Orthodox medicine, with its abuse of deadly, habit-creating drugs, dangerous injections, and its mania for unnecessary operations, is becoming more and more distrusted and disliked by the people in general. Orthodox medicine is receiving ever more strenuous and ever more successful competition from lay healers of every kind: herbalists, osteopaths, dieticians, nature curers of every type, faith healers, etc. A large section of the doctors themselves are becoming more and more dissatisfied with orthodox medicine and surgery.
This revolt has been particularly prominent in the United States where thousands of orthodox doctors have become drugless healers, healers who are equally opposed to drugs and surgery. Messrs. George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., have recently published a volume, A New Health Era by Dr. William Howard Hay, at 8s. 6d. net. Instead of reviewing this remarkable book, I venture to give a few extracts from it which will give to my readers a fair idea of the contents of the book and its teaching, and of the character and aims of its author.
EDITOR, “HEAL THYSELF”.
AFTER sixteen years of busy practice, devoted largely to general surgery, the author broke down; proving that he knew as little as the rest, of the predisposing causes of disease.
Brights disease developed, with high blood pressure, and finally dilated heart, a condition for which there is no relief in medicine, or at least but temporary relief, and he was forced to consider himself on the shelf, or very near it.
But during the long nights of wakefulness and laboured breathing his mental processes seemed to be very much alive, and he actually thought, yes, dared to think fundamentally, forgetting the opiates with which he had formerly excused himself for following the crowd, and he reached certain conclusions that were worth application as a frank experiment.
He began to eat fundamentally; to take only such things as he believed were intended by nature as foods for man, taking these in their natural form, and in quantities no greater than seemed to be necessary for present need.
His troubles slipped away, till at the end of three months he was again able to run long distances without distress. His weight decreased from 225 lbs. to 175 lbs.; years seemed to fall away from him, and he felt younger and stronger than before for many years.
This experience further deepened his conviction that there must be something about disease that we had not understood, for here was his own case recovering from a condition that the best authorities said was incurable. To prove that he was definitely and permanently cured he has since that time taken out life insurance to the amount of more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, without any rating-up or lessening of the amount of insurance asked for.
All this happened nearly twenty-six years ago, and the same high level of health persists to-day as after full recovery from this supposedly incurable disease.
Following this experience, four years were devoted to treatment of disease along dietary lines in an effort to prove or disprove that the body is merely a composite of what goes into it daily in the form of food and drink; and the four years furnished proof in plenty that, given the right food in the right way, anybody can be as well as desired.
Not only so, but this theory was definitely accepted as a fact, thousands of cases of every sort, the majority suffering from some form of so-called incurable disease, have passed through the same form of treatment, as is necessary to create the body of right materials.
While many of these were too far degenerated to recover, yet the history of the entire treatment period showed attempted regeneration on the part of the body in every case, and only those who were either too far gone, or who did not continue to follow the plan of regenerative eating prescribed, failed to recover completely.
So the writer has been definitely forced to believe that if the body is nourished correctly it cannot develop disease; and even if disease is gone far the body will recover, unless there has been too great destruction of some vital organ or organs.
But three things are necessary for recovery before this point of organic destruction is reached; first, a desire to recover; not a weak wish to be better, but a burning desire that is willing to sacrifice much, to go through hell, if need be, to recover; second, a knowledge of the modus or method by which this return to health may be made; and third, the will power, the determination, the guts, to see the thing through. Equipped with these three requisites to recovery, nothing can interfere with this, only supposing that no vital organ is hopelessly degenerated.
Medicine presupposes an extraneous cause for disease, a false conception of the very nature of the thing, for disease is intrinsic to the body, created by the body itself, through manufacture of the acid end-products of digestion and metabolism, ashes of the body itself and the oxidative processes by which it maintains its activities.
When these ashes or end-products are manufactured in amount greater than can be fully eliminated, we suffer from retention of these, and a state develops that is variously called auto- intoxication, acid-autotoxicosis, toxaemia, self-poisoning, or whatever you wish to call it, expressing this manufacture and retention of these irritating acid end-products.
The science of medicine takes no cognizance of this accumulation till disease, that is, till definite pathology has developed, and then the condition is submitted to the most intimate study. This is merely locking the stable door after the horse has been stolen, a rather feeble gesture, not in any sense constructive treatment.
Yet this is the only sort of treatment considered orthodox by the medical profession, and, whether the answer is medical or surgical, it must be evident to any one who can reason that such treatment has little value, for it is dealing with effects, not in any sense with causes.
