The uterine motions I have described are fully adequate for the purposes indicated. But when the natural stimulus of motion is withheld, the circulation becomes sluggish causing congestion, which may develop into inflammation. Under these conditions the uterus gradually becomes displaced, falling backward, forward or downward as the case may be. The blood vessels by which the uterus is supplied thus have their caliber diminished by bending; the circulation through them is retarded just as the flow of water in a rubber tube is obstructed by a kink. A very good idea of what occurs in the uterus under the conditions just described may be obtained by winding a string around the fingers.
As the coats of the arteries are thick, and the pressure exerted by the ligature has less power to prevent the arterial blood flowing outward past the string to the end of the finger than it has to prevent the return of the venous blood toward the heart, therefore the part beyond the ligature soon becomes congested, the blood stagnating in the capillaries. If the ligature be sufficiently tight and kept on long enough, mortification will take place, but if the circulation be only moderately obstructed, the congestion will continue until ulceration occurs. A similar condition is developed in the uterus when the necessary natural stimulus of motion fails to be communicated to it or when it is so far out of its proper place that the circulation through it is obstructed.
I believe the above described condition to be a most potent but inadequately recognized cause of the various forms of uterine diseases that distress so many women.
When the circumference of the chest bears a due proportion to the size of the body generally; when its walls and the lungs possess a suitable degree of elasticity; when the strength of the respiratory muscles is adequate to their work, and no undue opposition is offered to the breathing motions by the clothing—then the vital volume is always up to the full requirements of the system. But when one or all of these are lacking in any important degree, the breathing capacity is proportionately diminished. If the testimony of the spirometer be corroborated by the impaired physical condition of the individual, its correction should be sought in part at least by enlarging the chest, increasing the elasticity of its walls and of the lungs, and by augmenting the strength of the respiratory muscles. These results may commonly be secured by diligent and persevering use of the following exercises:
[Illustration: FIG. 2.]
A trapeze, Fig. 2, should be suspended from the ceiling, so that the bar shall be six inches above the head of the person who is to use it; the toes should be placed under straps nailed to the floor to keep them in position. Then if the bar be grasped and the body thrown forward, the trapeze, the arms, and the body will form the segment of a circle.