The Treatment of Acute Diseases
by Natural Methods
by Natural Methods
In the preceding chapters we have described the results of the wrong, that is, suppressive treatment of acute diseases. We shall now proceed to describe the simple and uniform methods of natural treatment.
If the uniformity of acute diseases be a fact in Nature, then it follows that it must be possible to treat all acute diseases by uniform methods.
That it is possible to treat all acute diseases most successfully by natural methods, which anybody possessed of ordinary intelligence can apply, has been demonstrated for more than seventy years by the Nature Cure practitioners in Germany, and by myself during the last ten years in an extensive practice.
One of the many advantages of natural treatment is that it may be applied right from the beginning, as soon as the first symptoms of acute febrile conditions manifest themselves. It is not necessary to wait for a correct diagnosis of the case.
The regular physician, with his specific treatment for the multitude of specific diseases which he recognizes, often has to wait several days or even weeks before the real nature of the disease becomes clear to him, before he is able to diagnose the case or even to make a good guess. The conscientious medical practitioner has to postpone actual treatment until the symptoms are well defined. Meanwhile he applies expectant treatment as it is called in medical parlance, that is, he gives a purgative or a placebo, something or other to placate, or to make the patient and his friends believe that something is being done.
But during this period of indecision and inaction very often the best opportunity for aiding Nature in her healing efforts is lost, and the inflammatory processes may reach such virulence that it becomes very difficult or even impossible to keep them within constructive limits. The bonfire that was to burn up the rubbish on the premises may, if not watched and tended, assume such proportions that it damages or destroys the house.
It must also be borne in mind that very frequently acute diseases do not present the well-defined sets of symptoms which fit into the accepted medical conception of certain specific ailments. On the contrary, in many instances the symptoms suggest a combination of different forms of acute diseases.
If the character of the disease is ill-defined and complicated, how, then, is the physician of the "Old School" to select the proper specific remedy, Under such circumstances, the diagnosis of the case as well as the medical treatment will at best be largely guesswork.
Compare with this unreliable and unsatisfactory treatment the simple and scientific, exact and efficient natural methods. The natural remedies can be applied from the first, at the slightest manifestation of inflammatory and febrile symptoms. No matter what the specific nature or trend of the inflammatory process, whether it be a simple cold, or whether it take the form of measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, smallpox, appendicitis, etc.--it makes absolutely no difference in the mode of treatment. In many instances the natural treatment will have broken the virulence of the attack or brought about a cure before the regular physician gets good and ready to apply his specific treatment.
In the following I shall describe briefly these natural methods for the treatment of acute diseases which insure the largest possible percentage of recoveries and at the same time do not in any way tax the system, cause undesirable aftereffects or lead to the different forms of chronic invalidism.
The Natural Remedies
The most important ones of these natural remedies can be had free of cost in any home. They are: air, fasting or eliminative diets, water, and the right mental attitude.
I am fully convinced that these remedies offered freely by Mother Nature are sufficient, if rightly applied, to cure any acute disease arising within the organism. If circumstances permit, however, we may advantageously add corrective manipulation of the spine, massage, magnetic treatment, advanced regenerative modalities (like the Magnatherm) and homeopathic, herbal and specific nutritional supplementation.
The Fresh-Air Treatment
A plentiful supply of pure fresh air is of vital importance at any time. We can live without food for several weeks and without water for several days, but we cannot live without air for more than a few minutes. Just as a fire in the furnace cannot be kept up without a good draft which supplies the necessary amount of oxygen to the flame, so the fires of life in the body cannot be maintained without an abundance of oxygen in the air we breathe.
This is of vital importance at all times, but especially so in acute disease, because here, as we have learned, all the vital processes are intensified. The system is working under high pressure. Large quantities of waste and morbid materials, the products of inflam-mation, have to be oxidized, that is, burned up and eliminated from the system.
In this respect the Nature Cure people have brought about one of the greatest reforms in medical treatment: the admission of plenty of fresh air to the sickroom.
But, strange to say, the importance of this most essential natural remedy is as yet not universally recognized by the representatives of the regular school of medicine. Time and again I have been called to sickrooms where by order of the doctor every window was closed and the room filled with pestilential odors, the poisonous exhalations of the diseased organism added to the stale air of the unventilated and often overheated apartment. And this air starvation had been enforced by graduates of our best medical schools and colleges. This unnatural and inexcusable crime against the sick is committed even at this late day in our great hospitals under the direct supervision of physicians who are foremost in their profession.
