Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Gait- as tactical methodology

One of the dozen or shops on the "high" street of Kellerberrin is a book exchange- open three days a week- in which I happened to wander on my stroll down high street today. In it I found a home medicine book from the 1940s (Home Doctor Illustrated). I turned immediately to a page on gait, a word I hadn't heard for a while and one which "opens up" (gate) all sorts of readings. Gait of course relates to the way one carries oneself when walking- the physiological reading of one's walking action to ascertain a deposition or illness. Here's how t reads..."GAIT The style or manner in which a person walks gives much valuable information about the illness from which they may be suffering. The gait is especially important in cases of nervous desease- but it may also be an index of character. The man who slouches along with bent shoulders and head down, looking on the ground, is seldom one who is making a success of his life, whilst the man who steps it out gaily with head erect and shoulders well pulled back is the man who is likely to get on in the world...The correct gait is one in which the body is held erect, the head neither upturned nor with the eyes fixed on the ground, the shoulders well pulled back to allow for the expansion of the lungs, the arms swinging easily at the sides and the movement of walking from the hips, not from the knees. A faulty gait may be due to such things as tuberculosis of the knee joint or St. Vitus's dance or acute rheumatism...In disseminated sclerosis the gait is of a spastic type, the patient drags his feet along, toes scraping the ground at every step. In tabes dorsalis the patient raiseshis feet very suddenly, often higher than usual, and then jerks them forward, he is not sure as to where to place his feet and waves them about in the air...

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