchitis or one of the acute infectious diseases. The essential
point is to find the primary cause of the disease—that which is interfering
with the normal physiological action of the organ or part—and to set about
to correct the same, with the assurance that God made man a perfect being
and if there is failure in any function there must be a cause for such
DISEASES OF THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
The blood is the chief agent of transportation in the body, carrying
food to and waste from the tissues. The organs necessary to maintain
this transportation system comprise a propelling force, the heart; avenues
of distribution, the arteries and capillaries; also channels for the re-collection
and return of the blood to the heart, the veins.
Many of the diseases of the body may be found associated with some alteration
or defect in this transportation system. “The reign of the artery
is supreme,” is the way the “Old Doctor” expressed it. In the consideration
of the diseases of the organs of the circulatory system, we find disorders
of two kinds—functional or organic.
The heart receives nervous impulses by way of the pneumogastric nerve
which tend to retard its action and from the cardiac sympathetic nerves
which accelerate its action. It also has nervous ganglia within its
muscular walls which are automatic in action. Variations in the rate
or regularity of the heart’s action indicate some abnormal nervous impulse
received either over the pneumogastric or sympathetic nerves. These
abnormal impulses may be purely reflex, as from exophthalmic goiter, anemia,
acute infectious disease, dyspepsia, overwork, stimulants, poisons, pelvic
disturbances, emotional states, etc. However, a satisfactory explanation
for all functional disturbances cannot be found in the reflexes.
The pneumogastric and sympathetic nerves at certain points in their course
pass in very close relation to some parts of the bony framework and if
these structures are occupying other than their true anatomical positions
they may be the source of direct interruption to the nervous impulses that
should reach the heart. Osteopathic clinical evidence and the evidence
obtained by animal experiment go to show that most functional disorders
of the heart have as a causative factor some displacement, however
slight, of the ribs or vertebrae in relation with these nerves. The
indication, then, in case of functional disorder of the heart, is to search
for a possible reflex cause and remedy or to locate a possible direct cause
in some structural abnormality of rib or vertebrae and correct that.
Lesions producing cardiac neuroses may lead to organic disease although
many other indirect causes are recognized. In organic troubles the
problem presented is much more difficult and serious. While it would
not be expected that the organic disease could be remedied, yet the work
of freeing the nervous impulses that should reach the heart is of the utmost
value, materially assisting the organ in performing its duty even though
it is handicapped by organic changes.
Functional disease of the blood vessels may result from disturbance
to the vaso-motor nerves—the nerves to the muscular coat of the arteries
that Osteopaths are so much interested in and which have their origin along
the spine. Organic diseases of the blood vessels are of the nature
of degenerations of varying kinds and degree.
In all cardiac or circulatory disturbances the work of the Osteopath
is quick, safe and efficient, no other method of treatment operating so
in harmony with Nature’s laws.
DISEASES OF THE KIDNEY
A great deal of mystery has existed in the popular mind as to kidney
difficulties and, to one unacquainted with the facts, it might seem that
the application of the osteopathic principles for the relief of such disorders
is but another addition to the mystery.
The function of the kidney is that of elimination—to filter out and
excrete the excess water and waste products from the blood stream.
This function is dependent upon the integrity of the epithelial cells that
line the little tubules of which the kidney is largely composed.
These in turn depend for their health upon normal nutrition and for their
action upon normal nerve impulses. The nerves that supply the kidney,
controlling the distribution of blood to it and the excretory function
of the organ, can be traced back through the solar plexus to the center
in the spine where any abnormal structural pressure will interfere with
their harmonious action.
The evidence regarding disease of the kidneys is obtained largely by
urinalysis supplemented by a thorough physical examination and a careful
osteopathic search for derangements of the ribs or vertebrae near which
pass the nerve fibers just mentioned. When evidence is obtained of
faulty action of the kidney, the next important step is the discovery of
a cause. Inasmuch as a nerve is with difficulty impinged while passing
through soft tissue, it is but reasonable to suspect that the interference
is at a point where it comes into more or less intimate relation with denser
structures—bones or ligaments. The point of interruption to the nervous
impulses having been discovered in the faulty relations of some of the
ribs or vertebrae, the Osteopath sets about correcting the same,
reasoning that if structural relations are maintained, as Nature intended
they should be, in all parts of the anatomy associated with the kidney,
the organ will function properly, provided that the degenerative changes
in the tissues of the kidney have not progressed beyond repair. Even
in infections of the kidney the infectious process may be arrested by elimination
of the source of infection and the restoration of normal blood and nerve
supply to the organ.
DISEASES OF THE PELVIC ORGANS
In the treatment of the diseases incident to the pelvic structures,
Osteopathy gave the world an entirely new, and we believe correct, conception
of the cause and cure of such conditions, proving a great boon to suffering
woman-kind. Long had attempts been made to remedy the conditions
found, but not one word in all medical literature pointed toward the bony
lesion as a fundamental cause of such conditions. It is with truth
that Mrs. J. B. Foraker of Ohio said: “If Dr. A. T. Still had discovered
nothing new in medical science but what he has done for woman, his name
would go down the ages as the greatest physician of any age and one of
the historical benefactors of the race.”
The pelvic organs are delicately balanced, supported by ligaments.
Clothing, posture, habits, occupation, etc., all influence more or less
the integrity of the supports and the balance of the pelvic structures,
but with the ligaments maintaining their normal tone and proper tension
organic displacements would not occur. The nerves which give tone
to the ligaments and the vaso-motor nerves controlling the blood supply
to the pelvic organs have their origin along the spine. Any structural
derangement there would so interfere with the nerves that the ligaments
would lose their tone, permitting relaxation, and allowing gravity, or
other forces, to carry the organs to abnormal positions. The deranged
vaso-motor nerves, together with the faulty position, would produce congestion
which in turn might lead to faulty functioning, abnormal secretion, degeneration
of tissues or tumefaction. To treat these conditions without correcting
the primary structural cause is but to treat the symptoms. Permanent
relief could scarcely be hoped for without the removal of the cause.
The Osteopath deals largely with causes, yet being mindful of the symptoms
and conditions that those causes have produced.
There is probably no field so frequently invaded by the surgeon’s knife
as the pelvis, yet taken in time the majority of these cases could have
been saved the operation and the suffering that preceded it, being restored
to health and comfort without the knife. It is with causes that we
must be concerned if we would find how the conditions that would eventually
demand an operation may be remedied, and it is in dealing with causes that
Osteopathy has won its great success in this as in other fields of therapeutics
and prophylaxis. Speaking in this connection Dr. Lena Creswell says:
“Almost all of the diseases of the pelvic structure are curable in the
beginning without the surgeon, and in truth, the osteopathic practice is
revolutionizing modern surgery, but even yet the number of women operated
on for pelvic trouble is alarming. Many are unsexed and it would
seem that many of these necessary operations might be prevented if the
women of our land possessed the proper knowledge of the care of their bodies.
Many cases, which were formerly considered surgical, respond readily to
this treatment but some cases, usually dating from parturition, must have
an operation. I have found osteopathic treatment many times of great
value to prepare the patient for the operation and it frequently is necessary
“The science of Osteopathy does more than all others to revolutionize
the treatment of the diseases of women and has advanced further along this
line than any other method. Osteopathic gynecology is based on facts.
Our method is to locate the lesion that interferes with the blood and nerve
supply and if possible to remove the same. We should feel proud of
the record we have made in the treatment of these diseases. From
year to year we are demonstrating a more complete methods of treating the
diseases of womankind.”
DISEASES OF THE SKIN
Affections of the skin are a class of diseases that at first thought
might seem beyond the reach of osteopathic measures. The skin exercises
protective, absorptive and excretory functions. Overburdening any
one of these functions may result in disease. The protective function
may be overburdened, as by germs or parasites; the absorptive, as by chemicals;
and the excretory, as by the defective action of one of the other organs
Such disorders may be divided into two general classes with reference
to causes, external or internal. Both may be combined. Of the
external causes, probably germs are frequently a direct cause. To
remove the cause, remove the germs, which may be accomplished by the application
of a germicide. This alone is required; the reconstructive forces
of the body restoring the surface to normal as soon as the cause is removed.
Of the internal causes, those traceable to some disorder of nutrition,
metabolism or elimination predominate. In the search for the causes,
we are often led step by step back to some structural abnormality interfering
with one or more of the organs concerned with the constructive or eliminative
forces of the body. In connection with this class, purely osteopathic
work is of distinct therapeutic value, as has been shown by the cases of
eczema, for instance, which have yielded to osteopathic work applied to
the correction of the nerve and blood supply to the liver and pancreas
after various other means for relief had been unsuccessfully tried.
ACUTE INFEACTIOUS DISEASES
The invasion of the human body by pathogenic micro-organisms gives rise
to what are known as the acute infectious diseases, such as typhoid fever,
scarlet fever, measles, influenza, etc. The battle is waged between
the invading germs and the powers of resistance inherent in the body.
On the one hand, the germs seek to destroy the harmony of the bodily functions
by the production of poisons that spell death to the tissues; on the other
hand, the body manufactures an “anti” poison which neutralizes the poison
produced by the germ and permits the white blood corpuscles to destroy
the invaders or, at least, restrict their operations. The question
is, Which shall prevail? Once started, it is might that prevails.
