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"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.
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 of the question, and do not begin with the great underlying principles in such a way as to attract and hold the attention of the masses. One advocates one plan, and another an entirely different, and sometimes a directly opposite plan--such as uncooked vs. thoroughly cooked food; a strictly vegetarian diet, and mental culture in place of attention to either, etc. Such a state of affairs makes it confusing to average people and gets them to believe that health reformers are all at sea, and what is good for one is not good for another, or, in common language, "what is one man's meat is another's poison."
Now, I know it is natural, and doubtless best, that there should be a difference of opinion on any question,. but at the same time, if any movement is to be crowned with great success, there should be some underlying principles upon which all should agree, and these should be pressed to the forefront, so as to attract and hold the attention of the people, in place of the divergent details upon which they disagree. If these fundamental laws and principles are thoroughly studied and well defined, it may be found that they would explain the discrepancies between the different theories, and that under certain conditions, one plan is best, and that under different conditions another plan is more applicable, etc. The pushing of these fundamental principles to the front would also tend to correct errors into which the different theorists have fallen, and would certainly tend to make the different theories more homogeneous and more easily understood by people in general, than at present.
In my opinion, the general fundamental principles of life and health are what people need to understand more than anything else. Without this, most of the details will be meaningless or at least confusing dogmas. I don't mean by these fundamental principles the details of anatomy, or, for that matter, the details of anything else, but the general rules governing life and death, so that people may know which way they, are tending, and may understand the many illusions with which life and death, as well as all else in nature are beset.
Louden Mfg. Co.,
The present volume and others of the "Nature Cure Series" which are to follow are an attempt to answer Mr. Louden's inquiry and to formulate and elucidate the fundamental laws of health, disease and cure for which he and many others have been vainly seeking. Who among you at some time or another, has not thought and felt like Mr. Louden and in doubt and perplexity voiced Pilate's query,
What Is Truth?
The exact information and rational method of teaching which Mr. Louden is seeking, has heretofore been wanting in health-culture literature.
Many, indeed, stand ready and willing to show the way to physical, mental and moral perfection. Hundreds, yes, thousands, of different cults, isms, teachers, books and periodicals treat of these subjects, but their teachings are so manifold, so contradictory and confusing, that one becomes bewildered amid the ever increasing testimony. As is often the case in the study of complicated subjects, the more one reads and the more one hears, the less one knows. I believe that no one has described more strikingly this state of general perplexity than Mr. Louden in his excellent letter.
Nevertheless, these simple fundamental laws and principles really exist. They must exist, because everything in Nature, including the processes of health, of disease and cure, of birth, of life and death, are subject to law and order.
Allopathy, or Old School Medical Science, admits that it does not know these fundamental principles; that it reasons, not from underlying causes, but from external symptoms and personal experiences. It is, therefore, self-confessedly full of doubts, errors and confusion; in short, empirical--and necessarily, a failure.
Many teachers of Nature Cure, Hygiene and Health cults have stumbled accidentally upon some of the natural laws and true methods of healing, but have failed to grasp and to formulate the broad underlying principles. For this reason they are often partly right and partly wrong and very apt to overdo certain methods to the neglect of others just as effective and essential, or even more so.
I shall endeavor in these volumes to formulate and elucidate some of the fundamental laws and principles underlying the phenomena of life and death, health, disease and cure, and shall try to ascertain in the light of these laws how much of truth and how much of error, how much of usefulness and how much of harmfulness there may be contained in the various theories and systems of living and of healing.
Nature Owe an Exact Science
One of the reasons why Nature Cure is not more popular with the medical profession and the public is that it is too simple. The average mind is more impressed by the involved and mysterious than by the simple and common-sense.
However, it remains a fact that "exact science" reduces complexity and confusion to simplicity and clearness. Science becomes exact science only when the underlying laws which correlate and unify its scattered facts and theories have been discovered.
These simple laws rightly understood and applied will do for medical science what the law of gravitation has done for physics and astronomy, and what the laws of chemical affinity have done for chemistry, they will place medical science in the ranks of exact sciences. The understanding and proper application of these truths will explain every fact and phenomenon in the processes of health, disease and cure, and will enable the student to reason from simple, natural laws and principles to their logical effects. The "Regular" school of medicine, so far, has endeavored to build a medical science on the observation of "effects" and " experiences," but since one fundamental law of nature may produce a million seemingly differing effects it becomes self-evident that it is utterly impossible to found an exact science on such uncertain and conflicting evidence.
The primary laws and principles once understood, it becomes easy to reason from and to explain through them, the various phenomena which they produce. Herein lie the merit and achievement of the Nature Cure philosophy.
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