It is not the cold draft that is to be feared in the sickroom. Cool air is most agreeable and beneficial to the body burning in fever heat. What is to be feared is the reinhalation and reabsorption of poisonous emanations from the lungs and skin of the diseased body.
Furthermore, the ventilation of a room can be so regulated as to provide a constant and plentiful supply of fresh air without expos-ing its occupants to a direct draft. Where there is only one window and one door, both may be opened and a sheet or blanket hung across the opening of the door, or the single window may be opened partly from above and partly from below, which insures the entrance of fresh, cold air at the bottom and the expulsion of the heated and vitiated air at the top. The patient may be protected by a screen, or a board may be placed across the lower part of the window in such manner that a direct current of air upon the patient is prevented.
In very cold weather, or if conditions are not favorable to constant ventilation of the sickroom, the doors and windows may be opened wide for several minutes every few hours, while the patient's body and head are well protected. There is absolutely no danger of taking cold if these precautions are taken. Under right conditions of room temperature, frequent exposure of the patient's nude body to air and the sunlight will be found most beneficial and will often induce sleep when other means fail.
I would strongly warn against keeping the patient too warm. This is especially dangerous in the case of young children, who cannot use their own judgment or make their wishes known. I have frequently found children in high fever smothered in heavy blankets under the mistaken impression on the part of the attendants that they had to be kept warm and protected against possible draft. In many instances the air under the covers was actually steaming hot. This surely does not tend to reduce the burning fever heat in the body of the patient.
"Natural Diet" in Acute Diseases
From the appearance of the first suspicious symptoms until the fever has abated and there is a hearty, natural hunger, feeding should be reduced to a minimum or better still, entirely suspended.
In cases of extreme weakness, and where the acute and subacute processes are long drawn out and the patient has become greatly emaciated, it is advisable to give such easily digestible foods as white of egg, milk, buttermilk and whole grain bread with butter in combination with raw and stewed fruits and with vegetable salads prepared with lemon juice and olive oil.
The quantity of drinking water should be regulated by the desire of the patient, but he should be warned not to take any more than is necessary to satisfy his thirst. Large amounts of water taken into the system dilute the blood and the other fluids and secretions of the organism to an excessive degree, and this tends to increase the general weakness and lower the patient's resistance to the disease forces.
Water may be made more palatable and at the same time more effective for purposes of elimination by the addition of the unsweetened juice of acid fruits, such as orange, grapefruit or lemon, about one part of juice to three parts of water. Fresh pineapple juice is very good except in cases of hyperacidity of the stomach. The fresh, unsweetened juice of Concord grapes is also beneficial.
Acid and subacid fruit juices do not contain sufficient carbohydrate or protein materials to unduly excite the digestive processes, while on the other hand they are very rich in Nature's best medicines, the mineral salts in organic form. Sweet grapes and sweetened grape juice should not be given to patients suffering from acute, febrile diseases because they contain too much sugar, which would have a tendency to start the processes of digestion and assimilation, to cause morbid fermentation and to raise the temperature and accelerate the other disease symptoms.
Total abstinence from food during acute febrile conditions is of primary importance. In certain diseases which will be mentioned later on, especially those involving the digestive tract, fasting must be continued for several days after all fever symptoms have disappeared.
There is no greater fallacy than that the patient must be sustained and his strength kept up by plenty of nourishing food and drink or, worse still, by stimulants and tonics. This is altogether wrong in itself, and besides, habit and appetite are often mistaken for hunger.
A common spectacle witnessed at the bedside of the sick is that of well-meaning but misguided relatives and friends forcing food and drink on the patient, often by order of the doctor, when his whole system rebels against it and the nauseated stomach expels the food as soon as taken. Sedatives and tonics are then resorted to in order to force the digestive organs into submission.
Aversion to eating during acute diseases, whether they represent healing crises or disease crises, is perfectly natural, because the entire organism, including the mucous membranes of stomach and intestines, is engaged in the work of elimination, not assimilation. Nausea, slimy and fetid discharges, constipation alternating with diarrhea, etc., indicate that the organs of digestion are throwing off disease matter, and that they are not in a condition to take up and assimilate food.
Ordinarily, the digestive tract acts like a sponge which absorbs the elements of nutrition; but in acute diseases the process is reversed, the sponge is being squeezed and gives off large quantities of morbid matter. The processes of digestion and assimilation are at a standstill. In fact, the entire organism is in a condition of prostration, weakness and inactivity. The vital energies are concentrated on the cleansing and healing processes. Accordingly, there is no demand for food.
This is verified by the fact that a person fasting for a certain period, say, four weeks, during the course of a serious acute illness, will not lose nearly as much in weight as the same person fasting four weeks in days of healthful activity.