The physician should ally himself with the forces of resistance and
his problem is how best to assist the body in its efforts to overcome the
germs and the effects of their poisons. The forces of the body are
capable of making the necessary resistance provided that there is no obstruction
to their perfect operation. “No obstruction” means unimpeded circulation
in all parts and no interference with the nerve supply to the organs whose
function is the manufacture of “anti” poisons, or to the organs of elimination.
The effort has been made to produce some of these “anti” substances in
the bodies of animals and then appropriate in the form of serums the “antis”
thus obtained for use in the defenses of the human organism. These
are not of the nature of a drug but rather of the nature of an antidote
for poison—the poison produced by the germ—and as such their use is not
at direct variance with osteopathic theories, although it has been repeatedly
demonstrated that the body in perfect health will provide from its own
laboratories sufficient of the “anti” substances to neutralize the toxins
produced by the germs, making the use of such borrowed “anti” substances
superfluous. An instance of this is frequently found where a person
may not be infected although repeatedly exposed to the germs of measles,
scarlet fever, tuberculosis, etc. The reason that these cases of
immunity are not more numerous is because so few people are in absolutely
Any means that will assist the organs of defense is of value.
The Osteopath by opening every channel of operation for the fighting forces
of the body materially assists in the checking or repulsion of the invading
germs, in the production of germicidal properties in the blood and in the
elimination of the poisons from the system. Any other poison or drug
entering the system at the time of the invasion but increases the burden
of poisons to be neutralized or eliminated.
A striking example of the efficiency of Osteopathy in the acute infections
was shown by the osteopathic record in the great influenza epidemic of
1918, in which the death rate under osteopathic care was less than one
half of one percent.
DISEASES OF THE EYE AND EAR
The eye and ear are organs of special sense. The eye is formed
to receive waves of light and convey the impressions received to the mind.
The ear is formed to receive waves of sound and convey and interpret them
to the consciousness. Both organs are located in the cranium and
nearly surrounded by firm bony walls. How then can osteopathic work
be of value to disordered organs so deeply situated in bony cavities?
With the delicate mechanism of the eye or ear, the Osteopath does very
little directly, yet in the treatment of diseases of these organs Osteopathy
has achieved some of its most remarkable results.
Tracing the sympathetic nerve fibers of the eye backward toward their
origin, the anatomist and physiologist have found that some of these nerve
fibers, having their nucleus of origin near the base of the brain, pass
downward through the spinal cord to the level of the upper dorsal spine,
i.e., between the shoulders, where they leave the cord and, passing out
between the vertebrae, join the chain of sympathetic nervous ganglia that
are situated just in front of the vertebrae and lead upward through these
ganglia and their connections and are finally distributed to the eye.
This is a very roundabout way for the nervous impulses to travel in reaching
the eye yet such is the course they follow. The eye has other nerves
more direct in action controlling its motion and some of the other functions,
but those just mentioned being the sympathetic, control the involuntary
muscles within the eye itself, the caliber of the blood vessels to the
eye and so the nutrition to each individual cell that goes to make up the
delicate organ. Any irritation or interference with these sympathetic
nerves would result in disturbances that might produce disease and impair
the vision. It is not claimed that all eye disorders are amenable
to osteopathic treatment, yet the application of the osteopathic principle
of correcting all structural deviations, such as slightly misplaced vertebrae
in the neck, has resulted in so freeing the interrupted nervous impulses
that frequently all the resultant symptoms manifest in the eye were relieved.
It could scarcely be expected that in this brief article mention could
be made of all the symptoms and diseases of the eye that have been benefited
or cured by osteopathic corrective measures applied to the structures in
relation with the sympathetic nerves to the eye, for well authenticated
case reports of the eye benefits are numerous in osteopathic literature.
It is sufficient to state that the practice of finding what is wrong and
fixing it, leaving Nature to mother the eye as she alone can, has resulted
in demonstrating in eye troubles what a truly wonderful mother Nature is
when unhampered in her work.
In the treatment of diseases of the ear, particularly catarrhal deafness,
osteopathic work has achieved a distinct success. The catarrhal deposits
and adhesions in and about the Eustachian tube in this instance constitute
the lesion and it is through the removal of these by manipulative work
that the parts are restored to normal condition and function.
The osteopathic control over other pathological conditions of the ear
is largely through the vasomotor nerves that govern the amount of blood
distributed to the parts or to some structural condition impinging directly
upon the return circulation from the ear, in either case the circulatory
disturbances result in lowered vitality, impaired function and possibly
an invasion by micro-organisms.
To find what is interfering with the normal physiological processes
of the body and, if possible, correct the same—that is the Osteopath’s
mission in dealing with disorders of the organs of special sense as with
the other organs.
Constitutional diseases are those that pervade the whole system, such
as chronic rheumatism, gout, diabetes, scurvy, rickets, etc., and are due
to some break in the chain of events that govern the constructive or eliminative
forces of the body. The character of the food itself may be faulty
or one or more of the organs that are concerned in the preparation of the
food elements for final use in the body as bone, gland, muscle, etc., lag
in performing their functions, or some of the organs whose duty it is to
dispose of the ashes of the bodily fires, the waste material, fail in their
physiological duty and the result is general or constitutional disorder.
To find where the broken link in the chain may be is the duty of the
physician. To the Osteopath, the conditions presented by the symptoms
of constitutional disease would point, aside from dietetic errors or local
infections, to an interruption to the nerve supply to one or more of the
organs that gave evidence of failure of function. The location of
the mechanical cause for such interruption and the correction of the same
permits again the movement of the constructive and eliminative forces of
the body in an unbroken cycle, provided that the wheel of life has not
been too greatly damaged by the weakened link having existed too long.
Osteopathy is not a cure-all. There are disorders that are incurable;
there are diseases which need surgical attention; an anesthetic is a necessity;
a parasite requires an antiseptic; a poison demands an antidote.
There are considerations other than mechanical adjustment having to do
with the environment affecting the relative proportions in quantity and
quality of the life essentials, food, air, water, rest, protection, cleanliness,
physical and mental exercise, etc.—all of which enter into consideration
in the problem of protecting the body from disease. Yet perfection
of bodily structure must be maintained and it is the duty of the physician
to assist in such maintenance while giving proper attention to the environment.
Life forces he cannot give; tissue he cannot manufacture; tissue builders,
except in the form of food, he cannot furnish, discretion that will maintain
a proper environment is with difficulty imparted; yet structural perfection
he can help to maintain: that accomplished, Nature—the Mother of
All—with infinite wisdom maintains in functional harmony, the body which
she created and man’s responsibility ceases.
Osteopathy believes that all parts of the human
body do work on chemical compounds and
from the general supply manufacture for local
wants; thus the liver builds for itself of the material
that is prepared in its own division laboratory.
The same of heart and brain. No disturbing
or hindering causes will be tolerated if the
Osteopathy can find and remove them.
A. T. STILL
THE GROWTH OF OSTEOPATHY
BY A. G. HILDRETH, D.O.
THE GROWTH OF OSTEOPATHY
FROM AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT A MEETING OF THE
AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION AT KIRKSVILLE, MO.
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy)
This is a war not for conquest, popularity or
power. It is an aggressive campaign for love,
truth and humanity.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy has had its necessary growth and
development amid surroundings that tested its
eight to existence at every step.
GEO. E. MORAN
The poetry of Osteopathy has never been written. The essence,
or abstract, of this great truth which has enriched so many lives has never
been, and can never be, expressed in words, for it is so indelibly interwoven
with the everyday occurrences of so many different individuals that it
will be impossible to collect in one volume all that goes to make up a
complete whole—centralized at first in one man and his family, then divided
with others until today it has to do with the lives of thousands and still
is being handed on and on. Ah, who dare attempt to write the all
of the “Then and Now?” Come with me in your minds and walk over this
identical spot of ground some years ago; look at the little five-room cottage,
the rooms of which were used as treatment rooms by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still
and his sons; see the people scattered here and there around his home and
the little office building, with the bus driving occasionally to the door,
depositing its invalid or cripple to see the then becoming famous “bone
doctor.” Note a little frame structure, fourteen by twenty-eight
feet, in the course of construction just in front of the original
five-room cottage. Get a glimpse, if you can, of those things as
they were, and as they are so vividly painted in the memories of those
of us who were here at that time, and you may have some conception of Osteopathy
as it was then.
Now turn your eye to the present, compare this building with those
described. Look across the ravine at the well-equipped, up-to-date
hospital and you will have some conception of the Osteopathy of today.
A comparison of the “Then and Now” in material things only at the birth-place
of this science is certainly very satisfactory and, no doubt, its progress
has far outgrown the fondest anticipations of him who started this great
work. But even with all this development achieved here at the parent
institution it is incomparable with our growth, development and progress
made in the literary, social, professional and scientific world.
