At the present time there is much agitation for “shorter hours of labour”. With unity and good organization I see no reason why we should not all live in the land of plenty working less than forty hours per week. A far more important things is to learn how to spend the remaining 128 hours of leisure each week in a manner that will make every man and woman more fit than they have ever yet been during the forty working hours.

IF we consider the vast number of people we know, and know of, who acknowledge day by day that they are anything but fit, and require “healing”, it would appear that they have learnt “How not to do it” to perfection. The strange thing about it is, however, that the majority appear unconscious of the fact that they have ever done anything to either deserve or bring about their ill health, or that it is possible for them to do anything themselves to assist or prevent Nature in doing the healing.

If it is a cold they happen to have “caught it through getting wet”. If lumbago, ” it came on through stooping to lace up their shoes”. If rheumatic fever, it was “the damp bed they slept in”. If indigestion, “the cooking was at fault”. If constipation is the trouble they cannot understand it for they have “eaten nothing to bring it about.” The cause of their ill health appears to be as little to do with themselves as the fact that the temperature we had on a certain day recently was more like that of mid- summer than mid-winter.

All this provides the necessary conditions to make self-healing impossible. There is only one way of obtaining anything that is worth having in this world, and that is to want and strive after that particular thing. If it is considered that good health is worth striving for, this is the goal at which we must aim. If we think otherwise we have license (usually mistaken for liberty) to do anything and everything detrimental to health, and that will make self-healing impossible.

A very good way to make it impossible to “Heal Thyself” is to create all kinds of unnatural desires that “one cannot live without” and then spend ones life trying to satisfy the desires thus created. The smoking habit provides a good illustration. We first have to create the habit that may eventually enslave us. The nearest the writer ever got to the first step was at school, at about the age of ten years.

None of us boys had the money to buy tobacco so we tried smoking elm root. I got my tongue burnt and I have never had any inclination or desire to smoke since. The torture I have since seen others suffer through being minus a match, and the ill health smoking has brought to many,is sufficient, it would appear, to convince any non- smoker that to “Heal Thyself” is not made easy by smoking.

I came on contact with a man recently who would be much better if he left the drink alone. He wished to know how he could become fit, and said he had paid a lot of money to a Homoeopathic Physician but he was worse rather than better. I pointed out to him that it was not always the physician who was to blame for such results. His reply was, “Well, you recommend Homoeopathy dont you ?” My reply was, “I am convinced it would be beneficial to you if you would practise it.”

“In what way can minute Homoeopathic quantities of medicine do me any good?” he enquired. My reply was, “Well, you like brandy and water, dont you, and you think it is a good medicine?” He was straight- forward enough to admit he was fond of it, and other spirits also. My recommendation was to treat them all alike. “Your mistake in the past has been in the mixing”, I said.

“In future you should take one thimbleful of brandy, whisky or any spirit you like, and mix it with a bucket of water. Drink as much as you like between meals, drink nothing besides and it will do more that all else to enable you to Heal Thyself” Needless to say he preferred to continue in the way “how not to do it.”.

I found one way “how not to do it” many years ago. A motor accident in which I got damaged more or less from head to heel, resulted in my finding myself in hospital. The doctor then found I had a heart which proved to be a weak spot still, although I thought it had been made into one of the strongest links in a non-troublesome body twenty-five years earlier. Under the new conditions, however, the doctors found that it was still a weak spot.

They considered that brandy and champagne would provide the necessary stimulant to remedy matters, but as the patient held a different opinion, and results proved he was right, strong black coffee was accepted as a compromise, but as this proved but very little, if any, better, all such things were abandoned together with white bread and tea, which appeared to be considered the staple food for all patients alike.

As the doctors found they had a very stubborn and troublesome patient to deal with, he was soon given permission to look after his own stomach, with the result that he had fresh fruit in the form of ripe black grapes brought daily into the hospital, which he was informed by the nurses was against all rules and regulations. This fruit, however, provided him with all the solid and liquid food he desired as long as he was kept in the hospital where he felt there was only one thing to do, viz. die — under such depressing conditions.

An early move to more congenial surroundings, although he was carried out on a stretcher to an ambulance, gave Nature a chance to do the healing. This was accomplished under congenial conditions in half the time the doctors prophesied it would take.