It is for the foregoing reasons that nourishment taken during acute disease:
1. is not properly digested, assimilated and transmuted into healthy blood and tissues. Instead, it ferments and decays, filling the system with waste matter and noxious gases.
2. interferes seriously with the elimination of morbid matter through stomach and intestines by forcing these organs to take up the work of digestion and assimilation.
3. diverts the vital forces from their combat against the disease conditions and draws upon them to remove the worse than useless food ballast from the organism.
This explains why taking food during feverish diseases is usually followed by a rise in temperature and by aggravation of the other disease symptoms. As long as there are signs of inflammatory, febrile conditions and no appetite, do not be afraid to withhold food entirely, if necessary, for as long as five, six or seven weeks. In my practice I have had several patients who did not take any food, except water to which acid fruit juices had been added, for more than seven weeks, and then made a rapid and complete recovery.
In cases of gastritis, appendicitis, peritonitis, dysentery or typhoid fever, abstinence from food is absolutely imperative. Not even milk should be taken until fever and inflammation have entirely subsided, and then a few days should be allowed for the healing and restoring of the injured tissues. Many of the serious chronic aftereffects of these diseases are due to too early feeding, which does not allow the healing forces of Nature time to rebuild sloughed membranes and injured organs.
After a prolonged fast, great care must be observed when commencing to eat. Very small quantities of light food may safely be taken at intervals of a few hours. A good plan, especially after an attack of typhoid fever or dysentery, is to break the fast by thoroughly masticating one or two tablespoonfuls of popcorn. This gives the digestive tract a good scouring and starts the peristaltic action of the bowels better than any other food.
The popcorn may advantageously be followed in about two hours with a tablespoonful of cooked rice and one or two cooked prunes or a small quantity of some other stewed fruit.
For several days or weeks after a fast, according to the severity of the acute disease or healing crisis, a diet consisting largely of raw fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, apples, pears, grapes, etc., and juicy vegetables, especially lettuce, celery, cabbage slaw, watercress, young onions, tomatoes or cucumbers should be adhered to. No condiments or dressings should be used with the vegetables except lemon juice and olive oil.
Hydropathic Treatment in Acute Diseases
We claim that in acute diseases hydropathic treatment will accomplish all the benefcial effects which the "Old School" practitioners ascribe to drugs, and that water applications will produce the desired results much more efficiently, and without any harmful by-effects or aftereffects upon the system.
The principal objects to be attained in the treatment of acute inflammatory diseases are:
1. To relieve the inner congestion and consequent pain in the affected parts.
2. To keep the temperature below the danger point by promoting heat radiation through the skin.
3. To increase the activity of the organs of elimination and thus to facilitate the removal of morbid materials from the system.
4. To increase the positive electromagnetic energies in the organism.
5. To increase the amount of oxygen and ozone in the system and thereby to promote the oxidation and combustion of effete matter.
The above-mentioned objects can be attained most effectually by the simple cold water treatment. Whatever the acute condition may be, whether an ordinary cold or the most serious type of febrile disease, the applications described in detail in the following pages, used singly, combined or alternately according to individual conditions, will always be in order and sufficient to produce the best possible results.
Baths and Ablutions
Cooling sprays or, if the patient is too weak to leave the bed, cold sponge baths or ablutions, repeated whenever the temperature rises, are very effective for keeping the fever below the danger point, for relieving the congestion in the interior of the body and for stimulating the elimination of systemic poisons through the skin.
However, care must be taken not to lower the temperature too much by the excessive coldness or unduly prolonged duration of the application. It is possible to suppress inflammatory processes by means of cold water or ice bags just as easily as with poisonous antiseptics, antifever medicines and surgical operations.
It is sufficient to reduce the temperature to just below the danger point. This will allow the inflammatory processes to run their natural course through the five progressive stages of inflammation and this natural course will then be followed by perfect regeneration of the affected parts.
In our sanitarium we use only water of ordinary temperature as it flows from the faucet, never under any circumstances ice bags or ice water. The application of ice keeps the parts to which it is applied in a chilled condition. The circulation cannot react, and the inflammatory processes are thus most effectually suppressed.
To recapitulate: Never check or suppress a fever by means of cold baths, ablutions, wet packs, etc., but merely lower it below the danger point. For instance, if a certain type of fever has a tendency to rise to 104° F. or more, bring it down to about 102°. If the fever ordinarily runs at a lower temperature, say at 102° F., do not try to reduce it more than one or two degrees.