For more than five years from the beginning of the teaching of Osteopathy,
we numbered less than one hundred men and women. Then we were so
few in numbers that we could all gather around his knee at one time either
in the little cottage, in his home, upon the lawn under the trees, on the
steps of his front porch, anywhere and everywhere and drink wisdom from
his own lips in all its purity and simplicity. We were so close to
the fountain of truth from whence all this wondrous growth has emanated,
that we could not only see the results obtained by the corrective
processes beneath the scientific touch of his fingers, but we were forced
to absorb from his mind a part, at least, of the inspiration of his thought,
his genius and his power.
Again, the results obtained at that time were not only an inspiration,
but they were fraught with a knowledge, to those who were privileged to
see them, that then and there lay the foundation for future professional
careers by which the pioneer practitioners of Osteopathy have contributed
so much to the strength, the solidity and the impregnability of the position
we occupy today. Then and there were instilled through contact the
true principles of genuine Osteopathy that must and will stand throughout
all ages as the foundation of the earth’s greatest system of medicine.
The idea was then in its simplest, crudest, yet purest form. From
that point in our history was thrown out an influence so deep-rooted, so
pure and so far-reaching in effect that it is not only a part of us now,
but is destined to live on and on forever.
Then we were a mere handful; now we are numbered by the thousands.
Then one college upon the face of the earth; now some seven or eight.
Then our classes for matriculation numbered but a few, now they run into
the hundreds. Then one man with a very few assistants taught all
there were to teach, now it takes hundreds to supply the demand.
Then there were no practitioners anywhere but at Kirksville and the hopeless
cases of all the land contributed their share to make Kirksville and Dr.
Still famous. Now our practitioners are scattered all over the world.
Then the eyes of the public were centered here and the results obtained
were given world-wide comment and notice. Now, good results are being
obtained everywhere Osteopaths are located and our good results are so
common that they are expected and people are disappointed if they are not
obtained. Then when people came to Kirksville for treatment, it was
Dr. Still who cured them, whether one of his sons treated them or one of
the assistants. Now the results have become so common that little
notice is taken of the most seemingly miraculous cures.
Then there was not a spot on earth where a graduated Osteopath could
practice his chosen profession as a law-abiding citizen, according to the
interpretation of the then-existing medical laws. Now almost every
state of the union recognizes us with some form of legislative enactment,
with many a splendid law to our credit. This, too, may be said of
several foreign provinces. Then the combined influences of the earth
seemed against us. Now, we are welcomed everywhere, in the home,
the church, the local community, the state, yes, even by the nations of
the earth as a factor for good. The press was a silent factor so
far as we were concerned, unless occasionally when we were made the butt
of its ridicule. Today, column after column is given to us in the
great papers of this country, clothed in terms most complimentary to our
work. And the best periodicals now give us page after page of the
most readable, educational articles, enlightening the whole world as regards
our profession and our progress. Then there could be no systematized
organization for the promulgation of our work; we were so few, we could
only cluster around this spot hovering in close contact with the original
center. But now we have our local, our state and our national organizations
that are proving a wonderful factor in our growth.
Whenever I hear people talk of shoals ahead or dangers coming, I cannot
help but feel that if they could only have accurate knowledge of all the
history of the origin and growth of Osteopathy, they could not possibly
feel that way, for there have been so many things that could not but make
the men who stood with their fingers upon the pulse of this great movement
know that the Master Mind of this universe was guiding its course.
It was true” Then” and it is equally true “Now.”
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, and he must never rest
day or night until he knows that the spine
is true and in line from atlas to sacrum, with
all the ribs known to be in perfect union
with the processes of the spine.
A. T. STILL
BY G. V. WEBSTER, D. O.
BY G. V. WEBSTER, D.O.
When Harvey solved by his powers of reason a
knowledge of the circulation of the blood, he
only reached the banks of the river of life.
A. T. STILL
The most that any physician can do in treating
disease is to render operative natural forces
within the patient’s body.
A. T. STILL
The story of osteopathic achievement is told most emphatically by the
statistics that have been gathered showing the percentage of satisfactory
results in several series of consecutive cases representing a number of
Most remarkable was the showing made by osteopathic physicians in the
great epidemic of influenza that swept over the country in the fall of
1918. Within the profession and with a considerable portion of the
public it was common knowledge, for some years back, that in meeting the
ravages of lagrippe or influenza nothing had been found to equal the efficiency
of osteopathic treatment both for the amelioration of the distressing symptoms
of this disease and the avoidance of the numerous after effects.
Yet it took this epidemic, destroying more lives than the Great War, to
bring out by actual statistics the evidence of just how efficient osteopathy
was under the trying conditions imposed.
A questionnaire was sent out by the American Osteopathic Association
asking for the data on the care of cases of influenza by members of the
profession. The returns were startling in their revelations.
The osteopathic claims for efficiency were more than vindicated.
The statistics tabulated from questionnaires returned by 1370
osteopathic physicians presented a total of 49,611 cases of influenza treated
and only 170 deaths, showing a percentage of less than one-half of one
per cent as the death rate from uncomplicated influenza under osteopathic
care. The same questionnaire showed that in the above number of cases
there were 2,943 cases of pneumonia with 307 deaths, or a total of deaths
by influenza and pneumonia combined of but 477 from these 49,611 cases
This is a most remarkable showing. From no source where statistics
are available has any other method of treatment anything to offer which
compares in the least with the wonderful record made by these 1370 osteopaths.
Commenting upon this wonderful record from practically the same statistics
The Chicago Evening Post had this to say:
“Figures compiled by the osteopaths throughout the country show that
out of 49,000 cases of flu treated, of which between three and four thousand
developed pneumonia, only 472 died—a mortality of less than 1 per cent.
As nearly as can be estimated, the total mortality from flu throughout
the country has ranged from 5 to 15 per cent. If these figures are
correct, here is food for thought for doctor and layman alike.
“Certainly every broadminded physician will welcome the news that there
is a more successful method of treating the flu than the one he has been
using. In fact, many old school physicians have already discarded
exploded theories and adopted the most up-to-date methods of fighting disease.
“The above figures, however, indicate that there are many doctors whose
ideas concerning the cause and cure of disease are derived entirely from
their college text-books.
“The medical profession, for the sake of its reputation, if not for
the sake of the human lives involved, will do well to give serious consideration
to this matter. It is an even more vital subject for the layman,
since it is his life that is at stake. A man who contracts the flu
wants treatment and advice that will help him to recover, and not hasten
him to his grave.
“The loss of life from the flu so far has been variously estimated at
from half a million to more than two million. Suppose a million persons
have died from the disease, and suppose that they had all received the
same treatment that the 49,000 cases mentioned above received and had responded
with the same percentage of recoveries. This would man that only
10,000 would have died, and that 990,000 of the 1,000,000 would probably
be alive today.
“Next to life itself, health is man’s greatest possession. If
there are methods in use today of treating the flu and pneumonia, the most
dangerous of all diseases, that can hold the mortality down to less than
1 per cent, the people ought to know about it, and the government ought
to investigate the matter.”
Scarcely less impressive is the work being done for cases of nervous
and mental disease by the osteopaths in their sanatorium at Macon, Mo.
The statistics for the five-year period presents a very interesting study
of the efficiency of the osteopath in the care of these nervous and mental
Total number entering institution . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 1008
Total number leaving institution . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . 877
Non-mentals and those coming for examination, opinion
and advice only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344
Statistical purposes (excluding non-mental and those
coming for examination, opinion and advice) . . . 533
Discharged as cured (47%) . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . 254
Discharged as improved with good prospects for recovery,
and recovering entirely after going home. . 43
Discharged as cured, a relapse occurring after the
return home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Statistics from the private records of Dr. J. Deason of Chicago, covering
in all the treatment of 5000 cases, show a high percentage of good results
in the special field of the ear, nose and throat.
His 2762 cases of catarrhal deafness showed an average of satisfactory
results in 76 per cent of the cases. Favorable results were obtained
in 70 per cent of cases that had been unsuccessfully treated by other methods.
He also reported 296 cases of acute infection of the middle ear with good
results in 60 per cent of the cases. In 172 cases of chronic infection
of the middle ear good results were obtained in 60 cases and partial
results in 20. In acute infection of the mastoid cells there were
good results in 90 per cent of the cases. In chronic mastoiditis
numbering 195 cases he found it necessary to advise operation in but 50
per cent of the cases. Dr. Deason reported 2880 cases of “ringing
in the ears” and other head noises. Good results were obtained in
70 per cent of those cases. Of 840 cases of enlarged tonsil 80 per
cent were treated successfully without operation. Dr. Deason reported
the surgical removal of 392 cases of adenoids and tonsils without a complication
or post-operative infection and not a case required a second operation.
He also reports 372 cases of hay fever with permanent cures of 70 per cent
of the cases and good results in 87 per cent; 192 cases of asthma with
good results in 80 percent of the cases and partial results in 10 per cent.
of the cases. Of 256 cases of impaired voice 80 per cent were restored
One member of the profession who encountered a typhoid epidemic has
reported 100 consecutive cases treated osteopathically without a fatality.
While statistics are not particularly interesting to the average reader,
yet to the person afflicted they may present evidence of an added opportunity
for recovery. Statistics above presented for influenza, nervous and
mental diseases and for diseases of the ear, nose and throat show a larger
percentage of good results by a very creditable margin than any other known
method of treatment.
