James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Infant deaths & osteopathy

Cerebro-spinal fever was more commonly called spotted fever but is now known as epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis and is a notifiable disease under the Public Health Acts. It is extremely contagious and epidemics were all too frequent – my research revealed that there was a terrible epidemic in an American community in 1873. The family could be deemed fortunate that it did not claim the lives of more of the children.

The following is an extract from an address made on June 22nd, 1895 by Andrew Taylor Still, who had 'discovered' osteopathy twenty-one years earlier, in 1874:

In the past I stood and watched four physicians, the best the medical schools could furnish, battle with all their skill against the dread disease of cerebro-spinal meningitis in my family. I found prayers, tears, and medicine all unavailing. The war between life and death was a fierce one, but at the close of it three lifeless bodies lay in my desolate home.

In my grief the thought came to me that Deity did not give life simply for the purpose of so soon destroying it - such a Deity would be nothing short of a murderer. I was convinced there was something surer and stronger with which to fight sickness than drugs, and I vowed to search until I found it.

The result was that in 1874 I raised the flag of Osteopathy, claiming that 'God is God, and the machinery He put in man is perfect.'