Body Abused. The human body is a most marvelous mechanism. It is wonderfully capable of functioning extremely well, of keeping itself in excellent health and restoring itself even after it has been subjected to considerable abuse. If this is so, why is the greater part of our population in such bad health? The answer is that there is a limit to the abuse with which the body can cope. In our civilized society the abuse to which most of us subject our bodies far exceeds that which is found in even the most primitive societies on the African continent.
Toxemia the Result. Unwittingly this abuse stems largely from the poisons we ingest from our chemicalized food, air and water. Secondly, the damage is further aggravated by the drugs, medicines, alcohol, tea, coffee and other outright concentrated poisons we ingest, which we know are harmful. Thirdly, it is further aggravated by the overly processed foods we eat, foods that have been stripped of most of their nutrients and vitality. The result is toxemia, a condition in which the body is overloaded with toxins and poisons, and does not have the strength or vitality to throw them off. Let us remember the word toxemia because overcoming it is vital in understanding our whole program of Salubrious Living. Toxemia, in short, is an overload of toxins, and is, in one way or another, the prime cause of practically all our ailments, from the common cold to cancer.
Dr. John H. Tilden. In understanding toxemia, we owe a large debt to Dr. John H. Tilden (1851-1940) who was also the son of a physician. Dr. Tilden was blessed with an analytical and inquiring mind, and fortunately, he lived to a ripe old age. It was during the latter part of that long life span he was able to develop his theories on toxemia and thereby make great contributions to the health science of Natural Hygiene and Salubrious Living. In fact, Dr. Tilden, who was born a generation or two before Dr. Shelton, might well be considered as the Father of Natural Hygiene.
Dr. Tilden practiced orthodox medicine for many years. But in so doing he was increasingly disturbed by the fact that “orthodox” medicine pretended to dispense “cures” when in reality it had no cures at all but was at best only suppressing symptoms. He began to question the use of “medicine” to remedy illness. Being of a creative mind, Dr. Tilden was determined to pursue the deeper meaning of disease, understand its cause, and focus the treatment on removing the cause, if possible. His own thinking, combined with his past experience in treating patients, led him to the conclusion that there should be some way to live so as not to build disease. From this period on his ideas on toxemia began to develop.
Drugs and Medicines Useless. From the beginning of the time when he moved his practice to Denver in 1890, Dr. Tilden no longer used any medicines, but practiced his theory of cleansing the body of toxic poisons and then allowing the inherent healing powers of the body to restore health. He followed this up by teaching his patients, once restored to health, to live in such a way as to not recreate a toxic condition and thus keep free from recurring disease.
He published several magazines and practiced medicine for 68 years up to the time of his death. Fortunately for mankind and for the White Race, Dr. Tilden had the privilege of devoting the last 50 years of that practice towards promoting the benefits of Natural Hygiene. We therefore consider him as truly a giant of a man and one of the basic founders of Salubrious Living.
Medical Establishment Hostile. Needless to say, the great doctor’s immense contribution to health and well-being received no support from the ingrained medical establishment, but only the strongest opposition and condemnation.
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Germs not the Cause of Disease. We want to pursue Dr. Tilden’s ideas further.
Dr. Tilden says “Medical science is founded on a false premise: namely that disease is caused by extraneous outside influences and that this affliction may be permanently “cured or palliated by drugs.” He then adds, in referring to the medical profession, “Alas, no fool is a bigger fool, than the fool that fools himself.” Well said, doctor.
Many years of experience had taught him that germs, bacteria, etc. were not the cause of disease itself, whether the disease was the black plague, or smallpox, or cancer. The best proof of that was that in the same environment some people might succumb to a disease, others did not. Even when the Black Plague ran rampant during the Dark Ages and in some areas killed off as much as half the population, why did it, under the same conditions, affect others not at all and they survived?
Enervated Body succumbs to Disease. The answer is that germs, bacteria and viruses may be present in our environment at all times (which they are) but a healthy body’s immune system can cope with them and render them harmless. It is only an enervated, weakened body that becomes a host to disease germs and offers a fertile culture in which they can grow, multiply and cause sickness, disease and even death.
Nerve Energy and Enervation. The systemic strength or weakness of a body in offering resistance to disease is best indicated by the availability of its nerve energy. When nerve energy is high, resistance is high. When nerve energy is low, the body is said to be enervated, and its resistance to disease is low. Under extreme enervation it is only a matter of a disease appearing and manifesting itself at the body’s weakest point, or several weak organs simultaneously.