If the temperature is subnormal, that is, below the normal or regular body temperature, the packs should be applied in such a manner that a warming effect is produced, that is, less wet cloths and more dry covering should be used, and the packs left on the body a longer time before they are renewed. More detailed instruction will be given in subsequent pages.
Never lose sight of the fact that fever is in itself a healing, cleansing process which must not be checked or suppressed.
Hot-Water Applications Are Injurious
Altogether wrong is the application of hot water to seats of inflammation as, for instance, the inflamed appendix or ovaries, sprains, bruises, etc. Almost in every instance where I am called in to attend a case of acute appendicitis or peritonitis, I find hot compresses or hot water bottles, by means of which the inflamed parts are kept continually in an overheated condition. It is in this way that a simple inflammation is nurtured into an abscess and made more serious and dangerous.
The hot compress or hot-water bottle draws the blood away from the inflamed area to the surface temporarily; but unless the hot application is kept up continually, the blood, under the Law of Action and Reaction, will recede from the surface into the interior, and as a result the inner congestion will become as great as or greater than before.
If the hot applications are continued, the applied heat tends to maintain and increase the heat in the inflamed parts.
Inflammation means that there is already too much heat in the affected part or organ. Common sense, therefore, would dictate cooling applications instead of heating ones.
The cold packs and compresses, on the other hand, have a directly cooling effect upon the seat of inflammation and in accordance with the Law of Action and Reaction their secondary, lasting effect consists in drawing the blood from the congested and heated interior to the surface, thus relaxing the pores of the skin and promoting the radiation of heat and the elimination of impurities.
Both the hot-water applications and the use of ice are, therefore, to be absolutely condemned. The only rational and natural treatment of inflammatory conditions is that by compresses, packs and ablutions, using water of ordinary temperature, as it comes from the cold water tap.
By means of the simple cold-water treatment and fasting all fevers and inflammations can be reduced in a perfectly natural way within a short time without undue strain on the organism.
The Whole-Body Pack
The whole-body pack is most effective if by means of it the patient can be brought into a state of copious perspiration. The pack is then removed and the patient is given a cold sponge bath.
It will be found that this treatment often produces a second profuse sweat which is very beneficial. This aftersweat should also be followed by a cold sponge bath.
Such a course of treatment will frequently be sufficient to eliminate the morbid matter which has gathered in the system, and thus prevent in a perfectly natural manner a threatening disease which otherwise might become dangerous to life.
How to Apply the Whole-Body Pack
On a bed or cot spread two or more blankets, according to their weight. Over the top blanket spread a linen or cotton sheet which has been dipped into cold water and wrung out fairly dry. Let the blankets extend about one foot beyond the wet sheet at the head of the bed.
Place the patient on the wet sheet so that it comes well up to the neck, and wrap the sheet snugly around the body so that it covers every part, tucking it in between the arms and sides and between the legs. It will be found that the sheet can be adjusted more snugly and smoothly if separate strips of wet linen are placed between the legs and between the arms and the sides of the body.
The blankets are now folded, one by one, upward over the feet and around the body, turned in at the neck and brought across the chest, the outer layers being held in place with safety pins.
The patient should stay in this whole-body pack from one-half hour to two hours, according to the object to be attained and the reaction of the body to the pack. If the pack has been correctly applied, the patient will become warm in a few minutes.
The Bed-Sweat Bath
If the patient does not react to the pack, that is, if he remains cold, or if, as is sometimes the case in malaria, the fever is accompanied by chills or if profuse perspiration is desired, bottles filled with hot water or bricks heated in the oven and wrapped in flannel should be placed along the sides and to the feet, under the outside covering.
This form of application is called the bed-sweat bath. It may be used with good results when an incipient cold is to be aborted.
After the pack has been removed, the body should be sponged with cold water, as already stated. Use a coarse cloth or Turkish towel for this purpose rather than a sponge, as the latter cannot be kept perfectly clean. Dry the body quickly but thoroughly, and finish by rubbing with the hands.
In the meantime the damp bed clothing should be replaced by dry sheets and blankets (a second cot or bed will be found a great convenience), and the patient put to bed without delay and well covered in order to prevent chilling and also to induce, if possible, a copious aftersweat. The patient is then sponged off a second time, put into a dry bed, and allowed to rest.
If the patient is too weak to leave his bed, the cold sponge may be given on a large rubber sheet or oilcloth covered with an old blanket, which should be placed on the bed before the pack is applied. After removing the pack, put a blanket over the patient to prevent chilling and wash quickly but thoroughly first the limbs, then chest and stomach, then the back, drying and covering each part as soon as finished. Remove the rubber sheet from the bed and wrap the patient in dry, warm blankets, or lift him into another bed.
