After much experience, a thorough investigation and examination of all the principle systems of medical practice, Prof. Curtis, a graduate of literature, and of a regular allopathic medical college, an able lecturer, and founder of the first Physio-Medical College in the world, said:
There is a true science and practice called the "Physio-Medical," the character of which is indicated by its title. Its leaders are not men, but the immutable laws of Nature.
It is not the gift or invention of any man nor company, nor succession of men. It is the eternal truth and good, science and art of God and His inestimable and unequalled gift to all who will thankfully receive and apply it properly.
Different individuals in all ages and countries have discovered and promulgated more or less of its principles, and means and modes of practice, for which we should render to each due honor and gratitude. And since, among them all, I know of one who has given us so much that is true and good, connected with so little that is false and bad, as Dr. Samuel Thomson, so I know of no one who is entitled to higher honor or deeper and more lasting gratitude from all the sons and daughters of affliction than he, of Alsted, New Hampshire, who presented to the world his chief medical discoveries and inventions in the ninth year of the last century.
Other men may more clearly develop these God-given principles, remove from them errors and crudities that still hang about them, discover and devise better ways and means of putting them in force. But, I repeat, the doctrines themselves, the general deductions from them, and the character of the means and processes of medication which constitute the Physio-Medical science and practice, are the immutable truths and art devised by the unchangeable God for the benefit of the unchangeable constitution of man, and can never "progress" nor be supplanted while man shall inhabit this earth, and disease continue to vex him.
This science and practice is the system of principles properly called physiological, or those that govern the formation and reservation of the organized body.
(1) Its doctrines are that the human body is formed and controlled, preserved and defended, and, when injured, restored by the action of an invisible agent called the vital force; that, when all its parts are in such condition that this force can act freely and fully through them this body is said to be in health.
(2) The inability of any organ to perform its healthy function denotes disease.
Hence, anything which may in any way interrupt this full, free and universal action through the body may be a cause of disease.
(3) When, by ignorance, inadvertency, or unavoidable exposure, the conditions called disease have occurred it teaches the duty of aiding the vital force in its exciting, irritating and inflammatory efforts to remove the obstacles to healthy action, by means and processes that do not further damage it, but tend directly to restore it, and to heal the breach, if any.
(4) It uses those articles and those only, which, in their nature, harmonize with the organic tissue and the vital force; and, in the measure and mode of application required in any given case directly aid that force in restoring its equilibrium; by judiciously removing or helping it to remove all the obstacles to its free and universal action.
(5) It regards as poison anything and everything that is certainly known, in authorized medicinal doses or degrees, to have directly destroyed human life, or is, in its nature, calculated to deprive the organs of the power to respond to the action of the vital force in the production of irritation and fever, as antimony, arsenic, mercury, belladonna, cantharides, cicuta, digitalis, opium, etc., etc., and rejects them in toto from its remedial means.
(6) It adopts as remedial means and measures only those whose inherent tendency, like that of food, exercise, warmth, electricity and the influence of pleasant company, harmonizes with the organic and conservative force of the system, and, like food and water, may and should be given or applied in the quantities and modes required, till the objects of their use are fully accomplished; till perfect health returns.
Remove Obstacles and Aid Nature. There are three ways to aid man in the accomplishment of his objects or wishes. The first is to remove the obstacles to his efforts, the second is to supply him with means best adapted to enable him to effect his purposes, and the third is to inspire him to exert all his own power and means in the right direction. So of every part, organ and tissue, of the man.
In all cases of disease, there are, in the diseased parts, obstacles to the free and universal action of the nerves and circulating vessels, which the vital force is endeavoring to remove. The whole science of Physiology consists in the knowledge of the character and uses of the organs and powers of the system; that of Pathology so far as it is a science, in the knowledge of its conditions and wants; and the whole art of practice of medicine lies in the knowledge of the modes and the means of supplying these wants. In some cases nature wants only one, in others two of the aids above indicated; in others all. In some cases, all can be applied by one means; in others more are required.