Religion still had a strong hold upon the imagination of the people and we should not be surprised to learn that many Hygienists, including Dr. Jackson, who was a minister, Dr. Nichols and Mary Gove, believed also in divine healing. These, with others, resorted to prayer in their care of the sick. The correct Hygienic attitude in this matter is that all things are rightly related to all things else and it is sheer folly to think that good can come from violating these relations or that God will, upon appeal from us, violate the eternal relations of nature. The intelligent man would expect an intelligent God to permit the lawful processess of nature to pursue uninterruptedly their lawful courses.
The brothers, George H. Taylor, M.D., and Charles F. Taylor, M.D., introduced the Ling System or what became known as the movement cure into America. This system, composed of active and passive movements and massage, possessed considerable value and Dr. George Taylor taught the system in the Hygeio-Therapeutic College. But, for reasons that should be obvious, the massage or the passive movement features of the system ultimately received most stress.
Dr. Walter's Nutritive Cure was composed of a series of measures by which he sought to influence and control nutrition in local parts. In the process he used water applications, manipulations, exercise, etc. Of these means, he considered massage the most effective and especially that form of massage that consisted in squeezing and pressing the soft tissues of the whole body. By this method he sought to squeeze the blood out of the tissues and to allow fresh blood to flow back into them as the pressure was released. In his later writings he seems to have abandoned this conception and this means of health restoration.
Kinesipathy was a term employed to designate a "mechanical or motor system" of treating disease. It pretended to cure disease by "specific active and passive movements." It was but a re-christening of the Ling System. Motorpathy, kinesipathy, statumination and other fancy terms were employed to designate a plan of treating disease with various manipulations, directed as much as possible to exercising weakened muscles. It was more particularly employed in displacements of organs. Writing in December 1853, Trall said: "Motorpathy means literally motion-disease, as hydropathy is literally rendered water-disease, 'atmopathy' air-disease, 'orthopathy' nature-disease, &c. But all of these terms are used in exactly the opposite sense, as motor, or motion-cure, water-cure, air-cure, nature-cure, &c."
He was correct in all of these instances except in defining the term orthopathy, which means literally, correct affection, and was coined by Dr. Jennings to express his conception of disease as right action--this as opposed to the medical view of the time that it is wrong action, a conception which Jennings coined the term heteropathy to express. We can find no instance in the writings of Jennings where he employed the term orthopathy to mean nature cure. Like Trall, Jennings did not believe that diseases should be or could be cured.
Another form of massage is that described by Dr. Charles F. Taylor in an article in the Journal of May 1857, which he called medicopneumatics. He said: "I am induced to give the following description for the benefit of all who are desirous of increasing the number of natural and rational appliances that can be used by the medical man, thus affording a choice of means at his command in any given exigency." The method may be described as one of dry cupping and was intended to control circulation locally. Believing that everything in the universe that is not poisonous can be used remedially, the Hygienist could employ the vacuum cup in his rational care of his patient, but he should have realized that such things have no relation to Hygiene.
The multiple system created by the adoption of the principle that all non-poisonous things may be used remedially soon led to the adoption of more and more gadgets and the burial of Hygiene beneath an avalanche of these. Vacuum machines, electrical gadgets, massage rollers, vaginal syringes, means of giving enemas, means of washing out the stomach and other gadgets multiplied. These were not heresies generated within the Hygienic System, but were, in fact, alien practices and theories that crept into it as the result of fortuitous contacts and made acceptable by the false idea that any non-poisonous thing can be used remedially.
It was unfortunate that very frequently Hygienists continued to attempt to express Hygiene in the old medical terms--a practice that was like that of putting new wine into old bottles. Dr. Jackson, for example, continued to speak of attacks of disease. He spoke of rheumatism attacking vital organs. He also continued to use the terms cure and curability. He was not alone in this mistaken use of old medical terms. It is an unfortunate fact that when new concepts are expressed in old terms, they will be understood in the old terms and this means that they will not be correctly understood at all. New concepts require new terms in order to properly express them.
The early Hygienists were medical men, trained in medical colleges, steeped to the eyebrows in medical terminology and habituated to expressing themselves in this terminology. From the outset, they attempted to express the new conceptions and new principles in the old and familiar terms. They wrote of hygienic medication; they talked of cures and therapies, even of pathies. Only little by little was it recognized that the old terms expressed the older ideas and that they were trying to put new wine into old bottles. New concepts require new terms; new principles need new modes of expression. It is contrary to the doctrine of chance that a group of would-be thinkers, wandering in a mist and without any principle to guide them, could be fellow travellers with those who seek to maintain a truly scientific course.
Every department of human knowledge requires its own special terminology. It is impossible to convey the meanings of physiology in the language of the farmer or the mechanic. But in medical parlance we have remnants of ancient words galvanized into a ghastly semblance of their original meaning and employed to bewilder, befuddle and confuse the hapless student. Many of the words and phrases from ancient languages are used for no better purpose than that of clothing the nakedness of modern thought, that is, to hide its emptiness. They may be thought to adorn and elucidate the forms and meanings of young and growing sciences, but they really serve to cover up a vacuum.
As an example, suppose we take the word paraplegia. When the old Greeks observed a man who had been smitten with a stroke, and the blow appeared to be full and disabling, so that he fell senseless under it, they called him apoplektos, that is, "struck asunder or completely"--hence the term apoplexy. If it appeared that only one side was smitten, that is, the imagined weapon glanced either to the right or to the left side, so that the victim was but half-struck, they called it hemiplex--hence our word hemiplegia, "half-struck." Or, if the hostile intent of the striker seemed to fail and he dealt a careless blow, which fell short of of its purpose, but caught the victim in the lower extremeties, so that he was partly smitten, he was paraplex--hence our word paraplegia. In like manner, many of our words (scientific terminology) are expressive of the ancient conception of disease as an attack upon the body by unseen foes.