6. Four Case Studies
6.1 Case Study No. I
Irene was 42 years of age. Her husband was an alcoholic. Her days of parenting were completed, the children on their own. For the past five years she had suffered from an assortment of “allergies” which made her life miserable. She had been injected with various drugs, so many she couldn’t even remember their names. She constantly had to sniff antihistamines in order to breathe. Her whole attitude was one of depression. She could find nothing good about this life and confessed that she had often thought of suicide.
Upon review of Irene’s past life and of her present lifestyle, it was obvious that changes needed to be made. A dietary regimen geared to the Extended Detoxification Plan was advised and begun. Our client was encouraged to take daily walks, to sunbathe as often as she could, and to begin a program of study in Natural Hygiene to learn the why and how of her new regimen.
This was, of course, all good. If followed carefully, there was no doubt in our minds that Irene’s health would improve but, because of her greatly troubled and depressed attitude toward life, her improvement would, in all likelihood, be quite slow. She needed more. She needed to be lifted out of her depression, to be helped to realize that life really is worth the effort, that it can be happy and joy-filled.
To accomplish this objective we proposed certain steps for our client to take: 1. To look around for some hobby or interest to replace her former parenting, the absence of which now left a vacuum in her life which required filling; 2. To go to an Al-anon meeting and there to listen and learn how she might better cope with the demands put upon her and the frustrations she now was experiencing in her life because of her husband’s alcoholism, and 3. To attend such group meetings as we might present in the coming weeks and months.
Irene agreed to cooperate in all these suggestions. She took a course in Reflexology as well as all of the courses that we have written over the years. She became a faithful attendant at Al-anon meetings and at our group’s study and social get-togethers. In addition, she reported her progress to us every three months.
Not too long ago, Irene telephoned to share a success story with us. It seems that her family had always “put her down,” perhaps because she had always been rather “sickly,” as she described it. But, the evening before, she had received a long-distance telephone call from a sister who had developed a severe bronchial condition which, according to her physician, required surgery. So impressed was the whole family at the improvement in Irene’s health, what Irene had accomplished, that they had advised this sister to call upon her for advice! Irene was “on cloud nine!” That had never happened to her before in her whole life! Mental and physical activity combined with appropriate changes in her eating and lifestyle had accomplished what we had set out to do: to so improve her health that she would be an inspiration to other sick and depressed souls.
6.2 Case Study No. II
“Sam,” actually short for Samantha, was in her middle fifties. She was at least 75 pounds overweight, outwardly happy as a lark, but inwardly disturbed about life and her precise role in it. She had reached a point in her life which many people reach who live from day to day without purpose or direction. She had just drifted through life.
She had been a willing follower of the masses, enjoying their destructive lifestyle, with no thought of the future.
Suddenly, and totally without warning, or so she said, she was confronted by a major health problem. She had just been diagnosed as having hypoglycemia. She was angry now at the whole world, albeit still wearing her habitual light-hearted expression which, during our initial consultation, proved to be but a mask to hide her inner confusion and anger.
A review of her eating habits revealed the customary diet of persons who suffer from hypoglycemia and diabetes, one overloaded with all kinds of processed carbohydrate foods such as sugar and white flour; all the many kinds of foods concocted from these substances, plus considerable emphasis on processed convenience-type packaged foods, many of which contain large amounts of fats and pure cane sugar. Foodless foods such as these overwork the pancreas and other endocrine glands until the body is simply not able to utilize its inherent balancing mechanisms with the result, of course, that a metabolic disaster scene results with the blood glucose levels fluctuating abnormally.
Sam told us that she had become very forgetful and had difficulty in concentrating. In fact, her mind
often went blank. She had lost her temper at work on several occasions, a new trait for her. She said she was usually quite easy to get along with. She had times when she felt faint and suffered from headaches, also a rather recent symptom. She had always felt so well! And as for fatigue, it seemed that now she was always tired, never rested.
Obviously, Sam needed help. We prescribed for her an immediate fast for three days, the entire time being spent in bed. She was to remain as quiet as possible. Following the three-day fast, Sam was introduced to Hygienic living. Because of her excess weight, vigorous exercise was not to be recommended at this time. Therefore, a twice-a-day walking schedule was decided on. Sam, like all of our clients, began a basic course of instruction with the purpose of directing her mind into more positive channels, to help her to realize that her present apparently hopeless situation was really not so devoid of hope after all. Later Sam joined a class in exercising designed for older persons. She was thus being reprogrammed in three different directions: A new diet, daily exercise geared to her present capacity, plus a planned educational program designed to present her with a new perspective on life’s rules.
Sam lost weight slowly as planned, but consistently. Her listlessness and fatigue, her forgetfulness, the headaches and other symptoms have all either completely disappeared or been much alleviated. Her mental outlook is again one of genuine cheerfulness. Sam knows exactly where she is headed and fully confident that she will achieve her new goal: perfect health.
6.3 Case Study No. III
6.3.1 Encouraging Activity in Sickness
Mrs. M. arrived here at the Institute extremely debilitated, so much so that it was deemed advisable to put her immediately to bed. Her blood tests revealed that her entire system was operating in low gear and that she would have to be handled with extreme care. Her medical history confirmed our appraisal since it revealed that for many years this woman had been a willing subject of medical mismanagement on a grand scale.
Through the years she had suffered one extirpation after another including the removal of tonsils and adenoids at an early age, this followed at age 28 by a cauterization of her womb after having partially recovered from typhoid fever. At age 37 a complete hysterectomy was performed because of profuse bleeding during menstruation, this proving to be a most trying time.