How to Apply the Short-Body Pack
A wide strip of linen or muslin, wrung out of cold water, is wrapped around the patient from under the armpits to the thighs or knees in one, two or more layers, covered by one or more layers of dry flannel or muslin in such a manner that the wet linen does not protrude at any place.
Similar packs may be applied to the throat,* the arms, legs, shoulder joints or any other part of the body.
The number of layers of wet linen and dry covering is determined by the vitality of the patient, the height of his temperature and the particular object of the application, which may be:
1. to lower high temperature
2. to raise the temperature when subnormal
3. to relieve inner congestion
4. to promote elimination.
If the object is to lower high temperature, several layers of wet linen should be wrapped around the body and covered loosely by one or two layers of the dry wrappings in order to prevent the bed from getting wet. The packs must be renewed as soon as they become dry or uncomfortably hot.
If the object is to raise subnormal temperature, less wet linen and more dry covering must be used, and the packs left on a longer time, say from thirty minutes to two hours. If the patient does not react to the pack, hot bricks or bottles filled with hot water should be placed at the sides and to the feet, as explained in connection with the whole-body pack.
If inner congestion is to be relieved, or if the object is to promote elimination, less of the wet linen and more dry wrappings should be used.
When packs are applied, the bed may be protected by spreading an oilcloth over the mattress under the sheet. But in no case should oilcloth or rubber sheeting be used for the outer covering of packs. This would interfere with some of the main objects of the pack treatment, especially with heat radiation. The outer covering should be warm but at the same time porous, to allow the escape of heat and of poisonous gases from the body.
In case of local inflammation, as in appendicitis, ovaritis, colitis, etc., separate cooling compresses may be slipped under the pack and over the seat of inflammation. These local compresses may be removed and changed when hot and dry without disturbing the larger pack.
In all fevers accompanied by high temperature, it is advisable to place an extra cooling compress at the nape of the neck (the region of the medulla and the back brain), because here are located the brain centers which regulate the inner temperature of the body (thermotaxic centers), and the cooling of these brain centers produces a cooling effect upon the entire organism.
While ordinarily we do not favor the giving of injections or enemas unless they are absolutely necessary, we apply them freely in feverish diseases in order to remove from the rectum and lower colon any accumulations of morbid matter, and thus to prevent their reabsorption into the system. In cases of exceptionally stubborn constipation, an injection of a few ounces of warm olive oil may be given. Allow this to remain in the colon about thirty minutes in order to soften the contents of the rectum, and follow with an injection of warm water.
Just How the Cold Packs Produce Their Wonderful Results
(1) How Cold Packs Promote Heat Radiation
Many people are under the impression that the packs reduce the fever temperature so quickly because they are put on cold. But this is not so, because, unless the reaction be bad, the packs become warm after a few minutes' contact with the body.
The prompt reduction of temperature takes place because of increased heat radiation. The coldness of the pack may lower the surface temperature slightly; but it is the moist warmth forming under the pack on the surface of the body that draws the blood from the congested interior into the skin, relaxes and opens its minute blood vessels and pores, and in that way facilitates the escape of heat from the body.
In febrile conditions the pores and capillary blood vessels of the skin are tense and contracted. Therefore the heat cannot escape, the skin is hot and dry, and the interior of the body remains overheated. When the skin relaxes and the patient begins to perspire freely, we say the fever is broken.
The moist warmth under the wet pack produces this relaxation of the skin in a perfectly natural manner. By means of these simple packs followed by cold ablutions, the temperature of the patient can be kept at any point desired without the use of poisonous antifever medicines, serums and antitoxins which lower the temperature by benumbing and paralyzing heart action, respiration, the red and white blood corpuscles, and thus generally lowering the vital activities of the organism.
(2) How Cold Packs Relieve Inner Congestion
In all inflammatory febrile diseases the blood is congested in the inflamed parts and organs. This produces the four cardinal symptoms of inflammation: redness, swelling, heat, and pain. [Rubor, tumor, colar and dolar.] If the congestion be too great, the pain becomes excessive, and the inflammatory processes cannot run their natural course to the best advantage. It is therefore of great importance to relieve the local blood pressure in the affected parts and this can be accomplished most effectively by means of the wet packs.
As before stated, they draw the blood onto the surface of the body and in that way relieve inner congestion wherever it may exist, whether it be in the brain, as in meningitis, in the lungs, as in pneumonia, or in the inflamed appendix.