Medicine has grown into a major so-called science, and only because humanity has continued to build up this increasingly toxic state that furnishes continually much clinical material.
So medicine is really a creation of a class set aside for treatment of human ills, not for prevention of these (and medicine begins just where individual care ceases) for the purpose of patching the machine that has been ruined by the mistreatment of the average human, either from misunderstanding of by body needs or from a carelessness as to the results.
We need not blame medicine for this condition, as the cause is individual, chargeable to the victim himself.
Thus medicine has flourished in all times from the ignorance and inattention of the individual in matters of his own health and efficiency; and the continued need for repairing the damage we do to our bodies will persist till we learn to accept our individual responsibilities in the matter of keeping ourselves as well as we should and as well as we can be, if we understand better the self-created causes of our many ills.
It is bad enough in all conscience, that the saying “doctors differ” should have become a proverb. But it is worse still that we should exhibit such a collective variability in our views and practice from year to year; that we should at one time attribute most human ills to uric acid, at another to auto-intoxication, to oral sepsis, to disturbance of the endocrine balance, or to avitaminosis, that our pathological beliefs should be dominated now by toxins, now by reflex action, or by vicious cycles; that to-day we should seek to cure all manner of disease by excising the ovaries; to-morrow, by removal of the appendix or the teeth; one year by injection of sea-water, another by the administration of sour milk, or by the application of violet rays; that we should pin our faith for collective salvation sometimes to team work, and at other times to early diagnosis or preventive medicine; in short, that we should be as much at the mercy of “stunts” as the yellow press, as much the slaves of catchwords as politicians, and as intellectually unstable as the popular electorate.
It is commonly said that education is a great safeguard against quackery and faddery. I profoundly disbelieve it. So far as I can see, the higher one goes in the social scale the more does fashion in health matters prevail, and the so-called intelligentsia are the most gullible of all, and it would almost seem, indeed, as if everyone has a certain stock of credulity, and the more sceptical he is in everything else the more credulous he is in matter medical. It may be replied that this is the wrong kind of education, and what is needed is more teaching of science. Again I disbelieve. If this were so the saying of Matthews Duncan would not be true -as I, for one, believe it to be – that “there are more quacks inside the profession than outside of it”.
As the various medical specialities have multiplied even so have diseases multiplied; for thorough training will so exaggerate the possible deviations from the normal that it is not to be expected that one can go to the throat specialist and be told that his throat is normal, neither can he go to the oculist and expect to leave there without glasses.
The heart is such a misunderstood organ that it is easy for the specialist in heart disease to find some slight abnormality in almost every heart presented for treatment. If you have never been told that you have something wrong with your heart it must be because you have not had occasion to consult the heart specialist, or else he was not in when you called.
The heart is merely a part of the body, and it does reflect the troubles that afflict the whole man, perhaps even more directly than do most of his organs, for it is one organ that has little time for rest.
With most heart specialists heart disease and Digitalis are almost synonymous terms, for the two are connected so intimately in his thought that it is hard to dissociate them.
Yet Digitalis has but one use in heart conditions, and this is in acute dilations, where it does stimulate the heart to more efficient contraction, but it does nothing to remove the causes of the dilation. If these causes are mechanical, they still persist, for the Digitalis cannot restore a leaking valve. IF they are nutritional, as they so frequently are, still Digitalis does nothing to change the body chemistry to the normal, and again it is merely a whip to stimulate function for a time, leaving the chemistry as chaotic as before.
Heart disease treated as any other disease, by correction of the chemistry of the whole man, disappears as does every other manifestation of body failure, with the exception of the valvular lesions, which are not usually changed by correction of the nutrition. Yet even these do disappear, if the dilation is the result of weakening of the heart muscle, instead of from a previous crippling of the valvular mechanism.
Not infrequently the most heroic thing that can be done is to wait, however hard this seems to be. It is perfectly natural for the friends, perhaps also the patient, to feel that “something ought to be done” to antagonize the disease, to eradicate it completely, little realizing that every disease is merely the price we are paying for our failure to live according to the divine plan of nature herself, and that we cannot get back to the normal at once, but must let nature herself work out the plan to return in her own way.
We offend nature all of our lives, and we pay, not occasionally, but always and infallibly, whether we realize this or not.
To recover from disease of any kind is to stop all the infractions of natural law, nothing more or less; and to attempt to recover from disease without cessation of the infractions that have caused the thing is as futile as bailing a leaky boat without first stopping the leak.