Article #2: Application of Gymnastics To The Sick by Herbert M. Shelton
Exercise is often of more importance than changes in the food supply. This is essential not only as a condition prerequisite of assimilation, but as a means of directing with certainty and precision, just what parts and what functions shall receive the needed nutritive support. Pabulum has not the least intelligent and self-directive power, its flow is controlled by the demands of activity.
Food or nutritive support cannot in the least degree be forced upon inactive muscles and organs. These get their chief support by acting, for only in this way does the need of the support arise. To flood the system with an abundance of nutritive substances cannot increase its powers, unless the necessary intra-cellular conditions for stimulation are present.
Such surpluses of nutrients accumulate as waste, due to crippled elimination, and become the source of greater weakness. Increase of strength is the complex effect of a number of essential antecedent factors, of which food is not always the most essential. We have seen numerous cases where there was an actual gain in strength while no food was being taken, though previous to beginning the fast these patients were losing strength on an abundance of "good nourishing food."
It frequently happens that the greatest need of an invalid is exercise, either local or general. In numerous cases this alone has resulted in complete restoration of health. Many invalids fail to recover health, because, although all the other factors are right, they cannot be induced to take sufficient or appropriate exercise.
Numerous methods are employed for the purpose of increasing the nutritive processes in local parts, as well as in the general system, but none of them are as efficient or as devoid of harmful consequences as muscular action. None of them are so prompt, none so localized, none so economical of vitality. Artificial agents and measures employed for this purpose occasion other actions and induce irrelevant changes and needless vital expenditure. These methods involve a harmful and uncompensated expenditure of the client' s power.
Excerpted from Chapter 19—Exercise!
Home > Lesson 95 - Exercise In Sickness And Recuperation
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