However the exact form the chain from irritation or malnutrition to enervation progresses, the ultimate result is an increased level of toxemia, placing an eliminatory burden on the liver and kidneys in excess of their ability. Eventually these organs begin to weaken. Decline of liver and/or kidney function threatens the stability and purity of blood chemistry. Rather than risk complete incapacitation or death from self-poisoning, the overloaded, toxic body, guided by its genetic predisposition and the nature of the toxins (what was eaten, in what state of stress), cleverly channels surplus toxins into its first line of defense--alternative or secondary elimination systems.

Most non-life-threatening yet highly annoying disease conditions originate as secondary eliminations. For example, the skin was designed to sweat, elimination of fluids. Toxemia is often pushed out the sweat glands and is recognized as an unpleasant body odor. A healthy, non-toxic body smells sweet and pleasant (like a newborn baby's body) even after exercise when it has been sweating heavily. Other skin-like organs such as the sinus tissues, were designed to secrete small amounts of mucus for lubrication. The lungs eliminate used air and the tissues are lubricated with mucus-like secretions too. These secretions are types of eliminations, but are not intended for the elimination of toxins. When toxins are discharged in mucus through tissues not designed to handle them, the tissues themselves become irritated, inflamed, weakened and thus much more subject to bacterial or viral infection. Despite this danger, not eliminating surplus toxins carries with it the greater penalty of serious disability or death. Because of this liability, the body, in its wisdom, initially chooses secondary elimination routes as far from vital tissues and organs as possible. Almost inevitably the skin or skin-like mucus membranes such as the sinuses, or lung tissues become the first line of defense.

Thus the average person's disease history begins with colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, asthma, rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis. If these secondary eliminations are suppressed with drugs (either from the medical doctor or with over the counter remedies), if the eating or lifestyle habits that created the toxemia are not changed, or if the toxic load increases beyond the limits of this technique, the body then begins to store toxins in fat or muscle tissues or the joint cavities, overburdens the kidneys, creates cysts, fibroids, and benign tumors to store those toxins. If toxic overload continues over a longer time the body will eventually have to permit damages to vital tissues, and life-threatening conditions develop.

Hygienic doctors always stress that disease is remedial effort. Illness comes from the body's best attempt to lighten its toxic load without immediately threatening its survival. The body always does the very best it can to remedy toxemia given its circumstances, and it should be commended for these efforts regardless of how uncomfortable they might be to the person inhabiting the body. Symptoms of secondary elimination are actually a positive thing because they are the body's efforts to lessen a dangerously toxic condition. Secondary eliminations shouldn't be treated immediately with a drug to suppress the process. If you squelch the bodies best and least-life-threatening method to eliminate toxins, the body will ultimately have to resort to another more dangerous though probably less immediately uncomfortable channel.

The conventional medical model does not view disease this way and sees the symptoms of secondary elimination as the disease itself. So the conventional doctor takes steps to halt the body's remedial efforts, thus stopping the undesirable symptom and then, the symptom gone, proclaims the patient cured. Actually, the disease is the cure.

A common pattern of symptom suppression under the contemporary medical model is this progression: treat colds with antihistamines until the body gets influenza; suppress a flu repeatedly with antibiotics and eventually you get pneumonia. Or, suppress eczema with cortisone ointment repeatedly, and eventually you develop kidney disease. Or, suppress asthma with bronkiodialators and eventually you need cortisone to suppress it. Continue treating asthma with steroids and you destroy the adrenals; now the body has become allergic to virtually everything.

The presence of toxins in an organ of secondary elimination is frequently the cause of infection. Sinuses and lungs, inflamed by secondary eliminations, are attacked by viruses or bacteria; infectious diseases of the skin result from pushing toxins out of the skin. More generalized infections also result from toxemia; in this case the immune system has become compromised and the body is overwhelmed by an organism that it normally should be able to resist easily. The wise cure of infections is not to use antibiotics to suppress the bacteria while simultaneously whipping the immune system; most people, including most medical doctors, do not realize that antibiotics also goose the immune system into super efforts. But when one chooses to whip a tired horse, eventually the exhausted animal collapses and cannot rise again no matter how vigorously it is beaten. The wise cure is to detoxify the body, a step that simultaneously eliminates secondary eliminations and rebuilds the immune system.

The wise way to deal with the body's eliminative efforts is to accept that disease is an opportunity to pay the piper for past indiscretions. You should go to bed, rest, and drink nothing but water or dilute juice until the condition has passed. This allows the body to conserve its vital energy, direct this energy toward healing the disordered body part, and catch up on its waste disposal. In this way you can help your body, be in harmony with its efforts instead of working against it which is what most people do.

Please forgive another semi-political polemic here, but in my practice I have often been amazed to hear my clients complain that they have not the time nor the ability to be patient with their body, to rest it through an illness because they have a job they can't afford to miss or responsibilities they can't put down. This is a sad commentary on the supposed wealth and prosperity of the United States. In our country most people are enslaved by their debts, incurred because they had been enthralled by the illusion of happiness secured by the possession of material things. Debt slaves believe they cannot miss a week of work. People who feel they can't afford to be sick think they can afford to live on pills. So people push through their symptoms by sheer grit for years on end, and keep that up until their exhausted horse of a body breaks down totally and they find themselves in the hospital running up bills to the tune of several thousand dollars a day. But these very same people do not think they can afford the loss of a few hundred dollars of current income undertaking some virtually harmless preventative maintenance on their bodies.

Given half a chance the body will throw off toxic overburdens and cleanse itself. And once the body has been cleansed of toxemia, disagreeable symptoms usually cease. This means that to make relatively mild but unwanted symptoms lessen and ultimately stop it is merely necessary to temporarily cut back food intake, eating only what does not cause toxemia. These foods I classify as cleansing, such as raw fruits and vegetables and their juices. If the symptoms are extreme, are perceived as overwhelming or are actually life-threatening, detoxification can be speeded up by dropping back to only dilute raw juices or vegetable broth made only from greens, without eating the solids. In the most extreme cases hygienists use their most powerful medicine: a long fast on herb teas, or just water. I will have a lot to say about fasting, later.

When acutely ill, the most important thing to do is to just get out of the body's way, and let it heal itself. In our ignorance we are usually our own worst enemy in this regard. We have been very successfully conditioned to think that all symptoms are bad. But I know from experience that people can and do learn a new way of viewing the body, an understanding that puts them at cause over their own body. It allows you to be empowered in one more area of life instead of being dependent and at the mercy of other peoples decisions about your body.

Finally, and this is why natural medicine is doubly unpopular, to prevent the recurrence of toxemia and acute disease states, person must discover what they are doing wrong and change their life. Often as not this means elimination of the person's favorite (indigestible) foods and/or (stress-producing) bad habits. Naturally, I will have a lot more to say about this later, too.