This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
This system of manipulative treatment was originated in 1899 by Drs. John Arnold and Harry Walter of Philadelphia. Their claims may be briefly stated as follows: Morbid matter, poisons and irritants of various kinds, acting upon the vasomotor nerves which control the blood vessels, produce abnormal changes in circulation which, if perpetuated, finally lead to disease manifestations. The nerve impulses coming from diseased parts travel to the spinal cord and, like all other nerve impulses, are transmitted along those branches of the spinal nerves which supply the structures (muscles, blood vessels, etc.) along each side of the spine. Here these impulses bring about abnormal circulatory changes similar to those found in the diseased organs or parts.
Since nerve impulses are transmitted from diseased organs to the spine, it is evident that they can be made to travel also in the reverse direction. Neuropathic treatment, therefore, consists of manipulations and thermal applications which aim at correcting the abnormal circulatory changes as found in the spine, thereby correcting corresponding abnormal processes in the organs or parts supplied by the nerves coming from that region of the spine.
These men also emphasized the fact that the circulation within the blood vessels, being propelled by the heart, needs less attention during disease than the circulation of the fluids in the spaces between the cells and through the lymph vessels and glands. Neuropathy, therefore, also lays great stress on applying manipulation and thermal applications to the lymphatic system.