Questions and Answers follow.

by James C. Thomson

Extracted from: Thomson, James C. 1950. The Belfast Lecture. Edinburgh: Thorson’s.

Can you cure rheumatism by diet alone, or must one also have treatment?

I can cure my rheumatism if I do the right things. The whole idea of Nature Cure is self-help and wholesomeness. That contains the real meaning of cure and it is a very good technique; but you must apply it to ways of thinking, exercise, breathing, sleeping and so forth, as well as to diet, to make a broken man whole. We do not treat the names of diseases. We try to get our patients to live so that their tissues clean up and so become healthy. With health rheumatism clears up.

If Nature by itself, cures the body, why do you wear glasses?

I am not a perfect specimen. I make no such claim, but I am not the weakling I was fifty years ago. Eyesight, to be perfect, would call for Nature Cure living over about three generations, as the optical system and the receptors are exceedingly delicate and comprise a part of the body which can be maintained at its best only by a long-term policy.

Can a person cure himself of tuberculosis?

James Thomson referred to his own experience, having been discharged from the Navy as a young man, with this complaint. He mentioned that the doctor came to his bed in hospital and informed him without preamble that he was to go home as he had only a couple of months to live. He determined to live if only to spite the doctor. He here emphasised that out of the experience he discovered what a vitally important factor is the will to live, whatever the motive.

James Thomson made an excellent recovery and wrote to the doctor two years later to inform him of his triumph. The ironic sequel came in the form of a letter from the doctor’s widow to say that the doctor had passed away some time previously.

Do you disbelieve in all forms of inoculation, including the vaccination infants which is compulsory in Northern Ireland?

Don’t do it. Far fewer people are vaccinated today than are unvaccinated. The unvaccinated are greatly the majority. Vaccination was initiated by a man called Jenner who was a rogue and a rascal. Health got £30,000 from the British Government on the basis that once vaccinated the person would be forever immune to smallpox. Then a great campaign started to enforce the rite, and in medical journals it is now generally stated that within a year smallpox had dropped to less than half. Actually it went up and up until it reached its highest limits some considerable time after vaccination almost became universal.

Then as the public made the sensible deduction, they began to refuse vaccination in larger and larger numbers. After this revolt the disease in its disfiguring form passed away from this country, but obviously vaccination wasn’t the cause of the cessation. Despite these facts it is generally taught in medical colleges that smallpox was brought under control in this country by vaccination. In actual fact the disease was eradicated owing to great improvements in sanitary science and the general rise in standards of bodily, household, and civic cleanliness.

Do you think well of raw molasses?

I believe in honey and in some hundreds of other honest food stuffs, but the question smacks of "remedies", which we do not advocate. I believe in wholeness of diet rather than in single items. Wholeness may be called the purpose of Nature Cure. For any one who is concerned about his health, I know of nothing more helpful than a grateful acceptance of the fact that, given fair play, the body is comfortably able to heal itself, no matter how serious the condition. Throughout the past forty years I have watched health return to many thousands of people who had reached the last stages of unbearably painful and otherwise distressful disease. That is why I envy no man his work. I get inexpressible enjoyment from helping people, each one, to engineer himself out of his own particular morass. In each case some mental or ethical or physical urge has been misinterpreted or wilfully disregarded. To solve these problems which have baulked not only their victims, but, in many cases, professional men of the highest standing, makes my work utterly fascinating.

But remarkably seldom is the real difficulty so much how to find the way out, as to persuade the sufferers to move, and to keep moving, in the right direction. In the majority of cases we find that there has been an over-emphasis. For example, instead of supplying themselves with a selection of whole foods to nurture the whole of the body, quite a large proportion of the "incurables" have replaced their normal trust in the wholeness of life with a false, superstitious faith in some lop-sided herb or chemical, some formula of words, or the magic of an injection of diseased matter from some animal’s festering sores; one or other of these or some similar stupidity is accepted as carrying a powerful magic which they hope is to sweep away their disabilities.

In the varying circumstances we come upon we find that all food stuffs may be good, but in given cases any food at all may be harmful—even deadly. That is why we must dig deeper than the simple superficial acceptance of some mystic power in any particular food or part of a food. That is why if you wish for genuine health you must accept self-responsibility; quite firmly, you must take charge. It cannot be left to another person, or to any single food stuff. But for some unknown reason, many people find it easier to put their faith in things. Even more strange still are those who prefer to trust one particular food; it may be olive oil, honey, or some such. A queer kink, but doubtless it avoids the necessity for thought and so saves them from developing headaches.