CHAPTER IX. 90
THERE is a solid and substantial satisfaction in having lumbago. For we know, without being told, that we have it, and we don't have to work our imagination overtime providing it with symptoms.
Also, lumbago offers less encouragement to mental or psychological healing than most anything ordinary we could gather up except a
broken leg, a crop of boils, or an abscessed tooth. And the same thing applies to its sisters-in-law, rheumatism and sciatica.
Therefore, anything that cures lumbago, rheumatism, sciatica, or similar afflictions, must be able to "deliver the goods."
On this basis zone therapy must be considered one of our most valuable methods for treating these obstinate conditions. Naturally it is not always successful. Neither are the salicylates,
hot mud baths, porous plasters, nor having teeth pulled. And this is no more an apology for zone therapy than it is for medicine.
Lumbago, as a rule, responds very quickly and kindly to zone therapy. Cases which come to the office "all doubled up" are straightened out
- frequently in one treatment and wend their homeward way rejoicing.
The weapon which has given us best results in attacking lumbago and kindred affections is a common, dull-pointed aluminum comb, such as
may be procured in most bird stores for dog-combing purposes. The teeth of this are pressed firmly on the palms of the hands and on the
palmar surface of the thumb, first, second and third fingers. In order to get the best results the pressures should be continued for from ten to twenty minutes. Occasionally it may be necessary to work also on the "web" between the thumb and first finger, and also between the first and second finger.
Some zone therapy enthusiasts prefer to begin operations on the tips of the thumb, first, second and third fingers gradually working up the palms of the hands and spending five minutes for good measure on the wrists.
Remember always that the palmar surfaces of the hands and fingers are to be attacked for pains anywhere on the back, and the top or (back) surfaces of the hands and fingers for any trouble on the front of the body, arms or legs. This may seem rather confusing at first, but a little thought will make clear why, what are commonly known as the back of the hands are really the front or top, and correspond with
the front or top of the feet. The palms of the hands correspond with the soles of the feet.
It is also interesting to note that frequently there are found areas which are extra sensitive to the pressures of the comb.
These areas correspond to the most painful zones in other sections of the body. For instance, if firm pressure on palmar surfaces of
right hand elicits more pain through the third zone in the hand, if the patient has already complained of pain in his back, such pain will usually be found in the third zone, and this holds good
where pain is concerned throughout the body.
If these sensitive areas are found, by commencing gently and gradually increasing the force of the pressure, toleration can be established. In developing this toleration, the lumbag is usually relieved.
Some perfectly amazing results have been reported from the comb method of treatment, particularly in lumbago. One case, a minister who, for weeks, had been unable even to turn in bed without assistance, was, after a twenty-minute treatment, able to arise and walk unaided. He was entirely relieved of pain and discomfort within a few hours, and the next day was "'up and around." Relief almost always follows the first treatment, apparently irrespective as to the
cause of the lumbago. I recall a recent case which had persisted for more than three months. This gentleman had taken practically every form of treatment that could be recommended by the most able specialists, had even been to Hot Springs, without any except transient benefit.
He was bent almost double, and for many weeks had not been able to stand erect. This patient was given two aluminum combs and told to
squeeze them for ten or fifteen minutes, while waiting in the ante-room. After being brought into the office, his hands were thoroly "combed" by pressure, from finger tip to wrist.
He straightened out completely after this first treatment, and expressed himself as entirely relieved from pain. He received a similar treatment the following day after which he went
his way rejoicing.
These results are practically uniform. I know of many scores of patients thus cured with a comb.
Sometimes equally good results follow from fastening
hollowed-out spring clothespins on the tips of the fingers, corresponding to the zones in which the lumbago holds forth. Or even from binding heavy bands around these fingers leaving these in position five or ten minutes at a time unless the finger becomes badly discolored sooner, in which case the pressure must be temporarily removed.
One zone therapy enthusiast, who claims that "Treat It By Zone Therapy" should be hung in every doctor's office, while on a pilgrimage to a Shriners' Convention, noticed that the conductor
of the train walked "all doubled up" and seemed to be suffering great pain. It developed that the railroad man had a "misery in his back," had given up work, and had been in a sanitarium for three weeks without obtaining much relief - and also that for the three days prior to his resuming work, he had not been able to "straighten
up," nor make any sudden move, without suffering excruciatingly.
He was invited to come into the smoking compartment for a few minutes, where the doctor put rubber bands on the thumb and forefinger of each of the trainman's hands, and at the same
time made firm pressure with his thumb-nails on these ligatured fingers.
The conductor was not informed of the purpose of this procedure, so his imagination had nothing to work on.
After holding his fingers in this manner for about ten minutes the whistle blew, and the conductor had suddenly to leave his chair. He
straightened up and went out "on the run."
When he came back he laughed and said: ''This is the first time in six weeks I've gotten up or moved without pain. What in thunder have
those little rubber bands to do with lumbago, anyway ?"