In several cases where a child was in the most dangerous stage of diphtheria, where the membranes in throat and nasal passages were already choking the little patient, the wet packs applied to the entire body from neck to feet relieved the congestion in the throat so quickly that within half an hour after the first application the patient breathed easily and soon made a perfect recovery. The effectiveness of these simple water applications in reducing congestion, heat and pain is little short of marvelous.
(3) How Cold Packs Promote Elimination
By far the largest number of deaths in febrile diseases result from the accumulation in the system of poisonous substances, which paralyze or destroy vital centers and organs. Therefore it is necessary to eliminate the morbid products of inflammation from the organism as quickly as possible.
This also is accomplished most effectively and thoroughly by the application of wet packs. As they draw the blood into the surface and relax the minute blood vessels in the skin, the morbid materials in the blood are eliminated through the pores of the skin and absorbed by the packs. That this is actually so is verified by the yellowish or brownish discoloration of the wet wrappings and by their offensive odor.
One of the main causes of constipation in febrile diseases is the inner congestion and fever heat. Through the cooling and relaxing effect of the packs upon the intestines, this inner fever heat is reduced, and a natural movement of the bowels greatly facilitated.
If constipation should persist in spite of the packs and cooling compresses, injections of tepid water should be given every day or every other day in order to prevent the reabsorption of poisonous products from the lower colon. But never give injections of cold water with the idea of reducing fever in that way. This is very dangerous and may cause fatal collapse.
The Electromagnetic Effect of Cold Water Applications
One of the most important, but least understood, effects of hydropathic treatment is its influence upon the electromagnetic energies in the human body. At least, I have never found any allusions to this aspect of the cold-water treatment in any books on hydrotherapy which have come to my notice.
The sudden application of cold water or cold air to the surface of the nude body and the inhalation of cold air into the lungs have the effect of increasing the amount of electromagnetic energy in the system.
This can be verified by the following experiment: Insert one of the plates of an electrometer (sensitive galvanometer) into the stomach of a person who has remained for some time in a warm room. Now let this person inhale suddenly fresh, cold outside air. At once the galvanometer will register a larger amount of electromagnetic energy.
The same effect will be produced by the application of a quick, cold spray to the warm body.
It is the sudden lowering of temperature on the surface of the body or in the lungs and the resulting contrast between the heat within and the cold outside, that causes the increased manifestation of electromagnetic energy in the system.
This, together with the acceleration of the entire circulation, undoubtedly accounts for the tonic effect of cold-water applications such as cold packs, ablutions, sprays, sitz baths, barefoot walking, etc., and for the wonderfully bracing influence of fresh, cold outside air.
The energizing effect of cold air may also explain to a large extent the superiority of the races inhabiting the temperate zones over those of the warm and torrid southern regions.
To me it seems a very foolish custom to run away from the invigorating northern winters to the enervating sameness of southern climates. One of the reasons I abandoned, with considerable financial sacrifice, a well-established home in a Texas city which is the Mecca of health-seekers, was that I did not want to rear my children under the enervating influence of that beautiful climate. I, for my part, want some cold winter weather every year to stir up the lazy blood corpuscles, to set the blood bounding through the system and to freeze out the microbes.
In our Nature Cure work we find all the way through that the continued application of warmth has a debilitating effect upon the organism, and that only by the opposing influences of alternating heat and cold can we produce the natural stimulation which awakens the dormant vital energies in the body of the chronic.
Increase of Oxygen and Ozone
The liberation of electromagnetic currents through cold-water applications has other very important effects upon the system besides that of stimulation.
Electricity splits up molecules of water into hydrogen, oxygen and ozone. We have an example of this in the thunderstorm. The powerful electric discharges which we call lightning separate or split the watery vapors in the air into these elements. It is the increase of oxygen and ozone in the air that purifies and sweetens the atmosphere after the storm.
In acute as well as in chronic disease, large amounts of oxygen and ozone are required to burn up the morbid materials and to purify the system. Certain combinations of these elements are among the most powerfu1 antiseptics and germicides.
Likewise, the electric currents produced by cold packs, ablutions and other cold-water applications split up the molecules of water in the tissues of the body into their component parts. In this way large amounts of oxygen and ozone are liberated, and these elements assist to a considerable extent in the oxidation and neutralization of waste materials and disease products.
The following experiment proves that sudden changes in temperature create electric currents in metals: When two cylinders of dissimilar metals are welded together, and one of the metals is suddenly chilled or heated, electric currents are produced which will continue to flow until both metals are at the same temperature.
