1. First Aid: The Life Science Approach
Someday either you or someone you care for may be in a life or death situation. What you do in the next few minutes could either save a life or quickly end it. Should you sacrifice your beliefs and principles at a time like this? Absolutely not. If your beliefs are correct, then your actions will be correct—provided that you have the proper knowledge to act upon.
Unfortunately, some people who think they understand Natural Hygiene or Life Science actually have a mistaken belief when it comes to first aid. One of the first principles of Natural Hygiene is not to interfere with healing. Outside interference with the body’s healing processes should always be avoided. In other words, when we are sick or in ill health, we become well again by “intelligently doing nothing.”
We don’t actually do “nothing” of course. We may fast, improve our diet, take more exercise, or relax. But we don’t meddle or interfere with the body by injecting it full of drugs or cutting out diseased organs.
Some Natural Hygienists and Life Scientists make the mistake of believing that “nothing” should also be done in a time of emergency situations where the body might require immediate attention. This is a dangerous belief, and one that may lead to your death.
First aid principles can be applied without violating any of the fundamental facts of Life Science and Natural Hygiene. We must, however, understand what first aid really means in these cases.
1.1 What First Aid Can (and Cannot) Do
First aid simply allows the body a chance to heal itself. Intelligent first aid, quickly applied, can restore the body to its stable state. For example, if you accidently cut an artery with a knife, you could quite possibly bleed to death if the cut was deep and the artery was a major one. If you “intelligently” do nothing in this case, you’re stupid.
Simple first aid would be to apply direct pressure to the artery and stop the blood flow. You would use some type of cloth or clay or even pressure to help the blood clot, and then you might even need to have the artery sewed or reconnected.
Then, after all of this, you would do nothing “intelligently.” You may fast or rest and let your body replenish its blood supply and conduct its healing. You would not ask for a blood transfusion or for any drugs to “help” you heal. When the body is restored to its stable state, then it will reestablish health and well-being without any additional aid or interference.
“First aid,” wrote Dr. Alec Burton, a Natural Hygienic practitioner, “Represents immediate and temporary care. It is not designed to restore health but merely to avert the possibility of further damage or even death.”
If you break your leg, there is no drug, medicine, or injection you can take to make the bone knit and heal. However, if you do not have the bone “set” and the leg immobilized, then the natural healing would not be as effective. First aid is for accidental injuries done to the body, and not for chronic
illnesses or disease.
1.2 Should “First” Be “Last”?
First aid is called first aid because it is the first attention an injured person receives before being taken to a hospital or a doctor.
In most cases, first aid should also be last aid. After you take care of the emergency and restore the patient to a stable condition, no additional outside help is needed or required. The body is now on its own, and will conduct its healing as rapidly as possible. Drugs and various other hospital procedures only interfere with natural healing processes.
“First” aid can save a life. The “second,” “third,” or “fourth” aid a person receives in the hospital or at the hands of a surgeon can end a life. In many cases, first aid should also be the last aid a person needs.
The Natural Hygienic practitioner and student of Life Science must learn to distinguish between those emergency situations which may require additional professional attention and those that do not.
For example, a dog bite on the leg may often be treated safely at home by letting the wound bleed briefly, cleaning it with water, and then stopping the blood flow with a clean cloth. On the other hand, if the dog attacked the person around the face and actually tore an ear half-off, then surgery should be employed to reattach the ear. In neither case, however, should rabies shots be taken or any other injections be received. Rabies is yet another of the “contagion” myths and shots cannot protect you from a myth.
In many cases, your first aid is also the last aid a person needs before allowing the body to heal itself and restore normalcy. There are times, however, when you may need to seek additional help.
Knowing when to seek help and what type of help should be accepted can be difficult for the Natural Hygienist. How do you know when an emergency situation requires additional help?
Unfortunately, there is no easy and absolute way of answering this question for every situation. In most cases, you will have to use your own judgment and be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions. At such times, it is very handy to have a few phone numbers of professional Hygienic practitioners that you can call in an emergency.
There are some emergency situations, however, that will very often require some additional help beyond the “first” aid that you can give.
1.3 When Do You Need Outside Help?
The most obvious emergency situations that require outside and additional help is when a severe mechanical injury is done to the body. In this case, something is “broken” in the body—such as a broken bone, a severed artery, a deep gashing hole, a crushed organ, or some other acute and violent injury.
