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Title: Fat and Blood - An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria
Author: Mitchell, S. Weir (Silas Weir), 1829-1914
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Fat and Blood - An Essay on the Treatment of Certain Forms of Neurasthenia and Hysteria" ***

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Copyright, 1877, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.

Copyright, 1883, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.

Copyright, 1891, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.

Copyright, 1897, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.

Copyright, 1900, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.

Copyright, 1905, by S. WEIR MITCHELL.



The continued favor which this book has enjoyed in Europe as well as in
this country has rendered me doubly desirous to make it a thorough and
clear statement of the treatment of the kind of cases which it discusses
as carried out in my practice to-day.

In the endeavor to do this, the present edition, like the last two, has
been carefully revised by my son, Dr. John K. Mitchell, and there is no
chapter, and scarcely a page, where some alteration or addition has not
been made, besides those of the sixth and seventh editions, as the
result of added years of experience. Especially in the chapters on the
means of treatment some details have been thought worth adding to help
the statement so often repeated in the book that success will depend on
the care with which details are carried out. The chapter on massage,
rewritten for the last edition, has been once more revised and somewhat
extended, in order to make it an accurate as well as a scientific, if
brief, statement of the best method which use and observation have
taught us. A chapter on the handling of several diseases not described
in former editions has been added by the editor.







SECLUSION         50

REST             67

MASSAGE           80

ELECTRICITY        108


DIETETICS AND THERAPEUTICS--(_Continued_)        171

AGITANS           197

INDEX             233



For some years I have been using with success, in private and in
hospital practice, certain methods of renewing the vitality of feeble
people by a combination of entire rest and excessive feeding, made
possible by passive exercise obtained through the steady use of massage
and electricity.

The cases thus treated have been chiefly women of a class well known to
every physician,--nervous women, who, as a rule, are thin and lack
blood. Most of them have been such as had passed through many hands and
been treated in turn for gastric, spinal, or uterine troubles, but who
remained at the end as at the beginning, invalids, unable to attend to
the duties of life, and sources alike of discomfort to themselves and
anxiety to others.

In 1875 I published in "Séguin's Series of American Clinical Lectures,"
Vol. I., No. iv., a brief sketch of this treatment, under the heading
of "Rest in the Treatment of Nervous Disease," but the scope afforded
me was too brief for the details on a knowledge of which depends success
in the use of rest, I have been often since reminded of this by the many
letters I have received asking for explanations of the minutiæ of
treatment; and this must be my apology for bringing into these pages a
great many particulars which are no doubt well enough known to the more
accomplished physician.

In the preface to the second edition I said that as yet there had been
hardly time for a competent verdict on the methods I had described.
Since making this statement, many of our profession in America have
published cases of the use of my treatment. It has also been thoroughly
discussed by the medical section of the British Medical Association, and
warmly endorsed by William Playfair, of London, Ross of Manchester,
Coghill, and others; while a translation of my book into French by Dr.
Oscar Jennings, with an introduction by Professor Ball, and a
reproduction in German, with a preface by Professor von Leyden, have
placed it satisfactorily before the profession in France and Germany.

As regards the question of originality I did not and do not now much
concern myself. This alone I care to know, that by the method in
question cases are cured which once were not; and as to the novelty of
the matter it would be needless to say more, were it not that the charge
of lack of that quality is sometimes taken as an imputation on a man's
good faith.

But to sustain so grave an implication the author must have somewhere
laid claim to originality and said in what respect he considered himself
to have done a totally new thing. The following passage from the first
edition of this book explains what was my own position:

"I do not wish," I wrote, "to be thought of as putting forth anything
very remarkable or original in my treatment by rest, systematic feeding,
and passive exercise. All of these have been used by physicians; but, as
a rule, one or more are used without the others, and the plan which I
have found so valuable, of combining these means, does not seem to be
generally understood. As it involves some novelty, and as I do not find
it described elsewhere, I shall, I think, be doing a service to my
profession by relating my experience."

The following quotation from Dr. William Playfair's essay[1] says all
that I would care to add:

     "The claims of Dr. Weir Mitchell to originality in the introduction
     of this system of treatment, which I have recently heard contested
     in more than one quarter, it is not my province to defend. I feel
     bound, however, to say that, having carefully studied what has been
     written on the subject, I can nowhere find anything in the least
     approaching to the regular, systematic, and thorough attack on the
     disease here discussed.

     "Certain parts of the treatment have been separately advised, and
     more or less successfully practised, as, for example, massage and
     electricity, without isolation; or isolation and judicious moral
     management alone. It is, in fact, the old story with regard to all
     new things: there is no discovery, from the steam-engine down to
     chloroform, which cannot be shown to have been partially foreseen,
     and yet the claims of Watt and Simpson to originality remain
     practically uncontested. And so, if I may be permitted to compare
     small things with great, will it be with this. The whole matter was
     admirably summed up by Dr. Ross, of Manchester, in his remarks in
     the discussion I introduced at the meeting of the British Medical
     Association at Worcester, which I conceive to express the precise
     state of the case: 'Although Dr. Mitchell's treatment was not new
     in the sense that its separate recommendations were made for the
     first time, it was new in the sense that these recommendations were
     for the first time combined so as to form a complete scheme of

As regards the acceptance of this method of treatment I have to-day no
complaint to make. It runs, indeed, the risk of being employed in cases
which do not need it and by persons who are not competent, and of being
thus in a measure brought into disrepute. As concerns one of its
essentials--massage--this is especially to be feared. It is a remedy
with capacity to hurt as well as to help, and should never be used
without the advice of a physician, nor persistently kept up without
medical observation of its temporary and more permanent effects.



The gentlemen who have done me the honor to follow my clinical service
at the State Infirmary for Diseases of the Nervous System[2] are well
aware how much care is there given to learn whether or not the patient
is losing or has lost flesh, is by habit thin or fat. This question is
one of the utmost moment in every point of view, and deserves a larger
share of attention than it receives. In this hospital it is the custom
to weigh our cases when they enter and at intervals. The mere loss of
fat is probably of small moment in itself when the amount of restorative
food is sufficient for every-day expenditure, and when the organs are in
condition to keep up the supply of fat which we not only require for
constant use but probably need to change continually. The steady or
rapid lessening of the deposits of hydro-carbons stored away in the
areolæ of the tissues is of importance, as indicating their excessive
use or a failure of supply; and when either condition is to be suspected
it becomes our duty to learn the reasons for this striking symptom. Loss
of flesh has also a collateral value of great import, because it is
almost an invariable rule that rapid thinning is accompanied soon or
late with more or less anæmia, and it is uncommon to see a person
steadily gaining fat after any pathological reduction of weight without
a corresponding gain in amount and quality of blood. We too rarely
reflect that the blood thins with the decrease of the tissues and
enriches as they increase.

Before entering into this question further, I shall ask attention to
some points connected with the normal fat of the human body; and, taking
for granted, here and elsewhere, that my readers are well enough aware
of the physiological value and uses of the adipose tissues, I shall
continue to look at the matter chiefly from a clinical point of view.

When in any individual the weight varies rapidly or slowly, it is nearly
always due, for the most part, to a change in the amount of adipose
tissue stored away in the meshes of the areolar tissue. Almost any grave
change for the worse in health is at once betrayed in most people by a
diminution of fat, and this is readily seen in the altered forms of the
face, which, because it is the always visible and in outline the most
irregular part of the body, shows first and most plainly the loss or
gain of tissue. Fatty matter is therefore that constituent of the body
which goes and comes most easily. Why there is in nearly every one a
normal limit to its accumulation we cannot say, nor yet why this limit
should vary as life goes on. Even in health the weight of men, and still
more of women, is by no means constant, but, as a rule, when we are
holding our own with that share of stored-up fat which belongs to the
individual we are usually in a condition of nutritive prosperity, and
when after any strain or trial which has lessened weight we are slowly
repairing mischief and laying by fat we are equally in a state of
health. The loss of fat which is not due to change of diet or to
exercise, especially its rapid or steady loss, nearly always goes along
with conditions which impoverish the blood, and, on the other hand, the
gain of fat up to a certain point seems to go hand in hand with a rise
in all other essentials of health, and notably with an improvement in
the color and amount of the red corpuscles.

The quantity of fat which is healthy for the individual varies with the
sex, the climate, the habits, the season, the time of life, the race,
and the breed. Quetelet[3] has shown that before puberty the weight of
the male is for equal ages above that of the female, but that towards
puberty the proportional weight of the female, due chiefly to gain in
fat, increases, so that at twelve the two sexes are alike in this
respect. During the child-bearing time there is an absolute lessening on
the part of the female, but after this time the weight of the woman
increases, and the maximum is attained at about the age of fifty.

Dr. Henry I. Bowditch[4] reaches somewhat similar conclusions, and shows
from much more numerous measurements of Boston children that growing
boys are heavier in proportion to their height than girls until they
reach fifty-eight inches, which is attained about the fourteenth year.
Then the girl passes the boy in weight, which Dr. Bowditch thinks is due
to the accumulation of adipose tissue at puberty. After two or three
years more the male again acquires and retains superiority in weight and

Yet as life advances there are peculiarities which belong to individuals
and to families. One group thins as life goes on past forty; another
group as surely takes on flesh; and the same traits are often inherited,
and are to be regarded when the question of fattening becomes of
clinical or diagnostic moment. Men, as a rule, preserve their nutritive
status more equably than women. Every physician must have been struck
with this. In fact, many women lose or acquire large amounts of adipose
matter without any corresponding loss or gain in vigor, and this fact
perhaps is related in some way to the enormous outside demands made by
their peculiar physiological processes. Such gain in weight is a common
accompaniment of child-bearing, while nursing in some women involves
considerable gain in flesh, and in a larger number enormous falling
away, and its cessation as speedy a renewal of fat. I have also found
that in many women who are not perfectly well there is a notable loss
of weight at every menstrual period, and a marked gain between these

I was disappointed not to find this matter dealt with fully in Mrs.
Jacobi's able essay on menstruation, nor can I discover elsewhere any
observations in regard to loss or gain of weight at menstrual periods in
the healthy woman.

How much influence the seasons have, is not as yet well understood, but
in our own climate, with its great extremes, there are some interesting
facts in this connection. The upper classes are with us in summer placed
in the best conditions for increase in flesh, not only because it is
their season of least work, mental and physical, but also because they
are then for the most part living in the country under circumstances
favorable to appetite, to exercise, and to freedom from care. Owing to
these fortunate facts, members of the class in question are apt to gain
weight in summer, although many such persons, as I know, follow the more
general rule and lose weight. But if we deal with the mass of men who
are hard worked, physically, and unable to leave the towns, we shall
probably find that they nearly always lose weight in hot weather. Some
support is given to this idea by the following very curious facts. Very
many years ago I was engaged for certain purposes in determining the
weight, height, and girth of all the members of our city police force.
The examination was made in April and repeated in the beginning of
October. Every care was taken to avoid errors, but to my surprise I
found that a large majority of the men had lost weight during the
summer. The sum total of loss was enormous. As I have mislaid some of
the sheets, I am unable to give it accurately, but I found that three
out of every five had lessened in weight. It would be interesting to
know if such a change occurs in convicts confined in penitentiaries.

I am acquainted with some persons who lose weight in winter, and with
more who fail in flesh in the spring, which is our season of greatest
depression in health,--the season when with us choreas are apt to
originate[5] or to recur, and when habitual epileptic fits become more
frequent in such as are the victims of that disease.

Climate has a good deal to do with a tendency to take on fat, and I
think the first thing which strikes an American in England is the number
of inordinately fat middle-aged people, and especially of fat women.

This excess of flesh we usually associate in idea with slothfulness, but
English women exercise more than ours, and live in a land where few days
forbid it, so that probably such a tendency to obesity is due chiefly to
climatic causes. To these latter also we may no doubt ascribe the habits
of the English as to food. They are larger feeders than we, and both
sexes consume strong beer in a manner which would in this country be
destructive of health. These habits aid, I suspect, in producing the
more general fatness in middle and later life, and those enormous
occasional growths which so amaze an American when first he sets foot in
London. But, whatever be the cause, it is probable that members of the
prosperous classes of English, over forty, would outweigh the average
American of equal height of that period, and this must make, I should
think, some difference in their relative liability to certain forms of
disease, because the overweight of our trans-Atlantic cousins is plainly
due to excess of fat.

I have sought in vain for English tables giving the weight of men and
women of various heights at like ages. The material for such a study of
men in America is given in Gould's researches published by the United
States Sanitary Commission, and in Baxter's admirable report,[6] but is
lacking for women. A comparison of these points as between English and
Americans of both sexes would be of great interest.

I doubt whether in this country as notable a growth in bulk as
multitudes of English attain would be either healthy or desirable in
point of comfort, owing to the distress which stout people feel in our
hot summer weather. Certainly "Banting" is with us a rarely-needed
process, and, as a rule, we have much more frequent occasion to fatten
than to thin our patients. The climatic peculiarities which have changed
our voices, sharpened our features, and made small the American hand and
foot, have also made us, in middle and advanced life, a thinner and
more sallow race, and, possibly, adapted us better to the region in
which we live. The same changes in form are in like manner showing
themselves in the English race in Australia.[7]

Some gain in flesh as life goes on is a frequent thing here as
elsewhere, and usually has no unwholesome meaning. Occasionally we see
people past the age of sixty suddenly taking on fat and becoming at once
unwieldy and feeble, the fat collecting in masses about the belly and
around the joints. Such an increase is sometimes accompanied with fatty
degeneration of the heart and muscles, and with a certain watery
flabbiness in the limbs, which, however, do not pit on pressure.

Alcoholism also gives rise in some people to a vast increase of adipose
tissue, and the sodden, unwholesome fatness of the hard drinker is a
sufficiently well known and unpleasant spectacle. The overgrowth of
inert people who do not exercise enough to use up a healthy amount of
overfed tissues is common enough as an individual peculiarity, but there
are also two other conditions in which fat is apt to be accumulated to
an uncomfortable extent. Thus, in some cases of hysteria where the
patient lies abed owing to her belief that she is unable to move about,
she is apt in time to become enormously stout. This seems to me also to
be favored by the large use of morphia to which such women are prone, so
that I should say that long rest, the hysterical constitution, and the
accompanying resort to morphia make up a group of conditions highly
favorable to increase of fat.

Lastly, there is the class of fat anæmic people, usually women. This
double peculiarity is rather uncommon, but, as the mass of thin-blooded
persons are as a rule thin or losing flesh, there must be something
unusual in that anæmia which goes with gain in flesh.

Bauer[8] thinks that lessened number of blood-corpuscles gives rise to
storing of fat, owing to lessened tissue-combustion. At all events, the
absorption of oxygen diminishes after bleeding, and it used to be well
known that some people grew fat when bled at intervals. Also, it is said
that cattle-breeders in some localities--certainly not in this
country--bleed their cattle to cause increase of fat in the tissues, or
of fat secreted as butter in the milk. These explanations aid us but
little to comprehend what, after all, is only met with in certain
persons, and must therefore involve conditions not common to every one
who is anæmic. Meanwhile, the group of fat anæmics is of the utmost
clinical interest, as I shall by and by point out more distinctly.

There is a popular idea, which has probably passed from the
agriculturist into the common mind of the community, to the effect that
human fat varies,--that some fat is wholesome and some unwholesome, that
there are good fats and bad fats. I remember well an old nurse who
assured me when I was a student that "some fats is fast and some is
fickle, but cod-oil fat is easy squandered."

There are more facts in favor of some such idea than I have place for,
but as yet we have no distinct chemical knowledge as to whether the
fats put on under alcohol or morphia, or rapidly by the use of oils, or
pathologically in fatty degenerations, or in anæmia, vary in their
constituents. It is not at all unlikely that such is the case, and that,
for example, the fat of an obese anæmic person may differ from that of a
fat and florid person. The flabby, relaxed state of many fat people is
possibly due not alone to peculiarities of the fat, but also to want of
tone and tension in the areolar tissues, which, from all that we now
know of them, may be capable of undergoing changes as marked as those of

That, however, animals may take on fat which varies in character is well
known to breeders of cattle. "The art of breeding and feeding stock,"
says Dr. Letheby,[9] "is to overcome excessive tendency to accumulation
of either surface fat or visceral fat, and at the same time to produce a
fat which will not melt or boil away in cooking. Oily foods have a
tendency to make soft fats which will not bear cooking." Such
differences are also seen between English and American bacon, the former
being much more solid; and we know, also, that the fat of different
animals varies remarkably, and that some, as the fat of hay-fed horses,
is readily worked off. Such facts as these may reasonably be held to
sustain the popular creed as to there being bad fats and good fats, and
they teach us the lesson that in man, as in animals, there may be a
difference in the value of the fats we acquire, according as they are
gained by one means or by another.

The recent researches of L. Langer have certainly shown that the fatty
tissues of man vary at different ages, in the proportion of the fatty
acids they contain.

I have had occasion, of late years, to watch with interest the process
of somewhat rapid but quite wholesome gain in flesh in persons subjected
to the treatment which I shall by and by describe. Most of these persons
were treated by massage, and I have been accustomed to question the
masseur or masseuse as to the manner in which the change takes place.
Usually it is first seen in the face and neck, then it is noticed in the
back and flanks, next in the belly, and finally in the limbs, the legs
coming last in the order of gain, and sometimes remaining comparatively
thin long after other parts have made remarkable and visible gain.
These observations have been checked by careful measurements, so that I
am sure of their correctness for people who fatten while at rest in bed.
The order of increase might be different in people who fatten while

Facts of this nature suggest that the putting on of fat must be due to
very generalized conditions, and be less under the control of local
causes than is the nutrition of muscles, for, while it is true that in
wasting from nerve-lesions the muscular and fatty tissues alike lessen,
it is possible to cause by exercise rapid increase in the bulk of muscle
in a limb or a part of a limb, but not in any way to cause direct and
limited local increment of fat.

Looking back over the whole subject, it will be well for the physician
to remember that increase of fat, to be a wholesome condition, should be
accompanied by gain in quantity and quality of blood, and that while
increase of flesh after illness is desirable, and a good test of
successful recovery, it should always go along with improvement in
color. Obesity with thin blood is one of the most unmanageable
conditions I know of.

The exact relations of fatty tissue to the states of health are not as
yet well understood; but, since on great exertion or prolonged mental or
moral strain or in low fevers we lose fat rapidly, it may be taken for
granted that each individual should possess a certain surplus of this
readily-lost material. It is the one portion of our body which comes and
goes in large amount. Even thin people have it in some quantity always
ready, and, despite the fluctuations, every one has a standard share,
which varies at different times of life. The mechanism which limits the
storing away of an excess is almost unknown, and we are only aware that
some foods and lack of exertion favor growth in fat, while action and
lessened diet diminish it; but also we know that while any one can be
made to lose weight, there are some persons who cannot be made to gain a
pound by any possible device, so that in this, as in other things, to
spend is easier than to get; although it is clear that the very thin
must certainly live, so to speak, from hand to mouth, and have little
for emergencies. Whether fat people possess greater power of resistance
as against the fatal wasting of certain maladies or not, does not seem
to be known, and I fancy that the popular medical belief is rather
opposed to a belief in the vital endurance of those who are unusually

That I am not pushing too far this idea of the indicative value of gain
of weight may be further seen in persons who suffer from some incurable
chronic malady, but who are in other respects well. The relief from
their disease, even if temporary, is apt to be signalled by abrupt gain
in weight. A remarkable illustration is to be found in those who suffer
periodically from severe pain. Cessation of these attacks for a time is
sure to result in the putting on of flesh. The case of Captain
Catlin[10] is a good example. Owing to an accident of war, he lost a
leg, and ever since has had severe neuralgic pain referred to the lost
leg. These attacks depend almost altogether on storms. In years of
fewest storms they are least numerous, and the bodily weight, which is
never insufficient, rises. With their increase it lowers to a certain
amount, beneath which it does not fall. His weight is, therefore,
indirectly dependent upon the number of storms to the influence of which
he is exposed.

At present, however, we have to do most largely with the means of
attaining that moderate share of stored-away fat which seems to indicate
a state of nutritive prosperity and to be essential to those physical
needs, such as protection and padding, which fat subserves, no less than
to its æsthetic value, as rounding the curves of the human form.

The study of the amount of the different forms of diet which is needed
by people at rest, and by those who are active, is valuable only to
enable us to construct dietaries with care for masses of men and where
economy is an object. In dealing with cases such as I shall describe, it
is needful usually to give and to have digested a surplus of food, so
that we are more concerned now to know the forms of food which thin or
fatten, and the means which aid us to digest temporarily an excess.

As to quantity, it suffices to say that while by lessening food we may
easily and surely make people lose weight, we cannot be sure to fatten
by merely increasing the amount of food given; something more is wanted
in the way of digestives or tonics to enable the patient to prepare and
appropriate what is given, and but too often we fail miserably in all
our means of giving capacity to assimilate food. As I have said before,
and wish to repeat, to gain in fat is, in the feeble, nearly always to
gain in blood; and I hope to point out in these pages some of the means
by which these ends can be attained.

     _Note_.--The statements made on page 21 and the following
     paragraphs about obesity in England and with us are no longer
     exact, but have been allowed to stand in the text as recording
     facts true at the time of writing them, in 1877. At the present a
     medical observer familiar with both countries must note several
     decided changes: more fat people, more people even enormously
     stout, are seen with us than formerly, and fewer of the
     "inordinately fat middle-aged people" in England than used to be
     encountered. With us the over-fat are chiefly to be found among the
     women of the well-to-do classes of the cities, and from thirty
     years old onward. They persecute the medical men to reduce their
     weight, and the vast number of advertisements of quack and
     proprietary remedies against obesity indicate how wide-spread the
     tendency must be.

     Among women somewhat younger, as indeed among men, the American
     observer whose recollection takes him back twenty-five years must
     note a more hopeful change, a very decided average increase of
     stature, not merely in height but in general development. This
     change is to be seen throughout the whole country, and must be
     taken first as a sign of improved conditions of food and manner of
     life, and next, if not more largely, of the new interest and
     partnership of girls in the wholesome activities of field and wood.



The remarks of the last chapter have, of course, wide and general
application in disease, and naturally lead up to what I have to say as
to the employment of the systematic treatment to describe which is my
chief desire. Its use, as a whole, is limited to certain groups of
cases. In some of the worst of them nothing else has succeeded hitherto,
or at least as frequently. In others the need for its application must
depend on convenience and the fact that all other and readier means have
failed. It is, of course, difficult to state now all the groups of
diseases in which it may be of value, for already physicians have begun
to find it serviceable in some to which I had not thought of applying
it,[11] and its sphere of usefulness is therefore likely to extend
beyond the limits originally set by me. It will be well here, however,
to state the various disorders in which it has seemed to me applicable.
As regards some of them, I shall try briefly to indicate why their
peculiarities point it out as needful.

There are, of course, numerous cases in which it becomes desirable to
fatten and to make blood. In many of them these are easy tasks, and in
some altogether hopeless. Persons who are recovering healthfully from
fevers, pneumonias, and other temporary maladies gather flesh and make
blood readily, and we need only to help them by the ordinary tonics,
careful feeding, and change of air in due season.

It may not, however, be out of place to say here that when the
convalescence from these maladies seems to be slower than is common, and
ordinary tonics inefficient, massage and the use of electricity are not
unimportant aids towards health, but in such cases require to be handled
with an amount of caution which is less requisite in more chronic
conditions of disordered health.

In other and fatal or graver maladies, such as, for example, advanced
pulmonary phthisis, however proper it may be to fatten, it is almost an
impossible task, and, as Pollock remarks, the lung-trouble may be
advancing even while the patient is gaining in weight. Nevertheless, the
earlier stages of pulmonary tuberculosis are suitable cases, and with
sufficient attention to purity and frequent change of air in their rooms
tubercular sufferers may be brought by this means to a point of
improvement where open-air and altitude cures will have their best

There remains a class of cases desirable to fatten and redden,--cases
which are often, or usually, chronic in character, and present among
them some of the most difficult problems which perplex the physician. If
I pause to dwell upon these, it is because they exemplify forms of
disease in which my method of treatment has had the largest success; it
is because some of them are simply living records of the failure of
every other rational plan and of many irrational ones; it is because
many of them find no place in the text-book, however sadly familiar they
are to the physician.

The group I would speak of contains that large number of people who are
kept meagre and often also anæmic by constant dyspepsia, in its varied
forms, or by those defects in assimilative processes which, while more
obscure, are as fertile parents of similar mischiefs. Let us add the
long-continued malarial poisonings, and we have a group of varied origin
which is a moderate percentage of cases in which loss of weight and loss
of color are noticeable, and in which the usual therapeutic methods do
sometimes utterly fail.

For many of these, fresh air, exercise, change of scene, tonics, and
stimulants are alike valueless; and for them the combined employment of
the tonic influences I shall describe, when used with absolute rest,
massage, and electricity, is often of inestimable service.

A portion of the class last referred to is one I have hinted at as the
despair of the physician. It includes that large group of women,
especially, said to have nervous exhaustion, or who are defined as
having spinal irritation, if that be the prominent symptom. To it I must
add cases in which, besides the wasting and anæmia, emotional
manifestations predominate, and which are then called hysterical,
whether or not they exhibit ovarian or uterine disorders.

Nothing is more common in practice than to see a young woman who falls
below the health-standard, loses color and plumpness, is tired all the
time, by and by has a tender spine, and soon or late enacts the whole
varied drama of hysteria. As one or other set of symptoms is prominent
she gets the appropriate label, and sometimes she continues to exhibit
only the single phase of nervous exhaustion or of spinal irritation. Far
more often she runs the gauntlet of nerve-doctors, gynæcologists,
plaster jackets, braces, water-treatment, and all the fantastic variety
of other cures.

It will be worth while to linger here a little and more sharply
delineate the classes of cases I have just named.

I see every week--almost every day--women who when asked what is the
matter reply, "Oh, I have nervous exhaustion." When further questioned,
they answer that everything tires them. Now, it is vain to speak of all
of these cases as hysterical, or as merely mimetic. It is quite sure
that in the graver examples exercise quickens the pulse curiously, the
tire shows in the face, or sometimes diarrhoea or nausea follows
exertion, and though while under excitement or in the presence of some
dominant motive they can do a good deal, the exhaustion which ensues is
out of proportion to the exercise used.

I have rarely seen such a case which was not more or less lacking in
color and which had not lost flesh; the exceptions being those
troublesome instances of fat anæmic people which I shall by and by speak
of more fully.