BY C. M. T. HULETT, D. O.
SPECIAL ARTICLE BY C. M. T. HULETT, D. O.
Osteopathy is knowledge, or it is nothing.
A. T. STILL
Every great institution is the lengthened shadow
of one man.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
The growth of Osteopathy on the side of individual practice is the way
it is known to most people. They are less familiar with its institutional
growth. Many are hardly aware of the existence of osteopathic institutions.
But we want such people to understand that Osteopathy can make a very creditable
exhibit in this line.
The profession is well organized. Its national association has
over three thousand members and receives and disburses a large sum annually
in broad-gauged public work. One hundred twenty-five state and subsidiary
societies in this country and Canada serve the more local needs and interests
of the profession and patrons. The British Osteopathic Society is
active in its field in Great Britain.
Periodical literature of a high order, covering the scientific, professional,
public health and popular fields is well supported by the profession.
Numerous textbooks concerning the various branches of the science have
been published by members of the profession in addition to several brochures,
monographs, and popular books and booklets. Both novels and plays,
with osteopathic correction of a lesion as a key to the plot, have been
received by the American public.
Osteopathy has eight colleges in which young men and women are educated
for entering the profession.
The American School of Osteopathy, Kirksville, Mo.
The Massachusetts College of Osteopathy, Boston, Mass.
The College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Los Angeles, Cal.
The Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery, Kansas City, Mo.
The Central College of Osteopathy, Kansas City, Mo.
The Philadelphia College of Osteopathy, Philadelphia, Pa.
The Des Moines Still College of Osteopathy, Des Moines, Ia.
The Chicago College of Osteopathy, Chicago, Ill.
Including surgery, the course of study is now four years. The
curriculum evolved to conform to the osteopathic concept of disease, parallels
the medical curriculum and produces thoroughly qualified physicians.
Osteopathic hospitals and sanatoriums are too many to name here.
Suffice it to say that they are well enough distributed throughout the
country, so that any case, surgical or otherwise, may be cared for under
osteopathic auspices. The American Osteopathic Association maintains
a Bureau of Clinics which assists the local osteopathic organizations in
the establishment of public clinics. In some of the large cities
osteopathic clinics supported by the profession have been established for
the care of such cases as are in need of osteopathic treatment but are
unable to employ a physician.
At Macon, Missouri, is a sanatorium dedicated exclusively to the treatment
of mental diseases. Very encouraging results have already been obtained
in cases of insanity treated there, although the institution has been in
operation but five years. The published records of this sanatorium
show a higher percentage of cures under the osteopathic care of the various
insanities than under any other known method of treatment.
The Woman’s Department of the Bureau of Public Health of the American
Osteopathic Association is conducting a campaign for woman’s welfare, national
in its scope.
The Academy of Clinical Research has been organized for the collection
and systematization of osteopathic case records. The profession is
cooperating in collecting and preparing the records for the use of the
Osteopathy strikes a new note in the world’s knowledge of disease.
As to cause, course, and cure, it is the great advance of the twentieth
century. It represents a great basic principle correlating a multitude
of lesser principles. Research, therefore, has always enlisted the
liveliest interest of the profession, and steps were taken early to provide
for it. The A. T. Still Research Institute was established for this
purpose. Its two chief functions are original investigation, and
advanced special teaching for physicians. Located in Chicago, to
be convenient geographically, its plans call for extensive laboratory,
clinic, and hospital facilities, of the highest order. It is supported
entirely by endowment provided by the profession and its friends.
The American Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology is an organization
of osteopaths, numbering into the hundreds, who are doing special study
Some are practising exclusively in the osteopathic treatment of disorders
of the eye, ear, nose and throat. The researches of this organization
have brought out some very important discoveries bearing on the treatment
of disorders of the sense organs. Particularly conspicuous among
these is the osteopathic treatment for catarrhal deafness, hay fever, migraine
and certain disorders of vision.
The profession is rapidly developing specialists in the various branches
of therapy until today we can well be proud of the achievements in special
lines of osteopathic work. Just to enumerate some of the fields which
are being covered by men who have devoted special study and research to
a particular line will give something of an idea of the breadth of the
profession’s work in special fields. Besides the members devoting
their full time to eye, ear, nose and throat there are others specializing
in the diseases of children, in surgery, in obstetrics and gynecology,
in diseases of the skin, in venereal diseases, in orthopedic surgery, in
dietetics, in blood diseases, in kidney and genito-urinary disease, in
diseases of the heart, in nervous and mental disorders, in diagnosis, in
orificial surgery, in glandular diseases and in laboratory technique; so
that within the profession may be found competent authorities for the examination
and scientific care of practically all the abnormalities to which man is
Osteopathic diagnosis means but one thing:
find the cause.
Osteopathic therapeutics has to do with but
one thing: the removal of the cause.
G. W. RILEY, PH.B., D. O.
OSTEOPATHY AND SURGERY
OSTEOPATHY AND SURGERY
(Reprinted by permission from the catalogue of the American School
Osteopathy has but little use for the knife, but
when no human skill can avail to save life
or limb without knife and saw, then we are
willing to use anything or any method to save
A. T. STILL
There is back of Osteopathy a lineage of the
thought of all of the ages.
W. L. RIGGS, D.O.
Osteopathy has prevented so many thousands of useless operations and
is so generally opposed to the methods of the old schools that at first
thought it might be inferred that it is unalterably opposed to surgery,
and that a surgery course would find no part in the curriculum of an osteopathic
Such, however, is not the case, as there are many conditions which from
their very nature require surgical treatment; and it is not the purpose
of Osteopathy to dictatorially oppose anything in the old school that is
of real value.
Indeed, when one comes to look at it, surgery and Osteopathy are from
their nature more closely related than surgery and medicine. Osteopathy
is the physical or manual manipulation of the bodily structures, without
instruments, one might say; while surgery in a somewhat different way,
it is true, handles the bodily structures physically and manually with
Efficiency in either must essentially rest on an accurate knowledge
of anatomy, supplemented with physiology and pathology. Every study
that must be emphasized in the groundwork or foundation knowledge of one
must also be just as much emphasized in the preliminary training in the
Medicine, on the other hand, is essentially based on alchemy and mysticism.
It is noteworthy that all medical schools refer to themselves as colleges
of “Physicians and Surgeons.” It is also well to note that “chirurgery,”
from which we derive the word surgery, really means to “manipulate.”
It is true that the absolute insufficiency of medicine has made surgery
cover a great deal of ground and devise many dangerous operations that
with the advent of Osteopathy will be, and indeed are, being made obsolete.
In every case surgery is the complement of Osteopathy. Osteopathy
adjusts structures so that healthy nerve and blood supply to the part involved
allows it to combat or cure the diseased condition. When, through
trauma, violence or other causes, this cannot be accomplished solely by
good blood supply, then the local tissues themselves must be grossly readjusted.
In childbirth, lacerations, certain types of congenital deformities, certain
kinds of tumors, etc., surgery must step in. Surgery repairs, cuts,
removes tissues so badly diseased or degenerated that regeneration is impossible,
and, as suggested, complements the other part of rational therapeutics.
Thousands of cases that under the unsuccessful treatment by drugs were
consigned to surgery are proven by Osteopathy to be readily curable without
operation, but for those conditions where surgery is needed, surgery finds
not an enemy but an ally in drugless science.
Improbable as it seemed some years back, it is inevitable that in time
Osteopathy and surgery (rationalized and changed much from its average
status of today) will align themselves against the fallacies of medicine.
Osteopathy, like all other sciences, must grow and develop, as from
the nature of things it could not begin already developed. When the
school was first organized, surgery was given a minor place. For
one reason, the demand for practitioners was so great and so insistent
and the supply so small that there was little time to learn things other
than Osteopathy. But the success of the early men was so pronounced
that the world began to demand that the osteopathic physician be able to
do all things necessary for the health and comfort of his patient which
any other physician could do. It is especially noteworthy that aside
from anesthetics (and antidotes) this has not and never will include the
giving of drugs.
Neither osteopathically nor medically should the practice of major surgery
and general practice be combined; and yet the general practitioner must
handle emergency and minor surgical cases, must diagnose and advise major
surgery, and have a fair understanding of its technique and results, and
frequently must give after-treatment.
We have found that post-operative osteopathic treatment benefits as
We almost never have severe vomiting following the operation.
Post-operative pleurisy is practically eliminated.
Post-operative backache is wonderfully decreased.
We have lost no patients from post-operative pneumonia.
Post-operative neuritis is diminished or readily relieved.
Obviously, with all these advantages under post-operative treatment
the mortality is wonderfully decreased.
The only credit we are entitled to for this record is that for having
the patients treated regularly after the operation by a competent osteopathy.
Each year adds to the knowledge that treatment is of immense value in
what is otherwise a surgical hospital.
HOW OSTEOPATHY TREATS THE BLOOD
BY C. P. MCCONNELL, D.O.
TREATS THE BLOOD
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy.)
Let the Osteopath follow the course of the blood
from the heart to its destination and return,
and remove all obstructions, open all doors;
for on it we depend for all the joys of perfect
form and functioning, which is health.
