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
If fear of disease and death is the stimulant that is using up resisting power, then the cause of fear must be removed. If the cause is the bad habit of consulting doctors who frighten--who cause fear--but who do not impart an antidotal knowledge, then such doctors should be avoided.
People should be shown the danger they are in because of the life they are leading, and then have a way pointed out to them that will lead to health. But brutally to tell the sick what their disease is, and then to add that recovery is doubtful or impossible, is quite enough to convert a curable disease into an incurable one.
When all the people shall know that the making and the curing of disease are in their own hands, then schools for teaching health will be more popular than drugs, vaccination, and surgical vandalism.
It is worse than childish to declare that teaching people to live carefully, eat carefully, and be prudent about the care of the body is disease-building. As well declare that education should be condemned, because, when full and well rounded, it too will cure the ignorance that leads to disease.
Nothing bad can come from teaching children that they must not handle guns, or that, if they do, they must be careful lest they kill themselves; that, for the same reason, they must avoid poisons; that food is body-building, and needed to keep well and happy, but that, if too much is eaten, or wrong combinations are made, disease, and even death, may result. Surely nothing wrong can come from telling young people that all their joys and pleasures may be turned into disease and death, if indulged in until resistance is broken.
Forewarned is forearmed. Disease and premature death come from ignorance, or possibly from the fact that habit is established before knowledge of its danger is acquired. Degeneration is established before cause is removed.
Knowledge will not save all; but it stands a better chance to save if it is taught before habits are formed.
Fear is an offspring of ignorance. Relief from fear is wonderfully curative and health-conserving. If fear is the sole cause of a given disease, then a full cure will follow when fear is removed. But if fear is simply a complicating cause--if fear, and the derangement that caused the patient to seek a physician in the first place, have been allowed to run on until enervation is so profound that one or more organs have lost their power to function physiologically--then to remove fear does check the speed of the patient's decline, and cause a feeling of mental and physical betterment which is often interpreted as a cure. Unfortunately, however, the original causes--namely, stimulating habits, and their effects (enervation), plus perverted organic functioning--still exist, and that, too, without the warning voice of apprehension and discomfort to guide the victim away from danger.
Suppose a trophic (nutritional) change has taken place to such a degree that sugar or albumin appears in the urine--what is to be done? Remove fear? Yes, fear, and every other cause of overworked reactions, must be removed, and then the slow march back to a restored resistance and nutrition will be made.
What can treatment directed to the organ do? What can removing organs do? Nothing. They are only servants of the master--nutrition--and, like all good servants, do whatever menial service is placed upon them. The master of the show is nutrition, and he does good work so long as he is supplied with sufficient food and nerve energy.
Pain and discomfort should be mentally suppressed and ignored, but not until their significance is understood and a well-directed plan for removing their cause is inaugurated.
To stop pain with drugs, or to ignore it, is not removing cause. Those who are wise will remove the cause; then palliatives will not be required.
Nervous reactions are necessary; they are constructive; it is only when excessive that they become destructive.
Exercise, up to a given point, is necessary for developing the greatest nutritive efficiency.
Exercise to the point of abuse overstimulates and becomes destructive. The first effects of stimulation are that the heart and blood vessels respond to extra work; the glands take on increased functioning; the mind becomes more active; the entire body responds; secretions and excretions take on renewed activity, and nutrition approaches the ideal.
This type of stimulation--exercise--is not an unmixed good. When pushed to excess, we see the common result of any form of overstimulation--namely, enervation. The athlete barters a long life for a short and active one.
The sensualist deliberately yields a long, sane, comfortable, and pleasurable life for a bacchanalian feast and the hell of repentance.
Reactions must not be pushed to the point of excess. If they are, nutrition is impaired; and that means that the whole organism is impaired, leaving the brunt of all future shocks to fall upon the weakest organ of the body. If that organ happens to be the lungs, tuberculosis, bronchitis, asthma, or pleurisy will be the headliner, or principal feature, of the pathological play on which the curtain of life will fall. If the vulnerable part of the body happens to be the bursal membranes, deforming arthritis (rheumatism) will take the front of the stage of life. If the kidneys, heart, liver, or other organs happen to be the vulnerable points, the type of disease will be one peculiar to these organs.
This should furnish a key to how it is possible for many unlike diseases to spring from the same cause. Is this fact so very wonderful, when we remember that all the different organs of the body--all the different tissues of the body--with their many varied functions, are all built from the same food? And the mode of treatment is so simple that it should be obvious to even a child mind; namely: if overstimulation--if shocking by any form of stimulant--has worn out the reactive powers of the system, and enervation is established, a cure must consist of conserving energy by avoiding shocks of all kinds. Rest--physical, mental, and physiological--is necessary. In established diseases, all foods must be given up for a time; certainly exercise of all kinds; and the mind must be freed from worry. To inaugurate such a treatment requires educated skill. Even if a child mind knows that the treatment must be rest, great skill is required in knowing what to eat, when and when not to eat.