Important as individual effort undoubtedly is, there is always a need for organized effort and cooperative work in the promotion of any truth. This fact was early recognized in the Hygienic movement and in 1837 a group of Graham's students founded in Boston the world's first physiological society--The American Physiological Society. Physiology, at that time, was in its infancy and American physiology, in particular, hardly existed. William Beaumont had only a year or two before issued his work on the physiology of digestion. Claude Benard, the great French physiologist, was still unknown, while the German school of physiology was without influence in this country. It is hardly likely that. a society of professional physiologists could have been formed anywhere in the world at that time. The American Physiological Society was formed nearly 50 years before physiologic science had advanced sufficiently to permit the formation of the Physiological Society in England and before a second American Physiological Society was formed in this country.

These followers of Graham were not so much interested in physiological research, involving experiments upon animals, as in the promotion of a knowledge of physiology among the laity and the establishment of ways of living based upon physiology. Although it is not known whether Dr. William Alcott attended the first meeting of the Society, he did attend later meetings and became a member. On February 11, 1837, an organization meeting was held at which a constitution was adopted.

Dr. William Alcott

Many ladies of the Society were of the opinion that the subjects discussed were of too delicate a nature for a mixed audience and thought there was a need for a woman to lecture to ladies alone. Mary Gove, who had but a short time before opened a Graham Boarding School at Lynn, Massachusettes, came forward and offered to fill this position. A Woman's Physiological Society was formed and lectures were given to women, often separate lectures for married and unmarried women. Mrs. Gove's lectures were a great success and continued to be carried on for a number of years, even after the Physiological Society ceased to exist. In 1846 these lectures were published in book form.

Two health conventions were held by the American Physiological Society under the general term of the American Health Convention. The first of these opened in Boston, Wednesday, May 30,1838. The second American Health Convention was held in New York under the joint auspices of the American Physiological Society and the New York Physiological Society on May 18, 1839. Physiological societies were formed in several cities, including Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where Dr. Jennings became a member.

Among the other activities promoted or supported by the Society were The Graham Journal of Health and Longevity, edited by David Cambell, numerous tracts on health and diet, the establishment of the Library of the American Physiological Society and a provision store, which may properly be called the world's first health food store. An effort was made to establish a Physiological Infirmary in Boston to provide physiological care for the sick. Although the American Physiological Society of Boston did not last much beyond its first three years, in 1850 the Providence, Rhode Island, Female Physiological Society was still carrying on under that name, and the ladies of Boston were also still functioning as a physiological society.

The movement initiated by Graham and Alcott and measurably contributed to by Mary Gove, and which was early joined by Dr. Jennings, represents the beginning of the Hygienic movement. The American Physiological Society numbered among its members in the various cities several medical men, but it would carry us too far afield to list the names of these and it is not known how many of them actually abandoned the drugging practice and confined themselves in the care of the sick to Hygiene. This was only the beginning and many subsequent men, especially Trall, Taylor, Nichols and Jackson, added their weight and thought and their experience to the evolution of the new but old way of life.

Writing on the health reform movement in December 1853, Dr. Alcott designates the physiological as distinct from the hydropathic part of the movement. He mentions also that "our periodicals and our books also repudiate as absurd the idea of curing disease," and that "all the elements of hygiene, and these only, are the true materia medica." Alcott lectured far and wide on Hygiene. It is important that we keep these distinctions in mind. The physiological reform had its origin in this country. Hydropathy had its origin in Europe. The two movements mingled and ran along together for a time, but they were separate and distinct and must be understood in this way if we are to grasp in clear outline the evolution of the Hygienic System.

In an editorial in the Journal, May 1858, Trall speaks of those "who do not distinguish between water treatment and hygienic treatment," thus setting the two systems apart from each other. When, in 1851, Trall's Hydropathic Encyclopedia was published, it was offered to the public as a "complete system of practical hydropathy and hygiene." At least as early as 1853, Trall's institution was listed as a hydropathic and Hygienic institute. In August 1855 Trall carried the announcement of the issuance of the Quarterly Report of the students of the third term of the Hygienic Institute, 15 Laight St., New York. In an editorial in the Journal, July 1858, Trall declared it to be the only journal in the world which "advocated a strictly Hygienic system of the Healing Art, the only journal in existence devoted to the cause of a universal health education . . ." In April 1862 he issued a call for the formation of a National Hygienic Association, to be made up of Hygienic practitioners, male and female. In 1860 Trall issued a booklet on the Principles of Hygeio-Therapy.

In 1862 Trall delivered in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington his famous lecture, The True Healing Art, or Hygienic Versus Drug Medication. It should be recorded that after this lecture was delivered, there was a heavy demand that it be delivered elsewhere. Complying with this demand, Trall delivered this lecture in several other cities. Writing in November 1873, Trall said that "allopathic physicians could be named both in this country and in Europe who had immediately abandoned the whole drugging system after reading The True Healing Art, and that some of them were then practicing Hygienically."

In 1872 The Health Reformer, of Battle Creek, Michigan, published a small work by Trall under the title, The Hygienic System, in which he defined the Hygienic System as "the treatment of disease by Hygienic agencies." Although a small work, it briefly outlines the theory and practice of Hygiene and I should record that it was among the favorite books treasured by Dr. Tilden.