Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/36

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26
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ON POSTURE AND ITS INDICATIONS.
By T. LAUDER-BRUNTON, M. D., F. R. S.

IN a former paper[1] I observed that I thought medicine lost a great deal by its practitioners either not recording their experience at all, or not recording it in such a form as to be readily available for their fellow-practitioners, or with sufficient precision to be really useful. As examples of vagueness and precision I instanced a verbal description of a face as commonly given, and a sketch containing all the features more or less precisely drawn. In the present paper I have tried in a very imperfect way to indicate the common postures which one meets with daily, either in patients or others, and to discover the reason why those postures are assumed. I have not attempted to draw the figures, for this would have been beyond my powers, and probably also

PSM V42 D036 Postures indicating energetic activity or the lack thereof.jpg
Fig. 1. Fig. 2.

beyond the powers of many medical men. I have simply indicated the position by a few simple lines such as anyone can draw. This method is one which was employed with great success by the late Prof. Goodsir more than thirty years ago in illustrating his lectures on anatomy. In a few lines he conveyed the impression of the agility of the cat as compared with the heavy movements of the ox or of the elephant, and the absence of detail fixed the minds of his students all the more firmly on the main facts which he wished them to carry away. As we walk along the streets and notice the difference of attitude in the passers-by, some with head erect and agile steps convey to us at once the idea of energy and activity (Fig. 1), while others with hanging heads and bended knees suggest the ideas of languor, weakness, and depression (Fig.


  1. On the Method of Zadlig in Medicine. The Lancet, January 2, 1892.