At about 54 the gallbladder was removed and, just “as a precaution,” the surgeon thought it best also to remove the appendix, this decision apparently having been made during the operation and without the patient’s consent or knowledge.
Several heart attacks followed in rapid succession and for the three years preceding her seeking Hygienic care, Mrs. M. had lived the life of an invalid unable to carry on even simple household tasks. As with so many, she had exhausted all orthodox avenues as well as her financial resources before seeking the only method of health care based on physiological and biological truth. She did so at the request of a relative newly introduced to Hygienic care.
Following two days of complete bed rest combined with physiological rest, Mrs. M. brightened. It was thought advisable to encourage some activity on her part even though it was obvious that vigorous exercise was, at this time, completely out of the question. However, we knew that it was vital that the blood flow be encouraged. Because of her weakened heart and a generally-debilitated condition, it was agreed that this client could not go on a prolonged fast which might have rested the heart and encouraged reparative processes. Therefore, it was decided to place her on a juice diet for a few days, both vegetable and fruit juices being used alternately during the day in two-hour intervals. As an adjunct to this light feeding program we decided to begin a scaled-down activity program, one which would require both physical and mental responses.
Only too often, it is not realized just how important both mental and physical activity can be in illness. When the mental processes become dull, a similar reaction can be observed in the physical body. Thus, mind cooperation and mind control are both helpful and necessary to full recovery. Mood swings, especially when the valleys of depression are deep and the peaks are overly high, can undo other measures being used in a constructive manner and even though these may be based on sound physiological and biological bases of fact. Therefore, it was decided to introduce both kinds of activity this early in the program but to do so only to a very limited extent.
6.3.2 Mental Activity
In her debilitated condition, Mrs. M. had little awareness of events or things. She was too concerned
about her condition to display interest in external happenings. The anxiety so evident in her facial expression was being mirrored internally in lessened systemic efficiency as well.
It has long been known that superb health is impossible when the mind is disturbed, depressed and
anxious. It was important, therefore, to direct Mrs. M.’s attention away from herself toward other things of a happier nature. Therefore, we placed1 Mrs. M’s bed in such a manner that she could watch the bird feeding every morning and evening. At feeding time we would visit with her and identify the various birds and tell something about their habits. We recounted how one Arizona roadrunner became crippled in one leg, but did that stop him? No, indeed! Every day, in fact twice every day, he came to the feeding ground hopping around on one leg. We told her that, at first, this valiant bird barely made it but, as time went on, he became stronger and stronger until, finally he was hopping with the best of them.
We told her that this is the way with all living things; that so long as they obey nature’s laws, feeding and living in accordance with the body’s needs, then repair and healing will take place. No doubt, this great strong bird had been severely injured but rest, suitable food plus determination had produced the healing required for him to live a reasonably good life. We reminded her that she was no different, that her body had the same wondrous capacity to heal itself, too, and that now, at long last, she was embarked on a journey into health. There was much to learn and do but, like the valiant and brave roadrunner, she could make of this a highly-successful journey.
Thus, Mrs. M’s mind was focused in a new and more positive direction. It was activated to believe that by following after the principles and practices espoused by Natural Hygiene, she just might be able to enjoy life again instead of having to endure the mental hurt of being totally dependent on others for her care and nurture and this, too, for the rest of her life. At age 62, this thought had become a nightmare that ate away at what little wellness she had left. Now, for the first time, she had hope. Her mind that had turned now became imbued with and activated by an inspiring song of hope.
Some comparable tactic can often be used with similarly anxious clients. Some may have a latent interest in knitting, others in listening to good music, still others like to listen to stories about what other people in similar circumstances have done to improve their health. Whatever sparks attentive interest should be explored.
6.4 Case Study No. IV
At age 27 Mark was schizophrenic. He lived in his own private world and had done so for well over a year when we were brought into the picture. At first he would not even meet with us, even when we went to the home. Therefore, our initial steps had to consist of improving the food intake. Both parents cooperated fully and within a few months Mark began to make tentative steps out of his mental prison.
Our first glimpse of the young man came when, on a house visit, he peeked around a corner and quickly withdrew. We seemingly ignored his behavior and Dr. Robert began to talk about weight-lifting and suggested that perhaps Mark might enjoy this kind of activity. Mark’s parents thought this might be a good idea so they agreed to purchase two five-pound dumbbells for a trial run, so to speak.
The experiment worked. Mark “took” to the dumbbells and, before long, he had acquired some skills. His mother said that this was the first time since the mental curtain had descended on Mark’s mind, that he had shown any sign of interest in anything or anyone.
On our next home visit, three months later, we were delighted to find Mark sitting in the living room, a big smile on his face. He could hardly wait to show us his new dumbbells. They were ten-pounders! To our delight, he willingly demonstrated his newly-acquired skill.
Mark still has a long way to go on his journey into health, but he is on his way. The next step? We have suggested that his parents now join a fitness club so that Mark can see and be with other young people and thus further activate his mind, as well as his physical body. His parents have agreed to take this important step. Mark has expressed his willingness to join them in this new adventure.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Activity Is Required
- 3. Positive Versus Negative Thinking
- 4. Physical Exercises Suitable For The Bedfast
- 5. The Role Of Feelings
- 6. Four Case Studies
- 7. Conditions Where An Exercise Program Would Be Contraindicated
- 8. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Fitness Guide
- Article #2: Application of Gymnastics To The Sick By Herbert M. Shelton