A. T. STILL
On every voyage of exploration, I have been
able to bring a cargo of indisputable truths,
that all remedies necessary to health exist in
the human body.
A. T. STILL
Using a commercial phrase, the blood may be at par, or it may be below
par, as to its real value to the bodily economy. A person may be
anemic when there is a diminished quantity of blood, for example, from
a hemorrhage, or the quality of the blood may not be normal, as from impaired
digestion. It is well known that pure blood is an absolute essential
for health. The blood is the medium whereby all organs and parts
of the body are supplied with nourishment for repair and growth.
The layman is fairly versed in anemia. He knows that it generally
means a low-grade quality of blood. When a physician informs a patient,
and he very frequently does, that he is anemic and needs building up, the
patient is usually satisfied with the diagnosis. Then come the iron
preparations ad libitum as well as many other so-called “tonics,” to enforce
a better character of blood, but the much abused blood too often sulks
and really pays no attention to the “tonics.”
Why is it that the iron preparations, for example, are useless when
the blood analysis shows a deficiency of the element iron? For the
simple reason that nine times out of ten anemia is not a disease but a
symptom of some digestive disorder, as is a pain a symptom of some nerve
disorder, and more iron is not required in the digestive tract, if the
diet is right, but rather the ability to assimilate more iron into the
system is lacking. Thus, it is at once seen that we must go back
of the symptom (an expression of disease) anemia, and seek the cause, although
the symptom may be most pronounced and over-shadow all others. The
various “tonics” are well known to be empty dreams of past decades.
The real tonics, outside of osteopathic treatment when indicated, are plenty
of wholesome food, pure water, fresh air and exercise.
There are five ways, at least, by which the blood is influenced and
treated by Osteopathy.
It is a common statement of the prospective osteopathic patient that
he can see how Osteopathy can improve the circulation, but to attempt to
cure an organic disease seems ridiculous. From his limited viewpoint,
of course, the utterance is a sincere one. The patient realizes that
any exercise or activity of the bodily tissues aids the circulation, and,
to him at first, Osteopathy appeals as a variety of passive movements.
The fact of the matter is, the general osteopathic treatment is less potent
and precise than most of the other methods of blood treatment.
The general treatment tends to equalize the blood distribution by aiding
the heart action, drawing blood to weakened areas and dispersing blood
from congested tissues. This treatment affects principally the circulation
of the blood as to its distribution, a quantitative effect, and but little,
and that indirectly, in a qualitative manner.
The various local treatments for treating the blood are purely treatments
of distribution, that is, lessening congestion or reducing inflammation,
and increasing the blood to a weakened area or organ. To relieve
the congestive headache, the congested liver, an inflamed ovary or a sprained
ankle, requires a definite, specific treatment as and where indicated.
The same is true to tone up an atonized stomach, a paralyzed muscle or
a withered limb.
REFLEX BLOOD INFLUENCES
A congested brain, an inflamed eyelid or some poorly nourished organ
may be the result of a reflex vaso-motor neurosis. That is, the little
nerves that control the caliber of the blood vessels may be affected reflexly
from some diseased organ or tissue, the same as a pain may be a reflex
symptom over a sensory nerve. Cold hands and feet are often reflex
vaso-motor neuroses from indigestion. Cure the indigestion and the
source of nervous irritation to the vaso-motor nerves of the hands and
feet will disappear, allowing the blood vessels to normally dilate and
act, consequently a freer blood distribution. This kind of interference
to the blood supply may take place in any tissue or organ of the body.
DIGESTIVE AND ASSIMILATIVE INFLUENCES
We have now come to one of the most important methods of blood treatment.
Here we really have to do with a blood disease. To influence the
blood organically, to give the patient a rich, normal blood, has been the
medical problem for ages.
Osteopathic treatment, unquestionably, offers more relief to the anemic
patient than all other methods combined several times over. One important
way the blood is rendered anemic, that is, poor and deficient in red blood
corpuscles, is from indigestion. The stomach, intestines, pancreas
and liver not functioning normally, the intestinal juices not digesting
the food completely, the tissues of the stomach and intestines not taking
up the digested particles of food wholly and freely, and the blood not
assimilating the same as it should, all result in non-assimilation, malnutrition,
in a word, anemia. Then, what must be done? Tracing back the
nerve supply of these digestive organs to their centers, seeking out the
cause of the blockade of normal nerve impulses, and removing the obstructions
is what must be done. The Osteopath does this every day of the week
in his practice. He finds that weakness and curvatures of the spinal
column, misplaced ribs, and contractured muscles are frequent sources of
the blockade to digestive nerves and dependent blood vessels. His
work is to relieve and readjust the crippled parts—and it is work that
he accomplishes most successfully.
Absurd, certainly, to drug and dose the digestive tract proper when
the cause is invariably further back, that is, in the nerves and blood
vessels controlling the digestive functions. The digestive organs
are below par as an effect, the assimilation is poor as an effect, although
one point further removed from the cause, and the anemia is the remote
effect that caps the climax. Simply a chain of pathological conditions,
each symptom or condition representing a link, although the different links
do not necessarily complete an unbroken circle, is presented. There
is an origin, one link acting as the causative factor.
Always give the anemic a liberal supply of good, wholesome, well-cooked
food (there is plenty of iron, etc., in the food; it is a question of ability
to assimilate it on the part of the digestive tract), pure water, fresh
air in abundance.
THE BLOOD ELABORATING GLANDS
There are certain organs in the body as the spleen, adrenals, thyroid
gland, thymus gland, bone marrow, pituitary body, etc., whose functions
are little understood, although it is well known that they influence and
elaborate the blood. It is not necessary in this article to go into
any detail concerning facts as well as various theories about the functions
of these organs. Suffice it to say, that they are organs that have
secretions and functions that profoundly affect the health of the blood
and as a consequence other tissues indirectly. Osteopathy treats
these organs and their disorders successfully, and thus the blood.
Osteopathy also offers much along the line of treatment of rendering
and keeping the blood germicidal. Consideration of the germicidal
constituents of the blood, or alexins, is important but hardly comes within
the scope of this article.
An equivalent to health is pure blood, normal in amount and freely circulating.
OSTEOPATHY AND THE GERM THEORY
BY R. E. HAMILTON, M.PD., D.O.
Practically all the demonstrated facts of bacteriology are in strict accord
with the principles of Osteopathy as laid down by its founder and each
year the theories regarding the cure of diseases in which bacteria play
a part come closer to osteopathic ideas.
OSTEOPATHY AND THE
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy.)
Has chemistry ever detected a failure in the
normal processes in the fluids of life? Has
it ever found imperfection in the fluid itself,
or in any part or principle of the whole
economy of life?
A. T. STILL
A fact may and oftentimes does stay before our
eyes for all time powerful in truth, but we
heed not its lessons.
A. T. STILL
In the present theory of bacterial infection, the following facts are
well established. Of the countless varieties of bacteria only a few
are capable of producing or influencing the course of disease. The
conditions for infection are virulence of the germ, its large numbers and
weakness of the tissues. This last is in most cases a cardinal condition,
for it is now proved that the tissues and fluids of the body are normally
resistant to the action of bacteria and that bacteria may scarcely ever
find lodgment in healthy tissue. This is in complete accord with
the osteopathic idea that injury to an organ may come only through obstruction
to blood and nerve supply (including disturbances in other parts of the
body), lack of use, overuse, or direct injury from external forces.
It is perhaps true that the virulence of germs may be such that a few
of them may set up disturbances in a healthy organism, but these cases
as disease producers are undoubtedly rare. Some of the conditions
lowering the normal resistance of the body to germ diseases are under-feeding
and feeding upon foods lacking in some element necessary to the body; prolonged
exposure to cold; intoxication by alcohol or other drugs; traumatic injury;
severe hemorrhage; fatigue; depressing hygienic conditions and disease.
HOW TO PREVENT INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Reasoning from the above given causes of bacterial diseases, the answer
to the question, how to prevent them, is simple. First, keep the
body in the best possible condition; then, avoid the chance for contact
with disease-producing germs.
To maintain the health of the body, the well known rules of hygiene
must be observed. Eat the things which are known to agree with your digestion;
exercise moderately; rest and sleep regularly; avoid excesses and exposures;
and have corrected the bodily disturbances due to the accidents of life.
Since nearly all disease germs flourish in dead animal and vegetable
matter, obviously, cleanliness of person and surroundings is the best means
of avoiding contact with infectious germs.
The approved methods of removing and destroying infectious material
are by the use of soap and water, exposure to heat, exposure to sunlight,
and the use of chemicals. All these are effective under the proper
conditions so long as the germs are outside the body.
THE CURE OF GERM DISEASES
Ever since the discovery of disease-producing bacteria, physicians have
worked eagerly to find some drug which would kill disease germs after they
had lodged in the tissues. On account of the numerous reported internal
antiseptics, there is a rather firmly grounded belief in the minds of the
majority of the laity that drugs are able to kill infectious germs in the
body substance. This belief has also been held by part at least of
the physicians, but is being rapidly abandoned. A few quotations
from the writings of Sir Almroth E. Wright*, one of the greatest bacteriologists
of today, will show the present status of antiseptic dosage.
