Applied Trophology, Vol. 4, No. 3
(March 1960)

Pioneers in Drugless Therapy: Dr. Still and the Founding of Osteopathy

The following is a transcription of the March 1960 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.

Also in this issue:

  • Surveys Show Ills of U.S. Population
  • Choline
  • Heart Diseases Causes Half U.S. Deaths
  • Tip of the Month (Increase Hearing)
  • Cranberries Are Peanuts
  • High Points of Choline Tablets

Pioneers in Drugless Therapy: Dr. Still and the Founding of Osteopathy

The concept that the human body is capable of automatically regulating its functions and maintaining normal health without interference by man if given normal nutrition and normal environmental conditions was the basis of Dr. A.T. Still’s philosophy. We quote from his autobiography:

I might have advanced more rapidly in Osteopathy had not our Civil War interfered with the progress of my studies. We cannot say how a thing will appear until it is developed, and then we often find that the greatest good follows the greatest grief and woe; as you all know, fire is the greatest test of the purity of gold. It may be good for the metal, but it is hard on the gold. Not until I had been tried by fire did I cut loose from the stupidity of drugs. Not until my heart had been torn and lacerated with grief and affliction could I fully realize the inefficacy of drugs. Some may say that it was necessary that I should suffer in order that good might come, but I feel that my grief came through gross ignorance on the part of the medical profession.

It was in the spring of 1864; the distant thunders of the retreating war could be easily heard. But now a new enemy appeared. War had been very merciful to me compared with this foe. War had left my family unharmed, but when the dark wings of spinal meningitis hovered over the land, it seemed to select my loved ones for its prey. The doctors came and were faithful in their attendance. Day and night, they nursed and cared for my sick and administered their most trustworthy remedies but all to no purpose. The loved ones sank lower and lower. The minister came and consoled us. Surely with the men of God to invoke divine aid and men skilled in scientific research, my loved ones would be saved. Anyone might hope that between prayers and pills, the angel of death would be driven from our door. But he is a stubborn enemy, and when he has set his seal on a victim, prayers and pills will not avail. I had great faith in the honesty of my preacher and doctors then, and I have not lost that faith. God knows I believe they did what they thought was for the best. They never neglected their patients, and they dosed—and added to and changed doses—hoping to hit upon that which would defeat the enemy; but it was of no avail.

It was when I stood gazing upon three members of my family—two of my own children and one adopted child—all dead from the disease, spinal meningitis, that I propounded to myself the serious questions: “In sickness has God left men in a world of guessing? Guess what is the matter? What to give, and guess the result? And when dead, guess where he goes?” I decided then that God was not a guessing God but a God of truth. And all His works, spiritual and material, are harmonious. His law of animal life is absolute. So wise a God has certainly placed the remedy within the material house in which the spirit of life dwells.

With this thought I trimmed my sail and launched my craft as an explorer. Like Columbus I found driftwood upon the surface. I noticed the course of the wind whence they came and steered my vessel accordingly. Soon I saw the green islands of health all over the sea of reason. Ever since then I have watched for the driftwood and course of the wind, and I have never failed to find the source whence the drift came. Believing that a loving, intelligent Maker of man had deposited in his body, in some place or throughout the whole system, drugs in abundance to cure all infirmities, on every voyage of exploration I have been able to bring back a cargo of indisputable truths—that all the remedies necessary to health exist in the human body. They can be administered by adjusting the body in such a manner that the remedies may naturally associate themselves together, hear the cries, and relieve the afflicted. I have never failed to find all remedies in plain view on the front shelves and in the storehouse of the Infinite—the human body.

When I first started out as an explorer, I discovered that there were some remedies in bottles and jars high up and low down on the shelves and not so visible as those in general demand. But by a close study, I found they would blend with all the other drugs and give the wanted relief.

Thus I have prosecuted the voyage from sea to sea, until I have discovered that nature is never without all necessary remedies. I am better prepared today, after a twenty-year voyage and close observation, to say that God or nature is the only doctor whom man should respect. Man should study and use the drugs compounded in his own body.

One of the many interesting cases of my early experience was that of a little boy who had no use of his legs or hips. He was about four years old. His mother (Mrs. Truit) brought him to me for six months, in her arms, to be treated for his helpless limbs. On examination I found a spine imperfect in form, as I thought from my knowledge of the spine at that time. I proceeded to articulate every vertebra as best I could, during each two weeks for six months. The mother showed that grit that no one but a mother can show. All summer she brought him to me, walking a distance of four miles through the hot timber. His father was skeptical about the way of treating and never helped his wife try to restore the boy, because some old narrow-minded person had told him that Still was a crazy crank and could do the boy no good. At the end of six months, the family moved west, and I heard no more of the boy for ten years. Then came the news of the father’s death—and also that the poor little fellow had grown to a man weighing one hundred and sixty pounds. He was running a farm and supporting his angel-hearted mother as a reward for her life-and-death struggle through heat and cold to save him from remaining a hopeless cripple. The story was so marvelous that I could hardly have believed it had I not seen marked signs of improvement in his spine before he left.

Those who have studied Protomorphology and the principle of cell determinants can understand exactly why this patient of Dr. Still’s recovered. We, of course, know it would have been hastened by better nutrition, but the important fact is that the cells contain protomorphogens—their own remedy—in their nuclei, and osteopathy releases them.