Perhaps a sketch of one of these cases will be better than any list of
symptoms. A woman, most often between twenty and thirty years of age,
undergoes a season of trial or encounters some prolonged strain. She may
have undertaken the hard task of nursing a relative, and have gone
through this severe duty with the addition of emotional excitement,
swayed by hopes and fears, and forgetful of self and of what every one
needs in the way of air and food and change when attempting this most
trying task. In another set of cases an illness is the cause, and she
never rallies entirely, or else some local uterine trouble starts the
mischief, and, although this is cured, the doctor wonders that his
patient does not get fat and ruddy again.

But, no matter how it comes about, whether from illness, anxiety, or
prolonged physical effort, the woman grows pale and thin, eats little,
or if she eats does not profit by it. Everything wearies her,--to sew,
to write, to read, to walk,--and by and by the sofa or the bed is her
only comfort. Every effort is paid for dearly, and she describes herself
as aching and sore, as sleeping ill and awaking unrefreshed, and as
needing constant stimulus and endless tonics. Then comes the mischievous
role of bromides, opium, chloral, and brandy. If the case did not begin
with uterine troubles, they soon appear, and are usually treated in vain
if the general means employed to build up the bodily health fail, as in
many of these cases they do fail. The same remark applies to the
dyspepsias and constipation which further annoy the patient and
embarrass the treatment. If such a person is by nature emotional she is
sure to become more so, for even the firmest women lose self-control at
last under incessant feebleness. Nor is this less true of men; and I
have many a time seen soldiers who had ridden boldly with Sheridan or
fought gallantly with Grant become, under the influence of painful
nerve-wounds, as irritable and hysterically emotional as the veriest
girl. If no rescue comes, the fate of women thus disordered is at last
the bed. They acquire tender spines, and furnish the most lamentable
examples of all the strange phenomena of hysteria.

The moral degradation which such cases undergo is pitiable. I have heard
a good deal of the disciplinary usefulness of sickness, and this may
well apply to brief and grave, and what I might call wholesome,
maladies. Undoubtedly I have seen a few people who were ennobled by long
sickness, but far more often the result is to cultivate self-love and
selfishness and to take away by slow degrees the healthful mastery which
all human beings should retain over their own emotions and wants.

There is one fatal addition to the weight which tends to destroy women
who suffer in the way I have described. It is the self-sacrificing love
and over-careful sympathy of a mother, a sister, or some other devoted
relative. Nothing is more curious, nothing more sad and pitiful, than
these partnerships between the sick and selfish and the sound and
over-loving. By slow but sure degrees the healthy life is absorbed by
the sick life, in a manner more or less injurious to both, until,
sometimes too late for remedy, the growth of the evil is seen by
others. Usually the individual withdrawn from wholesome duties to
minister to the caprices of hysterical sensitiveness is the person of a
household who feels most for the invalid, and who for this very reason
suffers the most. The patient has pain,--a tender spine, for example;
she is urged to give it rest. She cannot read; the self-constituted
nurse reads to her. At last light hurts her eyes; the mother or sister
remains shut up with her all day in a darkened room. A draught of air is
supposed to do harm, and the doors and windows are closed, and the
ingenuity of kindness is taxed to imagine new sources of like trouble,
until at last, as I have seen more than once, the window-cracks are
stuffed with cotton, the chimney is stopped, and even the keyhole
guarded. It is easy to see where this all leads to: the nurse falls ill,
and a new victim is found. I have seen an hysterical, anæmic girl kill
in this way three generations of nurses. If you tell the patient she is
basely selfish, she is probably amazed, and wonders at your cruelty. To
cure such a case you must morally alter as well as physically amend, and
nothing less will answer. The first step needful is to break up the
companionship, and to substitute the firm kindness of a well-trained
hired nurse.[12]

Another form of evil to be encountered in these cases is less easy to
deal with. Such an invalid has by unhappy chance to live with some near
relative whose temperament is also nervous and who is impatient or
irritable. Two such people produce endless mischief for each other.
Occasionally there is a strange incompatibility which it is difficult to
define. The two people who, owing to their relationship, depend the one
on the other, are, for no good reason, made unhappy by their several
peculiarities. Lifelong annoyance results, and for them there is no
divorce possible.

In a smaller number of cases, which have less tendency to emotional
disturbances, the phenomena are more simple. You have to deal with a
woman who has lost flesh and grown colorless, but has no hysterical
tendencies. She is merely a person hopelessly below the standard of
health and subject to a host of aches and pains, without notable organic
disease. Why such people should sometimes be so hard to cure I cannot
say. But the sad fact remains. Iron, acids, travel, water-cures, have
for a certain proportion of them no value, or little value, and they
remain for years feeble and forever tired. For them, as for the whole
class, the pleasures of life are limited by this perpetual weariness and
by the asthenopia which they rarely escape, and which, by preventing
them from reading, leaves them free to study day after day their
accumulating aches and distresses.

Medical opinion must, of course, vary as to the causes which give rise
to the familiar disorders I have so briefly sketched, but I imagine that
few physicians placed face to face with such cases would not feel sure
that if they could insure to these patients a liberal gain in fat and in
blood they would be certain to need very little else, and that the
troubles of stomach, bowels, and uterus would speedily vanish.

I need hardly say that I do not mean by this that the mere addition of
blood and normal flesh is what we want, but that their gradual increase
will be a visible result of the multitudinous changes in digestive,
assimilative, and secretive power in which the whole economy inevitably
shares, and of which my relation of cases will be a better statement
than any more general one I could make here.

Such has certainly been the result of my own very ample experience. If I
succeed in first altering the moral atmosphere which has been to the
patient like the very breathing of evil, and if I can add largely to the
weight and fill the vessels with red blood, I am usually sure of giving
general relief to a host of aches, pains, and varied disabilities. If I
fail, it is because I fail in these very points, or else because I have
overlooked or undervalued some serious organic tissue-change. It must be
said that now and then one is beaten by a patient who has an
unconquerable taste for invalidism, or one to whom the change of moral
atmosphere is not bracing, or by sheer laziness, as in the case of a
lady who said to me, as a final argument, "Why should I walk when I can
have a negro boy to push me in a chair?"

It will have been seen that I am careful in the selection of cases for
this treatment. Conducted under the best circumstances for success, it
involves a good deal that is costly. Neither does it answer as well, and
for obvious reasons, in hospital wards; and this is most true in regard
to persons who are demonstratively hysterical. As a rule, the worse the
case, the more emaciated, the more easy is it to manage, to control, and
to cure. It is, as Playfair remarks, the half-ill who constitute the
difficult cases.

I am also very careful as to being sure of the absence of certain forms
of organic disease before flattering myself with the probability of
success. But not all organic troubles forbid the use of this treatment.
Advanced Bright's disease does, though the early stages of contracted
kidney are decidedly benefited by it, if proper diet be prescribed; but
intestinal troubles which are not tubercular or malignant do not; nor do
moderate signs of chronic pulmonary deposits, or bronchitis.[13]

Some special consideration needs to be given to the subject of
heart-disease. Especially in cases of broken compensation, by lessening
the work required of the heart so that it needs to beat both less often
and with less force, the simple maintenance of the recumbent position is
a great aid to recovery, and massage properly used will still further
relieve the heart. Disturbed compensation is usually accompanied by
failure of nutrition, often by distinct anæmia, and these and the
anxiety which naturally enough affects the mind of a person with cardiac
disorder are all best handled, at first at least, by quiet and rest.
Later, the methods of Schott, baths and resistance movements, may carry
the improvement further. Even in old and established cases of valvular
disease much may be done if the patient have confidence and the
physician courage enough to insist upon a sufficient length of rest. The
palpitation and dyspnoea of exophthalmic goitre are promptly helped by
rest and massage, and with other suitable measures added, cures may be
effected even in this intractable ailment.

In former editions I have advised against any attempt to treat the true
melancholias, which are not mere depression of spirits from loss of all
hope of relief, by this method, but wider experience has convinced me
that rest and seclusion may often be successfully prescribed to a
certain extent and in certain cases.

Those in which the most good has been done have been the cases of
agitated melancholia with attacks, more or less clearly periodic, of
excitement, during which their delusions take acuter hold of them and
drive them to wild extravagance of noisy talk and bodily restlessness.
Whether such patients must be put to bed or not one must judge in each
instance, taking into account the general nutrition. In my own practice
I certainly do put them to bed now much oftener than formerly. It is not
desirable to keep them there for the six or eight weeks which full
treatment would demand. Usually it will be of advantage to order, say,
two weeks of "absolute rest," observing the usual precautions about
getting the patient up, prescribing bed again when the early signs of an
attack of agitation appear, and keeping him there for a couple of days
on each occasion, during which the full schedule of treatment is to be
minutely carried out.

Goodell and, more recently, Playfair have pointed out the fact that some
cases of disease of the uterine appendages such as would ordinarily be
considered hopeless, except for surgical treatment, have in their hands
recovered to all appearances entirely; and my own list of patients
condemned to the removal of the ovaries but recovering and remaining
well has now grown to a formidable length. Playfair observes also that
he believes it possible that in even very severe and extensive disease
the health of the patient may be sufficiently improved to render
operation unnecessary.[14]

In cases of floating kidney some very satisfactory results have been
reached by long rest; and although it may be necessary to keep the
patient supine for three months or more, the reasonable probability of
permanent replacement of the organ is much greater than from operative
attempts at fixation, apart from the danger and pain of surgical
procedures. Persons with floating kidney are nearly always thin, often
giving a history of rapid loss of weight, have usually various symptoms
of gastric and intestinal disturbance, and present therefore subjects in
all ways suitable for a fattening and blood-making _régime_ which shall
furnish padding to hold the kidney firmly in its normal place.

The treatment of locomotor ataxia and some allied states by this method,
with certain modifications, has yielded such good results that I now
undertake with reasonable confidence the charge of such patients; and
the subject is so important and has as yet influenced so little the
futile drugging treatment of these wretched cases that it seems worth
while to devote a special chapter to it, although the affections named
can scarcely be said to be included under the head of neurasthenic

In the following chapters I shall treat of the means which I have
employed, and shall not hesitate to give such minute details as shall
enable others to profit by my failures and successes. In describing the
remedies used, and the mode of using them in combination, I shall relate
a sufficient number of cases to illustrate both the happier results and
the causes of occasional failure.

The treatment I am about to describe consists in seclusion, certain
forms of diet, rest in bed, massage (or manipulation), and electricity;
and I desire to insist anew on the fact that in most cases it is the
combined use of these means that is wanted. How far they may be modified
or used separately in some instances, I shall have occasion to point out
as I discuss the various agencies alluded to.



It is rare to find any of the class of patients I have described so free
from the influence of their habitual surroundings as to make it easy to
treat them in their own homes. It is needful to disentangle them from
the meshes of old habits and to remove them from contact with those who
have been the willing slaves of their caprices. I have often made the
effort to treat them where they have lived and to isolate them there,
but I have rarely done so without promising myself that I would not
again complicate my treatment by any such embarrassments. Once separate
the patient from the moral and physical surroundings which have become
part of her life of sickness, and you will have made a change which will
be in itself beneficial and will enormously aid in the treatment which
is to follow. Of course this step is not essential in such cases as are
merely anæmic, feeble, and thin, owing to distinct causes, like the
exhaustion of overwork, blood-losses, dyspepsia, low fevers, or nursing.
There are but too many women who have broken down under such causes and
failed to climb again to the level of health, despite all that could be
done for them; and when such persons are free from emotional excitement
or hysterical complications there is no reason why the seclusion needful
to secure them repose of mind should not be pleasantly modified in
accordance with the dictates of common sense. Very often a little
experimentation as to what they will profitably bear in the way of
visits and the like will inform us, as their treatment progresses, how
far such indulgence is of use or free from hurtful influences. Cases of
extreme neurasthenia in men accompanied with nutritive failures require
as to this matter cautious handling, because, for some reason, the ennui
of rest and seclusion is far better borne by women than by the other

Even in cases whose moral aspects do not at once suggest an imperative
need for seclusion it is well to remember, as regards neurasthenic
people, that the treatment involves for a time daily visits of some
length from the masseur, the doctor, and possibly an electrician, and
that to add to these even a single friendly visitor is often too much
to be readily borne; but I am now speaking chiefly of the large and
troublesome class of thin-blooded emotional women, for whom a state of
weak health has become a long and, almost I might say, a cherished
habit. For them there is often no success possible until we have broken
up the whole daily drama of the sick-room, with its little selfishness
and its craving for sympathy and indulgence. Nor should we hesitate to
insist upon this change, for not only shall we then act in the true
interests of the patient, but we shall also confer on those near to her
an inestimable benefit. An hysterical girl is, as Wendell Holmes has
said in his decisive phrase, a vampire who sucks the blood of the
healthy people about her; and I may add that pretty surely where there
is one hysterical girl there will be soon or late two sick women. If
circumstances oblige us to treat such a person in her own home, let us
at least change her room, and also have it well understood how far we
are to control her surroundings and to govern as to visitors and the
company of her own family. Do as we may, we shall always lessen thus our
chances of success, but we shall certainly not altogether destroy them.

I should add here a few words of caution as to the time of year best
fitted for treatment. In the summer seclusion is often undesirable when
the patient is well enough to gain help by change of air; moreover, at
this season massage is less agreeable than in winter, and, as a rule, I
find it harder to feed and to fatten persons at rest during our summer
heats. That this rule is not without exception has been shown by Drs.
Goodell and Sinkler, both of whom have attained some remarkable
successes in midsummer.

One of the questions of most importance in the carrying out of this
treatment is the choice of a nurse. Just as it is desirable to change
the home of the patient, her diet, her atmosphere, so also is it well,
for the mere alterative value of such change, to surround her with
strangers and to put aside any nurse with whom she may have grown
familiar. As I have sometimes succeeded in treating invalids in their
own homes, so have I occasionally been able to carry through cases
nursed by a mother, or sister, or friend of exceptional firmness; but to
attempt this is to be heavily handicapped, and the position should never
be accepted if it be possible to make other arrangements. Any firm,
intelligent woman of tact, a stranger to the patient, is better than
the old style of nurse, now, happily, disappearing. The nurse for these
cases ought to be a young, active, quick-witted woman, capable of firmly
but gently controlling her patient. She ought to be intelligent, able to
interest her patient, to read aloud, and to write letters. The more of
these cases she has seen and nursed, the easier becomes the task of the
doctor. Young, I have said she ought to be, but youthful would be a
better word. If, as she grows older, the nurse loses the strenuous
enthusiasm with which she made her first entrance into her work,
scarcely any amount of conscientious devotion or experience will ever
replace it; but there are fortunate people who seem never to grow old in
this sense. It is always to be borne in mind that most of these patients
are over-sensitive, refined, and educated women, for whom the
clumsiness, or want of neatness, or bad manners, or immodesty of a nurse
may be a sore and steadily-increasing trial. To be more or less isolated
for two months in a room, with one constant attendant, however good, is
hard enough for any one to endure; and certain quite small faults or
defects in a nurse may make her a serious impediment to the treatment,
because no mere technical training will dispense in the nurse any more
than in the physician with those finer natural qualifications which make
their training available. Over-harshness is in some ways worse than
over-easiness, because it makes less pleasant the relation between nurse
and patient, and the latter should regard the former as her "next
friend." Let the nurse, therefore, place upon the doctor the burden of
decision in disputed matters; his position will not be injured with the
patient by strict enforcement of the letter of the law, while the
nurse's may be. But one nurse will suit one patient and not another: so
that I never hesitate to change my nurse if she does not fit the case,
and to change if necessary more than once.

The degree of seclusion should be prescribed from the first, and it is
far better to find that the original rules may be profitably relaxed
than to be obliged to draw the lines more strictly when the patient has
at first been indulged. For instance, it is well to forbid the receipt
of any letters from home, unless anxious relatives insist that the
patient must have home news. In that case the letters should be mere
bulletins, should contain nothing, no matter how trifling, that might
annoy a too sensitive person, and, most important of all, should come to
the nurse and by her be read to the patient.



I have said more than once in the early chapters of this little volume
that the treatment I wished to advise as of use in a certain range of
cases was made up of rest, massage, electricity, and over-feeding. I
said that the use of large amounts of food while at rest, more or less
entire, was made possible by the practice of kneading the muscles and by
moving them with currents able to effect this end. I desire now to
discuss in turn the modes in which I employ rest, massage, and
electricity, and, as I have promised, I shall take pains to give, in
regard to these three subjects, the fullest details, because success in
the treatment depends, I am sure, on the care with which we look after a
number of things each in itself apparently of slight moment.

I have no doubt that many doctors have seen fit at times to put their
patients at rest for great or small lengths of time, but the person who
of all others within my knowledge used this means most, and used it so
as to obtain the best results, was the late Professor Samuel Jackson. He
was in the habit of making his patients remain in bed for many weeks at
a time, and, if I recall his cases well, he used this treatment in just
the class of disorders among women which have given me the best results.
What these are I have been at some pains to define, and I have now only
to show why in such people rest is of service, and what I mean by rest,
and how I apply it.

In No. IV. of Dr. Séguin's series of American Clinical Lectures, I was
at some pains to point out the value of repose in neuralgias, and
especially sciatica, in myelitis, and in the early stages of locomotor
ataxia, and I have since then had the pleasure of seeing these views
very fully accepted. I shall now confine myself chiefly to its use in
the various forms of weakness which exist with thin blood and wasting,
with or without distinct lesions of the stomach, womb, or other organs.

Whether we shall ask a patient to walk or to take rest is a question
which turns up for answer almost every day in practice. Most often we
incline to insist on exercise, and are led to do so from a belief that
many people walk too little, and that to move about a good deal every
day is well for everybody. I think we are as often wrong as right. A
good brisk daily walk is for well folks a tonic, breaks down old
tissues, and creates a wholesome demand for food. The same is true for
some sick people. The habit of horse-exercise or a long walk every day
is needed to cure or to aid in the cure of disordered stomach and
costive bowels, but if all exertion gives rise only to increase of
trouble, to extreme sense of fatigue, to nausea, to headache, what shall
we do? And suppose that tonics do not help to make exertion easy, and
that the great tonic of change of air fails us, shall we still persist?
And here lies the trouble: there are women who mimic fatigue, who
indulge themselves in rest on the least pretence, who have no symptoms
so truly honest that we need care to regard them. These are they who
spoil their own nervous systems as they spoil their children, when they
have them, by yielding to the least desire and teaching them to dwell on
little pains. For such people there is no help but to insist on
self-control and on daily use of the limbs. They must be told to exert
themselves, and made to do so if that can be. If they are young, this
is easy enough. If they have grown to middle life, and created habits of
self-indulgence, the struggle is often useless. But few, however, among
these women are free from some defect of blood or tissue, either
original or acquired as a result of years of indolence and attention to
aches and ailments which should never have had given to them more than a
passing thought, and which certainly should not have been made an excuse
for the sofa or the bed.

Sometimes the question is easy to settle. If you find a woman who is in
good condition as to color and flesh, and who is always able to do what
it pleases her to do, and who is tired by what does not please her, that
is a woman to order out of bed and to control with a firm and steady
will. That is a woman who is to be made to walk, with no regard to her
complaints, and to be made to persist until exertion ceases to give rise
to the mimicry of fatigue. In such cases the man who can insure belief
in his opinions and obedience to his decrees secures very often most
brilliant and sometimes easy success; and it is in such cases that women
who are in all other ways capable doctors fail, because they do not
obtain the needed control over those of their own sex. I have been
struck with this a number of times, but I have also seen that to be too
long and too habitually in the hands of one physician, even the wisest,
is for some cases of hysteria the main difficulty in the way of a
cure,--it is so easy to disobey the familiar friendly attendant, so hard
to do this where the physician is a stranger. But we all know well
enough the personal value of certain doctors for certain cases. Mere
hygienic advice will win a victory in the hands of one man and obtain no
good results in those of another, for we are, after all, artists who all
use the same means to an end but fail or succeed according to our method
of using them. There are still other cases in which mischievous
tendencies to repose, to endless tire, to hysterical symptoms, and to
emotional displays have grown out of defects of nutrition so distinct
that no man ought to think for these persons of mere exertion as a sole
means of cure. The time comes for that, but it should not come until
entire rest has been used, with other means, to fit them for making use
of their muscles. Nothing upsets these cases like over-exertion, and the
attempt to make them walk usually ends in some mischievous emotional
display, and in creating a new reason for thinking that they cannot
walk. As to the two sets of cases just sketched, no one need hesitate;
the one must walk, the other should not until we have bettered her
nutritive state. She may be able to drag herself about, but no good will
be done by making her do so. But between these two classes, and allied
by certain symptoms to both, lie the larger number of such cases, giving
us every kind of real and imagined symptom, and dreadfully well fitted
to puzzle the most competent physician. As a rule, no harm is done by
rest, even in such people as give us doubts about whether it is or is
not well for them to exert themselves. There are plenty of these women
who are just well enough to make it likely that if they had motive
enough for exertion to cause them to forget themselves they would find
it useful. In the doubt I am rather given to insisting on rest, but the
rest I like for them is not at all their notion of rest. To lie abed
half the day, and sew a little and read a little, and be interesting as
invalids and excite sympathy, is all very well, but when they are bidden
to stay in bed a month, and neither to read, write, nor sew, and to have
one nurse, who is not a relative,--then repose becomes for some women a
rather bitter medicine, and they are glad enough to accept the order to
rise and go about when the doctor issues a mandate which has become
pleasantly welcome and eagerly looked for. I do not think it easy to
make a mistake in this matter unless the woman takes with morbid delight
to the system of enforced rest, and unless the doctor is a person of
feeble will. I have never met myself with any serious trouble about
getting out of bed any woman for whom I thought rest needful, but it has
happened to others, and the man who resolves to send any nervous woman
to bed must be quite sure that she will obey him when the time comes for
her to get up.

I have, of course, made use of every grade of rest for my patients, from
repose on a lounge for some hours a day up to entire rest in bed. In
milder forms of neurasthenic disease, in cases of slight general
depression not properly to be called melancholias, in the lesser grades
of pure brain-tire, or where this is combined with some physical
debility, I often order a "modified" or "partial rest." A detailed
schedule of the day is ordered for such patients, with as much
minuteness of care as for those undergoing "full rest" in bed. Here the
patient's or the household's usual hours may be consulted, a definite
amount of time allotted to duties, business, and exercise, and certain
hours left blank, to be filled, within limits, at the patient's
discretion or that of the nurse.

So many nervous people are worried with indecision, with inability to
make up their minds to the simplest actions, that to have the
responsibility of choice taken away greatly lessens their burdens. It
lessens, too, the burdens which may be placed upon them by outside
action if they can refuse this or that because they are under orders as
to hours.

The following is a skeleton form of such a schedule. The hours, the
food, the occupations suggested in each one will vary according to the
sex, age, position, desires, intelligence, and opportunities of the

7.30 A.M. Cocoa, coffee, hot milk, beef-extract, or hot water. Bath
(temperature stated). Rough rub with towel or flesh-brush: bathing and
rubbing may be done by attendant. Lie down a few minutes after

8.30 A.M. Breakfast in bed. (Detail as to diet. Tonic, aperient, malt
extract as ordered.) May read letters, paper, etc., if eyes are good.

10-11 A.M. Massage, if required, is usually ordered one hour after
breakfast; or Swedish movements are given at that time. An hour's rest
follows massage. Less rest is needed after the movements. (Milk or broth
after massage.)

12 M. Rise and dress slowly. If gymnastics or massage are not ordered,
may rise earlier. May see visitors, attend to household affairs, or walk

1.30 P.M. Luncheon. (Malt, tonic, etc., ordered.) In invalids this
should be the chief meal of the day. Rest, lying down, not in bed, for
an hour after.

3 P.M. Drive (use street-cars or walk) one to two and a half hours.
(Milk or soup on return.)

7 P.M. Supper. (Malt, tonic, etc., ordered; detail of diet.)

Bed at 10 P.M. Hot milk or other food at bedtime.

This schedule is modified for convalescent patients after rest-treatment
by orders as to use of the eyes: letter-writing is usually forbidden,
walking distinctly directed or forbidden, as the case may require. It
may be changed by putting the exercise, massage, or gymnastics in the
afternoon, for example, and leaving the morning, as soon as the rest
after breakfast is finished, for business. Men needing partial rest may
thus find time to attend to their affairs.

If massage is not ordered, there is nothing in this routine which costs
money, and I have found it apply usefully in the case of hospital and
dispensary patients.

In carrying out my general plan of treatment in extreme cases it is my
habit to ask the patient to remain in bed from six weeks to two months.
At first, and in some cases for four or five weeks, I do not permit the
patient to sit up, or to sew or write or read, or to use the hands in
any active way except to clean the teeth. Where at first the most
absolute rest is desirable, as in cases of heart-disease, or where there
is a floating kidney, I arrange to have the bowels and water passed
while lying down, and the patient is lifted on to a lounge for an hour
in the morning and again at bedtime, and then lifted back again into the
newly-made bed. In most cases of weakness, treated by rest, I insist on
the patient being fed by the nurse, and, when well enough to sit up in
bed, I order that the meats shall be cut up, so as to make it easier
for the patient to feed herself.

In many cases I allow the patient to sit up in order to obey the calls
of nature, but I am always careful to have the bowels kept reasonably
free from costiveness, knowing well how such a state and the efforts it
gives rise to enfeeble a sick person.

The daily sponging bath is to be given by the nurse, and should be
rapidly and skilfully done. It may follow the first food of the day, the
early milk, or cocoa, or coffee, or, if preferred, may be used before
noon, or at bedtime, which is found in some cases to be best and to
promote sleep.

For some reason, the act of bathing, or even the being bathed, is
mysteriously fatiguing to certain invalids, and if so I have the general
sponging done for a time but thrice a week.

Most of these patients suffer from use of the eyes, and this makes it
needful to prohibit reading and writing, and to have all correspondence
carried on through the nurse. But many neurasthenic people also suffer
from being read to, or, in other words, from any prolonged effort at
attention. In these cases it will be found that if the nurse will read
the morning paper, and as she does so relate such news as may be of
interest, the patient will bear it very well, and will by degrees come
to endure the hearing of such reading as is already more or less

Usually, after a fortnight I permit the patient to be read to,--one to
three hours a day,--but I am daily amazed to see how kindly nervous and
anæmic women take to this absolute rest, and how little they complain of
its monotony. In fact, the use of massage and the battery, with the
frequent comings of the nurse with food, and the doctor's visits, seem
so to fill up the day as to make the treatment less tiresome than might
be supposed. And, besides this, the sense of comfort which is apt to
come about the fifth or sixth day,--the feeling of ease, and the ready
capacity to digest food, and the growing hope of final cure, fed as it
is by present relief,--all conspire to make most patients contented and

The intelligent and watchful physician must, of course, know how far to
enforce and when to relax these rules. When it is needful, as it
sometimes is, to prolong the state of rest to two or three months, the
patient may need at the close occupation of some kind, and especially
such as, while it does not tax the eyes, gives the hands something to
do, the patient being, we suppose, by this time able to sit up in bed
during a part of the day.