The doctor saw this man before leaving the train two hours afterwards, and the trainman volunteered the information that "so far as the lumbago is concerned I have no more feeling than a fish." And these results can be duplicated by any one who will study the zone charts (Figures 1 and 2), and apply the simple technique outlined.
Naturally, in sciatica, and in articular or joint rheumatism, the results have not been so uniformly favorable. For sciatica may be due to hip joint dislocation. Indeed, one of our most famous bone surgeons claims that all cases of sciatica result from a twist, or subluxation of the hip joint which certainly is not true of those
cases cured with a comb, or by electricity, or by some medical measure.
In treating sciatica particular attention must be given the "hip area" of the hand on the same side as the sciatica. This means that the palmar surface of the ring and little finger and the palm
of the hand on that side, as well as the "edge" of the palm, running up over the top of the hand must be thoroughly "combed."
But the best and most rapid relief for sciatica is usually secured by "attacking" the soles of the feet using the comb in the same manner and for the same areas as described for the hands.
In other words, by manipulating the zones in the feet corresponding to the zones in the hands.
Dr. George Starr White, of Los Angeles, California, has invented a mechanical device for this purpose, consisting of a piece of hard wood about five inches in length, cut with deep screw-like threads (see Figures 13 and 15). A heavy, smooth rope is attached to each end of this implement of battle, and the patient uses it with a
long, strong pull for five or ten minutes at a time repeating the maneuver several times daily. Possibly any rough-surfaced, home-made
device might give equally good results.
In acute articular rheumatism, where there are no gross pathological changes or stiffening in the joints, splendid results have followed the use of combs. It should be remembered that the hip area corresponds with the shoulder on the same side, the knee with the elbow, and the ankle with the wrist, etc., and pain is often overcome
more quickly by attacking corresponding parts with pressure or stimulation.
One old lady who suffered terribly in the joints of both hands, and who had not been able to sleep for weeks without an opiate, experienced complete relief after a half dozen treatments with
the comb over the tips of her fingers and thumb. And she was able to sleep soundly thereafter without the use of her usual hypnotic.
A very interesting case of gonorrheal arthritis was reported recently. This man's right knee joint was so painful that he could not bear to have it touched. To bend the right leg at the
knee was out of the question.
Two minutes' pressure on the top and bottom, as well as on the tip of the big toe, completely relieved the pain, and upon testing the joint the soreness seemed to have vanished. The doctor then began carefully bending the knee, and to his surprise, and to the amazement of the patient who hadn't the slightest idea what was being attempted the knee could be flexed (bent) perfectly, without any pain whatever.
As this doctor makes a specialty of treating painful joints by means of heat, light, mud baths, and electricity, and has had a great deal of experience in this work, we were much gratified to hear him say that of all the cases he had ever treated he never had anything seem so miraculous as this. He further stated that he had tried all his methods of treatment to alleviate this man's pain and to be able to flex the knee, but without avail; yet zone therapy, applied at
the proper zone, brought about almost immediate results.
As demonstrating a peculiar phase of zone therapy, and showing how great aches from little corns may grow, here is a very interesting
and instructive case. A patient, suffering from rheumatism in the left shoulder and arm, had, for more than three weeks, been unable to sleep on account of the pain. He had a small callous
growth on the tip of his left thumb, corresponding to the zone in which the pain was located. This was removed, and pressures were made
with a comb on the place where the finger corn had formerly held forth. Within four days he was completely cured.
And this reminds me that a corn doctor is a valuable aid in pressure therapy work. For time and again I have seen pains as far away as
a headache relieved by clearing up the zone occupied and irritated by a large pugnacious corn, which was the actual cause of the headache - foolish-sounding as it may seem.
A little boy with an aggravated case of "wry neck" had, for months, slept upon sand bags to give him neck support. I cauterized the necks
of his teeth (always look to the condition of the teeth in wry neck) with a fine platinum point cautery (which is merely a direct way of stimulating all the zones), and in a few days this youngster was up and running around as well as ever.
Other cases of wry neck have been quite as readily cleared up by pressures on appropriate fingers or the palm of the hand on the side involved or by pressing with a cotton-tipped probe on the proper zones on the posterior wall of the throat, or on the under surface of the tongue and on the floor of the mouth under the tongue.
Most medical men, without stopping longer than two seconds to think about it, will affirm that all these things are ridiculous and absurd.
This, you remember, was what contemporary scientists told Galen and Harvey, and also what the astronomers told Galileo. We spoke in a similar strain of radio activity, the fourth dimension, wireless telegraphy, and aerial navigation. Many erudite members of the medical profession claim that zone therapy and zone analgesia
might be interesting if found in Gulliver's Travels or Munchausen's Romances, but that emphatically they have no place in medical
literature. For every one knows that an egg cannot be made to stand on end.
Yet we are standing this medical egg on end every day.
And there is no reason in the world why any intelligent man or woman, let alone any intelligent doctor, cannot do likewise, and put these
simple and helpful methods into practical application. For it doesn't even require faith.