Another application of this principle is furnished by the oxydonor. If both poles of this little instrument are exposed to the same temperature, there is no manifestation of electricity; but if one of the poles be attached to the warm body and the other immersed in cold water or exposed to cold air, the liberation of electromagnetic currents begins at once. These electric currents set free oxygen and ozone, which in their turn support the oxidation and neutralization of systemic poisons.
According to my experience, however, the cold-water applications are more effective in this respect than the oxydonor.
The Importance of Right Mental and Emotional Attitude in Acute Disease
We have learned that in the processes of inflammation a battle is going on between the healing forces of the body, the phagocytes and natural antitoxins on the one hand and the disease taints, germs, bacilli, etc., on the other hand.
This battle is real in every respect, as real as a combat between armies of living soldiers. In this conflict, going on in all acute inflammatory diseases, mind plays the same role as the commander of an army.
The great general needs courage, equanimity and presence of mind most in the stress of battle. So the mind, the commander of the vast armies of cells battling in acute disease for the health of the body, must have absolute faith in the superiority of Nature's healing forces.
If the mind becomes frightened by the inflammatory and febrile symptoms and pictures to itself in darkest colors their dreadful consequences, these confused and distracted thought vibrations are conveyed instantaneously to the millions of little soldiers fighting in the affected parts and organs. They also become confused and panic-stricken.
The excitement of fear in the mind still more accelerates heart action and respiration, intensifies the local congestion and greatly increases the morbid accumulations in the system. In the last chapters of this volume we shall deal especially with the deteriorating influence of fear, anxiety, anger, irritability, impatience, etc., and explain how these and all other destructive emotions actually poison the secretions of the body.
In acute disease we cannot afford to add to the poisonous elements in the organism, because the danger of a fatal ending lies largely in the paralysis of vital centers by the morbid and poisonous products of inflammation.
Everything depends upon the maintenance of the greatest possible inflow of vital force; and there is nothing so weakening as worry and anxiety, nothing that impedes the inflow, distribution and normal activity of the vital energies like fear. A person overcome by sudden fright is actually benumbed and paralyzed, unable to think and to act intelligently.
These truths may be expressed in another way. The victory of the healing forces in acute disease depends upon an abundant supply of the positive electromagnetie energies. In the initial chapters of this volume we have learned that health is positive, disease negative. The positive mental attitude of faith and equanimity creates positive electromagnetic energies in the body, thus infusing the battling phagocytes with increased vigor and favoring the secretion of the antitoxins and antibodies, while the negative, fearful and worrying attitude of mind creates in the system the negative conditions of weakness, lowered resistance and actual paralysis.
In the paragraphs dealing with the effects of cold-water treatment upon the body we learned that the electric currents created in the organism split up the molecules of water in the tissues into their component elements (hydrogen and oxygen), thus liberating large amounts of oxygen and ozone; and that these, in turn, support the processes of combustion and oxidation in the system, burn up waste and morbid matter, and destroy hostile microorganisms.
However, the electromagnetic forces in the body are not only increased and intensified by positive foods, exercise, cold-water treatment, air baths, etc., but also by the positive attitude of mind and will.
The positive mind and will are to the body what the magneto is to the automobile. As the electric sparks from the magneto ignite the gas, thus generating the power that drives the machine, so the positive vibrations, generated by a confident and determined will, create in the body the positive electromagnetic currents which incite and stimulate all vital activities.
Common experience teaches us that the concentration of the will on the thing to be accomplished greatly heightens and increases all physical, mental and moral powers.
Therefore the victory in acute diseases is conditioned by the absolute faith, confidence and serenity of mind on the part of the patient. The more he exercises these harmonizing and invigorating qualities of mind and soul, the more favorable are the conditions for the little soldiers who are fighting his battles in the inflamed parts and organs. The blood and nerve currents are less impeded and disturbed, and flow more normally. The local congestion is relieved, and this favors the natural course of the inflammatory processes.
Therefore, instead of being overcome with fear and anxiety, as most people are under such circumstances, do not become alarmed, nor convey alarm to the millions of little cells battling in the inflamed parts. Speak to them like a commander addressing his troops: "We understand the laws of disease and cure, we know that these inflammatory and febrile symptoms are the result of Nature's healing efforts, we have perfect confidence in her wisdom and in the efficiency of her healing forces. This fever is merely a good house-cleaning, a healing crisis. We are eliminating morbid matter, poisons and germs which were endangering health and life.
"We rejoice over the purification and regeneration now taking place and benefiting the whole body. Fear not! Attend to your work quietly and serenely! Let us open ourselves wide to the inflow of life from the source of all life in the innermost parts of our being! The life in us is the life of God. We are strengthened and made whole by the Divine life and power which animate the universe."