The moral uses of enforced rest are readily estimated. From a restless
life of irregular hours, and probably endless drugging, from hurtful
sympathy and over-zealous care, the patient passes to an atmosphere of
quiet, to order and control, to the system and care of a thorough nurse,
to an absence of drugs, and to simple diet. The result is always at
first, whatever it may be afterwards, a sense of relief, and a
remarkable and often a quite abrupt disappearance of many of the nervous
symptoms with which we are all of us only too sadly familiar.

All the moral uses of rest and isolation and change of habits are not
obtained by merely insisting on the physical conditions needed to effect
these ends. If the physician has the force of character required to
secure the confidence and respect of his patients, he has also much more
in his power, and should have the tact to seize the proper occasions to
direct the thoughts of his patients to the lapse from duties to others,
and to the selfishness which a life of invalidism is apt to bring
about. Such moral medication belongs to the higher sphere of the
doctor's duties, and, if he means to cure his patient permanently, he
cannot afford to neglect them. Above all, let him be careful that the
masseuse and the nurse do not talk of the patient's ills, and let him by
degrees teach the sick person how very essential it is to speak of her
aches and pains to no one but himself.

I have often asked myself why rest is of value in the cases of which I
am now speaking, and I have already alluded briefly to some of the modes
in which it is of use.

Let us take first the simpler cases. We meet now and then with feeble
people who are dyspeptic, and who find that exercise after a meal, or
indeed much exercise on any day, is sure to cause loss of power or
lessened power to digest food. The same thing is seen in an extreme
degree in the well-known experiment of causing a dog to run violently
after eating, in which case digestion is entirely suspended. Whether
these results be due to the calling off of blood from the gastric organs
to the muscles, or whether the nervous system is, for some reason,
unable to evolve at the same time the force needed for a double
purpose, is not quite clear, but the fact is undoubted, and finds added
illustrations in many of the class of exhausted women. It is plain that
this trouble exists in some of them. It is likely that it is present in
a larger number. The use of rest in these people admits of no question.
If we are to give them the means in blood and flesh of carrying on the
work of life, it must be done with the aid of the stomach, and we must
humor that organ until it is able to act in a more healthy manner under
ordinary conditions. It may be wise to add that occasional cases of
nervousness or of nervous disturbance of digestion are seen in which the
patient assimilates food better if permitted to move about directly
after a meal; and I recall one instance of very persistent gastric
catarrh where the uncomfortable symptoms following meals only began to
disappear when as an experiment the patient was ordered to take a quiet
half-hour's stroll after each meal, instead of the rest usually ordered.

I am often asked how I can expect by such a system to rest the organs of
mind. No act of will can force them to be at rest. To this I should
answer that it is not the mere half-automatic intellectuation which is
harmful in men or women subject to states of feebleness or neurasthenia,
and that the systematic vigorous use of mind on distinct problems is
within some form of control. It is thought with the friction of worry
which injures, and unless we can secure an absence of this, it is vain
to hope for help by the method I am describing. The man harassed by
business anxieties, the woman with morbidly-developed or ungoverned
maternal instincts, will only illustrate the causes of failure. Perhaps
in all dubious cases Dr. Playfair's rule is not a bad one, to consider,
and to let the patient consider, this mode of treatment as a hopeful
experiment, which may have to be abandoned, and which is valueless
without the cordial and submissive assistance of the patient.

The muscular system in many of such patients--I mean in ever-weary, thin
and thin-blooded persons--is doing its work with constant difficulty. As
a result, fatigue comes early, is extreme, and lasts long. The demand
for nutritive aid is ahead of the supply, or else the supply is
incompetent as to quality, and before the tissues are rebuilded a new
demand is made, so that the materials of disintegration accumulate, and
do this the more easily because the eliminative organs share in the
general defects. And these are some of the reasons why anæmic people are
always tired; but, besides this, all real sensations are magnified by
women whose nervous systems have become sensitive owing to a life of
attention to their ailments, and so at last it becomes hard to separate
the true from the false, and we are thus led to be too sceptical as to
the presence of real causes of annoyance. Certain it is that rest, under
proper conditions, is found by such sufferers to be a great relief; but
rest alone will not answer, and it is needful, as I shall show, to bring
to our help certain other means, in order to secure all the good which
repose may be made to insure.

In dealing with this, as with every other medical means, it is well to
recall that in our attempts to help we may sometimes do harm, and we
must make sure that in causing the largest share of good we do the least
possible evil.

"The one goes with the other, as shadow with light, and to no
therapeutic measure does this apply more surely than to the use of rest.

"Let us take the simplest case,--that which arises daily in the
treatment of joint-troubles or broken bones. We put the limb in splints,
and thus, for a time, check its power to move. The bone knits, or the
joint gets well; but the muscles waste, the skin dries, the nails may
for a time cease to grow, nutrition is brought down, as an arithmetician
would say, to its lowest terms, and when the bone or joint is well we
have a limb which is in a state of disease. As concerns broken bones,
the evil may be slight and easy of relief, if the surgeon will but
remember that when joints are put at rest too long they soon fall a prey
to a form of arthritis, which is the more apt to be severe the older the
patient is, and may be easily avoided by frequent motion of the joints,
which, to be healthful, exact a certain share of daily movement. If,
indeed, with perfect stillness of the fragments we could have the full
life of a limb in action, I suspect that the cure of the break might be
far more rapid.

"What is true of the part is true of the whole. When we put the entire
body at rest we create certain evils while doing some share of good, and
it is therefore our part to use such means as shall, in every case,
lessen and limit the ills we cannot wholly avoid. How to reach these
ends I shall by and by state, but for a brief space I should like to
dwell on some of the bad results which come of our efforts to reach
through rest in bed all the good which it can give us, and to these
points I ask the most thoughtful attention, because upon the care with
which we meet and provide for them depends the value which we will get
out of this most potent means of treatment.

"When we put patients in bed and forbid them to rise or to make use of
their muscles, we at once lessen appetite, weaken digestion in many
cases, constipate the bowels, and enfeeble circulation."[15]

When we put the muscles at absolute rest we create certain difficulties,
because the normal acts of repeated movement insure a certain rate of
nutrition which brings blood to the active parts, and without which the
currents flow more largely around than through the muscles. The lessened
blood-supply is a result of diminished functional movement, and we need
to create a constant demand in the inactive parts. But, besides this,
every active muscle is practically a throbbing heart, squeezing its
vessels empty while in motion, and relaxing, so as to allow them to fill
up anew. Thus, both for itself and in its relations to the areolar
spaces and to the rest of the body, its activity is functionally of
service. Then, also, the vessels, unaided by changes of posture and by
motion, lose tone, and the distant local circuits, for all of these
reasons, cease to receive their normal supply, so that defects of
nutrition occur, and, with these, defects of temperature.

"I was struck with the extent to which these evils may go, in the case
of Mrs. P., æt. 52, who was brought to me from New Jersey, having been
in bed fifteen years. I soon knew that she was free of grave disease,
and had stayed in bed at first because there was some lack of power and
much pain on rising, and at last because she had the firm belief that
she could not walk. After a week's massage I made her get up. I had won
her full trust, and she obeyed, or tried to obey me, like a child. But
she would faint and grow deadly pale, even if seated a short time. The
heart-beats rose from sixty to one hundred and thirty, and grew feeble;
the breath came fast, and she had to lie down at once. Her skin was
dry, sallow, and bloodless, her muscles flabby; and when, at last, after
a fortnight more, I set her on her feet again, she had to endure for a
time the most dreadful vertigo and alarming palpitations of the heart,
while her feet, in a few minutes of feeble walking, would swell so as to
present the most strange appearance. By and by all this went away, and
in a month she could walk, sit up, sew, read, and, in a word, live like
others. She went home a well-cured woman.

"Let us think, then, when we put a person in bed, that we are lessening
the heart-beats some twenty a minute, nearly a third; that we are
causing the tardy blood to linger in the by-ways of the blood-round, for
it has its by-ways; that rest in bed binds the bowels, and tends to
destroy the desire to eat; and that muscles at rest too long get to be
unhealthy and shrunken in substance. Bear these ills in mind, and be
ready to meet them, and we shall have answered the hard question of how
to help by rest without hurt to the patient."

When I first made use of this treatment I allowed my patients to get up
too suddenly, and in some cases I thus brought on relapses and a return
of the feeling of painful fatigue. I also saw in some of these cases
what I still see at times under like circumstances,--a rapid loss of

I now begin by permitting the patient to sit up in bed, then to feed
herself, and next to sit up out of bed a few minutes at bedtime. In a
week, she is desired to sit up fifteen minutes twice a day, and this is
gradually increased until, at the end of six to twelve weeks, she rests
on the bed only three to five hours daily. Even after she moves about
and goes out, I insist for two months on absolute repose at least two or
three hours daily, and this must be understood to mean seclusion as well
as bodily quiet, free from the intrusion of household cares, visitors,
or any form of emotion or excitement, pleasureable or otherwise. In
cases of long-standing it may be desirable to continue this period of
isolation and to order as well an hour's lying down after each meal for
many months, in some such methodical way as is suggested in the schedule
on page 64.

The use of a hammock is found by some people to be a very agreeable
change from the bed during a part of the day.

The physician who discharges his patient when she rises from her bed
after her two or three months' treatment, or who neglects to consider
the moral and mental needs and aspects of each case, will find that many
will relapse. Even when the patient has left the direct care of the
doctor and returned to home and its avocations she will find help and
comfort in the knowledge that she can apply to him if necessary, and it
is well to hold some sort of relation by occasional visits or
correspondence, however brief, for six months or a year after treatment
has been completed.



How to deprive rest of its evils is the title with which I might very
well have labelled this chapter. I have pointed out what I mean by rest,
how it hurts, and how it seems to help; and, as I believe that it is
useful in most cases only if employed in conjunction with other means,
the study of these becomes of the first importance.

The two aids which by degrees I learned to call upon with confidence to
enable me to use rest without doing harm are massage and electricity. We
have first to deal with massage, and I give some care to the description
of details, because even now it is imperfectly understood in this
country, and because I wish to emphasize some facts about it which are
not well known, I think, on either side of the Atlantic.

Massage in some form has long been in use in the East, and is well known
as the _lommi-lommi_ of the slothful inhabitants of the Sandwich
Islands. In Japan it is reserved as an occupation for the blind, whose
delicate sense of feeling might, I should think, very well fit them for
this task. It is, however, in these countries less used in disease than
as the luxury of the rich; nor can I find in the few books on the
subject that it has been resorted to habitually as a tonic in Europe, or
otherwise than as a means of treating local disorders.

It is many years since I first saw in this city general massage used by
a charlatan in a case of progressive paralysis. The temporary results he
obtained were so remarkable that I began soon after to employ it in
locomotor ataxia, in which it sometimes proved of signal value, and in
other forms of spinal and local disease. At first I had to train nurses
to use it, but I soon found that, although it was of some service to
their patients, no one could use massage well who was not continually
engaged in doing it. Some men do it better than any woman; but I prefer,
nevertheless, for obvious reasons, to reserve men for male patients,
except that in cases where _strength_ is of moment, as in the forced
movements and the very hard rubbing needed for old articular adhesions,
in which force must be exercised without violence, it is usually
impossible to secure the necessary power in a feminine manipulator.

A few years later I resorted to it in the first cases which I treated by
rest, and I very soon found that I had in it an agent little understood
and of singular utility.

It will be necessary, in pursuance of my plan, to describe as minutely
as the limits of a chapter will allow how and why this means is
employed. The process and order of what is known to the manipulator as
"general massage" follows.

After three or four days in bed have somewhat accustomed the patient to
the general routine of treatment, a masseur or masseuse is set to work.
If any special care is needed,--the avoidance of manipulating one part
or added attention to another, tender handling of a sensitive or timid
patient,--these matters have been ordered in advance by the physician.
An hour midway between meals is chosen, and, the patient lying in bed
between blankets, the manipulator begins, usually with the feet. A few
rapid rubs of the whole foot and leg are given to start with; then the
leg, except the foot and ankle, is covered up, and the operation
commences upon the foot, of which the skin is picked up and rolled
between the fingers, the whole foot receiving careful attention,--the
toes are pulled, bent, and moved in every direction, the inter-osseous
groups worked over with the thumbs and fingers or finger-tips, the
larger muscles and subcutaneous tissues squeezed and kneaded, and last
the whole mass of the foot rolled and pressed against the bones with
both hands. A few rapid upward strokings with some force complete the
treatment of the part, and the ankle is next dealt with. The joint is
moved in every possible direction, slowly but firmly, the crevices
between the articulating bones sought out and kneaded with the
finger-tips, and the foot and ankle are then carefully covered. After
the same rapid stroking upward of the leg with which it began has been
repeated for the sake of the slight stimulation of the skin-vessels and
nerves, the muscles of the leg are treated, first by friction of the
more superficially placed masses, then by careful deep kneading
(_pétrissage_) of the large muscles of the calf, twisting, pressing, and
rolling them about the bone with one hand while the other supports the
limb. In fat or heavily-muscled subjects it may be necessary to use both
hands to get sufficient grasp of the muscles. The tibialis anticus and
muscles of the outer side of the leg are operated upon by rolling them
under the finger-tips and by pressing with the thumb while firmly
pushing upward from the ankle to the knee. At brief intervals the
manipulator seizes the limb in both hands and lightly runs the grasp
upward, so as to favor the flow of the venous blood-currents, and then
returns to the kneading of the muscles,--and each part is finished by
light yet firm upward stroking, the hand returning downward more
lightly, yet without breaking its contact with the skin.

Care must be taken as the different groups of muscles are treated that
the leg is placed in the position which will most completely relax the
ones to be operated upon. Any tension of muscles wholly defeats the
effort of the masseur.

After completing the process upon both legs, the arm is next treated in
the same manner, the hand receiving somewhat more detailed attention
than the foot. Pains must be taken to reach the several groups of the
forearm by operating from both sides of the arm. The ordinary
manipulation of the shoulder can be accomplished with the patient lying
down; but if special conditions, such as articular stiffening, call for
unusual care or unusual force, it will be found best to treat the
shoulder with the patient seated. The treatment of the arms is concluded
with upward stroking (_effleurage_), as with the leg.

In the order usually pursued, the back is the next region treated. The
patient lies prone, folding the arms under the head; a firm pillow is
put under the epigastric region, so as to the better relax the back
muscles, which are too tense when a person lies flat. Beginning from the
occiput, both hands stroke firmly and rapidly downward and outward to
the spines of the scapulæ, at first lightly, then with increasing force.
Then the whole back is vigorously rubbed--scrubbed one might call
it--with up-and-down strokes, as a preliminary application. The erector
spinæ masses are treated by careful finger-tip kneading. Working from
the spine outward to the axillary line, the muscles of the ribs are
acted upon with flat-hand rubbing. The groups of the upper back and
shoulder-blades are kneaded and squeezed, the arms being partly
abducted so as to separate the shoulder-blades and allow the operator to
reach the muscles underlying them. The lumbar regions receive their
manipulation last. If it is desirable to give special attention or an
extra share of manipulation to any part of the spinal region, this is
done as the physician may have ordered, and the whole process is
completed by downward friction over the spine, given vigorously and as
rapidly as possible.

The chest is the next region to be handled, the patient turning from the
prone to the supine position. In women the breasts are usually best left
untouched unless special conditions demand their treatment.

The last and perhaps most important part of the process of general
massage is the rubbing of the abdomen. Particular care is needed to
secure complete relaxation, as nervous patients and, still more,
hysterical patients are apt to present extreme rigidity of the abdominal
muscles. The head is raised by pillows, the knees are slightly flexed
and sometimes supported by a folded pillow also. With this position the
rigidity generally yields to gentle persistence, at any rate after a
few treatments. If it does not do so, a lateral decubitus may be tried,
a position in which the intestinal regions may be very thoroughly
treated, and in which, if there be gastric dilatation, the stomach-walls
can be best reached. Sweeping circular frictions about the navel as a
centre begin the process; the abdominal walls are then kneaded and
pinched[16] with one or both hands; deep, firm kneading of the whole
belly with the heel of the hand follows, the movements following the
course of the colon. Next, the fingers of one hand are all held together
in a pyramidal fashion and thrust firmly and slowly into the abdomen, in
ordinary cases both hands being used thus alternately, in fat or
resisting abdomens one hand pressing upon and aiding the other, and
travelling thus over the ascending, transverse, and descending colon.
To conclude, the whole belly is shaken by a rapid vibratory motion of
the hands (to which is sometimes added succussion by slapping with the
flat or cupped hand), and the whole process ends with quick, circular
rubbing of the surface.

In cases of troublesome constipation or where other special indications
exist, treatment of the abdomen may be much extended beyond the limits
here suggested, and indeed it must be remembered that the process of
"general massage" as described is capable of a great variety of useful
modification to meet individual needs, and is so modified daily by the
careful physician and the watchful masseur. It would not be possible or
desirable here to describe all the movements which a skilful rubber
makes in his treatment, and I have only attempted a skeleton-statement.
It will perhaps be noticed by those familiar with the technique of
massage that nothing is here said about the use of the movements classed
under the general head of "tapotement," the tapping and slapping
motions. They have no proper place in the treatment of cases of
nervousness, and usually will serve only to irritate and annoy the
patient, and often greatly to increase the nervous excitement. Their
routine use or over-use constitutes one of the defects of the system of
massage as usually practised by the Swedish operators; and when patients
tell me, as many do, that "they cannot stand massage," it is often found
that the performance of a great deal of this useless and fretting
manipulation has constituted a great part of the treatment, and that
deep, thorough, quiet kneading can be perfectly borne.

A few precautions are necessary to observe. The grasping hand should
carry the skin with it, not slip over the skin, as the drag thus put
upon the hairs will, if daily repeated, cause troublesome boils. The use
of a lubricant avoids this, and is a favorite device of unskilful
manipulators. It also does away with much of the good effected by
skin-friction, is uncleanly, very annoying to many patients, promotes an
unsightly growth of hair, and should be avoided except where it is
desired to rub into the system some oleaginous material. There are
exceptional cases where a very dry, harsh skin or a tendency to
excessive sweating during massage makes the use of some unguent
desirable. Cocoa-oil may be used, or what is perhaps more agreeable,
lanolin softened to the consistency of very thick cream by the addition
of oil of sweet almonds. As little as possible should be made to serve.

Too much care cannot be used to cover with stockings and warm wraps the
parts after in turn they have been subjected to massage. As to time, at
first the massage should last half an hour, but should be increased in a
week to a full hour. I observe that Dr. Playfair has it used twice a day
or more, and I have since had it so employed in some cases, letting the
masseuse come before noon, and allowing the nurse to use it at night if
it does not interfere with sleep, which is a matter to be tested solely
by experiment. Commonly, one hour once daily suffices. I was at one time
in the habit of suspending the use of both massage and electricity
during menstruation, because I found occasionally that these agents
disturbed or checked the normal flow. Of late, however, I continue to
employ both agents, but confine them to the limbs. I have met with rare
cases in which almost any massage gave rise to a uterine hemorrhage, and
in which the utmost caution became necessary.

Women who have a sensitive abdominal surface or ovarian tenderness have
of course to be handled with care, but in a few days a practised rubber
will by degrees intrude upon the tender regions, and will end by
kneading them with all desirable force. The same remarks apply to the
spine when it is hurt by a touch; and it is very rare indeed to find
persons whose irritable spots cannot at last be rubbed and kneaded to
their permanent profit.

Sometimes when the patient is found to be much exhausted by massage, it
is well to give some stimulating concentrated food afterwards;
occasionally it may be necessary both before and after. In this case it
would be well to see that the rubbing was not being made too severe.

Very rarely I find a patient to whom all massage is so disagreeable or
produces such annoying nervousness as to make manipulation impossible;
sometimes, though very rarely, massage, especially frictional movements,
causes sexual excitement when applied in the neighborhood of the genital
organs, or even on the buttocks and lower spine, and this may occur in
either sane or insane patients: if the rubber observe any signs of this,
it will of course be best to avoid handling the areas which are thus

Another complaint sometimes made is of chilliness after treatment, and
especially of cold feet. If this is not lessened after a few days, the
lower extremities may be rubbed last instead of first, or as is now and
then useful, the whole order of massage may be changed so as to begin
with the abdomen, chest, and upper extremities and conclude with the
back and legs.[17]

Beginning with half an hour and gradually increasing to about an hour (a
little more for very large or very fat people,--a little less for the
small or thin) the daily massage is kept up through at least six weeks,
and then if everything seems to be going along well, I direct the rubber
or nurse to spend half of the hour in exercising the limbs as a
preparation for walking. This is done after the Swedish plan, by making
very slowly passive and extreme extensions and flexions of the limbs for
a few days, then assisted movements, next active unassisted movements,
and last active movements gently resisted by nurse or masseuse. When the
patient is able to sit and stand, it is well to keep up and extend the
number of these gentle gymnastic acts and to encourage the patient to
make them habitual, or at least to keep them up for many months after
the conclusion of treatment.[18]

At the seventh week massage is used on alternate days, and is commonly
laid aside when the patient gets up and begins to move about.

In 1877, several of the members of the staff of the Infirmary for
Nervous Disease, and especially my colleague, Dr. Wharton Sinkler,
obliged me by studying with care the influence of massage on
temperature, and some very interesting results were obtained. In
general, when a highly hysterical person is rubbed, the legs are apt to
grow cold under the stimulation, and if this continues to be complained
of it is no very good omen of the ultimate success of the treatment. But
usually in a few days a change takes place, and the limbs all grow warm
when kneaded, as happens in most people from the beginning of the
treatment.[19] The extremely low temperature of the limbs of children
suffering with so-called essential paralysis is well known. I have
frequently seen these strangely cold parts rise, under an hour's
massage, six to ten degrees F. In such small limbs, the long contact of
a warm hand may account for at least a part of this notable rise in
temperature. In adults this can hardly be looked upon as a cause of the
rise of temperature produced by massage, first, because the long
exposure of large surfaces incident to the process is calculated to
lessen whatever increase of heat the contact of the hand may cause, and
secondly, because this rise is a very variable quantity, and because
occasionally some other and less comprehensible factors actually induce
a fall rather than a rise in the thermometer as a result of massage.

In very nervous or hysterical women, ignorant of what the act of
kneading may be expected to bring about, and especially in such as are
thin and anæmic and have either a somewhat high or an unusually low
normal temperature, we may find at first a slight fall of the
thermometer, then a fairly constant rise, with some irregularities, and
at last, as the health improves, a lessening effect or none at all.

The most notable rise is to be found in persons who, owing to some
organic disease, have acquired liability to great changes of

It is impossible to observe the increase of heat which follows both
massage and electricity without inferring that these agents must for a
time, like exercise and other tonics, increase the tissue-waste by the
stimulus they cause of the general and interstitial circulations, and by
the direct influence they seem to have on the tissues themselves. I have
sought to study this matter carefully by placing patients on a fixed and
competent diet of milk alone, and by estimating the waste of tissues as
shown in the secretions before and after the use of massage. This study,
although it was never completed in a satisfactory manner, would seem to
show that massage does not much alter the total elimination of the
entire day, but causes a large and abrupt increase within three hours,
followed by a compensatory decline.[20]

I add a number of tables, which very well illustrate the facts above
stated as to rise of temperature.

Mrs. J., at rest, on the usual diet. Manipulation at 11, daily:

Before Massage.  After Massage.

100                 100

100                 100-1/5

99-2/5              99-4/5

99-4/5              100

99-2/5              100

100                 100

99-4/5              100

99-4/5              100

Miss P., æt. 24, hysteria:

Before Massage.  After Massage.

99-1/4              99-1/4

98-1/4              99

98-1/2              99

98-1/4              99

98-1/4              98-1/4

99                  99-3/4

100-1/5             100-2/5

100-2/5             101-2/5

100-2/5             100-3/5

100-3/5             100

Mrs. L., a very thin, feeble, and bloodless woman, æt. 29 years:

Before Massage.  After Massage.

99               100

98-1/2           99-1/5

98               98-2/5

99               100

98-2/5           98-4/5

99               99-4/5

100              100-1/5

99               99-4/5

Mrs. P., æt. 31, feeble and anæmic, nervous, slight albuminuria and
chronic bronchitis. Liable to fever. 3 P.M.:

Before Massage.  After Massage.

101-3/5           102

100               100-4/5

99                99-4/5

100               101

99-2/5            100-1/5

99-4/5            100-3/5

100-3/5           101-3/5

100-2/5           99-4/5

100-3/5           100-2/5

100-3/10          100-9/10

99-1/5            99-4/5

These temperatures were taken always before 4 P.M., and at intervals of
three days. Her morning temperature was usually 99° to 99-4/5°, and in
the evening, 9 to 10 o'clock, it always rose to 100°, 101°, and at times
to 102°.

As I have said already, there are persons who, under circumstances
seemingly alike, have from massage a large rise of temperature, and
others who experience none. I give a single case of what is rare but not
exceptional,--an almost constant fall of temperature.

Miss N., æt. 21, hysteria, good condition:

Before Massage.     After Massage.

     98                97-3/5

     98-1/2            98-1/2

     98                98

     98-2/5            98

     98-4/5            98

These facts are, of course, extremely interesting; but it is well to add
that the success of the treatment is not indicated in any constant way
by the thermal changes, which are neither so steady nor so remarkable as
those caused by electricity.

If now we ask ourselves why massage does good in cases of absolute rest,
the answer--at least a partial answer--is not difficult. The secretions
of the skin are stimulated by the treatment of that tissue, and it is
visibly flushed, as it ought to be, from time to time, by ordinary
active exercise. Under massage the flabby muscles acquire a certain
firmness, which at first lasts only for a few minutes, but which after a
time is more enduring and ends by becoming permanent. The firm grasp of
the manipulator's hand stimulates the muscle, and, if sudden, may cause
it to contract sensibly, which, however, is not usually desirable or
agreeable. The muscles are by these means exercised without the use of
volitional exertion or the aid of the nervous centres, and at the same
time the alternate grasp and relaxation of the manipulator's hands
squeezes out the blood and allows it to flow back anew, thus healthfully
exciting the vessels and increasing mechanically the flow of blood to
the tissues which they feed. It is possible also that a real increase in
the production of red corpuscles is brought about by repeated
applications of massage, as will be seen later on.

