This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
Of great importance is the position assumed habitually by the body while standing and walking. Carelessness in this respect is not only unpleasant to the beholder, but its consequences are far-reaching in their effects upon health and the well-being of the organism.
On the other hand, a good carriage of the body aids in the development of muscles and tissues generally and in the proper functioning of cells and organs in particular. With the weight of the body thrown upon the balls of the feet and the center of gravity well focused, the abdominal organs will stay in place and there will be no strain upon the ligaments that support them.
In assuming the proper standing position, stand with your back to the wall, touching it with heels, buttocks, shoulders and head. Now bend the head backward and push the shoulders forward and away from the wall, still touching the wall with buttocks and heels. Straighten the head, keeping the shoulders in the forward position. Now walk away from the wall and endeavor to maintain this position while taking the breathing exercises and practicing the various arm movements.
Take this position as often as possible during the day and try to maintain it while you go about your different tasks that must be performed while standing. Gradually this position will become second nature, and you will assume and maintain it without effort.
When the body is in this position, the viscera are in their normal place. This aids the digestion materially and benefits indirectly the entire functional organism.
Persistent practice of the above will correct protruding abdomen and other defects due to faulty position and carriage of the body.
The following breathing exercises are intended especially to develop greater lung capacity and to assist in forming the habit of breathing properly at all times. The different movements should be repeated from three to six times, according to endurance and the amount of time at disposal.
(1) With hands at sides or on hips, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, bringing the entire respiratory apparatus into active play.
(2) (To expand the chest and increase the air capacity of the lungs.)
Jerk the shoulder forward in several separate movements, inhaling deeper at each forward jerk. Exhale slowly, bringing the shoulders back to the original position.
Reverse the exercise, jerking the shoulders backward in similar manner while inhaling. Alternate the movements, forcing the shoulders first forward, then backward.
(3) Stand erect, arms at sides. Inhale, raising the arms forward and upward until the palms touch above the head, at the same time raising on the toes as high as possible. Exhale, lowering the toes, bringing the hands downward in a wide circle until the palms touch the thighs.
(4) Stand erect, hands on hips. Inhale slowly and deeply, raising the shoulders as high as possible, then, with a jerk, drop them as low as possible, letting the breath escape slowly.
(5) Stand erect, hands at shoulders. Inhale, raising elbows sideways; exhale, bringing elbows down so as to strike the sides vigorously.
(6) Inhale deeply, then exhale slowly, at the same time
clapping the chest with the palms of the hands, covering the entire
(These six exercises are essential and sufficient. The following four may be practiced by those who are able to perform them and who have time and inclination to do so.)
(7) Stand erect, hands at sides. Inhale slowly and deeply, at the same time bringing the hands, palms up, in front of the body to the height of the shoulders. Exhale, at the same time turning the palms downward and bringing the hands down in an outward circle.
(8) Stand erect, the right arm raised upward, the left crossed behind the back. Lean far back, then bend forward and touch the floor with the right hand, without bending the knees, as far in front of the body as possible. Raise the body to original posture, reverse position of arms, and repeat the exercise. Inhale while leaning backward and changing position of arms, exhale while bending forward.
(9) Position erect, feet well apart, both arms raised. Lean back, inhaling, then bend forward, exhaling, touching the floor with both hands between the legs as far back as possible.
(10) Horizontal position, supporting the body on palms and toes. Swing the right hand upward and backward, flinging the body to the left side, resting on the left hand and the left foot. Return to original position, repeat the exercise, flinging the body to the right side. Inhale while swinging backward, exhale while returning to position.