The supply of nerve energy fluctuates from person to person, or from day to day, or hour to hour, in the same person. We expend nervous energy in all forms of activity, whether it be exercise or digesting our food. Stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, etc. consume and reduce the reserve of nerve energy. Emotional stress and strain also contribute to enervation. During periods of sleep and inactivity we are able to recuperate and restore nerve energy.
Must keep a Healthy Reserve. The supply of nerve energy is similar to keeping up a bank account. When we keep putting more money into the bank than we take out, our account is in good shape. It is healthy. When we habitually keep withdrawing more from the bank than we put in, we exhaust our reserves and we go bankrupt.
It is the same with the body’s reserves of nerve energy. When we keep expending more than we put in, the body goes bankrupt. It reaches a crisis and it becomes sick. The body itself will create a crisis such as a fever, etc., in a vigorous attempt to reverse the process. When it is in such a crisis it is a manifestation of what we call disease. But let us remember and note this well: the disease is not the cause — it is the symptom, the manifestation of the enervated and bankrupt condition the body was in before the crisis was induced.
Toxemia causes Enervation. What is the most formidable cause of enervation? It is toxemia, the word I pointed to in the beginning of this chapter as being of vital importance in our battle against disease and our fight for super health. Toxemia is the biggest cause of enervation. Toxemia itself is the accumulation of metabolic waste within the blood, the lymph and the tissues, beyond the normal ability of the body to throw off and eliminate its toxins.
Chemicalized food. These toxins resulting from the normal breakdown of tissues and their creation is a continuous process. The sum total of toxins however is greatly increased when the body ingests or absorbs added amounts of alien poisons from our chemicalized foods, and polluted air and water. When the nerve energy is abundant the bodily functions are efficient and these waste products are eliminated as rapidly as they are produced. But if elimination is impaired, or checked due to enervation, or the load becomes too great for the bodily functions to cope with, these toxins begin to accumulate in the tissues, and we have a state of toxemia.
Excrete or Die. Let us here state a rule of Nature: when an organism cannot, or will not, excrete its wastes, it dies. Let us remember this axiom. It also applies to societies, and I will have more to say about this in the latter part of the book.
Enervation similar to Bankruptcy. When a state of toxemia is reached the body fights an uphill battle and its health is on a down hill slide. Again we can compare it to the bank account from which more money is being withdrawn than being put in, or to a foundering business corporation whose expenses are continually greater than its income. Toxemia is a state of enervation in which the body has depleted its reserve of nerve energy. It is, in fact, bankrupt.
Stages of Toxemia. Another financial comparison of the body in a state of enervation is comparing such to an individual whose financial reserves are exhausted and they resort to borrowing money. Not only do such loans have to be paid back but there is the additional burden of interest. Similarly when the body has exhausted its reserve of nerve energy, it not only has less energy with which to carry on its regular functions, but has to expend additional energy trying to throw off the overload of toxins. Illness is the result and if not reversed will proceed in a downward spiral in which cancer may be the final ending of this evolution. It is one of the endings of a chain of symptoms starting with irritation, and passing through inflammation, thickening and swelling (hardening or induration) ulceration (ulcer formation) and fungation (cancer).
Disease Effects, Not Cause. Dr Tilden explains the toxin philosophy as follows: Every so-called disease is a crisis of toxemia (self-poisoning). This occurs because toxin has accumulated in the blood (lymph, cells, etc.) beyond the toleration point. The crisis or so-called disease (call it cold, flu, pneumonia, headache, typhoid fever, etc.) has been precipitated by the body as an extraordinary means of elimination — a need precipitated because the overworked channels of elimination have been unable to handle the overload. Nature is endeavoring to rid the body of toxin. Any “treatment” which obstructs this effort at elimination complicates the problems and impedes Nature in her self-healing efforts.
Drugs hinder Natural Healing. An example of the latter is when the doctor advises the patient to take an aspirin to bring down the fever. The body has deliberately induced the fever in a special effort to eliminate the toxin overload. To burden it with extra toxin (aspirin) and thwart its healing effort is therefore doubly counterproductive.
The Answer. Fortunately there is something extremely constructive that we can do to help the body in its effort to unburden itself of the overload of poison. That something is called fasting, and we are going to devote the next chapter to this restorative healing process.