Article #1: Disease, Stimulation and Therapeutics—A Question of Consistency
In the field of nonmedical care of the ill, a current topic concerns the use of “natural” treatments.
Treatments, therapies are artificial. “Natural therapy” is a contradiction.
The following is a Hygienist’s view. There are some basic Hygienic principles which are frequently accepted in general discussion by proponents of Osteopathy, Naturopathy and Chiropractic. In practice these principles are often not merely neglected, but flouted. It is not the primary intention here, to present the proof-ramifications of these basics, but to make them clear, relate them to therapeutics and so show the incompatibility of therapeutic philosophies with Natural Hygiene.
Health and disease have a common ground—the living organism. Without life, there is no health; no disease. Disease is the expression of life in response to unfavorable circumstances. Health is the expression of life in response to favorable circumstances.
Toxemia is a poisoned condition of the organism. In toxemia, there is an accumulation of poisons, inhibiting efficient, normal function.
Enervation is a state of lowered nerve action, in which the nerve tissue’s energy reserve is depleted; depleted through excessive nerve activity; activity necessitated by stimulation. Tired, exhausted nerves cannot adequately direct elimination. Reduced elimination increases toxemia. Toxemia stimulates. Toxemia compounds enervation and enervation compounds toxemia.
To break this vicious cycle and so overcome toxemia, the body suspends or reduces certain activities such as digestion and muscular effort. Thus the body conserves energy and nerve function which it redirects to make quantitative changes in its activities—to produce such actions as fever, diarrhea, polyuria, hyperhidrosis, vomiting—to remove irritating agents; that is, to eliminate. Such actions reflect the coordinated irritability of a complex organism. Irritability may be defined as that ability to take self preservative action in the face of adverse influences. Such actions are often labelled “disease.”
Therapeutics is the art of altering the expression of the organism’s irritability. We do not die from disease (our body’s functioning) but from toxemia; from the causes of toxemia. To a large extent the body protects itself—but constant dripping wears away the stone. Any program of care that does not remove the causes of toxemia is not rewarded with health, for the body by virtue of its irritability will not cease to be “sick,” to be “diseased,” to remove, or to accomodate to toxemia until success or death. If the need for disease is not removed, health will not ensue. This is another Hygienic principle. To seek, identify and remove the causes of toxemia is the constant aim of the Hygienist. The causes of toxemia and enervation are largely exogenous (i.e., from outside the body). The toxemia may be due to the accumulation of metabolic wastes or intermediary products of metabolism as a result of enervation, or to the absorption from the external environment of commonly recognized poisons such as drugs, preservatives, metals, poisonous gases, insecticides. In this article we are concerned with endogenous (internally) produced toxemia generated as a result of enervation; enervation due to exogenous influences—stimulants. The athlete who “runs” on a full stomach probably will not perform well—he certainly will not assimilate his food well; he will not do so because the resources of his body are directed to the performance of his athletic “feat.” Digestion and alimentary assimilation are suspended because his body cannot perform all of its activities at a high rate, all at once. So when the body exerts itself in specific directions as it may do in response to the presence of drugs or other stimulants in order to remove them, normal routine elimination (the elimination of endogenous toxins) is reduced. Elimination is normally increased during rest and sleep, partly because of the relative reduction in stimulation at these times. So a stimulant, that is anything—physical, chemical, spiritual, mental—you name it—that necessitates body action which would otherwise be functionally, physiologically unnecessary and unrewarding to the organism results in toxemia and enervation. If we waste our vitality, our energies, our resources—in short, our life—then the level of toxemia remaining after rest and sleep is greater than it otherwise would be. So if there is a progressive waste of function and lack of rest and sleep, there is a progressive increase in the level of toxemia. This toxemia, the endogenous toxemia of stimulation is that which makes drugs (apart from their chemical toxicity) and therapeutic modalities whether “natural” or medical, objectionable to a Hygienist. The “Natural Therapeutists” agents may be different to those of the medics but the effects are similar—stimulation, enervation, toxemia, disease…
By Ian Fowler, A.A.I.M.L.T. reprinted from the June, 1973 Newsletter of the Australian Natural Hygiene Society in the June, 1977 issue of Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review.