Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/754

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736
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

greatest part had been forced into, and had penetrated through, the synovial membrane, and the darkened lymphatics could be seen with the unaided eye from the injected joint to the lymphatic glands, and these latter were black from the absorption of the ink. Upon examination of the injected joint-cavities that had not been masséed, the ink was still found in the joint mixed with the synovia in a smeary mass, and it had not even penetrated into the tissue of the synovial membrane. With the removal of the effusion by the use of massage, Von Mosengeil always succeeded in improving the stiffness, and in obtaining the same appearances in the lymphatics.

From clinical experience in the use of massage in joint affections, such results as those obtained by Von Mosengeil might have been with safety predicted. A consideration of the mode of application of massage in joint injuries and affections, and its relations to mechanical support, rest, and exercise, would far exceed the limits of this paper. Scandinavian, German, and French army-surgeons, who with their own hands have used massage the most in joint maladies, have accumulated respectable and trustworthy statistics showing its great value in such cases. At the same time they have not forgotten to tabulate their failures. The result of their experience in recent joint injuries admitting of the application of massage is thus formulated: "It will simultaneously further and increase resorption, accelerate the circulation, relieve pain, and reduce elevated temperature" I have illustrated this by a report of over three hundred cases, the details of which may be found in the "New York Medical Record," No. 353. The "Nouveau Dictionnaire de Médecine" clearly expresses the action of massage in the following words: "Massage augments interstitial absorption not only by the sur-activité impressed upon the returning circulation, but also by dividing to infinity pathological and normal products accumulated in the muscular interstices and meshes of the cellular tissue. The dissemination of these products multiplies their points of contact with the walls of the veins and lymphatics, whence result their imbibition and diffusion into the general circulation."

But, discuss any therapeutical agent as we may, there is something still peculiar to each that evades expression by tongue or pen. Of what use is it to describe odors, tastes, sensations, sights, and sounds? They can only be comprehended by smelling, tasting, feeling, seeing, and hearing. Just so with the peculiar calm, soothing, restful, light feeling that so often results from massage, which can not be understood until experienced. It doubtless arises to a great extent from the pressure of natural worn-out débris being speedily removed from off terminal nerve-filaments. Furthermore, massage excites and awakens the muscular sense in an agreeable and beneficial manner such as nothing else does, and we know that the state of our muscles indicates and often determines our feeling of health and vigor, or of