The visible results as regards the surface-circulation are sufficiently
obvious, and most remarkably so in persons who, besides being anæmic and
thin, have been long unused to exercise. After a few treatments the
nails become pink, the veins show where before none were to be seen,
the larger vessels grow fuller, and the whole tint of the body changes
for the better.

In like manner the sore places which previously existed, or which were
brought into sensitive prominence by the manipulation, by degrees cease
to be felt, and a general sensation of comfort and ease follows the
later treatments.

Although this plan of acting on the muscles seems to dispense with any
demands upon the centres, it is not to be supposed that it is altogether
without influence on these parts. In fact, extreme use of massage
occasionally flushes the face and causes sense of fulness in the head or
ache in the back. The actual large increase in the number of corpuscles
in the circulation brought about by massage may be one of the reasons
for this. We have added, perhaps, millions of cells to the number in the
vessels in a very short time, and need not be astonished if some signs
of plethora follow. Moreover, in some spinal maladies it has effects not
to be altogether explained by its mechanical stimulation of the muscles,
nerves, and skin.

That the deep circulation shares in the changes which are so obvious in
the superficial vessels has been shown by various observers of
experimental and clinical facts. Firm deep muscle-kneading of the
general surface will almost always slow and strengthen the pulse. If the
abdomen alone is thoroughly rubbed the same effect appears in the pulse,
but less in degree, and massage of the abdomen has also a distinct
effect in increasing the flow of urine, a fact worth remembering in
cases of heart-disease. In a case of albuminuria from exercise, W.W.
Keen has shown that massage did not cause the return of the albumin
after rest, though exercise did, a difference due to the opposite
effects upon blood-pressure of the two forms of activity. Lauder-Brunton
has shown that more blood passes through a masséed part after treatment.
Dr. Eccles and Dr. Douglas Graham both found a decided decrease in the
circumference of a limb after massage, showing how completely the veins
must have been emptied, for the time at least,--an emptying which would
surely be followed by an increased flow of arterial blood into the
treated region. Dr. J.K. Mitchell, in 1894,[21] made a large number of
examinations of the blood before and after massage, some in patients
under treatment for a variety of disorders affecting the integrity of
the blood, and a few in perfectly healthy men. With scarcely an
exception there was a large increase in the number of corpuscles in a
cubic millimetre, and an increase, though of less extent, in the
hæmoglobin-content. Studies made at various intervals after treatment
showed that the increase was greatest at the end of about an hour, after
which it slowly decreased again; but this decrease was postponed longer
and longer when the manipulation was continued regularly as a daily
measure.[22] The author's conclusions from these examinations were
interesting, and I quote them somewhat fully. The fact that the
hæmoglobin is less decidedly increased than the corpuscular elements
makes it seem at least probable that what happens is, that in all the
conditions in which anæmia is a feature there are globules which are not
doing their duty, but which are called out by the necessities of
increased circulatory activity brought about by massage. If this is the
first effect, yet as it is observed that the increase of corpuscles, at
first passing, soon becomes permanent, we must conclude that massage has
the ultimate effect of stimulating the production of red corpuscles.

One sometimes hears doubts expressed whether a patient with a high-grade
anæmia is not "too feeble for such strong treatment" as massage. This
study of one of the ways in which massage affects such cases may fairly
be taken as proof of the certainty and safety of its effect on them,
provided always it be done properly and with intelligence. Some check
upon this may be had, as is said elsewhere, by the general effect upon
the patient. It may be repeated that the pulse should be slower and
stronger after an hour of deep massage, and that this effect will not be
produced by superficial rubbing (indeed, with light or too rapid
manipulation the pulse may become both less strong and more rapid), and
finally the flow of urine should be increased. With these easily
observed facts to aid, it may readily be judged whether massage is being
rightly applied or not without the need of a visit from the physician
during the hour of treatment. A final test might readily be made by
examination of the blood and counting the red corpuscles before and
after treatment. No doubt in very bad cases a small increase or none
would be found at first, but a week of daily manipulation should show a
distinct addition to the blood count. A striking instance in which this
examination was repeatedly made is related on p. 184.

"It is evident that our present definitions of anæmia are insufficient.
An essential part of the description in all of them is that there are
defects of number, of color, or of both in the blood. This is not
necessarily or always true. The fault may lie in a lack of activity or
of availability in the corpuscles. The state of things in the system may
be like the want of circulating money during times of panic, when gold
is hoarded and not made use of, and interference with commerce and
manufactures results.

"Neither an anæmic appearance nor a blood-count is alone enough for a
certain diagnosis. Other signs must be used as a check on the blood
examination for the establishment of the existence of anæmia. For
instance, many cases here recorded had full normal or even supra-normal
corpuscle-count, with a good percentage of hæmoglobin. Yet they
presented every external sign of poverty of blood: pallor of skin and,
more important still, of mucous membranes, cold extremities, anorexia,
indigestion, dyspnoea on trifling exertion. In such cases we must suppose
either that the total volume of the blood is reduced, or that the
usefulness of the corpuscles is in some way impaired, or that both these
troubles exist together."[23]

I have said above that the face was not touched in the course of the
rubbing. There are cases, however, in which massage of the head and face
may be usefully practised. Some obstinate neuralgias are helped by it
temporarily, and very often it is of use with other means to aid in a
permanent cure. Many headaches of a passing character may be dissipated
promptly by careful massage of the head or by downward stroking over the
jugular veins at the sides of the neck to lessen the flow of blood into
the cerebral vessels, where the pain is due to congestion or distention,
and careful manipulation of the facial muscles in paralysis is of
service in restoring loss of tone and improving their nutrition. It is
worth adding here, as women patients frequently say that during their
illness the hair has become thin or shown a great tendency to fall, that
daily firm finger-tip massage of the head for ten or twelve minutes,
followed by rubbing into the scalp of a small amount of a tonic, either
a bland oil or if need be of some more stimulating material, will in a
great majority of the instances where loss of hair is due to general
ill-health perfectly restore its vigor and even its color.

I am accustomed to pay a good deal of attention to the observations made
on these and other points by practised manipulators, and I find that
their daily familiarity with every detail of the color, warmth, and
firmness of the tissues is of great use to me.

A great deal of nonsense is talked and written as to the use and the
usefulness of massage. The "professional rubber" not unnaturally makes a
mystery of it, and patients talk foolishly about "magnetism" and
"electricity;" but what is needed is a strong, warm, soft hand, directed
by ordinary intelligence and instructed by practice; and this is the
whole of the matter, except in the massage of such obscure conditions
as need full knowledge of the anatomical relations and physiological
functions of the parts to be rubbed. It is a fact that I have known
country physicians who, desiring to use massage and not having a
practitioner of it within reach, have themselves trained persons to do
it, with considerable resultant success.

It is not, perhaps, putting it too strongly to say that bad massage is
better than none in those cases in which manipulation is needed. Very
little harm can result from its use even by unskilled hands, provided
that reasonable intelligence direct them.



Electricity is the second means which I have made use of for the purpose
of exercising muscles in persons at rest. It has also an additional
value, of which I shall presently speak.

In order to exercise the muscles best and with the least amount of pain
and annoyance, we make use of an induction current, with interruptions
as slow as one in every two to five seconds, a rate readily obtained in
properly-constructed batteries.[24] This plan is sure to give painless
exercise, but it is less rapid and less complete as to the quality of
the exercise caused than the movements evolved by very rapid
interruptions. These, in the hands of a clever operator who knows his
anatomy well, are therefore, on the whole, more satisfactory, but they
require some experience to manage them so as not to shock and disgust
the patient by inflicting needless pain. The poles, covered with
absorbent cotton well wetted with salt water, which may be readily
changed, so as not to use the same material more than once, are placed
on each muscle in turn, and kept about four inches apart. They are moved
fast enough to allow of the muscles being well contracted, which is
easily managed, and with sufficient speed, if the assistant be
thoroughly acquainted with the points of Ziemssen. The smaller electrode
should cover the motor-point and the larger be used upon an indifferent
area. After the legs are treated, the muscles of the belly and back and
loins are gone over systematically, and finally those of the chest and
arms. The face and neck are neglected. About forty minutes to an hour
are needed; but at first a less time is employed. The general result is
to exercise in turn all the external muscles.[25]

No such obvious and visible results are seen as we observe after
massage, but the thermal changes are much more constant and remarkable,
and show at least that we are not dealing with an agent which merely
amuses the patient or acts alone through some mysterious influence on
the mental status.

A half-hour's treatment of the muscles commonly gives rise to a marked
elevation of temperature, which fades away within an hour or two. This
effect is, like that from massage, most notable in persons liable to
fever from some organic trouble, and it varies as to its degree in
individuals who have no such disease.

The first case, Miss B., æt. 20, is an example of tubercular disease of
the apex of the right lung. She had a morning temperature of 98-1/2° to
99-1/2°, and an evening temperature of 100° to 102°.

Electricity was used about 11 o'clock daily, with these results:

             Before Electricity.  After Electricity.

November 25        99                  99-3/5
    "    27        97-3/5             100
    "    28        98                  99
    "    29        98-4/5              99-4/5

December  2       100-1/5             101-3/5
    "     4        99-1/5             100-1/5
    "     5        99-2/5              99-1/5

Mrs. R., æt. 40, the next case, was merely a rather anæmic, feeble, and
thin woman, who for years had not been able to endure any prolonged
effort. She got well under the general treatment, gaining thirteen
pounds on a weight of ninety-eight pounds, her height being five feet
and one inch. The facts as to rise of temperature are most remarkable,
and, I need not say, were carefully observed.

Temperature taken in the mouth while at rest in bed.

           Before Electricity.   After Electricity.

April 2        98-2/5                 98-4/5
 "    3        98-1/5                 98-2/5
 "    4        98-1/5                 98-2/5
 "    5        98                     98-3/5
 "    6        97-9/10                98-7/10
 "    7        98                     98-5/10
 "    8        98                     98-3/5
 "    9        98                     98-1/10
 "   10        98-2/5                 98-3/5
 "   11        98-5/10                98-7/10
 "   12        98-3/5                 99-1/10
 "   13        98-1/5                 99-5/10
 "   14        98-2/5                 99-1/5
 "   16        98-4/10                99-1/10
 "   17        98-5/10                99-2/10
 "   18        98-7/10                99-1/10  One hour later, 99-1/10
 "   19        98-9/10                99-3/10   "   "     "  , 98-4/5

            Before Electricity.   After Electricity.

April 20           99                   99-1/10

  "   21           98-9/10              99-2/10
                        Menstrual period.

  "   30           98-3/5               98-3/5

May    1           98                   98-5/10

 "     2           98                   98-3/10

The third case, Miss M., æt. 33, was that of a pallid woman, the
daughter of a well-known physician in the South. She suffered for six
years with "nervous exhaustion," headaches, pain in the back, intense
depression of spirits, nausea, and repeated attacks of hysteria. She
slept only under anodynes, and used stimulants freely. Under the use of
rest and the adjuvant treatment described, Miss M. made a thorough
recovery, and was restored to useful active life.

Miss M. Thermometer held in mouth.

        Before Electricity.  After Electricity.

May 14       99-1/10             99-1/10 } Menstruating; general
                                         } faradization only.
 "  15       99                  99-1/5  }

 "  16       99-1/5              99-1/5  Gen'l faradization and limbs.

 "  17       98-4/5              99-1/5

 "  18       98-4/5              99-1/5

 "  19       98-1/5              98-4/5

 "  21       98-3/5              99

 "  22       98-4/5              99-1/10

            Before Electricity.   After Electricity.

May 25             98-1/10              98-4/10

 "  26             98-1/10              99-1/10

 "  29             98-3/5               99

 "  30             98-5/10              99-1/10

 "  31             98-9/10              99-1/10

Mrs. P., æt. 38, was a rather nervous woman, easily tired, but not
anæmic and not very thin. She improved greatly under the treatment.

           Before Electricity.  After Electricity.

January 27    98-3/5                 99-1/5  Thermometer in axilla ten

   "    29    98-2/5                 99-1/5  minutes before and after.

   "    30    99-1/5                 99-3/5

   "    31    98-4/5                 99-2/5

February  1   99                     99-2/5
                               Menstrual period.

February  8   98-2/5                 99-1/5

   "      9   98-3/5                 99

   "     10   98-2/5                 99

   "     12   98-1/5                 99-3/5

   "     13   98-2/5                 99

   "     14   98-2/5                 98-3/5

   "     15   98-2/5                 98-4/5

   "     19   99                     98-2/5

   "     20   98                     99

   "     23   98-3/5                 99-4/5 Thermometer in mouth five

   "     24   99                     99-2/5 minutes before and after.

   "     27   99-1/5                 99-3/5

   "     28   98-4/5                 99-4/5
                                 Menstrual period.

Menstrual period.

            Before Electricity. After Electricity.

March 13          99                 99-2/5

  "   14          98-4/5             98-4/5

  "   15          99                 99-1/5

Miss R., æt. 27, was a fair case of hysterical conditions; over-use of
chloral and bromides; anorexia and loss of flesh and color.

Thermometer in mouth.

       Before Electricity. After Electricity.

May 15      100               100      }
                                       } General faradization
 "  16      100               100      } for fifteen minutes.
 "  17      100-1/5           100-2/5  }

 "  18       98-2/5            98-3/5  } General faradization,
                                       } fifteen minutes, also of
 "  19       99-4/5           100-1/10 } arm muscles, twenty minutes.

May 20      100-1/10          100
                                         General faradization, ten
 "  22       99-2/5            99-3/5    minutes; arms and legs
                                         twenty minutes.
 "  26       99-1/10           99-2/10

 "  27       99-3/10           99-4/10

 "  28       99-2/5            99-2/5

 "  29       99-3/10           99-3/10

 "  30       99-1/10           99-4/10

 "  31       99-1/10           99-2/10

June  2      99-3/5            99-4/5

 "    4      99-5/10           99-6/10

 "    6      99-3/10           99-5/10

 "    7      99-3/10           99-5/10

I have given these full details because I have not seen elsewhere any
statement of the rather remarkable phenomena which they exemplify. It
may be that a part at least of the thermal change is due to the muscular
action, although this seems hardly competent to account for any large
share in the alteration of temperature, and we must look further to
explain it fully. No mental excitement can be called upon as a cause,
since it continues after the patient is perfectly accustomed to the
process. I should add, also, that in most cases the subject of the
experiment was kept in ignorance of the fact that a rise of the
thermometer was to be expected. Is it not possible that the current even
of an induction battery has the power so to stimulate the tissues as to
cause an increase in the ordinary rate of disintegrative change? Perhaps
a careful study of the secretions might lend force to this suggestion.
That the muscular action produced by the battery is not essential to the
increase of bodily heat is shown by the next set of facts to which I
desire to call attention.

Some years ago, Messrs. Beard and Rockwell stated that when an induced
current is used for fifteen to thirty minutes daily, one pole on the
neck and one on either foot, or alternately on both, the persistent use
of this form of treatment is decidedly tonic in its influence. I believe
that in this opinion they were perfectly correct, and I am now able to
show that, when thus employed, the induced current causes also a decided
rise of temperature in many people, which proves at least that it is in
some way an active agent, capable of positively influencing the
nutritive changes of the body.

The rise of temperature thus caused is less constant, as well as less
marked, than that occasioned by the muscle treatment. I do not think it
necessary to give the tables in full. They show in the best cases, rises
of one-fifth to four-fifths of a degree F., and were taken with the
utmost care to exclude all possible causes of error.

The mode of treatment is as follows: At the close of the
muscle-electrization one pole is placed on the nape of the neck and one
on a foot for fifteen minutes. Then the foot pole is shifted to the
other foot and left for the same length of time.

The primary current is used, as being less painful, and the
interruptions are made as rapid as possible, while the cylinder or
control wires are adjusted so as to give a current which is not

It is desirable to have electricity used by a practised hand, but of
late I have found that intelligent nurses may suffice, and this, of
course, materially lessens the cost. In very timid or nervous people, or
those who at some time have been severely "shocked" by the application
of electricity in the hands of charlatans, it is common to find the
patient greatly dreading a return to its use. In this case, if the
battery be started and the poles moved about on the surface as usual,
but without any connection being made, one of two things will
happen,--either the patient will naturally find it very mild, and will
submit fearlessly to a gentle and increasing treatment, or else her
apprehensions will so dominate her as to cause her to complain of the
effects as exciting or tiring her, or as spoiling her sleep. A few words
of kindly explanation will suffice to show her how much expectation has
to do with the apparent results, and she will be found, if the matter be
managed with tact, to have learned a lesson of wide usefulness
throughout her treatment.

However, there are occasional, though very rare, cases in which it is
impossible to use faradism at all by reason of the insomnia and
nervousness which result even after very careful and gentle application
of the current. On the other hand, some patients find the effect of the
electric application so soothing as to promote sleep, and will ask to
have it repeated or regularly given in the evening.

I have been asked very often if all the means here described be
necessary, and I have been criticised by some of the reviewers of my
first edition because I had not pointed out the relative needfulness of
the various agencies employed. In fact, I have made very numerous
clinical studies of cases, in some of which I used rest, seclusion, and
massage, and in others rest, seclusion, and electricity. It is, of
course, difficult, I may say impossible, to state in any numerical
manner the reason for my conclusion in favor of the conjoined use of all
these means. If one is to be left out, I have no hesitation in saying
that it should be electricity.



The somewhat wearisome and minute details I have given as to seclusion,
rest, massage, and electricity have prepared the way for a discussion of
the dietetic and medicinal treatment which without them would be neither
possible nor useful.

As to diet, we have to be guided somewhat by the previous condition and
history of the patient.

It is difficult to treat any of these cases without a resort at some
time more or less to the use of milk. In most dyspeptic cases--and few
neurasthenic women fail to be obstinately dyspeptic--milk given at the
outset, and given alone by Karell's method for a fortnight or less,
enormously simplifies our treatment. Even after that, milk is the best
and most easily managed addition to a general diet. As to its use with
rest and massage as an exclusive diet in obesity alone or in extreme
fatness with anæmia, I spoke in a former edition with a confidence
which has been increased by the added experience of physicians on both
sides of the Atlantic. Finally, there are exceptional cases of
intestinal pain of obscure parentage or seemingly neuralgic, of
dyspepsia incorrigible by other treatments, which, having resulted in
grave general defects of nutrition, are best treated by several weeks of
milk diet, combined with rest, massage, and electricity. Milk,
therefore, must be so much used in these cases in connection with the
general treatment I am describing that it is perhaps as well to say more
clearly how it is to be employed when given alone or with other food. I
am the more willing to do this because I have learned certain facts as
to the effects of milk diet which have, I believe, hitherto escaped
observation. In fact, the study of the therapeutic influence and full
results of exclusive diets is yet to be made; nor can I but believe that
accurate dietetics will come to be a far more useful part of our means
of managing certain cases than as yet seems possible.

We are indebted chiefly to Dr. Karell, of St. Petersburg, for our
knowledge of the value of milk as an exclusive diet, and to Dr. Donkin
for the extension of Karell's treatment to diabetes. I shall formulate
as curtly as possible the rules to be followed in using milk as an
exclusive diet in dyspeptic states, and in anæmia with obesity, and in
the latter state uncomplicated by defective hæmic conditions.

For fuller statements as to the reasons for the various rules to be
observed in using milk, I must refer the reader to Karell's paper and to
Donkin's book.

Have the utmost care used as to preservation of the milk employed, and
as to the perfect cleansing of all vessels in which it is kept. Use
well-skimmed milk, as fresh as can be had, and, if possible, let it be
obtained from the cow twice a day. Or if this is not possible, or where
any doubt exists as to the condition of the milk, or any difficulty is
experienced in keeping it fresh, it may be pasteurized as soon as
received by heating it to 160°, keeping it some minutes at this point,
and at once chilling on ice. For this purpose it is best to have the
milk in bottles, and to heat by immersing the bottles in a water-bath.
For longer preservation, as, for example, when travelling, sterilizing
may be more thoroughly done by greater heat and lengthened immersion.
Still, these should be expedients for use only when milk cannot be
secured fresh and in good order, as it is more than doubtful if the milk
is so well borne when it has been altered by these processes.

For ordinary daily use it might be better to let all the milk for the
day be peptonized in the morning with pancreatic extract, to the extent
which is found to be agreeable to the patient's taste, and then preserve
it by placing it upon ice. In this way milk may be kept for several
days. Then, too, it has been found that where even skimmed milk upsets
the stomach of patients, milk prepared in this manner can be taken
without trouble. In peptonizing, the directions which accompany the
powders to be used for that purpose should be followed carefully. It is
to be remembered that if the patient desires to take the milk warm, the
process of conversion into peptones, which has been stopped by the cold,
will be promptly started again when the fluid is warmed, and then a very
few minutes will suffice to make it disagreeably bitter. At first the
skimming should be thorough, and for the treatment of dyspepsia or
albuminuria the milk must be as creamless as possible. The milk of the
common cow is, for our purposes, preferable to that of the Alderney. It
may be used warm or cold, but, except in rare cases of diarrhoea, should
not be boiled.

It ought to be given at least every two hours at first, in quantities
not to exceed four ounces, and as the amount taken is enlarged, the
periods between may be lengthened, but not beyond three hours during the
waking day, the last dose to be used at bedtime or near it. If the
patient be wakeful, a glass should be left within reach at night, and
always its use should be resumed as early as possible in the morning. A
little lime-water may be added to the night milk, to preserve it sweet,
and it should be kept covered.

The milk given during the day should be taken at set times, and very
slowly sipped in mouthfuls; and this is an important rule in many cases.
Where it is so disagreeable as to cause great disgust or nausea, the
addition of enough of tea or coffee or caramel or salt to merely flavor
it may enable us to make its use bearable, and we may by degrees abandon
these aids. Another plan, rarely needed, is to use milk with the general
diet and lessen the latter until only milk is employed. If these rules
be followed, it is rare to find milk causing trouble; but if its use
give rise to acidity, the addition of alkalies or lime-water may help
us, or these may be used and the milk scalded by adding a fourth of
boiling water to the milk, which has been previously put in a warm
glass. Some patients digest it best when it has the addition of a
teaspoonful of barley-or rice-water to each ounce, the main object being
to prevent the formation of large, firm clots in the stomach,--an end
which may also be attained by the addition at the moment of drinking of
a little carbonated water from a siphon. For the sake of variety,
buttermilk may be substituted for a portion of the fresh milk, and
though less nourishing it has the advantage of being mildly laxative.

When used as an exclusive diet, skimmed milk gives rise to certain very
interesting and what I might call normal symptoms. Since at first we can
rarely give enough to sustain the functions, for several days the
patient is apt to lose weight, which is another reason why exercise is
in such cases undesirable. This loss soon ceases, and in the end there
is usually a gain, while in most rest cases an exclusive milk diet may
be dispensed with after a week. Where milk is taken alone for weeks or
months, it is common enough to observe a large increase in bodily
weight. I have seen several times active men, even laboring men, live
for long periods on milk, with no loss of weight; but large quantities
have to be used,--two and a half to three gallons daily. A gentleman, a
diabetic, was under my observation for fifteen years, during the whole
of which time he took no other food but milk and carried on a large and
prosperous business. Milk may, therefore, be safely asserted to be a
sufficient food in itself, even for an adult, if only enough of it be

During the first week or two, exclusive milk diet gives rise to a marked
sense of sleepiness. It causes nearly always, and even for weeks of its
use, a white and thick fur on the tongue, and often for a time an
unpleasant sweetish taste in the early morning, neither of which need be
regarded. Intense constipation and yellowish stools of a peculiar odor
are usual. Of the former I shall speak in connection with the use of
milk in special cases. The influence of milk on the urinary secretion is
more remarkable, and has not been as yet fully studied.

There is, of course, a large flow of urine; and in dropsical cases due
to renal maladies this may exceed the ingested fluid and carry away very
rapidly the dropsical accumulations. It is sometimes annoying to nervous
persons because of the frequent micturition it makes necessary. I have
discovered that while skimmed milk alone is being taken, uric acid
usually disappears almost entirely from the urine, so that it is
difficult to discover even a trace of this substance; nor does it seem
to return so long as nothing but creamless milk is used. Almost any
large addition of other food, but especially of meat, enables us to find
it again. Creatine and creatinine also seem to lessen in amount, but of
the extent of this change I am not as yet fully informed.

A yet more singular alteration occurs as to the pigments. If after a
fortnight or less of exclusive milk diet we fill with the urine a long
test-tube, and, placing it beside a similar tube of the ordinary urine
of an adult, look down into the two tubes, we shall observe that the
milk urine has a singular greenish tint, which once seen cannot again be
mistaken. If we put some of this urine in a test-tube carefully upon hot
nitric acid, there is noticed none of the usual brown hue of oxidized
pigment at the plane of contact. In fact, it is often difficult to see
where the two fluids meet.

The precise nature of this greenish-yellow pigment has not, I believe,
been made out; but it seems clear that during a diet of milk the
ordinary pigments of the urine disappear or are singularly modified. A
single meal of meat will at once cause their return for a time.

These results have been carefully re-examined at my request by Dr.
Marshall in the Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, and his
results and my own have been found to accord; while he has also
discovered that during the use of milk the substances which give rise to
the ordinary fæcal odors disappear, and are replaced by others the
nature of which is not as yet fully comprehended. The changes I have
here pointed out are remarkable indications of the vast alterations in
assimilation and in the destruction of tissues which seem to take place
under the influence of this peculiar diet. Some of them may account for
its undoubted value in lithæmic or gouty states; but, at all events,
they point to the need for a more exhaustive study both of this and of
other methods of exclusive diet.

As regards milk, enough has here been said to act as a guide in its
practical use in the class of cases with which we are now concerned; but
I may add that it is sometimes useful, as the case progresses, to employ
in place of milk, or with it, some one of the various "children's
foods," such as Nestle's food, or malted milk.

Before dealing with the treatment of the anæmic and feeble and more or
less wasted invalids who require treatment by rest and its concomitant
aids, I desire to say a few words as to the use of rest, milk dietetics,
and massage in people who are merely cumbrously loaded with adipose
tissues, and also in the very small class of anæmic women who are
excessively fat and may or may not be hysterical, but are apt to be
feeble and otherwise wretched.

