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
Sensual pleasures of all kinds become enervating when indulged in to satiety. When they are, then it is that "life's apples turn to dust;" then it is that we see the "dregs" in the "wine of love," and know we have "bartered life's bread for a crust, and a draft that is as bitter as brine."
The discomfort of excess--overworked reaction--may be pushed so far that the warning voice of frequent crises is lost; after which the organism may be abused to the point of a fatal collapse without warning.
For example, the victim of apoplexy has the discomfort of overworked reactions early--years before the collapse. He suffers from overworked heart, rapid pulse, headache, vertigo, fullness of the head, roaring in the ears. More or less of these symptoms he will have from ten to twenty years before the final collapse. Slowly but surely a toleration for these discomforts is built. Apprehension is dulled; the "still, small voice" of self-protection is hushed; and all unexpectedly and without warning the collapse comes, and the victim is not permitted to say goodbye and farewell to his best friends. This is the price we pay for ignoring warning.
Food is a stimulant, and necessary to the building of body and mind. The stimulating effects of food are necessary to secure digestion and assimilation. Nutrition depends upon the reactions stimulated by food, as well as upon the building material furnished by the food. This being true, it must be obvious to a thoughtful mind that too much food, or food too highly stimulating, must frustrate the object of food by causing too much reaction, ending in enervation. Overstimulation from excessive eating is the commonest cause of disease.
Stimulation is necessary; for reaction must be continual. Without reaction there can be no heart action; breathing must stop; metabolism ends; in fact, life goes out.
Stimulation, like every other need of life, is good up to a given point; then it becomes bad. Again we are reminded that every good is linked to bad, which is educational and a test of worthiness to survive.
Indispensable stimulants are those which carry on their work subconsciously. All that is necessary to carry on vital action can be supplied without creating enough reaction to receive conscious attention. It is when reaction arouses consciousness that the stimulation is excessive.
The intensity of reactions increases, as does the excitability of the centripetal nerves-the nerves carrying impressions from the surface to the centers. For example: The nerves in the skin over a boil, an inflamed joint, or a blistered surface create central reactions, noticed in general nervousness.
The reaction is greater when the part irritated is naturally sensitive; for example, the eye, the ear, or the tongue.
Heat increases the excitability, while cold diminishes it.
A body made too warm by overheated houses, overclothing, too heavy underwear, is made too sensitive. This is a form of overstimulation that leads to enervation; following which, catarrhs; of any and all mucous membranes develop. When toxin poisoning is added, sensitiveness is diminished. This is a conservative measure; but, like all other good things, it becomes destructive when pushed too far.
An organ rendered less sensitive from overstimulation. is also rendered less efficient in carrying on its regular functioning; hence, when a cure is desired, the cause of its overstimulation must be removed, and, until time is given for a normal reaction, the organ must not be forced into a functioning which it is not able to perform. A season of rest is nature's remedy for all exhaustions following overstimulation. In this matter nearly all systems of healing are based on theories of cure that work in just the opposite way. When the organs where reflex action ends are badly altered, very grave symptoms are developed by stimulation of the peripheral or afferent nerves.
Chronic irritation, inflammation, and the accompanying organic enlargements from overwork, or from rheumatism, cause the organs to be sensitive to reflex stimulation.
In the case of myocarditis, or rheumatism of the heart, an impression--a shock-that would not be noticed by a normal heart will cause death. Heart stimulants are dangerous remedies.
On the other hand, when exercise has been neglected, the various organs of the body are weakened from lack of stimulation. Under such conditions the heart becomes so enervated that unusual exercise, such as running to catch a car, may end in collapse and death, the heart being unable to do the extra work forced upon it. Often such heart weakness has been aggravated by the use of alcoholics, tobacco, coffee, tea, and sugar. The excessive use of sugar tends to weaken muscular energy, because of its power to overstimulate.
When stimulation has been excessive-such as overindulgence of the grand passion--there may be such an alteration of the nerves of transmission--the centripetal (afferent), nerves--that sensation is retarded, or perception and reaction end in impotency. On the other hand, indulgence may be so great, from the excitability of the transmitting nerves, that the reflex centrifugal (efferent) nerves are so altered in their functioning that trembling and irregular movements, up to lost coordination, are established.
Syphilis is credited with building tabes dorsalis and paralysis; but overstimulation from the drugs used in its cure, and excessive venery, are more likely to be the cause. Excessive venery lays the foundation; then toxins from septic infection and drugs may prove to be the exciting cause.