*Sir Almroth E. Wright,English bacteriologist, discoverer of opsonins—noted
for his discoveries in bacteriology.
“For some time past it has been all but universally recognized that
it is futile to attempt to check bacterial growth in the interior of the
organism by our present antiseptics which have a greater affinity for constituent
elements of the body than they have for any bacteria.”
“Significant in this connection appears to me the fact that antiseptics
are now by general consent abandoned in the treatment of ordinary surgical
wounds. Significant also is it that the practice of introducing antiseptics
into abscess cavities, which was erstwhile so common, is now less and less
frequently resorted to. Significant again is it that the treatment
by antiseptics in case of bacterial invasions of mucus membranes is today
more and more frequently followed up by curetting, scraping and so-called
radical operations. Above all, significant is it that so distinguished
a dermatologist as Sabourand* should sum up the results of antiseptic treatment
of bacterial disease of the skin as follows: ‘Curious indeed is the
failure of antiseptics in connection with the treatment of bacterial diseases
of the skin. Quite colossal were the expectations which were entertained
with regard to what would be effected by these. What antiseptics
have accomplished by their agency is in point of fact next to nothing.
The results which have been obtained in connection with pulmonary infections
by antiseptic inhalations and in connection with bacterial infections of
the genito-urinary passages by “urinary” and other antiseptics are, I am
persuaded, neither better nor worse than those which have been obtained
in connection with diseases of the skin. Now all of this failure
of antiseptics is, I am persuaded, only what might have been expected.’”
*Sabourand, French dermatologist, head of the greatest skin clinic in
THE BODY’S DEFENSE
Having seen that germicidal drugs are worse than useless for curing
infectious diseases, let us examine the defense of the body against bacteria
and their poisons. Most noticeable of the body’s germ destroyers
are the white cells of the blood, the action of some of which—the phagaocytes—is
to ingest and destroy the invading organism. There are also some
tissue cells which possess this property. But the body has other
defense in the activity of substances detrimental to the growth of bacteria
and antidotal to their toxic substances. (See the theories of Metchnikof,*
Buchner, Ehrlich and others.) All experiment goes to show that the
more nearly normal the body organism is, the more of these “anti”
substances can be produced for defense against disease.
*Metchnikof, late bacteriologist at Pasteur Institute. Well known
because of his writings on kumiss and old age. Buchner, German bacteriologist,
inventor of process for extraction of enzymes. Ehrlich, German “wizard
of chemistry.” Discoverer of numerous compounds.
It has somewhat recently been discovered that in defense against mild
infections, antitoxins were produced in excess in the blood and many experiments
have been performed for the purpose of determining if this excessive activity
of the blood could not be made use of by producing “animal-made” antidotes
for bacterial poisons. With a few exceptions, these experiments have
been failures. The apparent success of diphtheria antitoxin has encouraged
great hopes in this line of work.
Contrary to the general idea, the theory of antitoxins is not in conflict
with osteopathic theories of disease (which, by the way, have from the
first recognized the importance of antidotes to poisons), the osteopathic
idea being, as before stated, that the body furnishes its own cure.
If we are able to make one animal manufacture an antidote to bacterial
poisons for another one, we have simply gained a new antidote to poisons.
It is not within the province of this article to discuss serum therapy,
but it should be added that the question of antitoxins is much more complicated
than the uninitiated would suspect, and there are many, and in some cases
insurmountable, difficulties in the way of successful antitoxin application.
THE RATIONAL CURE
Taking into consideration the facts as above set forth, the physician
is able to assist in the cure of infectious diseases by the following procedures:
1. Placing the patient in the best hygienic surroundings with
fresh air, quiet and rest (in acute cases).
2. Since nourishment is a factor in infection, he may see that
the patient gets the best food possible for his condition.
3. He should find and remove any other cause of weakness, so-called
constitutional treatment. It is in this third condition that the
Osteopath claims the superiority of his methods of handling cases of bacterial
diseases, for we can find no physiologic reason for the administration
of drugs for the purpose of effecting a cure.
These causes of weakness are as follows: Impediments to the blood
and nerve supply to the stomach and intestines, (the source of nourishment);
to the kidneys, (the organs of elimination); to the heart, (the blood distributor);
to the lungs, (the organs of respiratory exchange); and to the brain and
spinal cord, (the controlling factor for all the rest).
It is a common occurrence for physicians to stimulate one or more of
these organs in acute fevers, but obviously this is like whipping a tired
horse and may be fatal when reaction sets in. How much more logical
it is to give the organism the best possible opportunity by removing all
obstructions and letting it do its work in its own way.
The tendency of all nature is toward the normal condition and natural
force is the great healer in all disease.
THE VALUE OF OSTEOPATHY TO THE CHILD
THE VALUE OF
OSTEOPATHY TO THE CHILD
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of Osteopathy)
We love every man, woman and child of our
race, so much that we have enlisted and
placed our lives in front of the enemy for
their good and the good of all coming generations.
A. T. STILL
Ignorance, the mother of intolerance, bigotry
and superstition, the arch enemy of all progress,
is responsible for a great deal of this
world’s suffering, including many of the disorders
GEO. W. REID, D.O.
It is the duty of every osteopathic physician not only to treat the
various maladies of children, but to teach the parents how to keep their
offspring physically strong and healthy, as many serious diseases might
be prevented by regular and careful physical examination of the child.
Parents should be told that the careless handling of infants often produces
lesions of the delicate structures. If these lesions are allowed
to remain uncorrected, they may mean suffering and even invalidism in later
life. We call to mind a case where a parent persisted in swinging
a child by its arms, producing upper dorsal and rib lesions. As a
result the child developed asthma, which was finally cured by osteopathic
correction of these lesions. How often just such cases do not have
the good fortune to receive the proper treatment!
Again, through the ignorance of the parents many children develop spinal
curvatures, induced by faulty postures during the time of development of
the physiologic cervico-lumbar curves. We find many curvatures and
various abnormal conditions of bony structure, brought on by allowing school
children to assume careless and wrong positions while reading and writing.
Of great importance to the growing child is the correct position in standing
and walking, as a good carriage, with chest well forward, means better
oxygenation, as well as a correct and better position and relation of pelvic
and abdominal viscera. Then, too, there are the inevitable falls
and blows which may produce direct lesions, thereby lowering resistance
and paving the way for disease.
Hence the importance and necessity of having children examined, at least
twice a year, and particularly following falls or injuries of any kind,
by a competent Osteopath, since the early recognition and correction of
any abnormal condition that may predispose to or maintain disease, will
not only relieve suffering but will make for a stronger and better race
by preventing the development of chronic pathologic processes.
Humanity owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Still for having given to the
world a system of therapeutics that can do so much in the prevention of
disease by keeping children well and strong.
WOMAN AND OSTEOPATHY
ROBERTA WIMER-FORD, D.O.
WOMAN AND OSTEOPATHY
(Reprinted by permission from the Osteopathic Magazine.)
We are to improve upon the failures of the past
and give the people a science of healing with
a philosophy that will feed the minds of the
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy possesses the greatest therapeutic
agent known to science. That agent is
simply nothing more than the adjustment of
GEO. M. LAUGHLIN, D.O.
Recently, at an afternoon gathering a prominent lecturer was asked,
“What are the greatest things the past century has brought to women?”
He replied, “Equal suffrage and Osteopathy.” Without stopping to
discuss the first, we agree with the second.
It was a wonderful thing for the world to learn that Osteopathy could
safely carry a babe, from the day of his birth through all the experiences,
conditions and vicissitudes of dentition, measles, mumps, rashes, indigestions,
whooping-cough, the green apple period and the thousand other little aches,
without one drop of drugs!
That it could chaperone the girl through adolescence into maturity,
causing her to arrive well, strong, rosy, athletic, free from “nerves”
and their accompanying consequences seems marvelous.
But perhaps its crowning success was its ability to remove from women
the terrors that for ages have been associated with parturition and its
To experience the speedy banishing of the unspeakable wretchedness accompanying
“morning sickness,” to be certain that the various aches and distresses
that arise throughout the whole period could be routed, to know the hours
of labor would be much shortened, and the pains greatly lessened, certainly
was a wonderful emancipation for half of the race.
Reflecting on this experience, and this knowledge, and on the facts
that babies born of mothers who had had osteopathic treatment during gestation
and parturition were stronger, more robust and happier, and that the mothers
themselves recovered their strength more rapidly and were able to preserve
good figures,--wasn’t it the most natural thing that the lecturer should
speak of Osteopathy as one of the best gifts of the century?
When it became generally known that constipation, flatulence, and the
depressing train of symptoms associated with indigestion and headaches
could be banished permanently by Osteopathy, and when it was shown that
backaches, legaches, and all the other aches intruding upon the menstrual
period, instead of having to be endured, as women had for ages done, supposing
it to be their inevitable fate, could be cured without drug or knife, and
all these nightmares of suffering relieved or prevented entirely, thousands
of women everywhere sought the services of Osteopathy and sang its “hallelujahs.”
While for the woman experiencing the menopause, “change of life,” or to
one with nervous exhaustion, the comfort and benefit that Osteopathy affords
is almost past belief.
