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On The Articulations   


oblong furrow in it, is to be fastened in the ground, or, in place
of the board, we may scoop out an oblong furrow in the wall, about a
cubit above the floor, or at any suitable height, and then something
like an oaken bench, of a quadrangular shape, is to be laid along (the
wall?) at a distance from the wall, which will admit of persons to
pass round if necessary, and the bench is to be covered with robes, or
anything else which is soft, but does not yield much; and the
patient is to be stoved with vapor, if necessary, or bathed with
much hot water, and then he is to be stretched along the board on
his face, with his arms laid along and bound to his body; the
middle, then, of a thong which is soft, sufficiently broad and long,
and composed of two cross straps of leather, is to be twice carried
along the middle of the patient's breast, as near the armpits as
possible, then what is over of the thongs at the armpits is to be
carried round the shoulders, and afterward the ends of the thong are
to be fastened to a piece of wood resembling a pestle; they are to
be adapted to the length of the bench laid below the patient, and so
that the pestle-like piece of wood resting against this bench may make
extension. Another such band is to be applied above the knees and
the ankles, and the ends of the thongs fastened to a similar piece
of wood; and another thong, broad, soft, and strong, in the form of
a swathe, having breadth and length sufficient, is to be bound tightly
round the loins, as near the hips as possible; and then what remains
of this swathelike thong, with the ends of the thongs, must be
fastened to the piece of wood placed at the patient's feet, and
extension in this fashion is to be made upward and downward, equally
and at the same time, in a straight line. For extension thus made
could do no harm, if properly performed, unless one sought to do
mischief purposely. But the physicians, or some person who is
strong, and not uninstructed, should apply the palm of one hand to the
hump, and then, having laid the other hand upon the former, he
should make pressure, attending whether this force should be applied
directly downward, or toward the head, or toward the hips. This method
of applying force is particularly safe; and it is also safe for a
person to sit upon the hump while extension is made, and raising
himself up, to let himself fall again upon the patient. And there is
nothing to prevent a person from placing a foot on the hump, and
supporting his weight on it, and making gentle pressure; one of the
men who is practiced in the palestra would be a proper person for
doing this in a suitable manner. But the most powerful of the
mechanical means is this: if the hole in the wall, or in the piece
of wood fastened into the ground, be made as much below the man's back
as may be judged proper, and if a board, made of limetree, or any
other wood, and not too narrow, be put into the hole, then a rag,
folded several times or a small leather cushion, should be laid on the
hump; nothing large, however, should be laid on the back, but just
as much as may prevent the board from giving unnecessary pain by its
hardness; but the hump should be as much as possible on a line with
the hole made in the wall, so that the board introduced into it may
make pressure more especially at that especially at that spot. When
matters are thus adjusted, one person, or two if necessary, must press
down the end of the board, whilst others at the same time make
extension and counter-extension as along the body, as formerly
described. Extension may also be made with axles, which may either
be fastened in the ground beside the bench, or the post of the axles
may be attached to the bench itself, if you will make them
perpendicular and overtopping (the bench?) a little at both ends, or
at either end of the bench. These powers are easily regulated, so as
to be made stronger or weaker, and they are of such force, that if one
were to have recourse to them for a mischievous purpose, and not as
a remedy, they would operate strongly in this way also; for by
making merely extension and counter-extension longitudinally,
without any additional force, one might make sufficient extension; and
if, without making extension at all, one were only to press down

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