Posts Tagged ‘Hopeless’

CHIROPRACTIC IN MENTAL AILMENTS

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

This feature is based on an article originally published in 1957. Few people know that many years ago there was a number of Chiropractic Psychiatric Hospitals which had unprecedented success stories. This topic deserves to be revisited…

There is a considerable accumulation of evidence that chiropractic is effective in the handling of various mental ills, perhaps even more effective in certain instances than the medical battery of treatment which includes psychoanalysis, psychiatry, drugs, various types of shock therapy, and surgery. This evidence has been piling up since the days of DD Palmer himself, who wrote that in the case of insane patients it was usual to find “occlusion of the third, sixth, seventh, eleventh, and twelfth dorsal nerves.”

In 1952, a crusading book entitled Obsolete American Mental Health Systems made startling claims that both chiropractic and osteopathy were far superior to so-called “orthodox” procedures in the handling of mental ills. Written by John Stevenson, who was for many years a prominent figure in labor management in the State of Michigan, it made such direct comparisons as these:

“Under our present state mental health programs, seventy-five to ninety-five patients of every one hundred patients who enter state mental hospitals are doomed to an asylum prison for life, depending on which state the patients are confined in…

“Investigation reveals that the private sanitariums of the chiropractic profession show from 60 to 65 per cent satisfactory discharges per annum as against 1 per cent to approximately 25 per cent discharges from state mental hospitals.”…

Chiropractors state that clinical experience with many thousands of nervous patients has definitely established a direct connection between the nervous system and these disorders, demonstrating that the latter are not always of purely emotional origin. They also state that the physical alterations they are able to stimulate in the nervous system through spinal adjustment are highly successful in eliminating nervous symptoms, including those of long duration. This was stressed in a recent series of articles in the National Chiropractic Association journal titled “The Connection Between Nerves and Nervousness” and written by Dr. Herman S. Schwartz, President of the National Chiropractic Psychotherapy Council and author of the popular self-help book The Art of Relaxation…

A valuable guide to the subject is a public-information booklet written by Dr. Schwartz with the technical and editorial collaboration of George W. Hartmann, Professor of Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University. It is entitled 350 Nervous and Mental Cases Under Chiropractic Care and was published by The Chiropractic Research Foundation of Webster City, Iowa.
Dr. Schwartz cogently sums up chiropractic’s approach to mental illness. He says: “It is logical to ask how chiropractors correct nervous and mental conditions without resorting to psychiatry. The answer is that chiropractic is a neurological approach to these problems, operating on the independent assumption now an established scientific fact-that much emotional illness stems from nerve irritations maintained by distortions in the spinal column. By correcting these subluxations, the chiropractor eliminates intense and persistent pains of obscure origin which mental cases suffer. A person with a cinder in his eye sometimes shows temporary lack of emotional control. So does one who has his corn stepped on heavily. Perpetuate excitation with a less obvious source of trouble and one begins to understand why some of the mentally ill suffer.”

Of the 350 patients in the Schwartz survey, 212 or 60.5 per cent were “apparently cured” through chiropractic, 87 or 25 per cent “much improved,” 28 or 8 per cent “somewhat improved,” 19 or 5.5 per cent revealed “no change,” and 4 or 1 per cent were “worse.” Thus in 93.5 per cent of these patients improvement was noted ranging from apparent cure to some betterment of the condition.

“The summation here,” observed Dr. Schwartz, “is that the chances are about 9 in 10 that `nervous’ cases of the sort considered, benefit from whatever the chiropractor does for them. Interestingly enough, every one of the 350 cases studied revealed subluxations of variable magnitude in spinal analysis.”

The Schwartz study becomes even more impressive when it is noted that of the patients studied 33 per cent had been in mental institutions and another four per cent were on the verge of being committed at the time chiropractic was first applied to them. More than 55 per cent had received general medical care, 13 per cent had undergone some form of shock therapy, and six per cent had had psychiatric treatment. Of the entire 350, all but five had had at least some degree of medical and psychiatric attention. Under such treatment, 27 or 8 per cent of the entire group had worsened, 33 or 10 per cent had shown some improvement, and 285 or 81 per cent had shown no change either for better or for worse…

One of the best-known chiropractic institutions dealing with the mentally ill is Forest Park Chiropractic Sanitarium in Davenport, Iowa. Its record in mental cases appears far superior than that of many, if not all, orthodox institutions. As far back as 1934, through the efforts of Hon. A. W. Ponath, County Judge of the Probate Court of Richland County, Wahpeton, North Dakota, 10 patients from the State Hospital at James-town, North Dakota, who had all been diagnosed as hopeless and incurable cases of dementia praecox, were sent to Forest Park in a test of what chiropractic could or could not accomplish. All of the 10 were chronic cases, and eight of the ten had been in the North Dakota state mental institution for from five to ten years. The remaining two were acute cases who had been mentally deranged for only a short time.

With these ten mental patients—all of whom had been diagnosed by state-employed medical doctors and psychiatrists as hopelessly incurable—Forest Park appears to have achieved 80 per cent complete recovery. The two acute cases were completely recovered by the end of the second month of treatment. Of the eight chronic cases, six were returned home as free from symptoms within one year.

Judge Ponath subsequently published a report titled Facts—What Chiropractic Has Done for Insanity in which he compared the overall records at Jamestown, N. D., (under medical supervision) and Forest Park (chiropractic). He found that during the years 1922-1934 the state mental hospital achieved 27.18 cures or satisfactory discharges, as compared with 65 per cent of the chiropractic institution over the same period.

Judge Ponath concluded, “And if this record, 65 per cent, can be obtained on cases where the large percentage are classed as incurable and had already spent much time in insane asylums and other sanitariums, how much more chiropractic could do if given the opportunity to handle the patients immediately after being brought to an insane asylum, rather than months or years later when their constitution has been run down by deterioration or prolonged mental disability or both.”…

Read The Full Article At Old And Sold Antiques Digest…