Thus it has been shown that from the minute of her arrival into this
existence to the hour of her departure, Osteopathy is the intimate, personal,
constant friend and benefactor of womankind.
The osteopathic concept of the human organism conflicts seriously
with the old order of beliefs. It is purely scientific and insists
that the explanation for abnormal functions is true both as to physical
and psychical in nature and must be explained by and through defective
anatomy, or defective adjustments of part to part in the organism as a
mechanism; holding firm to the truth that every activity performed by the
organism, either physical or psychical, that concerns us as physicians,
is the product of cellular activity, whether desirable or undesirable in
character. When the functioning is of an undesirable nature, the
explanation thereof must be present in the organism, just as a desirable
function has its foundation in structure.
That this view of the organism is a truth, is very difficult of acceptation
by many. It furnishes the explanation of why so many are unable to
accept the osteopathic point of view. To do so necessitates a readjustment
of many views which have been held since the earliest years of life.
These old beliefs do not die without making protests.
C. B. ATZEN, D.O.
OSTEOPATHY A PREVENTIVE OF DISEASE
BY G. V. WEBSTER, D.O.
OSTEOPATHY A PREVENTIVE
I have long believed that an engineer of the
human body was the sick man’s only hope.
A. T. STILL
Osteopathic treatment is prophylactic because
the physical defects in the anatomical
structure may be discovered long before they
begin to create much disturbance in function.
ORREN E. SMITH, D.O.
Prevention is today the key-note of all thought having reference to
disease. In the past the greatest consideration was given to the
element of cure, but with the advance of hygiene, dietetics, and sanitation
the thought is concentrating more and more about the idea of prevention.
Prevention is acknowledged as better than cure and efforts are being directed
to make the ideal a reality.
The idea of prevention has three phases, two of which are commonly recognized
by hygienists and sanitary engineers. The first is the application
of preventive hygiene to society. The third consideration is distinctly
a contribution of the osteopathic school, going beyond the general sanitation
of a social group and the hygiene of the individual to the hygiene of each
of the twenty-six billion cells that go to make up the structure of that
Dr. Still has expressed it, “All of the blood must move all of the time
in all parts to and from the organs.” And again, “A disturbed artery
marks the beginning to an hour and a minute when disease begins to sow
its seed of destruction in the human body. The rule of the artery
must be absolute, universal and unobstructed, or disease will be the result”;
for the blood stream carrying the nutrition to and the waste material from
the individual cells, which are bathed in lymph, accomplishes the hygienic
supervision of the life of each cell.
This is wherein Osteopathy scores a point in advancement over accepted
means of sanitary and hygienic prophylaxis. It recognizes and employs
all the scientific teachings of sanitation and hygiene and at the same
time carries the health campaign beyond the individual to the individual
cell. As society is made up of individuals, so the human organism
is made up of cells, and in the last analysis the health of the community,
of the individual and of the component parts of the individual are all
primarily dependent upon the integrity of the unit of animal life, the
“The individual cells of the body depend on the supply of nourishment
brought to them by the circulating fluids of the body. The protoplasm
of the cell is a complex, chemical substance made up of an enormous number
of complex molecules. These molecules, on account of the looseness
of the combination of their atoms, require sufficient crude material brought
to them to maintain the proper atomic tension. Upon this tension
is based the resistance to normal or abnormal stimuli. The necessary
food for cell protoplasm is brought to the cells by blood and lymph.
Since cell protoplasm is entirely dependent upon the circulating media,
any disturbance of these media changes the metabolism of the cell, and
hence a change in resistance results. This resistance may be varied
by failure on either the arterial or venous side of the general circulation,
resulting in changed lymph circulation. The constant removal of catabolic
products (broken down tissue), is of as much importance as the constant
renewal of material for anabolism (tissue construction).” -- Dain
L. Tasker, D.O. (Principles of Osteopathy)
Osteopathy, by recognizing mechanical disturbances in the body as an
interference with the local or general cell life of that individual, is
able by means of corrective treatment to promote the normal flow of blood,
lymph and nerve forces in the body, upon which cell life depends for its
integrity, and so becomes a most potent factor in disease prevention.
Dr. Geo. W. Riley, in the Britannica Year Book (1913), gives a few paragraphs
as follows, which describe the position of Osteopathy as a prophylactic
“Osteopathic prevention or prophylaxis comprises: systemic examination
for incipient lesions, and their correction before function becomes disordered;
individual hygiene and right-living; public education in the correct use
of the body to avoid structural injury, and in sanitation and all conditions
conducive to favorable environment of life. It is a complete system
of the healing art.
“Osteopathy teaches the self-sufficiency of the normal vital mechanism.
In other than normal conditions this principle powerfully manifests itself;
the hypertrophy of the heart muscle in valvular insufficiency, the healing
of a wound, the recovery of the body from ‘light’attack’ diseases without
any treatment, are all instances of the self-sufficiency of the body to
repair pathological conditions, traumatic and otherwise. Every healed
wound, every hunch back, every particle of scar tissue, every adhesion,
is but a mute witness of the self-sufficiency of the mechanism, of the
efforts of Nature to heal disease, and they bear further witness that it
was only due to the severe and persistent impairment of the mechanism of
the body that complete repair was not effected. The more intensive
the study of the minute mechanics and functioning of the body, the clearer
becomes the law of its self-sufficiency.
“The discovery of opsonins and anti-bodies and their efficacy, together
with that of the thyroid and other glandular preparations, is a mark of
gradual recognition and acknowledgement of the self-sufficiency of the
body, when normalized and mechanically stimulated to the maximum exhibition
of its reparative and auto-protective processes. One of the missions
of Osteopathy is so to normalize and stimulate the vital mechanism that
it will manufacture in all necessary abundance its normal supporting and
protecting chemical compounds absolutely pure and sterile.”
Every system of curing human ills which is
based on the known facts of anatomy and
physiology will last, because it is true. When
systems of drug medication are known only
as history, Osteopathy will be ministering to
the human race, because it knows no other
path than that which leads to greater truths
in physiology and anatomy.
DAIN L. TASKER, D.O.
A DELICATE QUESTION
A DELICATE QUESTION
(Reprinted by permission from Life)
A person may be very fluent in words and very
foolish in practice.
A. T. STILL
A theory may do for today and be a clog to the
foot of progress tomorrow.
A. T. STILL
Is a man’s first duty to his own family or to his client?
Take for instance a patient—call him William—who is being treated for
a disease considered incurable. His doctor, of the old school, tells
him frankly and kindly that the best they can do is to hold the disease
in check, prolong William’s life, perhaps, and make his remaining days
comfortable. While the treatment is going on, William begins to hear
tales of what the Osteopaths are doing. His friends tell him of sudden
cures of cases resembling his own. William hates quackery, but as
he cannot ignore this testimony, he finally mentions the subject to his
doctor. His doctor, a liberal-minded man, tells William, regretfully
that while the Osteopaths, like other quacks, produce temporary results
that amaze the ignorant, they work far more harm than good; that Osteopathy
is merely a form of massage at best and that William’s disease is a deeper
matter. Besides the osteopathic treatment is rough and often dangerous.
William is secretly relieved by this information, for he hates changes
and has no use for all the new “pathies.”
But the surprising tales persist in reaching him. Even members
of his own family relate extraordinary cures of seemingly hopeless cases,
without drugs or surgery. Finally, to make a long story short, William,
who does want to live, visits an Osteopath. He is ashamed, but he
does it. The theory and treatment, as explained to him, certainly
seem rational. Moreover, he finds that these Osteopaths are curing
cases much worse than his own. And when William himself is cured
he blames the old-school doctor for not sending him at once to an Osteopath.
But is William just?
Is it ever expected that a lawyer, a doctor, an architect or any man
of standing shall say to his client, “Go to my rival. He is wiser
than I am. Give your money to him instead of to me?”
In accusing the old-school doctor of fraud, William is doubly unfair,
as that doctor despises the Osteopath and honestly believes him a quack.
And we all know how easy it is to believe what is most desirable.
William argues, however, that the success of Osteopathy now being common
knowledge, when he pays for advice, the doctor should give whatever advice
is most likely to lead to a cure. The doctor might argue that he
gave William what William paid for, the best treatment he knew how to give.
Which is right?
THE RESULTS OF OSTEOPATHIC PRACTICE
BY G. V. WEBTER, D.O.
OF OSTEOPATHIC PRACTICE
Now, Lord, we beseech Thee, once in a great
while to pummel our heads with the hailstones
A. T. STILL
Osteopathy today represents the substitution of
spinal treatment for internal medication. It
has no fight against the bathtub and the diet
kitchen but against pills and Peruna.
GEO. A. STILL, M. S., M.D., D.O.
Wherever the banner of Osteopathy has been raised, victories have been
achieved. Structural and environmental adjustments have been made;
suffering has been relieved, and individuals have found life more tolerable
because of osteopathic ministrations.
The results of osteopathic work in the aggregate make a very creditable
record. Diseases which were considered incurable have yielded to
the knowledge-guided fingers of the Osteopath. Lives which were apparently
approaching an end have had years of grace added. Many who were incapacitated
for the duties of life have been restored to full fellowship among their
brother workmen. The comfort and efficiency of unnumbered thousands
have been increased. As an economic proposition, the world has much
to thank Osteopathy for, both as a curative and as a preventive measure.