A noble discontent regarding unsatisfactory things we see in this world, and the urge to improve matters undoubtedly, creates a condition of mind that tends to keep one fit, but wearing dark spectacles and always seeing the dark side of things, while never attempting to find the bright side, or polish up the dark side, does much to create depression, and tends to make life not worth living. Under such conditions mole hills are made to appear mountains of difficulty, and to heal thyself is rendered out of the question.

Here are a few of the commonplace things of life that tend to make it impossible to Heal Thyself.

Never walk if you can ride.

Never take a deep breath if you can avoid it.

Get into a temper as many times a day as you are tempted.

Never take any exercise if you can help it.

Never sleep with a window open.

Never go to bed the same day as you get up.

Eat as many meals a day as opportunity affords, and never rise from the table feeling you would like to eat more.

Never eat wholemeal bread if you can get bread made from chemically bleached white flour.

See that everything you drink is as near boiling point as possible.

Always sit with your legs crossed, it will tend to prevent circulation.

Coddle yourself up as much as possible, believing you were meant for a hot-house plant not for the changeable climate England provides.

Most of these may appear to be small matters, as unimportant as they are trivial, but to be continually working against Nature instead of with Nature, frustrates her healing powers and renders it impossible to “Heal Thyself”.

Take one of the most trivial. I found myself some time ago one in a group being given instructions by a photographer. I noticed that nearly every person in the front now had his or her legs crossed, including a friend sitting next to me, to whom I said, “Dont set your patients a bad example by sitting cross-legged like that”. The reply was, “You are quite right”, and the posture was immediately changed. Not long since another friend had been sitting in the like manner in his own house before the fire, and had gone to sleep, when the door bell rang and woke him.

He immediately attempted to hasten to the door, but his leg had become numbed and useless and he fell before he was aware of the fact. He so injured himself that he suffered for weeks after. Continually resting on a seat lower than ones knees also has a detrimental effect, it being deterrent to free circulation. The same remarks apply to lying in bed with knees close to ones chin. We have all, more or less, found these things to be as stated, but we have never thought enough about them to profit by our experience.

This is the reason why they are mentioned here, not because there is anything new about them. But rest assured life is made up of little things and is more pleasant if we live wisely and well. It is no more possible with a stagnant, restricted circulation to possess a pure blood stream, than it is to be free from disease for long with chronic constipation. If such is the case how can one commence the “Heal Thyself” process while suffering from any such infirmities?.

One must become convinced that there is a reason for ill health in every form that may come to us. In most cases we are warned many times before we are faced with ill health that is serious. Our business is to find the cause, and having done this, prevent the trouble arising at all. This is the best, the cheapest and wisest way to “Heal Thyself”. The way “How not to do it” is to take no heed of Natures persistent warnings, but one may be sure that the reckoning day will come none the less.

At the present time there is much agitation for “shorter hours of labour”. With unity and good organization I see no reason why we should not all live in the land of plenty working less than forty hours per week. A far more important things is to learn how to spend the remaining 128 hours of leisure each week in a manner that will make every man and woman more fit than they have ever yet been during the forty working hours. How many employers of labour are there whose absentees on account of illness on the days following Sundays and holidays are not greater than at any other time?.

James Henry Cook
Henry W.J. Cook was born in Edinburgh in 1870, the eldest son of Dr Edmund Alleyne Cook.

Henry followed in his father's footsteps, obtaining his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Durham in 1891. At the age of 27 he arrived in Melbourne in April 1894 aboard the Port Albert. He was registered as a medical practitioner in Victoria on 4 May 1894.

It appears that Dr Cook already believed in homœopathy, possibly because of his father's influence, as in 1895 Dr Cook took the position of Resident Surgeon of the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital . (This position was previously held by Dr James Cook, unrelated, who resigned in March 1895). He was listed in the 1896 & 1897 editions of the Melbourne Post Office Directory as being Resident Medical Officer at the Melbourne Homœopathic Hospital, but not in the 1898 edition.

In 1901 he moved to Sale in Eastern Victoria, where he ran a practice in York Street. By 1909 his practice was at Wyndham Street, Shepparton.

By 1919 he had moved to 2 Studley Park Road, Kew, where he died on 7 May, 1923.