In Dr. Still’s time malnutrition was universal during winter months. Our present abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables—thanks to modern ease of transportation—was unknown then; people lived mainly on salt pork, beans, and bread during the winter. Infectious disease became the most serious threat; erysipelas, diphtheria, cholera, pneumonia, etc., took a terrific toll. Tuberculosis and pneumonia are now superseded by heart disease and cancer—basically caused by refined and rancid food. (Stale cereals and overcooked oils and fats contain carcinogens according to Oberling, The Riddle of Cancer, p. 112, Yale University Press, 1952.)

Surveys Show Ills of U.S. Population

Washington – The activity of an estimated 17 million people in the United States is limited by chronic health conditions, according to a survey by the U.S. Public Health Service. These people are restricted in their ability to work, keep house, or pursue outside activities. An estimated 4.8 million of this group have difficulty moving about, and 1 million are completely confined to their homes. The figures do not include military personnel or people in mental or other types of long-term institutions. Activity limitations were reported most frequently among low-income families and older people.

In another survey, Americans reported 24 million impairments of sight, hearing, speech, mental faculties, or the use of limbs between July 1957 and June 1958. Of the 24 million impairments, 82 percent had been seen by a physician at some time. Paralysis and loss of limbs and extremities had been medically attended in practically all cases.

Almost 1 million persons were reported to be blind, with another 2 million suffering from loss of vision. About 100,000 persons are known to be totally deaf, and 5.5 million others had hearing defects. Impairments increased with advancing age, from 52.9 impairments per 1,000 persons for people ages under 25 to 615 impairments per 1,000 for people ages 75 and over. Many aged persons reported more than one impairment.

—Reprinted from the American Osteopathic Association’s News Bulletin, January 1960.


“Choline prevents fatty change and cirrhosis in the livers of dogs subjected to hypophysectomy and thyroidectomy.”

—C. Entenman, I.L. Chaikoff, and T. Gillman, Endocrinology, Vol. 42, pp. 215–222, 1948

Summary—The development of fatty livers previously reported in hypophysectomized-thyroidectomized dogs fed a high-protein diet can be prevented by the daily administration of 2 g of free choline chloride. Choline failed, however, to prevent the rise of the blood lipids in these dogs. Choline also significantly suppressed or prevented the onset and development of hepatic fibrosis in these doubly operated dogs. The evidence obtained here indicated that the effectiveness of the lipotropic constituents of a normal diet is, in part, dependent on the action of the thyroid hormone.”

—Excerpta Medica, Physiology, Biochemistry & Pharmacology, Section 11, Vol. 5, Part I, p. 1368, 1952 (regarding study by Colwell Jr., A.R., Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto)

“Lipid content and volume of bile secreted by choline-deficient rats with fatty livers.”

—Amer. J. Physiol., Vol. 164, No. 1, pp. 274–283, 1951

“Fatty livers were produced in rats by feeding them a choline deficient diet, and bile was collected by cannulation of the proximal end of the bile duct. The bile of choline deficient rats contained slightly less lipid than that of animals on the same diet supplemented with choline and considerably less than that of normal rats. The content of free and total cholesterol followed the same trend as the total lipid. Bile flow in deficient animals was reduced. The four differences observed between the bile of choline deficient animals and that of animals on the deficient diet supplemented with choline were not great until they had lived on the diet for 33 weeks.”

—E. Huntsman, Mawxon-Chalk River

Heart Diseases Cause Half U.S. Deaths

Washington – Cardiovascular diseases caused nearly 900,000 deaths—or more than 50 percent of all deaths in the United States—during 1958, according to figures released by the National Office of Vital Statistics.

About 35 percent of cardiovascular deaths occurred in the age group under 65. Arteriosclerotic heart disease, including coronary disease, was the most serious threat, causing 491,880 deaths of the cardiovascular total of 894,100. Cerebrovascular lesions ranked second, causing 192,980 deaths.

Other leading causes of death were: cancer, 252,300; accidents, 93,090; pneumonia, 57,430; diabetes, 26,670; cirrhosis of liver, 18,490; and suicide, 18,490.

—News Bulletin, American Osteopathic Association, January 1960.

Tip of the Month (Increase Hearing)

One Minaplex [Organically Bound Minerals] tablet has been known to increase hearing one or more decibels soon after administration.

Cranberries Are Peanuts

The sensational discoveries that a known cancer-causing chemical has contaminated a part of the 1959 cranberry crop has without doubt served a useful public service.

Attention has been called to the dangers of the promiscuous use of poison chemicals in American agriculture. An unsuspecting American public has been lulled into a sense of false security. But now they are becoming aroused to the danger. The manufacturers of these poisons are indignant because of the publicity that has resulted. They have started a campaign to “amend” the Delaney amendment, passed in 1958, which prevents use of known cancer-causing chemicals. Every consumer who can write should express his opinion immediately to his congressman.

Natural Food and Farming, February 1960

High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts

Choline tablets: Choline occurs as a quaternary amine in many animal and vegetable tissues. Choline tablets (Standard Process) are used to supply choline where a deficiency exists. Choline is claimed to be a fraction of the vitamin G complex, exerting lipotropic activity. Better results are obtained when the vitamin G complex and other synergists are used with Choline tablets, especially in fatty degeneration of the liver. Fatty degeneration of the liver is often caused as a side effect of excess thiamine (B1) administration.

“When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”

—Thomas Paine

Heather Wilkinson

Heather Wilkinson is Senior Editor at Selene River Press.

Leave a Reply