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- Nature Cure - 1/69 -
Philosophy & Practice Based on the Unity of Disease & Cure
Henry Lindlahr, M.D.
"Ho, ye who suffer! Know ye suffer from vowselves. None else compels--no other holds ye that ye live or die. "~--Siddartha~
TO THE PROGRESSIVE PHYSICIANS OF THE AGE
There are two principal methods of treating disease. One is the combative, the other the preventive. The trend of modern medical research and practice in our great colleges and endowed research institutes is almost entirely along combative lines, while the individual, progressive physician learns to work more and more along preventive lines. The slogan of modern medical science is, "Kill the germ and cure the disease." The usual procedure is to wait until acute or chronic diseases have fully developed, and then, if possible, to subdue them by means of drugs, surgical operations, and by means of the morbid products of disease, in the form of serums, antitoxins, vaccines, etc. The combative method fights disease with disease, poison with poison, and germs with germs and germ products. In the language of the Good Book, it is "Beelzebub against the Devil."
The preventive method does not wait until diseases have fully developed and gained the ascendancy in the body, but concentrates its best endeavors on preventing, by hygienic living and by natural methods of treatment, the development of diseases. By these it endeavors to put the human body in such a normal, healthy condition that it is practically proof against infection or contagion by disease taints and miasms, and against the inroads of germs, bacteria and parasites.
The question is, which method is the most practical, the most successful and most popular? Which will stand the test of "the survival of the fittest" in the great struggle for existence?
The medical profession has good reason to be alarmed by the inroads made in its work by irregular, unorthodox systems, schools and cults of treating human ailments; but instead of raging at the audacious presumption of these interlopers, would it not be better to inquire if there is not some reason for the astonishing spread and popularity of these therapeutic innovations?
Their success undoubtedly is based on the fact that they concentrate their best efforts on preventive instead of combative methods of treating disease. People are beginning to realize that it is cheaper and more advantageous to prevent disease than to cure it. To create and maintain continuous, buoyant good health means greater efficiency for mental and physical work; greater capacity for the true enjoyment of life, and the best insurance against failure and poverty. Therefore, he who builds health is of greater value to humanity than he who allows people to drift into disease through ignorance of Nature's laws, and then attempts to cure them by doubtful and uncertain combative methods.
It is said that in China the physician is hired and paid by the year; that he receives a certain stipend as long as the members of the family are in good health, but that the salary is suspended as long as one of his charges is ill. If some similar method of engaging and paying for medical services were in vogue in this country the trend of medical research and practice would soon undergo a radical change.
The diet expert, the hydropath, the physical culturist, the adjuster of the spine, the mental healer, and Christian scientist, do not pay much attention to the pathological conditions or to the symptoms of disease. They regulate the diet and habits of living on a natural basis, promote elimination, teach correct breathing and wholesome exercise, correct the mechanical lesions of the spine, establish the right mental and emotional attitude and, in so far as they succeed in doing this, they build health and diminish the possibility of disease. The successful doctor of the future will have to fall in line with the procession and do more teaching than prescribing.
I realize that many of the statements and claims made in this volume will seem radical and irrational to my colleagues of the regular school of medicine. They win say that most of my teachings are contrary to the firmly established theories of medical science. All I ask, of them is not to judge too hastily; to observe, to think and to test, and I am certain that they will find verified in actual experience many of the teachings of the Nature Cure Philosophy. Medical science has had to abandon innumerable theories and practices which at one time were as firmly established as some of the pet theories of today.
By none of the statements made in this book do I mean to deny the necessity of combative methods under certain circumstances. What I wish to emphasize is that the regular school of medicine is spending too much of its effort along combative lines and not enough along preventive. It would be foolish to deny the necessity of surgery in traumatism, and in abnormal conditions which require mechanical means of adjustment or treatment.
Such necessity, for instance, will exist in certain obstetrical cases, as long as women have not learned, or are not willing to live in such a way as to make surgical intervention unnecessary in child-birth. The same is true with regard to the treatment of germ diseases. As long as people persist in violating the laws of their being, and thereby making their bodies prolific breeding grounds for disease taints, germs and parasites which are bound to provoke inflammatory, feverish processes (Nature's cleansing and healing efforts), combative measures will have to be resorted to by the physician, and precautionary measures against infection will have to be observed, but these should be in harmony with Nature's endeavors, not contrary and suppressive; they should tend to conserve and not to destroy.
Natural dietetics, fasting, hydropathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and mental therapeutics, are combative as well as preventive, but if properly applied they do not in any way injure the organism or interfere with Nature's intent and Nature's methods. This cannot be said for much of the surgical and medical treatment of the old school of medicine. We criticize and condemn only those methods which are suppressive and destructive instead of curative.
In many instances already the warnings and teachings of Nature Cure Philosophy have been verified, and had to be heeded and accepted by medical science. The exponents of Nature Cure protested against the barbarous practice of withholding water from patients burning in fever heat, and against the exclusion of fresh air from the sickroom by order of the doctor. The cold water and no drug treatment of typhoid fever, the water treatment for other acute diseases, as well as the open air treatment for tuberculosis, were forced upon the medical profession by the Nature Cure people. For more than half a century the latter have been curing all inflammaory, feverish diseases, from simple colds to scarlet fever, diphtheria, cerebro-spinal meningitis, smallpox, appendicitis, etc., etc., by hydropathy, fasting, and other natural methods, without resorting at all to the use of poisonous drugs, antitoxins and surgical operations.
For many years before the terrible after-effects of X-Ray treatment, of extirpation of the ovaries, the womb, and of other vital organs, became so patent that the physicians of the regular school could not ignore them any longer, Nature Cure physicians had strongly warned against these unnatural practices, and called attention to their destructive after-effects.
As far back as ten years ago, when the X-Rays were in high favor for the treatment of cancer, lupus, and other diseases, I warned against the use of these rays, claiming that their vibratory velocity was too high and powerful, and therefore destructive to the tissues of the human body. Since the failure of the X-Rays and the discovery of Radio-activity, the rays and emanations of radium and other radio-active substances are widely advertised and exploited as therapeutic agents, but these rays also are far beyond the vibratory ranges of the physical body in velocity and power. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether their injurious by and after-effects do not out-weigh in the long run their beneficial effects.
The destructive action of these high power rays, as well as of inorganic minerals, is very slow and insidious, manifesting only in the course of many years. This new field of therapeutics, therefore, has not yet passed the stage of dangerous experimentation.
Inorganic minerals prove injurious and destructive to the tissues of the human body because they are too slow in vibratory velocity, and too coarse in molecular structure.
It is the intent and purpose of this volume to warn against the exploitation of destructive combative methods to the neglect of preventive constructive and conservative methods. If these teachings contribute something toward this end they will fulfil their mission.
Chicago, Nov., 1913.
It was the following letter from Mr. William Louden to the editor of ~"Health Culture"~ which prompted the author to issue the ~"Nature Cure Magazine"~ (published from November, 1907, to October, 1909). In the series of books of which this is the first volume, he will endeavor to collect and systematize all his former writings in the~ "Nature Cure Magazine," "Health Culture," "Life and Action,"~ the ~"Naturopath,"~ the ~"Volksrath,"~ and other publications, and to amplify these by new material obtained through further research and wider experience.
Mr. Albert Turner,
Editor of ~"Health Culture."~
DEAR SIR--I write to ask what you consider the best book or pamphlet to put into the hands of people generally, in regard to the preservation of health. I know ther e are a number of very excellent publications, but as a rule they deal with certain details or phases
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