Nature Heals

The Natural Hygiene Approach to Healing

"The body heals itself"

Copyright © 2004 Healing Cancer Naturally

The term "Natural Hygiene" refers to a self-contained health maintenance and recovery system which has been widely popularized through Harvey and Marilyn Diamond’s bestselling series "Fit for Life".

Natural Hygiene could be summed up as follows:

The body is inherently healthy and self-healing and always strives to maintain or re-establish optimal healthful conditions.

At the basis of any state of ill-health is “toxemia”, i.e. a (mostly gradual) buildup of retained metabolic waste or environmental toxins that the body can’t excrete through its normal purification channels, storing them in various tissues instead. The reason why the body is unable to properly detoxify is “enervation”, i.e. lack of vital energy due to stress, unhealthy lifestyle and/or wrong treatment of the body (particularly through poor food choices incl. overeating and the intake of toxins (which include not just noxious substances but also medicinal drugs).

All diseases are “healing crises”, i.e. an attempt on the part of the body to rid itself of toxin overload. Diseases should never be suppressed via medication or other methods but allowed to run their natural course, since “Nature knows best”.

To achieve and maintain optimal well-being, vibrant energy, and freedom from illness, certain “natural laws” have to be followed. These comprise meeting the body's inherent, natural needs while respecting its boundaries by avoiding all “toxic” influences.

Health can be maintained by fresh, pure air, pure water, moderate sunbathing, regular exercise, adequate rest and sleep, fasting when ill, a diet of whole, organically-grown foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds eaten in their raw, natural state, eating foods in proper combinations and amounts for optimal digestion, emotional poise, right livelihood, and nurturing relationships.

To re-establish health, the same “laws of nature” need to be followed.

To avoid in one’s quest for regaining or maintaining optimum health and energy levels are all things and modalities not provided by nature and/or naturally toxic: this includes all drugs, all toxic foods and herbs, and all curing practices since they invariably interfere with the body’s own healing and/or maintenance/cleaning work.

Natural Hygiene was born in the early 1800s as a counter-movement to the then traditional medicine which used the common bleeding and drugging methods of the time, including depriving feverish patients of water and fresh air(!). Natural Hygiene was “invented” by Dr. Isaac Jennings, who in 1822, after practicing as a doctor for 20 years without getting good results, started to question these practices, and, as an experiment, gave his patients bread pill placebos with instructions to get plenty of bed rest, to take the pills with water and to ingest no other food and drink. In other words, he fasted his patients (without their knowing it), and he got excellent results for a number of years.

Being convinced of the remarkable recoveries obtained by the "Do Nothing Cure", he announced his revelation to the world, only to have it poorly received. Some of his patients got angry that they were given placebos and not true "medicines', and the medical doctors were not eager to embrace a system that did not revolve around their accustomed pills and potions. Despite the lack of acceptance, Jennings went on to write three books and became known as “The Father of Natural Hygiene."

Many seem to have completely recovered from "incurable" diseases such as cancer applying the above principles, particularly using an organic raw-foods diet.

One of the early proponents of Natural Hygiene was Sylvester Graham (the originator of the Graham cracker), a Presbyterian minister and physiologist, who denounced the medical practices of the time in lectures he held throughout the United States. Graham later opened the world's first healthfood stores and restaurants, and inspired the creation of "Grahamite" health retreats. Between 1830 and 1860, at least 100 Hygienic homes, schools and sanitariums came into existence in the United States. In 1853 Dr. Russell Thacker Trall founded a college in New York aimed at training competent Hygiene teachers and lecturers.

(Above text partially excerpted from NATURAL HYGIENE: What it is and from where it came by Lisa Hagelthorn, Natural Health Consultant.)

Many more details on this school of thought can be found under The Natural Hygiene healing system: in-depth critique, thoughts and comments on the body’s self-healing as perceived by Hygienists .

Books on Natural Hygiene and related areas

To learn more about Natural Hygiene, you can download here in zip format the book “Natural Hygiene Man's Pristine Way Of Life” by Herbert Shelton (detailing the difference between healing and “the harmful curing practices” with some amazing details on previous centuries’ medical practices).

www.soilandhealth.org has as its mission “to bring this form of medicine to the attention of the public and to preserve the rapidly disappearing books that chronicle the formation and practice of natural hygiene and similar schools.” Click on “Go to the Health Library” and then “Alternative Medicine Collection”. You will find J.H.Tilden’s "Toxemia Explained" in its original version, other works by the same author, Herbert Shelton’s books on healthy diet (examining eating and foodstuffs, data on food combining, feeding of infants and children, the digestive system), “Fasting and Sunbathing" (recovery of health), as well as other “classic” and some recent texts related to Natural Hygiene.

Long excerpts from “Fasting and Sun Bathing” by Herbert M. Shelton can be found at The Health Benefits of Sunlight.

Incidentally Dr. Herbert M Shelton is also the author of “The natural cure of cancer and its positive prevention by simple natural methods” (1931) which currently may be hard to find.

For additional powerful statements on the self-healing nature of the human body, see Why Choose Alternatives: On Nature & Self Healing.

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