Karell has pointed out that on creamless milk diet fat people lose
flesh; and this is true; so that sometimes this mode of lessening weight
succeeds very well. But it does not always answer, because, as in
Banting, loss of weight is apt to be accompanied with loss of strength,
so that in some cases the results are disastrous, or at least alarming.
I do not know that this is ever the case if the directions of Mr.
Harvey[26] are followed with care and the weight very deliberately
lessened. But for this few people have the patience; and, even if they
can be induced to follow out a strict diet, it is often useful to be
able to cut off very rapidly a large amount of weight, and so shorten
the period of strict regimen, or at least put over-fat persons in a
condition to exercise with a freedom which had become difficult, and
thus to provide them with a healthful means of preventing an
accumulation of adipose matter. This can be done rapidly and with safety
by the following means. The person whose weight we decide to lessen is
placed on skimmed milk alone, with the usual precautions; or at once we
give skimmed milk with the usual food, and in a week put aside all other
diet save milk and all other fluids. When we find what quantity of milk
will sustain the weight, we diminish the amount by degrees until the
patient is losing a half-pound of weight each day, or less or more, as
seems to be well borne. Meanwhile, during the first week or two rest in
bed is enjoined, and later for a varying period rest in bed or on a
lounge is insisted upon, while at the same time massage is used once or
twice a day, and later in the case Swedish movements. At the same time,
the pulse and weight are observed with care, so that if there be too
rapid loss, or any sign of feebleness, the diet may be increased. In
many such cases I allow daily a moderate amount of beef- or chicken- or
oyster-soup,--more as a relief to the unpleasantness of a milk diet than
for any other reason.

When the weight has been sufficiently lowered, we add to the diet beef,
mutton, oysters, etc., and finally arrange a full diet list to include
but a moderate amount of hydro-carbons. Meanwhile, the milk remains as a
large part of the food, and the active Swedish movements are still kept
up as a habit, the patient being directed by degrees to add the usual
forms of exercise.

If we attempt to make so speedy a change in weight while the patient is
afoot, the loss is apt to be gravely felt; but with the precautions here
advised it is interesting and pleasant to see how great a reduction may
be made in a reasonable time without annoyance and with no obvious
result except a gain in health and comfort.

Cases of anæmia in women with excess of flesh have to be managed in a
somewhat similar fashion, but with the utmost care. In such persons we
have a loss of red blood-globules, perhaps lessened hæmoglobin, weak
heart, rapid pulse, and general feebleness, with too much fat, but not,
or at least rarely, extreme obesity. The milder cases may profit by
iron, with rest and very vigorous massage, but in old cases of this
kind--they are, happily, rare--the best plan is to put the patient at
rest, to use massage, restrict the diet to skimmed milk, or to milk and
broths free from fat, and with them, when the weight has been
sufficiently lowered, to give iron freely, and by degrees a good general
diet, under which the globules rise in number, so that even with a new
gain in flesh there comes an equal gain in strength and comfort. The
massage must be very thoroughly done to be of service, and it is often
difficult to get operators to perform it properly, as the manipulation
of very fat people is excessively hard work. As to other details, the
management should be much the same as that which I shall presently
describe in connection with cases of another kind.

I add two cases in illustration of the use of rest, milk, and massage
in the treatment of persons who are both anæmic and overloaded with

Mrs. P., æt. 45, weight one hundred and ninety pounds, height five feet
four and a half inches, had for some years been feeble, unable to walk
without panting, or to move rapidly even a few steps. Although always
stout, her great increase of flesh had followed an attack of typhoid
fever four years before. Her appearance was strikingly suggestive of

She was subject to constant attacks of acid dyspepsia, was said to be
unable to bear iron in any form, and had not menstruated for seven
months. She had no uterine disease, and was not pregnant. Two years
before I saw her she had been made very ill owing to an attempt to
reduce her flesh by too rapid Banting, and since then, although not a
gross or large eater, she had steadily gained in weight, and as steadily
in discomfort.

She was kept in bed for five weeks. Massage was used at first once
daily, and after a fortnight twice a day, while milk was given, and in a
week made the exclusive diet. Her average of loss for thirty days was a
pound a day, and the diet was varied by the addition of broths after
the third week, so as to keep the reduction within safe limits. Her
pulse at first was 90 to 100 in the morning, and at night 80 to 95, her
temperature being always a half degree to a degree below the normal. At
the third week the latter was as is usual in health, and the pulse had
fallen to 80 in the morning, and 80 to 90 at night.

After two weeks I gave her the lactate of iron every three hours in full
doses. In the fourth week additions were made to her diet-list, and
Swedish movements were added to the massage, which was applied but once
a day; and during the fifth week she began to sit up and move about. At
the seventh week her pulse was 70 to 80, her temperature natural, and
her blood-globules much increased in number. Her weight had now fallen
to one hundred and forty-five pounds, and her appearance had decidedly
improved. She left me after three and a half months, able to walk with
comfort three miles. She has lived, of course, with care ever since, but
writes me now, after two years, that she is a well and vigorous woman.
Her periodical flow came back five months after her treatment began, and
she has since had a child.

Early in the spring of 1876, Mrs. C., æt. 40, came under my care with
partial hysterical paralysis of the right and hemi-anæsthesia of the
left side. She had no power to feel pain or to distinguish heat from
cold in the left leg and arm, though the sense of touch was perfect. The
long strain of great mental suffering had left her in this state and
rendered her somewhat emotional. Her appetite was fair, but she was
strangely white, and weighed one hundred and sixty-three pounds, with a
height of five feet five inches. As she had had endless treatment by
iron, change of air, and the like, I did not care to repeat what had
already failed. She was therefore put at rest, and treated with milk,
slowly lessened in amount. Her stomach-troubles, which had been very
annoying, disappeared, and when the milk fell to three pints she began
to lose flesh. With a quart of milk a day she lost half a pound daily,
and in two weeks her weight fell to one hundred and forty pounds. She
was then placed on the full treatment which I shall hereafter describe.
The weight returned slowly, and with it she became quite ruddy, while
her flesh lost altogether its flabby character. I never saw a more
striking result.

I have been careful to speak at length of these fat anæmic cases,
because, while rare, they have been, to me at least, among the most
difficult to manage of all the curable anæmias, and because with the
plan described I have been almost as successful as I could desire.

Let us now suppose that we have to deal with a person of another and
different type,--one of the larger class of feeble, thin-blooded,
neurasthenic or hysterical women. Let us presume that every ordinary and
easily attainable means of relief has been utterly exhausted, for not
otherwise do I consider it reasonable to use so extreme a treatment as
the one we are now to consider. Inevitably, if it be a woman long ill
and long treated, we shall have to settle the question of uterine
therapeutics. A careful examination is made, and we learn that there is
decided displacement. In this case it is well to correct it at once and
to let the uterine treatment go on with the general treatment. If there
be bad lacerations of the womb or perineum, their surgical relief may
await a change in the general status of health,--say at the fourth or
fifth week. If there be only congestive or other morbid states of the
womb or ovaries, they are best left to be aided by the general gain in
health; but in this as in every other stage of this treatment it is
unwise, and undesirable therefore, to lay down too absolute laws. Having
satisfied ourselves as to these points, and that rest, etc., is needful,
we begin treatment, if possible, at the close of a menstrual period,
because usually the monthly flow is a time at which there is little or
no gain, and by starting our treatment when it is just over we save a
week of time in bed.

The next step is, usually, to get her by degrees on a milk diet, which
has two advantages. It enables us to know precisely the amount of food
taken, and to regulate it easily; and it nearly always dismisses, as by
magic, all the dyspeptic conditions. If the case be an old one, I rarely
omit the milk; but, although I begin with three or four ounces every two
hours, I increase it in a few days up to two quarts, given in divided
doses every three hours. If a cup of coffee given without sugar on
awaking does not regulate the bowels, I add a small amount of watery
extract of aloes at bedtime; or if the constipation be obstinate, I give
thrice a day one-quarter of a grain of watery extract of aloes with two
grains of dried ox-gall. I find the simple milk diet a great aid
towards getting rid of chloral, bromides, and morphia, all of which I
usually am able to lay aside during the first week of treatment.[27] Nor
is it less easy with the same means to enable the patient to give up
stimulus; and I may add that in the treatment of the congested stomach
of the habitual hard drinker the milk treatment is of admirable
efficacy. As I have spoken over and over of the use of stimulus by
nervous women, I should be careful to explain that anything like great
excess on the part of women of the upper classes, in this country at
least, is, in my opinion, extremely rare, and that when I speak of the
habit of stimulation I mean only that nervous women are apt to be taught
to take wine or whiskey daily, to an extent that does not affect visibly
their appearance or demeanor.

Meanwhile, the mechanical treatment is steadily pursued, and within
four days to a week, when the stomach has become comfortable, I order
the patient to take also a light breakfast. A day or two later she is
given a mutton-chop as a mid-day dinner, and again in a day or two she
has added bread-and-butter thrice a day; within ten days I am commonly
able to allow three full meals daily, as well as three or four pints of
milk, which are given at or after meals, in place of water.

After ten days I order also two to four ounces of fluid malt extract
before each meal. The fluid malt extracts which now reach us from
Germany have become less trustworthy than they formerly were. Some of
them keep badly, and are uncertain in composition, one bottle being
good, another bad. The more constant, and at the same time most
agreeable, extracts are those now made in this country. Although their
diastasic powers are usually less than is claimed for them, and vary
greatly even in the best makes, they so far have seemed to me on the
whole more satisfactory than the imported malts. It is very desirable
that a thorough chemical study should be made of the various malt
extracts, solid and liquid. I am sure that some of them are defective
in composition, or vary notably as to the amount of alcohol they

No troublesome symptoms usually result from this full feeding, and the
patient may be made to eat more largely by being fed by her attendant.
People who will eat very little if they feed themselves, often take a
large amount when fed by another; and, as I have said before, nothing is
more tiresome than for a patient flat on her back to cut up her food and
to use the fork or spoon. By the plan of feeding we thus gain doubly.

As to the meals, I leave them to the patient's caprice, unless this is
too unreasonable; but I like to give butter largely, and have little
trouble in getting this most wholesome of fats taken in large amounts. A
cup of cocoa or of coffee with milk on waking in the morning is a good
preparation for the fatigue of the toilet.

At the close of the first week I like to add one pound of beef, in the
form of raw soup. This is made by chopping up one pound of raw beef and
placing it in a bottle with one pint of water and five drops of strong
hydrochloric acid. This mixture stands on ice all night, and in the
morning the bottle is set in a pan of water at 110° F. and kept two
hours at about this temperature. It is then thrown on to a stout cloth
and strained until the mass which remains is nearly dry. The filtrate is
given in three portions daily. If the raw taste prove very
objectionable, the beef to be used is quickly roasted on one side, and
then the process is completed in the manner above described. The soup
thus made is for the most part raw, but has also the flavor of cooked

In difficult cases, especially those treated in cool weather, I
sometimes add, at the third week, one half-ounce of cod-liver oil, given
half an hour after each meal. If it lessen the appetite, or cause
nausea, I employ it thrice a day as a rectal injection; and in cases
where the large doses of iron used cause intense constipation, I find
the use of cod-oil enemata doubly valuable, by acting as a nutriment and
by disposing the bowels to act daily. This may be given as an emulsion
with pancreatic extract. This will suit some people well, and result in
a single passage daily, but in others may be annoying, and be either
badly retained or not retained at all, and may give rise to tenesmus.

The question of stimulus is a grave one. In too many cases which come to
me, I have to give so much care to break off the use of all forms of
alcoholic drinks that I am loath to resort to them in any case, although
I am satisfied that a small amount is a help towards speedy increase of
fat. Its use is, therefore, a matter for careful judgment, and in
persons who have never taken it in excess, or as a habit, I prefer to
give, with the other treatment, a small daily ration of stimulus: an
ounce a day of whiskey in milk, or a glass of dry champagne or red wine,
seems to me useful as an adjuvant, and as increasing the capacity to
take food at meals. Nevertheless, alcohol is not essential, and for the
most part I give none, except the small amount--some four per
cent.--present in fluid malt extracts. Even this is found to excite
certain persons, and it is in such cases easy to substitute the thicker
extracts of malt, or the Japanese extract, made from barley and rice.

So soon as my patient begins to take other food than milk, and
sometimes even before this, I like to give iron in large doses. In
hospital practice the old subcarbonate answers very well, being cheap,
and not unpalatable when shaken up in water or given in an effervescent
draught of carbonated waters. In private practice large doses of salts
of iron, as four to six grains of lactate at meal-time, are
satisfactory; but the form of iron is of less moment than the amount.

Very often I meet with women who cannot take iron, either because it
disturbs the stomach, causes headache, or constipates, or else because
they have been told never to take iron. In the latter case I simply add
five grains of the pyrophosphate to each ounce of malt, and give it thus
for a month unknown to the patients. It is then easy to make clear to
them that iron is not so difficult to take as they had been led to
believe, and when it has ceased to disagree mentally I find that I am
able to fall back on the coarser method. If iron constipate, as it may
and does often do when used in these large doses, the trouble is to be
corrected by fruit, and especially pears, by the pill of the watery
extract of aloes and ox-gall already mentioned, by extracts of cascara
or of juglans cinerea, which may be added to the malt extract ordered
with the meals, or by enemata of oil, or oil and glycerin, or a glycerin
suppository. The instances in which iron gives headache and sense of
fulness are very rare when the patient is undergoing the full treatment
described, and, as a rule, I disregard all such complaints, and find
that after a time I cease to hear anything more of these symptoms.

Unless some especial need arises, iron, in some form, is the only drug I
care to use until the patient begins to sit up, when I order nearly
always sulphate of strychnia, in rather full doses, thrice a day, with
iron and arsenic.

Probably no physician will read the account I have here detailed of the
vast amount of food which I am enabled to give, not only with impunity
from dyspepsia, but with lasting advantage, without some sense of
wonder; and, for my own part, I can only say that I have watched again
and again with growing surprise some listless, feeble, white-blooded
creature learning by degrees to consume these large rations, and
gathering under their use flesh, color, and wholesomeness of mind and
body. It is needless to say that it is not in all cases easy to carry
out this treatment.

When the full treatment has been reached, and kept up for a few days, I
begin to watch the urine with care, because if the patient be overfed
the renal secretion speedily betrays this result in the precipitation of
urates. When this occurs at all steadily, I usually give directions to
lessen the amount of food until the urine is again free from sediment.

Nearly always at some time in the progress of the case there are attacks
of dyspepsia, when it suffices to cut down the diet one-half, or to give
milk alone for a day or two. Diarrhoea is more rare, and has to be met
in like manner; or, if obstinate, it may be requisite to give the milk
boiled. Occasionally the rapid increase of blood is shown by nasal
hemorrhage, which needs no especial treatment.

Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I now relate in full the
diet-list of some of my cases, and the mode of arranging it.

I take the following case as an illustration from my note-book:

Mrs. C., a New England woman, æt. 33, undertook, at the age of sixteen,
a severe course of mental labor, and within two years completed the
whole range of studies which, at the school she went to, were usually
spread over four years. An early marriage, three pregnancies, the last
two of which broke in upon the years of nursing, began at last to show
in loss of flesh and color. Meanwhile, she met with energy the
multiplied claims of a life full of sympathy for every form of trouble,
and, neglecting none of the duties of society or kinship, yet found time
for study and accomplishments. By and by she began to feel tired, and at
last gave way quite abruptly, ceased to menstruate five years before I
saw her, grew pale and feeble, and dropped in weight in six months from
one hundred and twenty-five pounds to ninety-five. Nature had at last
its revenge. Everything wearied her,--to eat, to drive, to read, to sew.
Walking became impossible, and, tied to her couch, she grew dyspeptic
and constipated. The asthenopia which is almost constantly seen in such
cases added to her trials, because reading had to be abandoned, and so
at last, despite unusual vigor of character, she gave way to utter
despair, and became at times emotional and morbid in her views of life.
After numberless forms of treatment had been used in vain, she came to
this city and passed into my care.

At this time she could not walk more than a few steps without flushing
and without a sense of painful tire. Her morning temperature was 97.5°
F., and her white corpuscles were perhaps a third too numerous. After
most careful examination, I could find no disease of any one organ, and
I therefore advised a resort to the treatment by rest, with full
confidence in the result.

In this single case I give the schedule of diet in full as a fair

Mrs. C. remained in bed in entire repose. She was fed, and rose only for
the purpose of relieving the bladder or the rectum.

October 10.--Took one quart of milk in divided doses every two hours.

11th.--A cup of coffee on rising, and two quarts of milk given in
divided portions every two hours. A pill of aloes every night, which
answered for a few days.

12th to 15th.--Same diet. The dyspepsia by this time was relieved, and
she slept without her habitual dose of chloral. The pint of raw soup was
added in three portions on the 16th.

17th and 18th.--Same diet.

19th.--She took, on awaking at 7, coffee; at 7.30, a half-pint of milk;
and the same at 10 A.M., 12 M., 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 P.M. The soup at 11,
5, and 9.

23d.--She took for breakfast an egg and bread-and-butter; and two days
later (25th) dinner was added, and also iron.

On the 28th this was the schedule:

On waking, coffee at 7. At 8, iron and malt. Breakfast, a chop,
bread-and-butter; of milk, a tumbler and a half. At 11, soup. At 2, iron
and malt. Dinner, closing with milk, one or two tumblers. The dinner
consisted of anything she liked, and with it she took about six ounces
of burgundy or dry champagne. At 4, soup. At 7, malt, iron,
bread-and-butter, and usually some fruit, and commonly two glasses of
milk. At 9, soup; and at 10 her aloe pill. At 12 M., massage occupied an
hour. At 4.30 P.M., electricity was used for an hour in the manner which
I have described.

This heavy diet-list, reached in a few days by a woman who had been
unable to digest with comfort the lightest meal, seemed certainly
surprising. I have not given in full the amount of food eaten at
meal-time. Small at first, it was increased rapidly owing to the
patient's growing appetite, and became in a few days three large meals.

It is necessary to see the result in one of these successful cases in
order to credit it. Mrs. C. began to show gain in flesh about the face
in the second week of treatment, and during her two months in bed rose
in weight from ninety-six pounds to one hundred and thirty-six; nor was
the gain in color less marked.

At the sixth week of treatment the soup was dropped, wine abandoned, the
iron lessened one-half, the massage and electricity used on alternate
days, and the limbs exercised as I have described. The usual precautions
as to rising and exercise were carefully attended to, and at the ninth
week of treatment my patient took a drive. At this time all mechanical
treatment ceased, the milk was reduced to a quart, the iron to five
grains thrice a day, and the malt continued. At the sixth week I began
to employ strychnia in doses of one-thirtieth of a grain thrice a day at
meals, and this was kept up for several months, together with the iron
and malt. The cure was complete and permanent; and its character may be
tested by the fact that at the thirtieth day of rest in bed, and after
five years of failure to menstruate, to her surprise she had a normal
monthly flow. This continued with regularity until eighteen months
later, when she became pregnant. The only drawback to her perfect use of
all her functions lay in asthenopia, which lasted nearly a year after
she left my care. Fatigue of vision for near work is a common condition
of the cases I am now describing, and is apt to persist long after all
other troubles have vanished. When there is no asthenopia I usually
think well of the general chance of recovery; but in no case of feeble
vision do I omit at some period of the treatment to have the optical
apparatus of the eye looked at with care, because pure asthenopia, apart
from all optical defects, is a somewhat rare symptom.

Neither am I always satisfied with the ophthalmologist's dictum that
there is a defect so slight as to need no correction, being well aware,
as I have elsewhere pointed out, that even minute ocular defects are
competent mischief-makers when the brain becomes what I may permit
myself, using the photographer's language, to call sensitized by

The following illustrations of success in this mode of treatment are
taken from Dr. Playfair's book:[29]

"Early in October of last year I was asked to see a lady thirty-two
years of age, with the following history. She had been married at the
age of twenty-two, and since the birth of her last child had suffered
much from various uterine troubles, described to me by her medical
attendant as 'ulceration, perimetritis, and endometritis.' Shortly after
the death of her husband, in 1876, these culminated in a pelvic abscess,
which opened first through the bladder and afterwards through the
vagina. Paralysis of the bladder immediately followed the appearance of
pus in the urine, and from that time the urine was never spontaneously
voided, and the catheter was always used. Soon after this she began to
lose power in the right leg, and then in the left, until they both
became completely paralyzed, so that she could not even move her toes,
and lay on her back with her legs slightly drawn up, the muscles being
much wasted. Towards the end of 1877, after some pain in the back of
her neck and twitching of the muscles, she began to lose power in her
left arm and in her neck, so that she lay absolutely immobile in bed,
the only part of her body she was able to move at all being her right
arm. Up to this time the pelvic abscess had continued to discharge
through the vagina, and occasionally through the bladder, but it now
ceased to do so, and there were no further symptoms referable to the
uterine organs. Her general condition, however, remained unaltered, in
spite of the most judicious medical treatment. She was seen, from time
to time, by several of our most eminent consultants, all of whom
recognized the probable hysterical character of her illness, but none of
the remedies employed had any beneficial effect. There was almost total
anorexia, the amount of food consumed was absurdly small, and the
necessary consequence of this inability to take food, combined with four
years in bed with paralysis of the greater part of the body, and the
habitual use of chloral to induce sleep, had reduced a naturally fine
woman to a mere shadow. In October, 1880, her medical attendant was good
enough to bring her to London for the purpose of giving a fair trial to
the Weir Mitchell method of treatment, with the ready co-operation of
herself and her friends, and she was conveyed on a couch slung from the
roof of a saloon carriage, so as to avoid any jolt or jar, since the
slightest movement caused much suffering. Two days after her arrival my
friend Dr. Buzzard saw her with me, and, after a careful and prolonged
electrical examination, came to the conclusion that contractility
existed in all the affected muscles, and that the paralysis was purely
functional. I could find no evidence in the pelvis of the abscess, the
uterus being perfectly mobile, and apparently healthy. After a few days'
rest the treatment was commenced on October 16, the patient being
isolated in lodgings with a nurse of my own choosing; and this was the
only difficulty I had with her, since she naturally felt acutely the
separation from the faithful attendant who had nursed her during her
long illness. Her friends agreed not to have communication with her of
any sort. It is needless to give the details of the treatment in this
and the following cases. A mere abstract will suffice to indicate the
rapid and satisfactory progress made.

"_October_ 16.--Twenty-two ounces of milk were taken, in divided doses,
in twenty-four hours; on the 17th, fifty ounces of milk; on the 18th,
the same quantity of milk repeated; massage for half an hour; on the
19th, milk as before; bread-and-butter and egg; massage for an hour and
a half; twenty minims of dialyzed iron twice daily; on the 21st, a
mutton-chop in addition to the above; massage an hour and fifty minutes.
To-day she passed water for the first time for four years, and the
catheter was never again used. Chloral discontinued, and she slept
naturally all night long. On the 23d, porridge and a gill of cream were
added to her former diet; massage three hours daily, and electricity for
half an hour, and this was continued until the end of the treatment.
Maltine was now given twice daily.

"_October_ 30.--She is now consuming three full meals daily of fish,
meat, vegetables, cream, and fruit, besides two quarts of milk and two
glasses of burgundy. Considerable muscular power is returning in her
limbs, which she can now move freely in bed.

"_November_ 6.--Sat in a chair for an hour. The massage and electricity
are being gradually discontinued, and the amount of food lessened.

"_November_ 17.--Walked down-stairs, and went out for a drive, and
henceforth she went out daily in a Bath-chair. She has increased
enormously in size, and looks an entirely different person from the
wasted invalid of a few weeks ago.

"On November 26 she went to Brighton quite convalescent, and on December
11 came up of her own accord to see me, drove in a hansom to my house,
and returned the same afternoon. She has since remained perfectly strong
and well, and has resumed the duties of life and society.

"A somewhat curious phenomenon in this case, which I am unable to
account for, was the formation on the anterior surface of the legs,
extending from below the patellæ half-way down the tibiæ, of two large
sacs of thin fluid, containing, I should say, each a pint or more,
freely fluctuating, and quite painless. I left them alone, and they have
spontaneously disappeared."

"In May, 1880, I saw with Dr. Julius, of Hastings, an unmarried lady,
aged thirty-one. Her history was that she had been in fairly good health
until five years ago, when, during her mother's illness, she overtaxed
her strength in nursing, since which time she has been a constant
invalid, suffering from backache, bearing down, inability to walk,
disordered menstruation, and the usual train of uterine symptoms. She
used to get a little better on going to the sea-side, but soon became
ill again, and in October, 1879, she was completely laid up. The least
standing or walking brought on severe pain in her back and side, and she
gave up the attempt, and had since remained entirely confined to her bed
or sofa, suffering from constant nausea, complete loss of appetite, and
depending on chloral and morphia for relief. Many efforts had been made
to break her of this habit, but in vain. Her medical attendant had
recognized the existence of a retroflexion, but no pessary remained _in
situ_ for more than a day or so, and he suspected that she herself
pulled them out. I was unable to do more than confirm the diagnosis that
had been made as to her local condition, but the pessary I introduced
shared the fate of its predecessors, and she remained in the same
condition,--in no way benefited by my visit. Things going on from bad to
worse, Dr. Julius sent her to London for treatment in the early part of
December. I now determined to try the effect of the method I am
discussing, of which I knew nothing when I first saw her. It was
commenced on December 11, and everything went on most favorably. A week
after it was begun, when her attention was fully occupied with the diet,
massage, etc., I introduced a stem pessary, being tempted to try this
instrument, which I rarely use, by the knowledge that she was at perfect
rest, and that no form of Hodge had previously been retained. I do not
think she ever knew she had it, and it remained _in situ_ for a month,
when I removed it and inserted a Hodge, which was thenceforth kept in
without any trouble. I may say that I do not think the retroflexion had
much to do with her symptoms, except, doubtless, at the commencement of
her illness, and she probably would have done quite as well without any
local treatment. She rapidly gained flesh and strength, and very soon I
entirely stopped both chloral and morphia, and she never seemed to miss
them. On December 11, when the treatment was commenced, she weighed 5
st. 9 lbs. On January 20 she weighed 7 st. On January 25 she walked
down-stairs, and went out for a drive, and from that time she went out
twice daily. She complained of no pain of any kind, and, although she
wore a Hodge, she did not seem to have any uterine symptoms. On February
1 she went to the sea-side, looking rosy, fat, and healthy, and has
since returned to her home in the country, where she remains perfectly
strong and well. A few days ago she came to town, a long railway
journey, on purpose to announce to me her approaching marriage."