When these injuries occur, then constructive or emergency surgery may be required. Setting broken limbs and stitching large wounds up are still valid medical practices that allow the body to expediate its healing processes, these types of surgery do not violate the principles of Natural Hygiene, and may be vital to the well-being of the victim.
Giving the patient antibiotics, pain-killers, “vitamin” shots or other drugs, however, does violate the laws of nature and is injurious to the body.
In general, we can say that as long as the emergency treatments remain mechanical in nature and do not introduce any poisons or drugs into the body, then they may be tolerated.
As a general consensus, some Natural Hygienic practitioners developed a list of conditions that might require “constructive” or emergency surgery. Such treatment may be advisable (or unavoidable) for these types of situations or emergencies:
- Repair after accidents.
- Repair of some congenital (birth) defects.
- Concealed strangulated hernia in an infant.
- Some Caesarian sections (approach with great care!).
- Some cataracts (only after fasting has been tried).
- Repair of extensive damage to joints and cartilage (after an accident).
- Tubal pregnancy.
- Some hernias.
- Large tumors causing obstruction or pressure on nerves or organs (only after an extended fast has first been attempted).
- Repair of opening in wall of stomach eaten through by an ulcer of long duration.
- Removal of organ destroyed by accident.
- Dental surgery, such as tooth extraction or repair after an accident to the mouth.
All surgery and additional repairs to the body should always be viewed with caution, suspicion, and trepidation. Do not always assume that surgery and medical practices are needed for any type of emergency situation. In some cases, a limited amount of professional attention will be entirely adequate.
For example, if a person is knocked out and loses consciousness, then some additional help may be needed beyond the first aid that you can give. In a book called Management of Trauma: Pitfalls and Practice, the doctors have this to say about the treatment of head injuries in emergencies:
“If the person is knocked unconscious for less than five minutes, then the patient should be carefully observed for six to twelve hours. Frequently this can be done in the emergency room and does not require hospitalization. Patients who were unconscious for longer than five minutes may need to be hospitalized overnight.”
The same doctors also caution us, however, that: “Merely keeping the patient in a hospital bed or in an emergency room does not imply that he is being adequately observed. All too often patients languish in these areas without being seen by a physician at all.”
Like it or not, when an emergency or serious injury happens, you may end up in the hospital or an emergency ward. This is especially true if you are a victim of an accident. (See the supplementary material at the end of this lesson for one Life Scientist’s experience after a tragic accident.) What do you do if you are the victim of an emergency?
1.4 If They Take You To The Hospital…
You may be unconscious the first time you are taken to a hospital or an emergency room. Some Life Scientists anticipate this situation and wear a medical tag that says: I am allergic to all drugs and blood transfusions, and I have no medical insurance.
Having no insurance may be the best safeguard against unnecessary or “elective” medical and surgical procedures. If the hospital suspects that you cannot pay its charges, it will try to have you discharged as soon as possible.
You may also want to give a sympathetic friend who understands your health preferences the “power of attorney” over matters involving your health care. All this means is that you and your friend go to a lawyer where a letter is drafted that says this person may act on your behalf on matters of health and medical care should you be unconscious or in a coma or unable to speak for yourself. Your friend, then, has the legal right to make sure that the hospital and surgeons do not get to you while you are incapable of making a rational decision.
While you are in the hospital, you cannot be legally forced to take any drugs, shots, transfusions, or whatever. You may be subject to intimidation and threats, and dire warnings that you are “hurting only yourself” by the hospital staff. Stand firm, however; they cannot make you do anything you do not want to do.
You also have the right to immediate release from a hospital. To accomplish this, you may have to walk out on your own power, have a friend pick you up, or even get a private ambulance to take you back to your home.
You cannot be forced to sign anything, such as a “discharged against advice” form. In fact, do not sign such waivers or forms. These forms serve only to protect the hospital, not you.
You do not need to wait in the hospital while the bill is being drawn up; you can have it mailed to you and you can leave immediately. This is your legal right; do not let empty threats frighten you.
Many times, as soon as a patient is given “bathroom privileges,” he is ready to be discharged and nurse the injuries at home.
Make the best of an unavoidable hospital stay. Try to rest and fast. If you eat, try to get only fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Refuse “feeding” by injection. Get out as quick as you can.