When Hippocrates reasoned with his contemporaries that in healing, the most famous and renownedpractitioners of their day did not treat disease with medication and drugs alone, he pronounced a greattruth which remains, even today.Again, when he says all reputedly successful physicians use diet and other effective means, which onecannot deny belong to healing, he simply voices a universally acknowledged fact. Obviously, he soughtto demonstrate to the medical practitioner, whom he wished to convince, that medicine, and particularlyhealing, cannot be restricted or limited within the narrow boundaries of the pharmacopoeia.The sick, in consulting the doctor, seldom know or care from which school system he graduates, butvisit him with the ultimate purpose of getting well; and anyone who treats them successfully and helpsdispel their troubles quickly becomes, in their estimation, a worthy doctor.Sir William Osler, in his introduction to the book
The Life of Pasteur
, makes the following admission:“Great advances have been made in the treatment of disease. We learned to trust nature more and drugsless; we got rid (in part) of treatment by theory and we ceased to have a drug for every symptom.”Hippocrates gives remarkable accounts of such diseases as puerperal convulsions, epilepsy, fevers, etc.He admonishes the physician to examine the patient carefully and especially in all acute diseases tonote the sick, make his comparison with those in health, and to observe the changes which take place incondition. Alarming symptoms are hollow eyes; collapsed temples; cold and contracted eyes, withlobes turned out; skin about the forehead rough or distended; color of the face dusky; whether the stoolwas loose or hard and not its color and odor; inspect the urine and observe color and sediments. No onetoday can deny the wisdom of these truths which have their place today as well as at all times.Hippocrates brought about careful examination of the legs, of the pelvic bones and more especiallycorrection of any existing deficiency in the legs. He urged recognition of abnormalities of the bonyframe of the pelvis, the base upon which the spinal column and the whole weight of the body rely.Hippocrates described the spinal column and mentioned its parts. He gave a present day scientific andcomplete anatomical and osteological description of it, calling the attention of the doctor to thepeculiarities and probable anomalies of the vertebrae and their spinal processes which to theuninstructed might appear as luxations.He evidently studied very closely the mechanism of the spinal column and understood thoroughly itsimportance and significance. He appears to have known well its relation and application to and effectsupon the nervous system, and also its influence upon the whole organism.He insisted that the practitioner should become well acquainted with all these facts and learn themechanical relation of the spinal column to the nervous system and of the latter to the organism, so asto be ever ready to make proper correction in case of such skeletal and spinal displacements andmalformations or similar derangements by means of reduction, extension, counter-extension, etc.We can almost still hear him teaching that, “one should practice most often and continuously trainhimself and his hands, endeavoring to do his work well, elegantly, quickly, without trouble, neatly andpromptly.”Aristotle explained his idea on blood circulation and motion in his book,
, clearly statingthat the blood in all animals palpitates within their veins.