"On September 10 a gentleman came to consult me on the case of his wife,
in consequence of his attention having been directed to my former papers
by a relative who is a well-known physician in London. He informed me
that his wife was now fifty-five years of age, and that she had passed
ten years of her married life in India. At the age of thirty she was
much weakened by several successive miscarriages, and then drifted into
confirmed ill health. He wrote, on making an appointment, as follows: 'I
will give you at once a short outline of her case. We have been married
thirty-four years, of which the last twenty have been spent by her in
bed or on the sofa. She is unable even to stand, and finds the pain in
her back too great to admit of her sitting up. She is utterly without
strength, of an intensely nervous temperament, and suffers incessantly
from neuralgia. She has, moreover, an outward curvature of the spine.
There is not the slightest symptom of paralysis. Fortunately, she does
not touch morphia, or any narcotic or stimulant, beyond a glass or two
of wine in the day. That she has long been in a state of hysteria is the
opinion of nearly all the many medical men who have seen her.'

"Although the attempt to cure so aggravated a case as this was certainly
a sufficiently severe test of the treatment, I determined to make the
trial, and had the patient removed from her own home and isolated in
lodgings. I found her in bed, supported everywhere by many small
pillows, and wasted more than, I think, I had ever seen any human being.
She really hardly had any covering to her bones, and looked somewhat
like the picture of the living skeleton we are familiar with. It may
give some idea of her emaciation if I state that, though naturally not a
small woman, her height being five feet five and a half inches, she
weighed only 4 st. 7 lbs., and I could easily make my thumb and
forefinger meet round the thickest part of the calf of her leg. The
curvature of the spine said to exist was a deceptive appearance,
produced by her excessive leanness, and the consequent unnatural
prominence of the spinous processes of the vertebræ. I could detect no
organic disease of any kind. The appetite was entirely wanting, and she
consumed hardly any food beyond a little milk, a few mouthfuls of bread,
and the like. From the first the patient's improvement was steady and
uniform. The way she put on flesh was marvellous, and one could almost
see her fatten from day to day. Within ten days all her pains,
neuralgia, and backache had gone, and have never been heard of since,
and by that time we had also got rid of all her little pillows and other
invalid appliances.

"It may be of interest, as showing what this system is capable of, if I
copy her food diary on the tenth day after the treatment was begun; and
all this, this bedridden patient, who had lived on starvation diet for
twenty years, not only consumed with relish, but perfectly assimilated.

"Six A.M.: ten ounces of raw meat soup. 7 A.M.: cup of black coffee. 8
A.M.: a plate of oatmeal porridge, with a gill of cream, a boiled egg,
three slices of bread-and-butter, and cocoa. 11 A.M.: ten ounces of
milk. 2 P.M.: half a pound of rump-steak, potatoes, cauliflower, a
savory omelette, and ten ounces of milk. 4 P.M.: ten ounces of milk and
three slices of bread-and-butter. 6 P.M.: a cup of gravy soup. 8 P.M.:
a fried sole, roast mutton (three large slices), French beans, potatoes,
stewed fruit and cream, and ten ounces of milk. 11 P.M.: ten ounces of
raw meat soup.

"The same scale of diet was continued during the whole treatment, and,
from first to last, never produced the slightest dyspeptic symptoms, and
was consumed with relish and appetite. At the end of six weeks from the
day I first saw her she weighed 7 st. 8 lb.,--that is, a gain of 3 st. 1
lb. It will suffice to indicate her improvement if I say that in eight
weeks from the commencement of treatment she was dressed, sitting up to
meals, able to walk up and down stairs with an arm and a stick, and had
also walked in the same way in the park. Considering how completely
atrophied her muscles were from twenty years' entire disuse, this was
much more than I had ventured to hope. She has now left with her nurse
for Natal, and I have no doubt that she will return from her travels
with her cure perfected."

"Early in August I was asked to see a lady, aged thirty-seven, with the
following history:--'As a girl of sixteen she had a severe neuralgic
illness, extending over months: excepting that, she seems to have
enjoyed good health until her marriage. Soon after this she had a
miscarriage, and then two subsequent pregnancies, accompanied by
albuminuria and the birth of dead children.' 'During gestation I was not
surprised at all sorts of nervous affections, attributing them to
uræmia.' The next pregnancy terminated in the birth of a living
daughter, now nearly three years old; during it she had 'curious nervous
symptoms,--_e.g._, her bed flying away with her, temporary blindness,
and vaso-motor disturbances.' Subsequently she had several severe shocks
from the death of near relatives, and gradually fell into the condition
in which she was when I was consulted. This is difficult to describe,
but it was one of confirmed illness of a marked neurotic type. Among
other phenomena she had frequently-recurring attacks of fainting. 'These
were not attacks of syncope, but of such general derangement of the
balance of the circulation that cerebration was interfered with. She was
deaf and blind; her face often flushed, sometimes deadly cold; her hands
clay-cold, often blue, and difficult to warm with the most vigorous
friction. These attacks passed off in from twenty minutes to a couple
of hours.' Soon 'the attacks became more frequent, with the reappearance
of another old symptom,--acute tenderness of the spine, especially over
the sacrum. Then came frequent and persistent attacks of sciatica, and
gradual loss of strength.' About this time there appears to have been
some uterine lesion, for a well-known gynæcologist went down to the
country to see her. Eventually 'she became unable to do anything almost
for herself, for the nervous irritability had distressingly increased.
To touch her bed, the ringing of a bell, sometimes the sound of a voice,
sunlight, &c., affected her so as to make her almost cry out.' 'If she
stood up, or even raised her hands to dress her hair, they immediately
became blue and deadly cold, and she was done for.' Then followed
palpitations of a distressing character, with loud blowing murmur, and
pulse of 120 to 140, for which she was seen by an eminent physician, who
diagnosed them to be caused by 'slight ventricular asynchronism, with
atonic condition of the cardiac as well as of all other muscles of the
body.' 'She has no appetite whatever.' 'Any attempt at walking brings on
sciatica. She cannot sit, because the tip of the spine is so sensitive;
any pressure on it makes her feel faint. She cannot go in a carriage,
because it jars every nerve in her body. She cannot lie on her back,
because her whole spine is so tender.'

"When consulted about this lady, I gave it as my opinion that any
attempt at cure was hopeless as long as she remained in the country
house in which she lived. I was informed that it was absolutely
impossible to get her away, as she could not bear the motion of any
carriage, still less of a railway, without the most acute suffering.
Eventually the difficulty was got over by anæsthetizing her, when she
was carried on a stretcher to the nearest railway station, and then
brought over two hundred miles to London, being all the time more or
less completely under the influence of the anæsthetic, administered by
her medical attendant, who accompanied her. I found this lady's state
fully justified the account given of her. She was intensely sensitive to
all sounds and to touch. Merely laying the hand on the bed caused her to
shrink, and she could not bear the lightest touch of the fingers on her
spine or any part near it. She lay in a darkened room at the back of the
house, to be away from the noise of the streets, which distressed her
much. She was a naturally fine and highly-cultivated woman, greatly
emaciated, with a dusky, sallow complexion, and dark rims round her
eyes. I could find no evidence of organic disease of any kind. Whatever
lesion of the uterine organs had previously existed had disappeared, and
I therefore paid no attention to them. Within a week I had the patient
lying in a bright sunlit room in the front of the house, with the
windows open, and she complained no longer of the noise. Within ten days
the whole spine could be rubbed freely from top to bottom, and from the
first I directed the masseuse to be relentless in her manipulation of
this part of the body. In a few weeks she had gained flesh largely, the
dusky hue of her complexion had vanished, and she looked a different
being. The only trouble complained of was sleeplessness, but it did not
interfere with the satisfactory progress of the case, and no hypnotic
was given. After the first few days we had no return of the nerve-crises
which in the country had formed so characteristic a part of her illness.
Her hands and feet also, at first of a remarkable deadly coldness, soon
became warm, and remained so. In five weeks she was able to sit up, and
before the fifth week of treatment was completed I took her out for a
drive through the streets in an open carriage for two hours, which she
bore without the slightest inconvenience, and the result of which she
thus described in a letter the same evening: 'I never enjoyed anything
more in my life. I cannot describe my delight and my astonishment at
being once more able to drive with comfort. My back has given me no
trouble, and I was not really tired.' This lady has since remained
perfectly well, and I need give no better proof of this than stating
that she has started with her husband on a tour round the world, _viâ_
India, Japan, and San Francisco, and that I have heard from her that she
is thoroughly enjoying her travels."

"The last example with which I shall trespass on your patience I am
tempted to relate because it is one of the most remarkable instances of
the strange and multiform phenomena which neurotic disease may present,
which it has ever been my lot to witness. The case must be well known to
many members of the profession, since there is scarcely a consultant of
eminence in the metropolis who has not seen her during the sixteen
years her illness has lasted, besides many of the leading practitioners
in the numerous health-resorts she has visited in the vain hope of
benefit. My first acquaintance with this case is somewhat curious. About
two months before I was introduced to the patient, chancing to be
walking along the esplanade at Brighton with a medical friend, my
attention was directed to a remarkable party at which every one was
looking. The chief personage in it was a lady reclining at full length
on a long couch, and being dragged along, looking the picture of misery,
emaciated to the last degree, her head drawn back almost in a state of
opisthotonos, her hands and arms clenched and contracted, her eyes fixed
and staring at the sky. There was something in the whole procession that
struck me as being typical of hysteria, and I laughingly remarked, 'I am
sure I could cure that case if I could get her into my hands.' All I
could learn at the time was that the patient came down to Brighton every
autumn, and that my friend had seen her dragged along in the same way
for ten or twelve years. On January 14 of this year, I was asked to meet
my friend Dr. Behrend in consultation, and at once recognized the
patient as the lady whom I had seen at Brighton. It would be tedious to
relate all the neurotic symptoms this patient had exhibited since 1864,
when she was first attacked with paralysis of the left arm. Among
them--and I quote these from the full notes furnished by Dr.
Behrend--were complete paraplegia, left hemiplegia, complete hysterical
amaurosis, but from this she had recovered in 1868. For all these years
she had been practically confined to her bed or couch, and had not
passed urine spontaneously for sixteen years. Among other symptoms, I
find noted 'awful suffering in spine, head, and eyes,' requiring the use
of chloral and morphia in large doses. 'For many years she has had
convulsive attacks of two distinct types, which are obviously of the
character of hystero-epilepsy.' The following are the brief notes of the
condition in which I found her, which I made in my case-book on the day
of my first visit. 'I found the patient lying on an invalid couch, her
left arm paralyzed and rigidly contracted, strapped to her body to keep
it in position. She was groaning loudly at intervals of a few seconds,
from severe pain in her back. When I attempted to shake her right hand,
she begged me not to touch her, as it would throw her into a
convulsion. She is said to have had epilepsy as a child. She has now
many times daily, frequently as often as twice in an hour, both during
the day and night, attacks of sudden and absolute unconsciousness, from
which she recovers with general convulsive movements of the face and
body. She had one of these during my visit, and it had all the
appearance of an epileptic paroxysm. The left arm and both legs are
paralyzed, and devoid of sensation. She takes hardly any food, and is
terribly emaciated. She is naturally a clever woman, highly educated,
but, of late, her memory and intellectual powers are said to be

"It was determined that an attempt should be made to cure this case, and
she was removed to the Home Hospital in Fitzroy Square. She was so ill,
and shrieked and groaned so much, on the first night of her admission,
that next day I was told that no one in the house had been able to
sleep, and I was informed that it would be impossible for her to remain.
Between 3 P.M. and 11.30 P.M. she had had nine violent convulsive
paroxysms of an epileptiform character, lasting, on an average, five
minutes. At 11.30 she became absolutely unconscious, and remained so
until 2.30 A.M., her attendant thinking she was dying. Next day she was
quieter, and from that time her progress was steady and uniform. On the
fourth day she passed urine spontaneously, and the catheter was never
again used. In six weeks she was out driving and walking; and within two
months she went on a sea-voyage to the Cape, looking and feeling
perfectly well. When there, her nurse, who accompanied her, had a severe
illness, through which her ex-patient nursed her most assiduously. She
has since remained, and is at this moment, in robust health, joining
with pleasure in society, walking many miles daily, and without a trace
of the illnesses which rendered her existence a burden to herself and
her friends.

"In conclusion, I may remark that it seems to me that the chief value of
this systematic treatment, which is capable of producing such remarkable
results, is that it appeals, not to one, but many influences of a
curative character. Every one knew, in a vague sort of way, that if an
hysterical patient be removed from her morbid surroundings a great step
towards cure is made. Few, however, took the trouble to carry this
knowledge into practical action; and when they did so they relied on
this alone, combined with moral suasion. Now, I am thoroughly convinced
that very few cases of hysteria can be preached into health. Judicious
moral management can do much; but I believe that very few hysterical
women are conscious impostors; and the great efficacy of the Weir
Mitchell method seems to me to depend on the combination of agencies
which, by restoring to a healthy state a weakened and diseased nervous
system, cures the patient in spite of herself."



As additional illustrations I shall now state a few cases of my own,
without entering into minute details of treatment.

The following case is reported by Dr. John Keating, who watched it with
care throughout:

P.D., male, æt. 53, after more than thirty years of close attention to
business, which severely tried both mental and physical endurance, found
himself, in January, 1877, at the close of some months of gradually
increasing feebleness, absolutely unable to fulfil his usual duties, and
the most alarming symptoms manifested themselves. There was a remarkable
loss of nervous and muscular force; his limbs refused their support; his
appetite failed; the recollection of ordinary phrases involved distinct
and painful effort; sleep became unattainable, except under the
influence of powerful narcotics, and even that brief slumber was
rendered valueless by the incessant convulsive twitching of the muscles.

His physician prescribed iron and strychnia; ordered an immediate
abandonment of all business, and instant departure to a point where
telegraph-wires were unknown and mails infrequent. He went at once to
the Bahamas, passing a month in that delicious climate in absolute
inaction; more than another month was consumed in slowly returning; but,
though some flesh had been gained, there was only a trifling improvement
in the nervous condition.

May 1, 1877, Dr. Mitchell examined Mr. P.D. The patient was sallow and
emaciated, and coughed every few moments. He had night-sweats, nervous
twitching, and slight dulness on percussion at the apex of the right
lung, with prolonged expiration and roughened inspiration, and some
increase of vocal resonance.

Mr. P.D. was allowed to be out of bed once a day four hours, and to
spend one hour at his place of business. The treatment was as follows:

At 6 A.M., a tumbler of strong, hot beef-tea, made from the Australian

At 8 A.M., half a tumbler of iron-water, and breakfast, consisting of
fruit, steak, potatoes, coffee, and a goblet of milk. At 8.30 A.M., a
goblet of milk mixed with a dessertspoonful of Loefland's extract of
malt, with six grains of citrate of iron and quinine.

At 10 o'clock Dr. Keating administered the electricity.

At 12 o'clock Mr. P.D. might be dressed, making as little personal
effort as possible. The second goblet of milk and malt was administered,
and a carriage took him to his office, where he might remain till two
o'clock, when the carriage brought him for dinner, preceded by half a
tumbler of iron-water. All walking was forbidden.

After dinner (which included a goblet of milk) the third goblet of milk
and malt was swallowed; then a short drive might be taken, but by four
o'clock the patient must be undressed and in bed.

At 6 P.M. the third dose of iron-water presented itself, and a light
supper of fruit, bread-and-butter, and cream, followed by the fourth
goblet of milk and malt. Two quarts of milk were thus swallowed every
day in addition to all other food.

At 9 P.M., massage one hour, with cocoa-oil, followed by beef-soup, four

At the fourth week the soup was given up; dialyzed iron was substituted
for all other forms. June 4, electricity was given up. The malt was
continued until June 20.

May 6, Mr. D. weighed in heavy winter dress one hundred and twenty-five
pounds; June 20, in the lightest summer garb, he weighed one hundred and
thirty-three pounds; in August his weight rose to one hundred and forty
pounds, and he has continued to gain. When last I saw him, a year later,
he was strong and well, had no cough, and had ceased to be what he had
been for years--a delicate man.

I am indebted to the late Professor Goodell for the following case,
which I never saw, but which was carried on with every detail of my
treatment. As the testimony of an admirable observer, it is valuable
evidence. Professor Goodell writes as follows:

"Some four years ago, Mrs. Y., a very highly intelligent lady, from a
neighboring city, came to consult me. She suffered dreadfully at each
monthly period, and had constant ovarian pains and a wearying backache,
which kept her on a lounge most of the day. She was also barren, and
altogether in a pitiable condition. After a two months' treatment she
returned home very much better, and soon after conceived. As pregnancy
advanced, many of her old symptoms came back, but it was hoped that
maternity would rid her of them. The shock of the labor, however, proved
too great for her already shattered nervous system. She became far more
wretched than before, and again sought my advice.

"At this time I found all her old pains and aches running riot. She got
no relief from them night or day without large doses of chloral. The
slightest exertion, such as sewing, writing, and reading for a few
minutes, greatly wearied her. Even the simple mental effort of casting
up the weekly housekeeping expenses of a very small household upset her,
and she had to give it up. The act of walking one of our blocks, or of
going down a short flight of stairs, or of riding for an hour in a
well-padded carriage, gave her such 'unspeakable agony'--to use her own
words--that she would have an hysterical attack of screams and tears. So
emotional had this constant nerve-strain made her that she could not
sustain an ordinary conversation without giving way to tears. Much of
her time was spent in bed; in fact, she was practically bedridden.

"I tried in vain to wean her from her anodynes, and failed altogether in
doing her any good, although many remedies were resorted to, and various
modes of treatment adopted. Finally, in sheer despair, I put her to bed,
and began your treatment of rest, with electricity, massage, and
frequent feeding. The first trace of improvement showed itself in a
greater self-control, and in a lessening of her aches and pains. Next,
smaller doses of the anodyne were needed, until it was wholly withheld.
Then she began to pick up an appetite, which, towards the close of the
treatment, became so keen that, between three good meals every day, she
drank several goblets of milk and of beef-tea. At the outset I had
stipulated for six weeks of this treatment, and it was with reluctance
that my patient yielded to my wish. But when the time was up she had
become so impressed with the wonderful benefits she had received and was
receiving, that she begged to have the treatment continued for two weeks
more. At the end of that time she had gained at least thirty pounds in
weight, and had lost every pain and ache. Her night-terrors, which I
forgot to mention as one of her distressing symptoms, had wholly
disappeared, and she could sleep from nine to ten hours at a stretch. I
now sent her into the country, where she is continuing to mend, and is
astonishing her friends by her scrambles up and down the steep hills.

"Such were the salient features of this case; and I can assure you that
I was as much impressed by the happy results of the treatment as were a
host of anxious and doubting friends.

"Very faithfully yours,

       *       *       *       *       *

Miss C., an interesting woman, æt. 26, at the age of 20 passed through a
grave trial in the shape of nursing her mother through a typhoid fever.
Soon after, a series of calamities deprived her of fortune, and she
became, for support, a clerk, and did for two years eight hours' work
daily. Under these successive strains her naturally sturdy health gave
way. First came pain in the back, then growing paleness, loss of flesh,
and unending sense of tire. Her work, which was a necessity, was of
course kept up, steadily at first, but was soon interfered with by
increase of the menstrual flow, with unusual pain and persistent
ovarian tenderness. Very soon she began to drop her work for a day at a
time. Then came an increasing asthenopia, with evening headaches, until
her temper changed and became capricious and irritable. When I saw her,
she had been forced to abandon all labor, and had been treated by an
accomplished gynæcologist, and was said to be cured of a prolapsus uteri
and of extensive ulceration, despite which relief she gained nothing in
vigor and endurance and got back neither color nor flesh.

She went to bed December 10, and rose for the first time February 4,
having gained twenty-nine pounds. She went to bed pale, and got up
actually ruddy. In a month she returned to her work again, and has
remained ever since in health which enables her, as she writes me, "to
enjoy work, and to do with myself what I like."

Miss L., æt. 26, came to me with the following history. At the age of 20
she had a fall, and began in a week or two to have an irritable spine.
Then, after a few months, a physician advised rest, to which she took
only too kindly, and in a year from the time of her accident she was
rarely out of bed. Surrounded by highly sympathetic relatives, to whom
chronic illness was somewhat novel, she speedily developed, with their
tender aid, hyperæsthetic states of the eye and ear, so that her nurses
crept about in a darkened room, the piano was silenced, and the children
kept quiet. By slow degrees a whole household passed under the selfish
despotism of an hysterical girl. Intense constipation, anorexia, and
alternate states of dysuria, anuria, and polyuria followed, and before
long her sister began to fail in health, owing to the incessant
exactions to which she too willingly yielded. This alarmed a brother,
who insisted upon a change of treatment, and after some months she was
brought on a couch to this city.

At the time I first saw her, she took thirty grains of chloral every
night and three hypodermic injections of one-half grain of morphia
daily. As to food, she took next to none, and I could only guess her
weight at about ninety pounds. She was in height five feet two and a
half inches, and very sallow, with pale lips, and the large, indented
tongue of anæmia. I made the most careful search for signs of organic
mischief, and, finding none, I began my treatment as usual with milk,
and added massage and electricity without waiting. Her digestion seemed
so good that I gave lactate of iron in twenty-grain doses from the third
day, and also the aloes pill thrice a day. It is perhaps needless to
state that I isolated her with a nurse she had never seen before, and
that for seven weeks she saw no one else save myself and the attendants.
The full schedule of diet was reached at the end of a fortnight, but the
chloral and morphia were given up at the second day. She slept well the
fourth night, and, save that she had twice a slight return of polyuria,
went on without a single drawback. In two months she was afoot and
weighed one hundred and twenty-one pounds. Her change in tint, flesh,
and expression was so remarkable that the process of repair might well
have been called a renewal of life.

She went home changed no less morally than physically, and resumed her
place in the family circle and in social life, a healthy and well-cured

I might multiply these histories almost endlessly. In some cases I have
cured without fattening; in others, though rarely, the mental habits
formed through years of illness have been too deeply ingrained for
change, and I have seen the patient get up fat and well only to relapse
on some slight occasion.

The intense persistency with which some women study and dwell upon their
symptoms is often the great difficulty. Even a slight physical annoyance
becomes for one of these unhappily-constituted natures a grave and
almost ineradicable trouble, owing to the habit of self-study.

Miss P., æt. 29, weight one hundred and eleven pounds, height five feet
four inches, dark-skinned, sallow, and covered with the acne of
bromidism, had had one attack which was considered to have been
epileptic, and which was probably hysterical, but on this matter she
dwelt with incessant terror, which was fostered by the tender care of a
near relative, who left her neither by night nor by day. Vague neuralgic
aches in the limbs, with constant weariness, asthenopia, anæmia, loss of
appetite, and loss of flesh, followed. Then came spinal pain and
irregular menstruation, a long course of local cauterizations of the
womb, spinal braces, and endless tonics and narcotics.

I broke up the association which had nearly been fatal to both women,
and, confidently promising a cure, carried out my treatment in full In
three months she went home well and happy, greatly improved in looks,
her skin clear, her functions regular, and weighing one hundred and
thirty-six pounds.

It is vain to repeat the relation of such cases, and impossible to put
on paper the means for deciding--what is so large a part of success in
treatment--the moral methods of obtaining confidence and insuring a
childlike acquiescence in every needed measure.

Another class of cases will, however, bear some further illustration. We
meet with women who are healthy in mind, but who have some chronic pain
or some definite malady which does not get well, either because the
usual tonics fail, or because their occupations in life keep them always
in a state of exhaustion. If by rest we slow the machinery, and by
massage and electricity deprive rest of its evils, we can often obtain
cures which are to be had in no other way. This is true of many uterine
and of some other disorders.

Miss B., æt. 37, height five feet five inches, weight one hundred and
fifteen pounds, a schoolteacher, without any notable organic disease,
had a severe fall, owing to an accident while driving. A slight swelling
in the hurt lumbar region was followed by pain, which became intense
when she walked any distance. Loss of color, flesh, and appetite ensued,
and, after much treatment, she consulted me. I could find nothing beyond
soreness on deep pressure, and she was anything but hysterical or

Two months' rest with the usual treatment brought her weight up to one
hundred and thirty-eight pounds, and she has been able ever since to do
her usual work, and to walk when and where and as far as she wished.

Several years ago I treated with some reluctance a lady who had
extensive bronchitis and a slight albuminuria. This woman was a mere
skeleton, with every function out of order. I undertook her case with
the utmost distrust, but I had the pleasure to find her fattening and
reddening like others. Her cough left her, the albumen disappeared, and
she became well enough to walk and drive; when a sudden congestion of
the kidneys destroyed her in forty-eight hours.

The following case of extreme anæmia, with striking resemblance to the
pernicious type in some of its features, is especially interesting for
the ease and rapidity of improvement under rest and massage without
electricity or excessive amounts of food.

Mrs. T., æt. 40, the mother of several children, had been unwell for
years, and almost totally incapacitated for exertion for two years
before admission, in January, 1894. She complained of extreme
feebleness, distaste for and inability to digest food, a great and
constant difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, dropsy of the
ankles if she walked or stood, hemorrhoids from which some bleeding
often occurred, extreme constipation, constant chilliness, and frequent
violent headaches. Her appearance was that of a person with pernicious
anæmia, a very yellow muddy skin, dry and harsh to the touch, and the
hands and feet cold, almost to the point of pain.

On examination the spleen was decidedly large; the lower border of the
stomach reached to the level of the umbilicus. Two cardiac murmurs were
present, the one a sharp and well-defined mitral regurgitant sound,
confirmed by the dyspnoea and dropsy as organic, the other a loud
musical murmur of hæmic origin. The trouble in deglutition proved to be
due to an oesophageal narrowing. The blood examination bore out the
suggestion of probable pernicious anæmia, the red cells being only
1,500,000, hæmoglobin 18 per cent.: the microscope showed microcytes,
megaloblasts, nucleated red cells, and a large increase in white
corpuscles. In order to study the effect of massage alone upon the blood
no other treatment was used, though of course the patient was kept at
"absolute rest." No drugs were given, electricity was not used, and
extra food was omitted, as the irritability of the oesophagus made her
unwilling to attempt the exertion and annoyance of frequent feeding. The
general chilliness was at once helped by massage, and in a few days only
felt in the small hours of the night, and the patient gained weight from
the first. After one week of treatment a blood count was made: red cells
were 3,800,000, more than double the former figure; hæmoglobin, 35 per
cent., almost double its original value. On the same day, one hour after
the completion of an hour's massage, the corpuscular count had attained
5,400,000, the hæmoglobin remaining 35 per cent.

