This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
Light is necessary for health. Germ life is destroyed by it. Plants do not thrive any better than animals in the absence of light.
Light is a stimulant, and of course can do injury to those who overindulge in it. Those who chase fad cures, and who are not happy until everyone is in the ground too deep for resurrection, will, while taking the sun-bath cure, blister their bodies and torture themselves in every way, that the sun's rays may be used. When this so-called cure ceases to be disagreeable, they will decide that the remedy has lost its effect, and away they go searching for a new cure that will be disagreeable enough to be curative. A cure with them is valued according to the extent of its disagreeableness. The cure idea with such people has not evolved away from exorcism--disease and cure still being a system of demonism. With the profession the demon has dwindled to a microscopic germ.
Clothes keep the light away from the body, and, because of this, man suffers more or less from light starvation. When such subjects are persuaded by a monomaniac healer to expose their delicate bodies to the direct rays of the sun, they will be very uncomfortable.
When people become accustomed to living in Colorado, and have cultivated the sunshine habit, they are not satisfied to make their homes in a country where the sunlight is shut out by clouds and rain. Light builds optimism, while cloudiness or shade causes more or less pessimism.
Light increases the amount of carbonic acid thrown off. It is said that when the body is brought into the light with the eyes shaded, carbonic acid rises twelve per cent; then, if the eyes are bared and the body covered, the carbonic acid rises to fourteen per cent; when eyes and body are exposed simultaneously, this acid rises to thirty-six per cent, exceeding the combined separate exposures by ten per cent. This increase indicates more combustion; and, in fact, there is a slight elevation of temperature. In children it ranges from one-tenth to one-half degree Centigrade.
The sun's rays, either direct or reflected, will cause a skin irritation--erythema--accompanied by an elevation of the epidermis, with serous liquid; that is, the skin blisters and causes great discomfort. When the sun's rays are reflected from water, the action on the skin in one day is very pronounced.
Pellagra is supposed by a few to be caused by the sun's rays; by others, to be caused by consuming spoiled maize--corn. It has not been my privilege to see more than one or two cases of pellagra; but, judging from what writers say about it, it is probably caused by excessive starch-eating; or it may be the combined effect of starch, sweet (molasses), and the sun's rays and hot weather. This disease, and hookworm, should be eradicated by correcting the personal habits of those afflicted with them. It is a mistake to look for a unitary cause for these diseases; for, as with all others, there are many causes, and just what causes them in one individual may not be the cause in another. impaired nutrition is the fundamental cause.
Darkened houses are proverbially unwholesome houses. All houses should be built in such a manner as to secure as much light as possible. When light is furnished, air is sure to be, and provision for both these elements makes it almost impossible to overheat.
Blue rays have been used to restore hair; Roentgen, or X-rays, and violet rays are used to treat cancer; and all the rays of the spectrum have been used as remedies for diseases. But these remedies soon fall into disuse because of lack of merit. A few enthusiasts--specialists on skin diseases, or cancer specialists--have lost their lives from administering the X-ray; others have lost fingers, hands, and arms. I have seen cancer patients fearfully burned by the use of the X-ray--and that, too, without corresponding benefit.
The ability of radium to disorganize tissue has caused it to be used and recommended. All these remedies, including the plaster cure made from escharotics, appeal to patients as well as to doctors. Why not? If these remedies can cause the disease to drop out, "root and all," what can possibly do more? Commercialism is just now exploiting radium; but, like all cures based on a false theory of disease, it must fail.
The professional mind seldom thinks farther than to the radical removal of the disease-which is seldom, if ever, anything more than removing effects. That the cause may hark back to a faulty nutrition, and that this fault may be caused by one or more of a thousand-and-one enervating causes, is not thought of; or, if it is, no consideration is given it. It is easier to think palliation and work palliatives.
It is doubtful if anyone will develop a cancer who lives in a properly lighted, aired, and heated home, and who takes reasonable care of his body and mind, and keeps intensely interested in life.
Shut out the light and air from the body with thick, closely woven, close-fitting, and overheating underwear; live in a house in keeping; then have a dietary to correspond, and this will create a habitat in which any disease is liable to spring up and thrive.
A bright light held before the eyes and gazed upon is liable to bring on a state known as artificial slumber or hypnosis. The name of "Braidism" is given to this phenomenon because a man by the name of Braidy discovered it.
The influence of light and shade on the nervous system must be very great, and it should be better understood. Let us hope that it will be.
I have seen young children thrown into convulsions by allowing a bright light to glare into their faces when they were nervous and feverish.
Care should be exercised with babies to prevent shocking them by allowing strong lights to flash into their eyes.
The moving picture shows, attended frequently and over a long period of time, will create nervous derangements. No doubt many are being injured in this way. Those with functional, as well as organic, diseases are having their symptoms aggravated by frequent attendance at these shows; but they have not suspected the cause. One or two hours at a picture show will use up as much nerve energy as a whole day at the usual vocation. The combined effect of eye- and ear-strain--the picture and the music--is very strenuous and nerve-exhausting.