Chapter 19 - Osteopathy

19.1 Osteopathy

THE SCIENCE AND ART OF HEALING AND THE CURING OF DISEASES WITHOUT THE USE OF DRUGS OR SURGERY. ANDREW STILL, M.D., discoverer of the science of Osteopathyin 1874 and the founder of the American School of Osteopathy, claims to have discovered certain laws of nature and methods of cure within the human system itself, and defines it as a scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the hands of a person of proper intelligence and skill, who can apply that knowledge to the use of man when sick or wounded by strains, shocks, falls or mechanical derangements of any kind to the body. Also that the practitioners must have a masterful knowledge of anatomy or structure of the human body, and physiology, or the functions of the various tissues, fluids and organs, also a thorough knowledge of the chemistry and physics of the human mechanism. Claims of Osteopathy. Osteopathy claims that the natural circulation of the blood is health and that disease is caused by the disturbance of the flow of blood in some part or the whole of the body. Success Claimed by Osteopathy. The osteopathist gets his success with all diseases by the proper adjustment of the different organs such as relieving the bowels of fecal matters that are laboring to leave the body by the natural channels, and the obstructions that are caused and the derangements that occur may be eliminated by the proper massage of the parts affected. In fact the osteopathist is recommended to proceed as if he were a mechanic and on that the science is based. Treatment. The different secretions of the body are stimulated by massage of the parts that either promotes the secretion directly or irritation of the nerves that promotes them indirectly, and the great point upon which most of the time of an osteopathist is spent is the spine, as from that structure the nerves emerge to migrate all over the body. By disease, according to Still, he means anything that makes an unnatural showing in the body like the overgrowing of a muscle, gland, hot, cold or anything found not necessary to life. Should these things occur, the osteopathist finds the basic cause and proceeds by his manipulation to clear the path for the resuming of the blood supply which by stasis has caused this unnatural condition to occur. In the treatment of the diseases of the lungs, such as pneumonia, consumption and bronchitis, the parts that supply the blood are attacked in the expectation that an increased power of vital force, together with clearing away of the products that have been used up, win result in nature taking the opportunity to remove the disease. If the cause of rheumatism in addition to the stiffening of the joints and the painful areas surrounding them can be traced to an accumulation of dead substances circulating in the body at the point where the nerves that supply the blood vessels going to that part emerge from the spine, there is where the manipulation of the part is attempted. In sprains of any locality the proper massage and manipulation of the muscles at that point will cause an increased flow of the blood to the part and hasten the reparative processes. In breaks of bones, of course, the same manipulation cannot be attempted without being liable to dislodge the fragments but as soon as proper healing of the bones has commenced, the nourishment can be encouraged and quickness of repair occur. In meningitis of the brain or spine they claim as much for it in that region as they do in the rest of the body.

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