The serenity of your mind, backed by absolute trust in the Law and by the power of a strong Will, infuses the cells and tissues with new life and vigor, enabling them to turn the acute disease into a beneficial, cleansing and healing crisis.
In the following we give a similar formula for treating chronic constipation.
Say to the cells in the liver, the pancreas and the intestinal tract:
"I am not going to force you any longer with drugs or enemas to do your duty. From now on you must work on your own initiative. Your secretions will become more abundant. Every day at--o'clock the bowels will move freely and easily."
At the appointed time make the effort, whether you are success-ful or not, and do not resort to the enema until it becomes an absolute necessity. If you combine with the mental and physical effort a natural diet, cold sitz baths, massage and osteopathic treatment, you will have need of the enema at increasingly longer intervals, and soon be able to discard it altogether.
Be careful, however, not to employ your intelligence and your will power to suppress acute inflammatory and febrile processes and symptoms. This can be accomplished by the power of the will as well as by ice bags and poisonous drugs, and its effect would be to turn Nature's acute cleansing efforts into chronic disease.
The Importance of Right Mental and Emotional Attitude on the Part of Friends and Relatives
What has just been said about the patient is true also of his friends and relatives. Disease is negative. The sick person is exceedingly sensitive to his surroundings. He is easily influenced by all depressing, discordant and jarring conditions. He catches the expressions of fear and anxiety in the looks, the words, gestures and actions of his attendants, relatives and friends and these intensify his own depression and gloomy forebodings.
This applies especially to the influence exerted by the mother upon her ailing infant. There exists a most intimate sympathetic and telepathic connection between mother and child. The child is affected not only by the outward expression of the mother's fear and anxiety, but likewise by the hidden doubt and despair in the mother's mind and soul.
Usually, the first thing that confronts me when I am called to the sickbed of a child is the frantic and almost hysterical mental condition of the mother, and to begin with, I have to explain to her the destructive influence of her behavior. I ask her:
"Would you willingly give some deadly poison to your child?" "Certainly not," she says, to which I reply:
"Do you realize that you are doing this very thing? That your fear and worry vibrations actually poison and paralyze the vital energies in the body of your child and most seriously interfere with Nature's healing processes?
"Instead of helping the disease forces to destroy your child, assist the healing forces to save it by maintaining an attitude of absolute faith, serenity, calmness and cheerfulness. Then your looks, your voice, your touch will convey to your child the positive, magnetic vibrations of health and of strength. Your very presence will radiate healing power."
Then I explain how faith, calmness and cheerfulness on her part will soothe and harmonize the discordant disease vibrations in the child's body.
Herein lies the modus operandi or working basis of all successful mental and metaphysical treatment.
Natural Methods in the Treatment of Acute Disease
I. Fresh Air
A. A plentiful supply of pure air in the sickroom.
B. Frequent exposure of the nude body to air and sun light.
C. Patient must not be kept too warm.
II. Natural Diet
A. The minimum amount of light food, chiefly fruit and vegetable salads, no condiments.
B. Only enough water to quench thirst, preferably mixed with acid fruit juices.
C. In serious acute febrile conditions and during healing crises no food whatever.
D. In diseases affecting the digestive organs fasting must be prolonged several days beyond cessation of febrile symptoms.
E. Great care must be observed when breaking fast.
III. Water Treatment
A. Cooling sprays or sponge baths whenever temperature rises.
B. Fever and inflammation must not be suppressed by cold-water applications, but kept below the danger point.
C. Neither ice nor hot applications should be used.
D. Wet packs followed by cold ablutions for elimination of systemic poisons.
E. Separate compresses over seat of inflammation, also at nape of neck.
F. Kind and duration of pack to be determined by condition of patient and object to be attained.
G. Injections of tepid water to relieve constipation when necessary.
A. No poisonous drugs, nor any medicines or applications which may check or suppress the feverish, inflammatory processes.
B. Homeopathic medicines, herb decoctions and specific nutritional remedies when indicated.
V. Manipulative Treatment
Osteopathy, massage or magnetic treatment when indicated and available.
VI. Mental Attitude
A. Courage, serenity and presence of mind are important factors.
B. Fear and anxiety intensify disease conditions, poison the secretions of the body and inhibit the action of the healing forces.
C. Do not suppress acute inflammatory and feverish processes by the power of the will.
D. The right mental and emotional attitude of relatives and friends exerts a powerful influence upon the patient.