At the end of two weeks the hæmic murmur had faded into a faint soft
bruit, though the mitral murmur was unchanged, the skin had improved in
color, the aches and weariness were gone, and the blood count had
reached nearly five million cells, with 50 per cent. of hæmoglobin. The
extraordinary results of the blood examination were confirmed by
observations made by Professor Frederick P. Henry, Dr. Judson Daland,
and Dr. J.K. Mitchell, who all practically agreed. Professor Henry made
several studies and stained a number of slides, verifying in his report
the statements of the presence of megaloblasts and nucleated red cells
made above.

Owing to the necessity for an operation on the hemorrhoids, which caused
loss of blood, the patient was somewhat retarded in her progress to
recovery, but by the tenth week was so far better that the blood showed
no microscopic abnormalities, the count was full normal, and the
hæmoglobin over 70 per cent. Her color and strength were good, the heart
was perfectly strong, the anæmic murmur was gone, and the oesophagus
was so much less irritable that it was possible to begin dilatation of
the stricture.

I have heard within a year that though occasionally annoyed by this last
trouble if she becomes much fatigued, she has remained in other ways

Mrs. G., the daughter of nervous parents, was always a nervous,
over-sensitive, serious child, worked hard at Vassar, broke down,
recovered, returned to college, was attacked with measles, which proved
severe, and by the time she graduated had been made by her own
tendencies and the anxious attention of her family into a devoted member
of the class which I may permit myself to describe as health-maniacs.

Health-foods, health-corsets, health-boots, the deeply serious
consideration of how to eat, on which side to sleep, profound
examination of whether mutton or lamb were the more digestible
flesh,--these were her occupations,--and two or three years before her
panic about her health had been made worse by the discovery of an aortic
stenosis, of which an over-frank doctor had thought it best to inform
her. When I saw her she had been three years married, was childless,
and, between the real cardiac disease and her own anxieties about it,
had driven herself into a state of great physical debility and a mental
condition approaching delusional insanity.

A too restricted diet, lacking both in variety and appetizingness, had
had its usual result of upsetting digestion and destroying desire for
food. Even with the small amounts which she ate she considered it
necessary to chew so carefully and to feed herself so slowly that from
one hour to an hour and a half was used for each meal. The heart,
under-nourished, beat feebly, there was constant slight albuminuria with
evidences of congested kidneys, and she could only rest in a semi-erect

The heart condition, with its renal results, proved the most rebellious
part of the trouble. A firm and intelligent nurse soon overcame the
difficulties and delays about food, and my final refusal to discuss them
disposed for the time of some of the fanciful theories about digestion
and so on. Her meals were ordered in every detail, and she was told that
they were prescribed and to be taken like medicine, and, fed by the
nurse, she began to take more nourishment. Massage relieved some of the
labor of the heart, and gradually the semi-erect posture was exchanged
inch by inch for a semi-recumbent one. Not to prolong the relation of
details, it was found needful to keep this lady in bed for five months
before the heart seemed to recover sufficiently to allow her to get up.
Even then, although improved in color, flesh, and blood condition, she
had to attain an erect station almost as slowly as she had had to reach
recumbency. Slow, active Swedish movements, to which gentle resistance
movements were very gradually added, helped the heart. Her cure was
completed by five or six months' camp-life in the woods, and she is now
the mother of a healthy child and herself perfectly well, the valvular
disease only to be detected by the most careful examination, and never,
even during pregnancy and parturition, causing any annoyance.

The surgeons, who once thought a floating kidney could be permanently
fixed in its place by stitching, have now concluded that this is very
doubtful, and the treatment of this displacement is never very
satisfactory by any method. Still, some success has followed long rest
in the supine position, which encourages the kidney to return to its
normal place, until careful full feeding has renewed or increased the
fatty cushions which hold it up. It is best during the first weeks of
treatment not to allow the patient to sit or stand, or if she should be
unable to avoid the occasional need for these positions, an abdominal
binder must be applied by the nurse and drawn tightly before she moves.
The masseuse is directed to avoid any movements which might further
displace the organ, and may cautiously push it upward and hold it there
with one hand while with the other the manipulation of the abdomen is
performed. However long it may require, the patient should not get up
until examinations, supine, lateral, prone, and erect, combine to assure
us that the kidney is replaced. Repeated investigation of this point
will be required,--for the kidney will sometimes be in place for a
little while and next day or even a few hours later have slipped down
again. Before any exertion is permitted, even ordinary walking, an
accurate close-fitting abdominal belt with a kidney-pad should be
applied. Those kept in stock are seldom properly adjusted, and usually
have the pad in the wrong place. If rightly made, they can be worn with
comfort and tight enough to be useful. If not rightly made, they are
useless instruments of torture.

Mrs. Y., æt. fifty-six, was sent to Dr. J.K. Mitchell by Professor Osler
for treatment. She had all the usual intestinal derangements and
discomforts attendant upon a floating kidney: constipation alternated
with diarrhoea, or rather with a sort of intestinal incontinence; vague
pains in the back, flanks, and stomach were frequent; attacks of acute
pain began in the right hypogastrium and ran down to the symphysis or
into the groin; she had constant flatulence, weight, and oppression
after food; was pale, flabby, and emaciated, but had no emotional or
nervous symptoms except an annoying amount of insomnia. The lower border
of the stomach was fully two inches below the navel in the middle-line,
even when only a glass of water had been taken. It was a little lower
after a small meal. The colon was distended and very variable in
position, probably changing its relations with the landmarks as it
happened to be more or less filled with food or gases. The abdominal
walls were flabby, relaxed, and pendulous, and the whole surface tender.
The patient gave a history of sudden loss of flesh with almost no
reason some three years before, and increasing indigestion in all forms
ever since. The tenderness made careful abdominal study difficult, but
lessened enough after a few days in bed to permit the perception of a
displacement of the right kidney, whose lower edge could be felt on a
level with the umbilicus and two inches to the right of it. No change of
position would bring it any lower. Examined with the patient prone,
two-thirds of the kidney could be outlined, extremely tender, and
causing nausea and sinking if pressed upon.

The chief trouble in treatment proved to be the irritability of the
intestines, which was brought on in most unexpected fashion by foods of
the simplest kind. For some time it was so persistent that the suspicion
of intestinal tuberculosis was entertained; but it finally disappeared,
and after that the case progressed more favorably and she was out of bed
with a tight belt and kidney-pad in a little more than twelve weeks. The
kidney was then, and has remained since, in its normal position. The
patient gained twelve pounds in weight, and should have gained more, but
she found the hot weather during the latter weeks of her treatment very
trying. The intestinal indigestion was only partially relieved, but the
gastric symptoms, the general pains, and weakness all disappeared, and
with precaution she will continue to improve. It is best to advise the
constant use of the belt in such a case. In a patient who has made a
large gain in flesh, as this one did not, and who has been found after
some months to maintain the increased weight, the belt might gradually
and experimentally be left off; but repeated examinations should be made
for a year or two to be sure that no displacement results.

I could relate cases of gain in flesh without manifest relief. As I have
said, these are rare; but it is less uncommon to see great relief
without improvement in weight at all, or until the patient is up and
afoot for some weeks; and I could also state several cases in which a
repetition of the treatment won a final and complete success after the
first effort at cure had failed or but partially succeeded; and of this,
I believe, Professor Goodell has seen several examples.

I have mentioned more than once the singular return of menstruation
under this treatment, and as examples I add a brief list of some
notable instances.

Mrs. N., æt. 29, no menstruation for five years; return of menstruation
at thirtieth day of treatment; continued regularly ever since during
three years.

Mrs. C., æt. 42, eight years without menstruation; return at fourteenth
day of treatment; now regular during five months.

Miss C., æt. 22, no menstruation for eight months; return at close of
sixtieth day of treatment; regular now for four months.

Miss A., æt. 26, irregular; missing for two or three months, and then
menstruating irregularly for two or three months. No flow for two
months. Menstruated at nineteenth day of treatment, and regular during
thirteen months ever since.

I had at one time intended to give, in the first edition of this work, a
summary of all my cases, with the results; but what is easy to do in
definite maladies like typhoid fever becomes hard in cases such as I
here relate. In fevers the statistics are simple,--patients die or get
well; but in cases of nervous exhaustion, so called, it is impossible to
state accurately the number of partial recoveries, or, at least, to
define usefully the degrees of gain. For these reasons I have not
attempted to furnish full statistics of the large number of cases I have

In the debate before the British Medical Association the question of the
permanence of cures by this method was the subject of discussion. I have
lately been at some pains to learn the fate of many of my earlier cases,
and can say with certainty that every case then treated was selected
because all else had failed, and that I find relapses into the state
they were in when brought to me to have been very uncommon. A vast
proportion have remained in useful health, and a small number have lost
a part of their gains. I now make it a rule to keep up some relation
with patients after discharge, by occasional visits or by letter, and
believe that in this way many small troubles are hindered from becoming
large enough to cause relapses.

I said in my first edition that I did not doubt that the statements I
made would give rise in some minds to that distrust which the relation
of remarkable cures so naturally excites; and this I cannot blame. Every
physician can recall in his own practice such cases as I have
described, and every medical man of large experience knows that many of
these women are to him sources of anxiety or of therapeutic despair so
deep that after a time he gets to think of them as destined irredeemably
to a life of imperfect health, and finds it hard to believe that any
method of treatment can possibly achieve a rescue.

I am fortunate now in having been able to show that in other hands than
my own, both here and abroad, this treatment has so thoroughly justified
itself as to need no further defence or apology from its author. It has
gratified me also to learn that in many instances country physicians,
remote from the resources of great cities, have been able to make it
available. As I have already said, I am now more fearful that it will be
misused, or used where it is not needed, than that it will not be used;
and, with this word of caution, I leave it again to the judgment of time
and my profession.



In my earliest publication on the treatment of diseases by rest, etc.,
locomotor ataxia was alluded to as one of the troubles in which
remarkable results had been obtained. Rest alone will do much to
diminish pain and promote sleep in tabes, rest with massage and
electricity will do more. It is not necessary to order complete
seclusion for such cases, but some special measures will be needed in
addition to those already described as of use in various disorders, and
these will be discussed in this chapter.

While this is not a treatise on diagnosis, some brief
symptom-description is needed to enable one to define clearly the
methods of treatment at different stages.

In the middle or late stages there need be little uncertainty in
uncomplicated cases; in the earlier periods diagnosis is by no means
easy. A history may usually be elicited of important heralding
symptoms, such as former or present troubles with the muscles of the
eyes, the occurrence of vague but sharp and recurring pains, vertigo, an
impairment of balance, unnoticed perhaps, except when walking in the
dark or when stooping to wash the face, or especially when going down
stairs. Attacks of 'dyspepsia,' as unrecognized visceral crises are
often called, should render one suspicious. If, on examination, loss or
impairment of knee-jerk be shown, contraction of the pupil with
Argyll-Robertson phenomenon and defective station, but little doubt can
exist. The discovery by the ophthalmoscope of some degree of beginning
optic neuritis would make assurance more sure, and this can often be
detected in a very early stage of the disease.

Much controversy has been spent on the question of the share of syphilis
in producing tabes, and out of the battle but two facts emerge fairly
certain, the one that syphilis often precedes the disease, the other
that anti-syphilitic medication is commonly of no service. But syphilis
is so frequently antecedent that a history of that infection may make
certain the diagnosis when doubt exists. This may be an important
point, for some of the cardinal symptoms are occasionally absent; cases
are seen with no incoördination, sometimes with the station unaffected,
even, though rarely, with the knee-jerk preserved.

The diagnosis established, treatment will somewhat depend upon the stage
which the disease has reached.

In the pre-ataxic stage, where slight unsteadiness, often not
troublesome except in the dark or with closed eyes, sharp stabbing pains
here and there, numbness of the feet, girdle-sense in the region of
chest, waist, or belly, some recurrent difficulty in emptying the
bladder, a fugitive partial palsy of the external muscles of the eye,
are the chief or, perhaps, the only complaints, it would not be
justifiable to put the patient to bed at complete rest. This early stage
calls for a different plan of treatment, to be presently described.

In the middle or more distinctly ataxic period long rest in bed should
be prescribed, and will be gratefully accepted by a patient whose
sufferings from incoördination, pains, and numbness of the extremities
are often so great as to incapacitate him.

The bladder muscles share in the ataxia, and the consequent retention
of urine frequently causes cystitis, and may endanger life by the
involvement of the kidneys.

The bowels cannot be emptied or are moved without the patient's
knowledge, and these annoyances combine with the pain and nervous
apprehension to drive the victim into a melancholic or neurasthenic
state. He suffers, too, from want of occupation, from the absence of
exercise, from the anticipation of worse changes in the near future, and
usually by the time he reaches the specialist has been more or less
poisoned with iodide of potash and mercury, and perhaps with morphia.

In the third, the paralytic stage, which seldom comes on until the
symptoms have lasted for years, there is gradual loss of power and
ataxia, increasing until he is totally unable to walk. If a patient is
not seen until this condition of things has been reached, but little can
be hoped from any treatment, though in a few cases energetic measures
may bring about a marked improvement, which is rarely lasting.

A combination of tabes with lateral sclerosis, or with general paralysis
of the insane, is sometimes seen, but needs no special consideration.

The first or pre-ataxic stage is, to the great detriment of patients,
too seldom recognized. The pains are called rheumatic, the eye symptoms
are lightly passed over or glasses are ordered, the difficulty of
micturition is treated by drugs, and the slightly impaired balance
unnoticed or unconsidered.

When such a patient comes into our hands the history, and especially the
history of predisposing causes, needs the most careful examination. It
is well established that syphilis is a common precedent of ataxia,
occurring in at least two-thirds of the cases; it is even more firmly
settled that iodide and mercury in large doses do no good in advanced
ataxia. I say in advanced ataxia, because a few cases are seen in which
the syphilis has been of recent occurrence, or where the spinal symptoms
are of decidedly acute character, and in these anti-syphilitic
medication is needed and useful; but such cases should be described as
acute or subacute spinal syphilis, not as ataxia. When nerve
degeneration has once begun, iodide will do little good and mercury may
do positive harm, if used in large doses. The other common predisposing
causes, exposure to cold, over-exertion, sexual excess, need concern us
only as they suggest warnings to be given, especially when the patient
is improving. Until he does improve not much need be said about them; he
cannot indulge in venery, as sexual power is usually (though not always)
lost early in the disease; and the incoördination lessens his
opportunities of exposure or over-exertion.

During this stage some patients complain most of the numbness,
girdle-sense, and incoördination; others of the stabbing pains or the
bladder weakness. The general treatment must be much the same, however,
in all, with special attention besides to the special needs of each

Fatigue makes all the symptoms worse, increases pain, and impairs still
more the muscular incoördination; it is, therefore, of the first
importance in every instance to forbid all over-exertion. Walking, more
than any other form of exercise, hurts these cases. The patient should
not walk beyond his absolute necessities. To get the needed fresh air,
let him, according to his situation in life, drive out or use the
street-cars. In some cases the use of a tricycle on a level floor or on
good roads is not so harmful as walking, for obvious reasons; this
tricycle exercise may at first be made a passive or mild exercise by
having the machine pushed by an attendant. To replace the effects upon
the circulation and bowels of physical activity massage may be used, and
the masseur must have directions as to gentle handling of the tender
places at first. These are usually in fixed positions, and can be
avoided or only lightly touched. The shooting pains may be lessened by
deep, slow massage in the tracks of the nerves affected. If, as
generally happens, there are also regions of defective sensation, these
should receive after the general manipulation active, rapid circular
friction, and, perhaps, experimentally, open-hand slapping. As
constipation is one of the troublesome features, the abdomen should have
particular attention, and an unusual amount of time be given to
manipulations of the colon, as described in the chapter on massage. A
full hour's rest in bed, preferably in a darkened room, must follow the

A schedule for the day on about the lines of the "partial rest"
schedule, as described on a previous page, should be followed. A
prolonged warm bath, with cool sponging after, if the latter be well
borne, is useful in lessening pains and nervous irritability,--and this
may begin the day or be used at any convenient hour.

At an hour as far from the massage as possible lessons in co-ordinate
movements are given, after a week or ten days of massage has prepared
the muscles, and baths and a quiet life have steadied the nerves. For
many years past, certainly fifteen or sixteen, the students and
physicians who have followed my service at the Infirmary for Nervous
Diseases have seen this systematic training given, and no doubt they
received with some amusement the excitement about it as a new method of
treatment when it was proclaimed in Europe two or three years ago.

The indication for this teaching appeared too obvious to publish or talk
much about. The patient has incoördination; one, therefore, does one's
best to teach him to co-ordinate his movements by small beginnings and
by small increases.

The lessons may be given by the physician at first and be executed
under his eye. After a few days any tolerably intelligent patient should
be able to carry them out alone, but still each new movement should be
personally inspected to make sure that it is done correctly.

In patients in the first stage of ataxia the most striking result of
incoördination is the impairment of station. We therefore begin with
balancing lessons. The patient is directed to stand at "Attention," head
up and chest out, not looking at his feet, as the ataxic always wishes
to do. At first this is enough to require; it will not do to be too
particular about how his feet are placed, so long as he does not
straddle. He can repeat this effort for himself a dozen times a day, for
a minute or two each time. Next we try the same position with a little
more care about getting the feet pretty near together and parallel, or
with the toes turned out only a very little. In another couple of days a
little more severity may be exercised about maintaining the correct
attitude,--heels touching, hands hanging down, and eyes looking straight
forward,--and until he is able to do this _easily_ it is best to ask
nothing more. Then he is requested to stand on one foot, being permitted
just to touch a chair-back or the attendant's hand to give confidence.
This is practised until he can keep his erect station for a few seconds
without difficulty. This point of improvement may be reached in three
days or a week or may take a fortnight. Women, as I have before
observed, although rarely in America the victims of tabes, when they do
have it have far less disturbance of balance than men, and this is to be
attributed to their life-long habit of walking without seeing their
feet. I have found in the few cases of ataxia in women that I have seen
that they benefited much more quickly by these balance instructions than
did men, though their other symptoms were in no way different.

Continuing every day the practice of all the previous lessons, movements
are rapidly added as soon as station is better. A brief list of them
follows. When the exercises grow so numerous as to take overmuch time,
the simpler early ones may be omitted.

When the learner is able to stand on one foot, let him slowly raise the
other and put it on a marked spot on the edge of a chair. This, like all
the other exercises, must be practised with both feet.

Stand erect without bending forward and put one foot straight back as
far as possible.

Do the same sideways.

Stand and bend body slowly forward, backward, and sideways, with a
moment's rest after each motion.

Having reached this point, I usually order the patient to practise all
these with closed eyes. When he can do this, he begins to take one or
two steps with shut eyes, first forward, then sideways, then backward.
If he falter or move without freedom, he is kept at this until he does
it confidently. Then exercises in following patterns traced on the floor
are begun. In hospitals, or where bare floors are to be found, the
patterns may be drawn with chalk. In carpeted rooms, which by the way
are less suited for the work than plain boards or parquet floors, a
piece of half-inch wide white tape may be laid in the required pattern,
first in a straight line, later, as proficiency is gained, in curved,
figure-of-eight, or angular patterns. The patient must be made to walk
_on_ the line, putting one foot directly in front of the other, with the
heel of the forward foot touching the toe of the one behind.

Walking over obstacles is tried next. Wooden blocks measuring about six
by twelve inches and two inches thick are stood on edge at intervals of
eighteen inches and the patient walks over them, thus training several
groups of muscles; the blocks are at first set in straight lines, then
in curving patterns. An ordinary octavo book makes a good substitute for
a block.

If the trunk muscles are affected by the ataxia, further exercises are
ordered for them, bending and twisting movements, picking up objects
from the floor, etc. For the hands and arms, which, except in those very
rare cases where the ataxia first shows itself in the upper extremities,
seldom exhibit much incoördination in the primary and middle stages, the
movements are the picking up of a series of different-shaped small
articles, arranging objects like dominoes, marbles, or the kindergarten
sticks in patterns, bringing the fingers of the two hands one after
another together, or touching a finger to the ear or the nose, at first
with open and then with shut eyes.

With these methods, needing not more than twenty minutes three times a
day, the ataxic symptoms sometimes rapidly diminish. In certain cases no
other improvement will be observed, showing that what has taken place
is of course not an alteration of the diseased nerve-tissues for the
better, as no treatment can restore sclerotic spinal tissue to a normal
state, but is merely a substitution of function, in which other and
associated nerve-tracts have replaced in control the ones affected.

As to the pains and bowel and bladder disturbances, their handling will
be discussed in considering the treatment of the next or middle stage of
tabes. In this period the ataxic symptoms are most prominent; the gait
has become so unsteady that the patient needs canes to walk at all and
must constantly watch his feet. He walks a little better when well under
way, but at starting or when standing still he sways and totters. The
girdle-sense is severe and constant, various pains assail the body and
limbs; the numbness of the feet, often described as a feeling "like
walking with a pillow under the foot," still further incommodes his
walking.[30] The bladder control may be so enfeebled as to require
daily catheterization, and the bowels move only with enemas or
purgatives, and often without the patient's knowledge, owing to the
anæsthesia which affects the rectum and its vicinity.

One of the first things to attend to when patients are in this stage is
the bladder, as the retention is the only condition likely to produce
serious disorder. Cystitis is or may be present, and with the retention
is a constant threat to the kidneys. Catheterization and washing out
with an antiseptic must be regularly practised while treatment is used
to improve the condition.

For these patients rest in bed is a prime necessity in order to remove
all excuse for exertion. The method of application of massage has
already been suggested. Care must be taken that the patient eats well
and of the best food. Except for occasional gastric or intestinal crises
of pain, sometimes with vomiting, sometimes with diarrhoea, the
digestive functions are usually well performed, unless the stomach has
been greatly upset by over-use of iodide. The most liberal feeding
consistent with good digestion is indicated, for it must be remembered
that we are dealing with a disease in which degenerative changes play
an important part. The usefulness of electricity in ataxia has been
denied by some authors, while others praise it indiscriminately. Perhaps
a reason for this difference of opinion may be found in its different
effects upon individual patients; but I see few in whom I do not find
electricity in one or another form helpful. For pains I order the
galvanic current through the affected nerves as strong as the man is
able to bear. If after a few days of this the pains are unchanged, a
rapidly interrupted faradic current is tried, and failing to do good
with this, I use light cauterization or a series of small blisters to
the spine at the point of exit of the painful nerves. Galvanization of
the bladder with an intravesical electrode is sometimes of service to
strengthen its capacity for contraction. Faradism is applied in the form
just described, using a wire brush as an electrode to the areas of
numbness and anæsthesia. Lately I have found that this current in a
strength which would be very painful to the normal skin will in some
instances relieve the feeling of pressure and dull discomfort about the
rectum and perineum, and it has been successful when galvanism did no
good. In patients within reach of a static machine, this form may be
used for the numbness if the others do not help it.

For the attacks of pain, if general, a prolonged hot bath lasting from
ten to twelve minutes, at a temperature of 100° F. or even more, should
be first tried; if this fail, antipyrin, phenacetin, acetanilid, or
cannabis indica may be used, or, as a last resort, morphia. For the
local pains hot water is also useful, and in the intervals I order
applications of hot water to the tender points, as hot as can be borne,
alternating with ice-water, each rapidly applied three or four times. In
severe attacks, and with all due caution to avoid habituation, cocaine
injections may be given. In cases with high arterial tension the daily
administration of nitroglycerin in full doses will not only lower the
tension but decrease the pains in force and frequency.

For several years past in all patients with the general lowering of
nervous force and vitality so common in this disease I have habitually
used the testicular elixir of Brown-Séquard. The ridiculous length to
which organic therapeutics have been carried, the extravagant
advertising claims, and an absurd expectation of impossible results have
combined to make the profession shy of those organic preparations which
have not very good evidence in their favor, and for some time I shared
in this prejudice against the Brown-Séquard fluid. A talk with that most
distinguished physician and an examination of some of his cases led me
to a trial for myself, and I am at present very well convinced that,
whether a physiologic basis can reasonably be assumed or not, we have in
the fluid a tonic remedy of great power. While I have used it with good
effect in other conditions, it is in ataxia that I have found it of most

The glycerin extract is freshly prepared from bulls' testicles in exact
accordance with the directions of the discoverer. It is used
hypodermatically every other day, beginning with a diluted ten-minim
dose and increasing by two or three drops up to about forty minims. The
effect is at its height twelve to twenty-four hours after the
administration in most patients, hence the reason for using it only once
in two days. The skin is prepared, the needles and syringe disinfected,
and the tiny puncture sealed afterwards with as minute care as would be
given to a surgical operation. By these precautions the danger of
abscess, always considerable if hypodermics are carelessly given, is
minimized. As the dose is large, a site must be selected for the
injection where the tissue is loose, otherwise the pain will interfere
with the desired frequency of use. The buttocks serve best, or the outer
masses of the pectoral muscles, or the abdominal muscles. If the
administration causes pain (due in part to the large quantity used and
in part to the local effect of glycerin), a fraction of a grain of
cocaine may be added to the solution when measured out for use.

It may at once be said, emphatically, that in some cases remarkable
results have followed the use of this material, while in others no good
has been done; but the same may be said of most plans of treatment in
this disorder. As to possible danger from it, no harm has been done to
any patient known to me, except that abcesses have occurred sometimes,
though very rarely, for in many hundreds of injections it has been my
good fortune to see abscesses form only three or four times, two of
these instances, by curious ill luck, being in physicians. Patients
describe a stimulating effect not unlike that of strong coffee,
following a few hours after use and lasting for a day. The sexual
appetite, if present, is increased; if absent, it is often renewed,
sometimes in elderly men to an inconvenient extent. In one tabetic
subject who had lost desire and ability for more than three years both
returned in sufficient force to allow him to beget a child. This
patient, like most of the others, was ignorant of what drug was being
used and of what effects might be expected, so suggestion played no
part. Apart from this special effect, the solution acts only as a highly
stimulating tonic.

The full dose of forty minims or thereabouts is maintained for a
fortnight or less, and then gradually diminished in the same way that it
was increased. Sometimes, when the effect has been good, a second
"course" may be given after two or three weeks' interval.

During the treatment by hypodermic the masseur should be told to avoid
rubbing where the injections have been given. A few trials with the
fluid internally have produced so little result of any kind that I am
inclined to think the gastric juices must alter it so as to lessen or
wholly destroy its power.

