The physical therapy of neurasthenia, England 1895-1914 (360G-Wellcome-093551_Z_10_Z)
This application seeks support to undertake a study examining the contribution made by early nurse-masseuses to the treatment of neurasthenia in England between 1894 and 1914. Neurasthenia, or nerve weakness, was a significant health concern in late Victorian England, coinciding with the birth of the profession now known as physiotherapy. Considerable scholarship exists examining the medical, psychological and social historical data surrounding neurasthenia, but there appears to be only circumstantial evidence pointing to the contribution made who actually administered massage, electrotherapy, rest and exercise as part of Weir Mitchell's Rest Cure and other similar approaches. The Society of Trained Masseuses (STM} was the forerunner of the physiotherapy profession in England. This study will initially examine first-hand accounts from nurse-masseuses who were members of the Society, and secondly scrutinise the writings of medical practitioners who were closely allied to the Society. The aim of the study is to substantiate anecdotal evidence that: 1. members of the STM played a pivotal role in the management of somatic symptoms associated with neurasthenia in England between 1894 and 1914 2. the STM's interest in the treatment of neurasthenia coincided with a wide range of historically significant discourses.
£1,462 14 Jun 2010