Of course all suffering has not been banished from the human family, and
from the nature of things cannot be until the end of time, but Osteopathy
most certainly is a step toward such an ideal.
The laws of Nature are absolute. They do not falter or fail.
This is why Osteopathy, in releasing from the bondage of abnormal pressure
the natural forces of the body, secures a definite result. The action
of the law suspended by the abnormal pressure has again been put in operation.
This result has been repeatedly demonstrated clinically and experimentally.
Nature with her law is constant and trustworthy. Failure may be the
fault of the physician or of the patient but not of the principle of Osteopathy
nor of the law of Nature, within her limitations.
“The diseases that are osteopathically curable, we believe, are coextensive
with the limit of Nature’s ability to react to a pathological process,
which means that this class includes every disease in which the pathological
process has not advanced to such a stage as to be beyond Nature’s own reactive
power. In other words we believe that this class includes all diseases
in which Nature has not been perverted beyond her limits of compensation.
What is curable from Nature’s standpoint is curable from the standpoint
of Osteopathy, for we look on them as synonymous.”
“From this standpoint it might be asked why Osteopathy is powerful in
combating disease. We know, from clinical experience, that there
is developed around the articulations of the vertebrae a tissue-perversion
either antecedent to or concomitant with disease of the organism elsewhere.
This tissue perversion is manifested by impaired mobility of the spine,
and the restoration of a normal degree of movement between the articulations
means that the tissues have been normalized in this region. Nature
wants to be used well, and she is able to function perfectly, provided
she is not taxed beyond her capacity for reaction. By restoring normal
movement in the spine, we give Nature, in very many cases of disease, the
necessary assistance to enable her to combat the condition successfully.”—Arthur
S. Hollis, A.B., D.O.—Bulletin of the Atlas Club.
The osteopathic physician is responsible for the results of treatment
in so far as the acquisition of a knowledge of the normal and abnormal
in the body is concerned and the exercise of diligence in the effort to
correct the structural abnormalities. The patient, too, has certain
responsibilities in regard to results which are secondary only to those
of the physician. If he expects his osteopathic physician to accomplish
something for him, he must understand that the Osteopath is working in
harmony with natural laws and must have time in which to right the conditions
which are wrong and to place them in harmony with those laws. The
patient sometimes forgets that the disease may represent the sum of several
factors which may have been in operation over a long period of time and
that it takes time to correct and overcome. In acute diseases, however,
the results of treatment are quickly noticed; in long-standing conditions
it may be weeks before definite changes can be observed. But whether
the results are spectacular, as they sometimes are, or come only after
patient effort on the part of the physician and patient, or not at all—when
nature has been passed in limitations—the sum of the results total a great
benefaction to humanity.
To many individuals who have accepted its teachings, Osteopathy has
brought greater freedom from suffering, from fetich, from experimental
practice, from dependence upon drugs. For such it has created a new
view-point of life, a new philosophy—a new hope with dependence upon Natural
OSTEOPATHY IN THE FUTURE
FROM AN ADDRESS BY RUSSELL DUANE OF THE PHILADELPHIA
BAR GIVEN BEFORE A GRADUATING CLASS OF THE
PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHY
(Reprinted by permission from the Journal of the American Osteopathic
Since the child Osteopathy has grown to full
manhood, it has received a hearty welcome,
just in proportion to the capability of the
intelligent man or woman to comprehend
enough of the physical laws to know the
reliability of Nature.
A. T. STILL
Use no mans opinion, accept his works only.
A. T. STILL
OSTEOPATHY IN THE FUTURE
The great Doctor Still once said “Osteopathy is a science fifty years
ahead of the times.” In the spirit of this remark let us try to forecast
the future of the profession, and picture to ourselves what its stature
is likely to be fifty years hence after the times have caught up with Osteopathy.
Probably the most characteristic single medical thought of our day is
the idea that “prevention” of diseases is more certain in its result, and
in every way preferable to an attempted “cure.” Measures of prevention
have in recent years occupied a position of increasing importance, both
with our public authorities and with the medical profession. By the
end of the next half-century, with the growth of popular intelligence,
which may reasonably be expected within that time, this idea of “prevention”
is likely to control the habits and practice of the entire community.
With that development will naturally come about a corresponding progress
in those branches of medical science and medical art, which have as their
direct aim the production and maintenance of health as contrasted with
those branches which are merely available to cure existing illness.
In many cases this physical derangement is so slight that the person
in question has no consciousness that anything is wrong, yet there exists
in that person’s organism an ever-present source of irritation and disturbance
of function, which in time may grow to serious proportion.
At the present moment, the community generally does not appreciate the
need of having minor structural derangements corrected. The field
of Osteopathy is unfortunately curtailed through the ignorance of a large
part of the public as to what it is, its past history, the scientific theory
underlying it and the character of the cures which it has effected.
Fifty years hence the community will recognize the fact that Osteopathy
affords the most effective means known to medical science of correcting
physical errors and defects having the most untoward possibilities.
Today every intelligent man recognizes the importance of having detailed
scientific care given at stated intervals to such portions of the body,
for example, as the eyes and the teeth, and he recognizes that such attention
to be efficacious must be given promptly and with regularity. In
time every man of intelligence will apply the same wise rule to the remainder
of his physical structure, and even when in apparent health will seek examination
and, if necessary, treatment at intervals from his Osteopath with the same
care which he now exercises as regards his oculist and dentist.
There is excellent reason to believe that the growing employment of
Osteopathy in the prevention and cure of disease will be accompanied during
the next half-century by a steadily increasing application of its methods
to cases of traumatism. Osteopathy is peculiarly adapted to the relief
and cure of injuries occasioned by violent accident. For illustration,
I would like to point to a case, which came to my knowledge, of a patient
who sustained disturbance of several vertebral joints of the neck as the
result of a violent fall from a horse. By osteopathic means a complete
cure was effected in less than half an hour after the injury, which without
it would probably have resulted in life-long deformity.
Now, if Osteopathy is promptly applied to the replacement of disturbed
members and the restoration of proper circulation, muscular and nerve action,
the causes of nervous disturbance may be eliminated and a speedy cure accomplished.
I now approach the interesting subject of the probable relations which
will exist fifty years hence between Osteopathy and the various industrial
pursuits. In the matter of treatment of accidents Osteopathy comes
into close relation with the practice of my own profession of the law.
This fact affords to all lawyers an exceptional opportunity to promote
the welfare of their clients, by advising such injured persons to undergo
Osteopathic examination and treatment for the purpose of curing their injuries.
I believe the time will come when every well-informed and right-thinking
lawyer will consider it his duty to his client not only to render him the
best possible legal service, but also to advise him as to the most effective
means of relieving such physical injuries as he has sustained.
I will also indulge in the prediction that in another half a century
the great public service corporations will keep in their employ a staff
of Osteopaths whose duty it shall be to administer treatment to injured
passengers, employees and other claimants. Such a system today, if
well-equipped and maintained, would mean life and health to thousands of
unfortunate victims, and reduce the yearly accident bill of the railway
corporations of the United States many millions of dollars.
I believe that the observed benefits of Osteopathy in the treatment
of accident cases will in time lead to its general adoption as an important
element of industrial efficiency in the operation of large industrial plants.
The ideal future of Osteopathy will be realized when every employer of
labor will regard it as not only his duty, but also to his interest, to
cause each of his employees to be examined by a competent Osteopath, and
all needed treatment given at the employer’s expense for the purpose of
putting the employee in a sound physical condition. A moment’s reflection
will make it obvious that the body of an employee is simply a piece of
machinery operating in a productive process. In more than a dozen
of its aspects we can compare it, for example, with a locomotive or motor-car,
although it is infinitely more complex because adapted to many more uses.
If a “part” of a locomotive or motor-car becomes broken or bent, or there
is an “interference” of parts, not a moment is lost in taking it to the
machine shop. The same intelligent care should be applied to the
human machine. The cost would be a legitimate expense in the conduct
of business, as legitimate as the expenditure made for repairs or oil in
the operation of an engine. The public will some day realize that very
few persons ever become ill who have been put in good osteopathic condition
at a time when they were apparently well.
I also predict that the next half-century will witness a constantly
increasing association between the profession of Osteopathy and public
I foresee a time when through the instrumentality of our great public
charities, Osteopathic treatment will be furnished, to those who need but
cannot get it, as a part of a scientific system to accomplish their restoration
to, and maintenance of, a condition of active industry and economic self-help.
There will come a time when every well-equipped hospital will have its
corps of osteopathic doctors just as today it has its corps of medical
doctors and trained nurses. There ought to be, and ultimately will
be, concurrent action and harmony of feeling between the various branches
of the medical profession now so radically divided. In time the medical
practitioner will, as a matter of course, call in and consult the Osteopath
in cases needing his skill, and the Osteopath will as freely call in as
a consultant the medical practitioner, in order to secure his professional
aid in such cases as may require it.
In time Osteopathy, in many classes of cases, will probably become the exclusive
method of treatment recognized and enforced by leading practitioners of all
schools of medicine.