As to other drugs, experience has not given me much confidence in any
of those usually recommended. Strychnia, belladonna, and those
antiseptic drugs which are eliminated chiefly by the kidneys are of use
when cystitis has to be treated and the bladder muscles urged to
activity. Arsenic, the chloride of gold and sodium, and chloride of
aluminium are suggested by various authorities, but they have not been
of any value in my hands. In hopeless cases, where all treatment fails,
as will sometimes happen, or in patients in whom the paralytic stage is
already far advanced, if other measures are unsuccessful, morphia is
left as a forlorn hope, which will at least relieve their pains.

An outline report of several cases of different types and degrees is

M.P. of North Carolina, æt. thirty-seven, general health excellent until
syphilis in 1894, was admitted to the Infirmary in 1898. He had had for
two years recurrent attacks of paralysis of the external rectus muscle
of the right eye, slight gastric crises, and stabbing pains in the legs;
station very poor, but strength unimpaired, and he was able to walk
after being a few minutes on his feet; when first rising he was very
unsteady. Knee-jerk lost, no reinforcement. No sexual power. Some
difficulty in emptying the bladder. Examination showed slight atrophy of
both optic nerves, Argyll-Robertson pupil, and myosis. He was ordered
two weeks' rest in bed, with massage, cool sponging daily, and
galvanization of the areas of neuralgia. After two weeks he was allowed
to get up gradually, to occupy himself as he pleased, but not to walk.
Lessons in balance and co-ordination were begun in the fourth week of
treatment, and supervised carefully for two weeks more. When his station
and gait were both improved, he was permitted to walk, always with care
not to fatigue himself. At this time, six weeks from commencement of
treatment, his eyes were glassed by Dr. de Schweinitz. He had gained
some pounds in weight, and walked on straight lines without noticeable
incoördination, but in turning short or walking sharp curves he was
still unsteady. He found walking much easier than formerly and was less
easily tired. After nine weeks he could stand or walk, even backward,
with closed eyes. He was sent home for the summer, with directions to
continue his co-ordination movements, to walk very little, and take
such exercise as he needed on horseback, riding quietly. He had still
some stabbing pains two or three times daily.

He reported in one month, and again in six months, "No improvement in
the pains, but I walk well and briskly, can jump on a moving street-car,
and have ridden a horse twenty miles in a day without fatigue."

This case was in one way favorable for treatment: the patient, an
educated and intelligent man, helped in every way, carrying out minutely
all orders, and had the good sense to begin treatment early. But the
acuteness and rapidity of onset of the tabetic symptoms were so great
that in a little more than two years they had reached a condition which
most cases only attain in from five to ten years, and this makes the
prognosis somewhat less favorable.

In the instance to be next related there was also antecedent syphilis,
and the patient had already been heavily dosed with iodides and
repeatedly salivated with mercury. His recovery was and has remained
remarkably complete.

H.B., travelling salesman, from New York, æt. forty, single, a large,
strongly-made man, a hard worker, given to excesses in sexual
indulgence and alcohol for years. Syphilis was contracted fifteen years
before the first traceable symptoms of ataxia, which had shown
themselves after an attack of grippe, in 1890, in sudden remittent
paralysis of the external muscles of the right eye, followed within a
few months by gastric crises, general lightning pains appearing a few
months later. During the two years succeeding he was drenched with drugs
and grew steadily worse. When admitted to the hospital in 1892 he was
very ataxic in the legs, suffered greatly from gastric and other pains,
difficulties with bladder and rectum, loss of sexual power, various
anæsthetic areas, could not stand with eyes open unless he had help,
total loss of knee-jerk, paralysis of right rectus, indigestion from the
irritation of the stomach from medicines as well as from the disease,
and, though muscular and over-fat, was flabby and pallid. He had no
ataxia or loss of sensibility in the upper half of the body. He was in
bed for two weeks, on milk diet, with warm baths and massage. Systematic
movements were begun and massage continued. After the stomach improved
he grew better with unusual rapidity. He is now able to work hard again,
travels extensively, can walk strongly, but wisely takes his exercise
more in the form of massage and systematic gymnastics. He appears to
report himself once or twice a year. There has been a partial return of
sexual ability.

The next case has points of interest in the later history, but the first
examinations and early treatment may be passed over briefly. X.Y., æt.
forty-two, a steady, sober merchant, closely confined by his business,
always of excellent habits, with no possible suspicion of syphilis, was
seen first in 1894 in a somewhat advanced stage of tabes, but with no
optic or gastric disturbances. His station was very bad, but when once
erect and started he could walk without a stick. Girdle-pains very
marked; bowels very constipated; some trouble in emptying bladder;
several points of fixed sharp pain; lightning pain occasional and
severe, but not frequent. He was ordered to bed for six weeks.
Galvanism, alternate hot- and cold-water applications to the tender
spots, careful massage, and a two-months' course of Brown-Séquard fluid
after getting up made a new man of him. Massage and systematic exercise
were kept up together for six months. The massage was stopped and the
exercises continued, and improvement went on steadily, though the fixed
pains kept up in only slightly less severity.

In a year the patient was better in general health, looks, and spirits
than he had been for many years before, and remained in good order,
except for the daily recurrences of paroxysms of pain of varying but not
unbearable severity for two years. He then presumed for a month on his
strength, and took much more exercise afoot than was wise, worked late
at night over his books, had some additional nervous strain from
business worries, and came to Dr. J.K. Mitchell in October, 1898, barely
able to crawl with two canes, having lost weight, become sleepless,
suffered great increase of pain, and grown so ataxic that he could
scarcely walk. This change had all occurred in three or four weeks. He
became steadily worse for two or three weeks till he could not stand or
walk at all, had cystitis from retention, violent attacks of rectal
tenesmus, stabbing pains in rectum, perineum, scrotum, and groins, with
almost total anæsthesia of the sacral region, buttocks, scrotum, and
perineum, inability to retain fæces, while passages from the bowels took
place without his knowledge. He found that an increase in the rectal
and abdominal pain followed lying down. He therefore spent day and night
sitting up. At the end of three weeks there was total paralysis of the
legs, and the outlook seemed most unfavorable.

Massage was begun again, strychnia and salol were administered, and a
short course of full doses of the testicular fluid was given. A rapidly
interrupted faradic current, with an uncovered electrode, to the
neighborhood of the rectum, bladder, and buttocks, greatly relieved the
anæsthesia, upon which galvanism had no effect; and, in brief, from a
state which looked almost as if the last paralytic stage of tabes had
suddenly come upon him, he recovered in two months, and is now (July,
1899) better than he was a year ago, before the relapse, and will
probably remain so, as he has had his warning.

Without multiplying case histories, it may be said that ataxic
paraplegia (a combination of lateral and posterior sclerosis) may be
treated in much the same manner. In this disease there is usually much
less pain than in ataxia, but greater weakness, and late in its course
some rigidity in the extensor groups of the legs; the knee-jerk is
preserved or exaggerated. The disease is a rare one. But two recent
distinct cases are in my list, and one of these, the one here reported,
seems rather more like an ataxia with some anomalous symptoms. The
second one had the symptom, uncommon in this malady, of very frequent
and excessively severe stabbing pains, and though his co-ordination grew
somewhat better, he improved very little in any other way, which, as his
trouble was of fourteen years standing, was not astonishing.

The other patient, seen in 1897, was a rancher from New Mexico,
thirty-three years old, who had led an active, hard-working,
much-exposed life, but had been perfectly well until 1891, when he was
said to have had an attack of spinal meningitis, from which he recovered
very slowly. Four years later he noticed numbness of feet and weakness
of legs, great enough to make it hard for him to get a leg over his
horse. Some pains were felt in the limbs, and a constriction about the
chest and abdomen, which had steadily increased in severity. Sharp
attacks left distinct bruise-marks at the seat of pain each time. Could
not empty bladder. Gait feeble, spastic, and paralytic, could not mount
steps at all or stand without aid, sway very great. Knee-jerks and
muscle-jerks increased, especially on left; ankle-clonus; very slight
loss of touch-acuity in lower half of body. Eyes: muscles and
eye-grounds negative; pupils equal and active. Bladder could not be
emptied; cystitis. Ordered rest, massage, electricity, and full doses of
iodide in skimmed milk. In this way he was able to take without distress
or indigestion amounts as large as four hundred and forty grains a day.
When education in balance, etc., was begun he could not walk without
aid, or more than a few steps in any way. In three months from the time
he went to bed he walked out-of-doors alone with no stick, and in five
months went back to work. The bladder did not improve much until after
regular washing out and intravesical galvanism were used, with full
doses of strychnia. He was soon able to empty the organ twice a day, and
since leaving the hospital writes that it gives him very little
annoyance, though as a measure of precaution he uses a catheter once
daily. His pains have entirely disappeared, and he is daily on horseback
for many hours.

In spastic paralysis, whether in the slowly-developing forms in which it
is seen in adults, due sometimes to multiple sclerosis, sometimes to
brain tumor, sometimes following upon a transverse myelitis, or in the
central paraplegia or diplegia of "birth-palsies," some very fortunate
results have followed the careful application of the principles of
treatment already described. Absolute confinement to bed is seldom
required or in adults desirable, though exercise should be carefully
limited to an amount which can be taken without fatigue, and some hours'
rest lying down is usually advantageous.

Assuming that the necessary treatment for the disease originating the
paralysis is to be carried on in the ordinary way, I will only describe
the special forms and methods of exercise I have found serviceable.
Whatever the cause, this will be much the same, though in birth-palsies
the teaching may have to include groups of muscles and instruction in
the co-ordination of actions which are not affected in adult subjects.

First, as to massage: the operator must direct his efforts primarily to
the relaxation of the tense muscles, secondarily to the strengthening of
the opponent groups, this last being of special importance where actual
contraction has taken place. He should make frequent attempts by
stretching the rigid groups to overcome the spasm, which in large
muscle-masses may be done by grasping with both hands, taking care not
to pinch, and pulling the hands apart in the line of the muscle's long
axis, thus stretching the muscles. Pressure will sometimes accomplish
the same end, and it will be found in certain cases that by kneading
_during action_,--that is, while the patient endeavors to produce
voluntary contraction,--the result will be better. Except in the most
spastic states, a certain degree of relaxation is possible by effort,
though not without practice, and this has to be constantly inculcated
and encouraged. After a period varying in length according to the case,
lessons in co-ordinating movements are begun. It is best for the
patient's encouragement to start with the least affected muscles, so
that, seeing the good results, he may be stimulated to persistent
effort. The lessons differ only in detail from those given in the list
under tabes. Improvement is slower than in ataxia.

In birth-palsy cases not much can be accomplished in the way of
education, beyond the attempt by such means as ordinary gymnastics and
lessons in drill and walking offer, until the child shall have reached
an age when he is able to comprehend what is being attempted. For the
imbecile, idiotic, or backward a training-school is the proper place,
where mental and bodily functions may both receive attention and where
constant intelligent supervision is available.

Many children the subjects of cerebral diplegia are credited with less
intelligence than they really possess, partly because they are
necessarily backward, and partly because of their difficulty in
expressing themselves, the speech-muscles sharing in the disease. These
muscles need to be carefully educated, and this might almost be made the
subject of a treatise by itself. Each case will require study as to the
special difficulties in the way of speech. Some experience most trouble
with the vowel sounds, more find the consonants the worst obstacles.
Patient practice in forming the sounds soon produce some results; the
pupil must be taught, like the deaf mute, to watch and imitate the
movements of the lips and tongue.

Séguin's books and the numerous special works should be consulted by the
physician or parent desiring to pursue these methods to their fullest

When once the control of muscular movement begins to improve, more
elaborate exercises may be set. In speech, if the patients be
intelligent, they will sometimes be amused and profitably trained at the
same time by the effort to learn and repeat long words or nonsensical
combinations of difficult sounds, like the "Peter Piper" nursery rhymes.

B.M., æt. fourteen, an intelligent lad, of Jewish parentage, suffered a
forceps-injury at birth, and had convulsive seizures later. He began to
make futile attempts at walking when five or six years of age, when the
spastic rigidity was first noticed. His speech was better at this time
than later, and a sort of relapse seemed to be precipitated by a fall in
which he struck his head when seven years of age. His mother, finding it
almost impossible to teach him to walk, devoted herself faithfully to
improving his mind, so that at fourteen years of age he read well and
enjoyed books, and was mentally clear, observant, and docile. His speech
was almost incomprehensible,--stuttering, thick, and nasal. He stood,
swaying in every direction, though not apt to fall, with bent knees,
rounded shoulders, every muscle in the extremities rigid, the mouth
half-open, the head projected forward, and, upon attempting to move,
the toes turned in, the legs almost twined around one another, and,
unless supported, he would stumble and twist about, scarcely able to get
forward at all. With a guiding hand he did a little better. His first
lessons were in "setting-up drill," while the feeble, disused muscles
were strengthened by massage, which served at the same time to help his
very irritable and imperfect digestive apparatus, so that it was soon
possible to give him a greater variety and more nourishing kinds of food
than he had before been able to take. He was kept in bed up to three
o'clock in the afternoon, the morning hours occupied with massage and a
half-hour's lesson in erect standing, with slow trunk movements
afterwards. An hour after dinner he was dressed and taken for two hours
in a carriage or street-car. He did his reading and some study on his
return, and had another half-hour's drill, superintended by his mother.
In two or three weeks some improvement began to be observable in his
attitude, and a great change in his color and general expression, but it
was three months before it was thought wise to attempt education in
small co-ordinate movements. At about the same time speech-drill was

In all these lessons the greatest care was taken that adequate rest
should intervene between each series of efforts, and it was always found
that fatigue distinctly impaired his co-ordination, as did emotion or
indigestion. When his speech grew clearer he was set tasks of learning
many-syllabled words and also began to practise drawing patterns. Every
new lesson was first given under medical supervision and then continued
by his mother or by the masseur. To shorten the history it will suffice
to say that in six months he was able to go to school, where with
certain allowances made for his thick speech by a kindly master he did
well, and returned to his home in the South able to walk without
attracting attention, to speak comprehensibly, to write a good letter,
and with every prospect fair for a still greater improvement, which I
learn he has since made.

The important things to be recognized in the treatment of these cases
are, first, that rest in proper proportion allows of the patients doing
an amount of exertion which, ungoverned, or performed in wrong ways
would harm them; secondly, that full feeding is of value, because these
disorders are mostly of the character of degenerations and involve
failure of nutrition in various directions; and, lastly, that the
exactness of routine is of the highest moral and mental as well as
physical importance.

Paralysis agitans needs scarcely more than to be mentioned as amenable
to the same methods, with small differences in the application of
details. Body movements to counteract the tendency to rigidity in the
flexor groups of spinal muscles will be especially useful, as the
stiffness of these is one of the causes of displacement forward of the
centre of gravity, a displacement which results in the festination
symptom usually seen in such cases. Prescriptions of special exercises
for the muscle-masses particularly involved in each instance must be
given, remembering that contraction of the affected muscles will to a
certain degree overcome their rigidity even at first, and to a still
greater extent as the patient reacquires voluntary control.


Acne, caused by massage, 89.

After-treatment, importance of, 79, 195.

Albuminuria, from exercise, 101.

Alcoholism producing fat, 23.

American race peculiarities, 17, 21, 32.

Anæmia. _Vide_ Cases.
  blood-count in, 102.
  diagnosis of, 104.
  effects of massage in, 101.
  fatigue in, 72.

Anæmic obesity, 24, 128.

Asthenia. _Vide_ Cases.

Asthenopia, 67, 145, 149.

Ataxia. _Vide_ Cases.
  bathing in, 204, 212.
  co-ordinate movements in, 204.
  symptoms of, 197.
  treatment of, 197.

Bathing, effects of, 67.
  in ataxia, 204, 212.

Birth-palsy. _Vide_ Cases.

Bleeding, causing increase of fat, 24.

Blood changes from massage, 99, 101, 185.

Bowditch on weight at different ages, 17, 23.

Bright's disease, a contraindication, 45.

Brown-Séquard's elixir, 212.

Brunton on effects of massage, 101.

  albuminuria, 183.
  amenorrhoea, 149, 193.
  anæmia, extreme, 184.
  aortic stenosis, 187.
  asthenia, 111, 172, 182.
  ataxia, 216, 218, 220.
  birth-palsy, 226.
  chloral habit, 150, 154, 174, 178.
  hysteria, 76, 114, 154, 157, 160, 165, 181.
  hysteria and neurasthenia, 112.
  hystero-epilepsy, 165.
  kidney, floating, 191.
  morphia habit, 154, 165.
  neurasthenia, 144, 171, 174.
  neurasthenia and pulmonary disease, 149, 160.
  obesity, anæmic, 132, 134.
  paralysis, hysterical, 134, 150.
  paraplegia, ataxic, 223.
  paraplegia, spastic, 228.
  tabes. _Vide_ Ataxia.
  uterine disease and chloral habit, 150, 154.

Cases, selection of, 33, 60.

Chloral habit. _Vide_ Cases.
  treatment of, 137.

Chorea, 33.

Cod-liver oil enema, 140.

Constipation caused by milk diet, 125.

Contraindications to rest, etc., 45.

Corpulence, Harvey on, 129.

Diet-list, 144, 146, 159.

Dietetics, 119, 171.

Drug-habits, treatment of, 137.

Eccles on massage, 101.

Electricity, 108.
  Beard on, 115.
  causing insomnia, 118.
  during menstruation, 90.
  in ataxia, 211.
  in constipation, 109.
  mode of using, 108, 116.
  rise of temperature from, 110, 116.
  when needed, 118.

Face, massage of, 105.

Fat in alcoholism, 23.
  in its relation to health, 16.
  increased by bleeding, 24.
  milk-diet in, 128.
  mode of accumulation of, 27.
  reduction of, 128.
  varieties of, 25.

Food, amount of, 146, 159.
  in obesity, 130.

Goitre, exophthalmic, 46.

Gymnastics, Swedish, 92.

Harvey on corpulence, 129.

Head, massage of, 105.

Headache from massage, 100.
  massage for, 105.

Heart-disease, treatment of, 45.

Hysteria. _Vide_ Cases.

Introduction, 9.

Iodide in ataxia, 201.

Iron, use of, 142.

Jackson on rest, 58.

Karell on milk-treatment, 120, 128.

Keen on albuminuria, 101.

Kidney, floating. _Vide_ Cases.
  belt for, 190.
  treatment of, 48, 66, 189.

Letheby on fattening stock, 26.

Malt extract, 138.
  Japanese extract of, 141.

Marshall on urinary changes, 127.

Massage, 80.
  abdominal, 86.
  amount of, 92.
  blood-changes from, 101.
  causing acne, 89.
  causing headache, 100.
  chilliness from, 91.
  during convalesence, 34.
  during menstruation, 90.
  Eccles on, 101.
  effect on temperature, 93.
  effects of general, 98, 101.
  frequency of use, 90.
  in anæmia, 101.
  in heart-disease, 46.
  in spastic paralysis, 225.
  Lauder-Brunton on, 101.
  lubricant undesirable in, 89.
  of face, 105.
  of head, 105.
  order of application, 82, 91.
  sexual excitement from, 91.
  why useful, 98.

Melancholia, treatment of, 46.

Menstruation, effects of rest on, 149, 193.
  electricity during, 90.
  massage during, 90.

Milk, in alcoholism, 137.
  in chloral habit, 137.
  pasteurized, 121.
  peptonized, 122.
  quantity to be used, 123.
  sterilization of, 121.

Milk diet, 119.
  constipation caused by, 125.
  disappearance of uric acid during use of, 126.
  effects of, on urinary pigments, 126.
  general effects of, 124.
  in obesity, 128.
  in obesity with anæmia, 128.
  Karell on, 120, 128.
  precautions in using, 123.
  sleepiness from, 125.
  stools during use of, 125.
  urinary changes from, 126.

Morphia habit, treated by rest, etc., 137, 154, 165.

Movements, co-ordinate, in ataxia, 204.
  in paralysis agitans, 231.
  in paraplegia, 223.
  in spastic paralysis, 226.
  Swedish, 92.

Neurasthenia. _Vide_ Cases.

Nurse, choice of, 53.

Obesity, milk diet in, 128.
  with anæmia, 128.
  with anæmia. _Vide_ Cases.

Ovarian disorders treated by rest, etc., 47.

Paralysis agitans, 231.

Paraplegia, ataxic, 223.
  spastic, 228.

Partial rest, 63.
  schedule for, 64.

Peculiarities of American race, 17, 21, 32.

Phthisis, gain of weight in, 35.
  Pollock on, 35.

Playfair on nerve-prostration, 12, 150.

Quetelet on gain of weight at different ages, 17.

Rest, 57.
  definition of, 62.
  effects of, on menstruation, 149, 193.
  in ataxia, 203, 210, 230.
  in neuralgia, 58.
  in spinal disease, 58, 197, 230.
  Jackson on, 58.
  length of, 66, 68.
  mental, 71.
  mode of terminating, 63, 78.
  moral uses of, 69.
  partial, 62.
  reasons for, 61, 70, 182.

Schedule for partial rest, 64.

Seclusion, 50.

Selection of cases, 33, 60.

Soup, raw, mode of making, 139.

Spine, irritable, 163, 178.

Syphilis preceding tabes, 198, 201.

Tabes. _Vide_ Ataxia.

Temperature after electric treatment, 110, 116.
  after massage, 93.

Treatment, season for, 53.
  selection of cases for, 33.

Urinary pigments, changes in, during milk diet, 126.

Weight at different ages, Bowditch on, 17, 23.
  gain or loss of, 14.
  loss of, relation to an anæmia, 15.
  Quetelet on, 17.



[Footnote 1: The Systematic Treatment of Nerve Prostration and Hysteria.
London, 1883.]

[Footnote 2: The Pennsylvania Orthopædic Hospital and Infirmary for
Diseases of the Nervous System.]

[Footnote 3: Sur l'Homme, p. 47, et seq.]

[Footnote 4: Growth of Children, p. 31.]

[Footnote 5: See a valuable paper by Dr. Gerhard, Am. Jour. Med. Sci.,
1876. Also Lectures on Diseases of the Nervous System, especially in
Women. S. Weir Mitchell. Phila., 1881, p. 127. See also the papers by
Dr. Morris J. Lewis on the seasonal relations of chorea, analyzing seven
hundred and seventeen cases of chorea as to the months of onset (Trans.
Assoc. Amer. Phys., 1892), and Osler On Chorea (1894).]

[Footnote 6: Statistics (Anthropological) Surgeon-General's

[Footnote 7: This excess of corpulence in the English is attained
chiefly after forty, as I have said. The average American is taller than
the average Englishman, and is fully as well built in proportion to his
height, as Gould has shown. The child of either sex in New England is
both taller and heavier than the English child of corresponding class
and age, as Dr. H.I. Bowditch has lately made clear; while the English
of the manufacturing and agricultural classes are miserably inferior to
the members of a similar class in America.]

[Footnote 8: Zeitschrift für Biol., 1872. Phila. Med. Times, vol. iii.,
page 115.]

[Footnote 9: Letheby on Food, pp. 39, 40, 41.]

[Footnote 10: Am. Jour. Med. Sci.; Proc. Phil. Coll. of Phys., 1883;
Phil. Med. News, April, 1883.]

[Footnote 11: Chorea. See Lancet, Aug. 1882.]

[Footnote 12: "Nurse and Patient." S. Weir Mitchell. Lippincott's
Magazine, Dec. 1872.]

[Footnote 13: See Philip Karell's remarks on the use of treatment by
milk in cardiac hypertrophy. Edin. Med. Jour., Aug. 1866.]

[Footnote 14: Trans. Obst. Soc. of London, vol. xxxiii.]

[Footnote 15: Séguin Lecture, _op. cit._]

[Footnote 16: "Pinch" is used to avoid the use of a technical term, but
should be understood to mean the grasping and squeezing of a part with
the whole hand, using the palmar portion of the fingers to press the
grasped mass against the "heel" of the hand. Fuller technical details of
the massage process and consideration of its effects will be found in
the excellent "Handbook" of Kleen, in the works of Dr. Douglas Graham,
Dr. A. Symon Eccles, and in an article in Professor Clifford Albutt's
"System of Medicine" (1896), by Dr. John K. Mitchell.]

[Footnote 17: Dr. Symon Eccles in "The Practice of Massage" recommends
this order.]

[Footnote 18: Some care is needed not to overwork patients. For details
I must refer to manuals of Swedish Gymnastics.]

[Footnote 19: See also page 91.]

[Footnote 20: A number of observations in late years have been made upon
the effect of massage upon elimination. Among the articles to which the
practitioner desiring further to study this subject may be referred

_Edin. Clin. and Path. Jour_., Aug., 1884.

_Jour, of Physiol._, vol. xxii., p. 68.

_Centralbl. f. Inner. Med._, 1894, No. 40, p. 944.

_Munch. Med. Woch._, April 11 and April 18, 1899 (Influence of bodily
exercise upon temperature in health and disease).

Numerous articles by Mosso, Arbelous, W. Bain, Lauder-Brunton, Lepicque
and Marette, and Maggiora.]

[Footnote 21: American Journal of the Medical Sciences, May, 1894.]

[Footnote 22: Numerous examinations made since have quite uniformly
agreed with the former remarkably constant results.]

[Footnote 23: J.K. Mitchell, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 24: Most induction batteries are without any arrangement for
making infrequent breaks in the current.]

[Footnote 25: In the extreme constipation of certain hysterical women,
good may be done by placing one conductor in the rectum and moving the
other over the abdomen so as to cause full movement of the muscles. This
means must at first be employed cautiously, and the amount of
electricity carefully increased. It is doubtful if any movement of the
intestinal muscle-fibres is thus caused, but that it is a useful method
of stimulation in obstinate cases may be taken as proved.]

[Footnote 26: Harvey on Corpulence.]

[Footnote 27: The management of the morphia or chloral habit becomes
much more easy under a milk diet, massage, and absolute rest, and I can
with confidence commend their use in these difficult cases. Massage in
the morning is liked, and general surface-rubbing without
muscle-kneading at night very often proves remarkably soothing, while
the rest in bed cuts off many opportunities to indulge in the temptation
to secure the desired drugs.]

[Footnote 28: I have found that this may be usefully replaced by one of
the numerous peptonized foods described in the pamphlets issued by the
manufacturers of the peptonizing powders. The ready-made peptonized
preparations vary very much, like some of the beef extracts, but a trial
will discover which of them is best fitted for an individual case.]

[Footnote 29: Nerve Prostration and Hysteria.]

[Footnote 30: It is worth mentioning that where ataxic patients have to
use canes, a crutch-cane with a base some six or eight inches long and
well shod with roughened rubber is far more useful and safer than the
ordinary stick.]

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