This section of the book is from the "Handbook of Nature Cure Volume One: Nature Cure vs. Medical Science" book, by John L. Fielder.
Man was created naked by Nature, and in the beginning lived naked for a long time. "And they were both naked, man and his wife" Genesis 2:25; and according to the intentions of Nature he was always to go naked. This is the design of Nature which nothing can change.
Going naked is in accordance with Nature, and consequently right.
Everyone knows that light-and-air creatures, plants as well as animals, pine away in dark places and become more and more lifeless. But if they are brought to light, they instantly wake up and become full of life. It is as if one could see this, even in plants, which soon regain their healthy colour. In the case of animals we can plainly see how they brighten up, jump and run about.
Today man lives, clothed as he is, with the greater part of his body in the dark. Let him once throw off his clothes, especially in the open air in the woods, and he will directly feel how new vigour and life reanimates his body. Immediately all the organs begin to work more vigorously, the digestion, the vitality is increased, and a rapturous sensation of well-being passes through the almost lifeless sick organism.
When animals are confined in dark places, the process of transpiration still goes on, and the internal heat which is developed in sickness is still thrown off, while the wearing of clothes prevents this in man. Going naked temporarily, even in the room with as many open windows as possible, but better still in the open, in the woods, proves of wonderful beneficiency and efficacy, and is more strengthening than any other means.
The light at once reanimates the vitality of the body, which, moreover, being now entirely free from clothes, need not partly reabsorb through the skin, the bad used-up air which it had thrown off, and can take in pure air.
This explains the immediate remarkable invigoration of the organism, and the wonderful effect of the light-and-air-bath. The importance of the light-and-air-bath in the preservation of health, the curing of diseases, acute as well as chronic, and also in the healing of wounds must become evident to even the dullest understanding.
The many trials which I have made with the light-and-air bath, in the most varied cases of sickness have yielded splendid results.
Young people as well as old, who had become exceedingly delicate from the wearing of much woollen underclothing and by shutting themselves off from light and air in other ways, went at once, and without passing through intermediate stages, naked into the open air, in wind and weather, in rain and snow storms, even at low temperatures.
Some were so weak that they could hardly walk to the place where the light-and-air bath was to be taken. Directly they were naked they began to feel stronger, and could always walk home more easily and more quickly than they had come. There were among these light-and-air bathers not only some very weak, but also some very old and venerable people, over seventy and eighty years of age.
In acute diseases, especially in acute cases, the patients always experienced such a refreshing, strengthening effect that they would not leave the open window even on the most urgent pleading of frightened relatives.
The improvement and convalescence, especially in acute cases, was so rapid and striking that the people about the patient were full of astonishment.
At Jungborn, it was in the cool season especially that the light-and-air baths created the greatest enthusiasm.
It is not the fault of the public if the light-and-air bath is not generally introduced. For the people are not educated to think for themselves in caring for their health, but always to hear without judging what is preached to them.
It is most natural and best to go naked day and night, summer and winter, taking light-and-air baths without interruption. The old Teutons in our part of the country went almost entirely naked, with a loose hide at most thrown around the shoulders.
This was even more true, in proportion as they clung to Nature in their diet, subsisting on the fruits of the forest, in addition to only milk, and to be sure, on meat, but on the meat of healthy animals, and not the increasingly artificial preparations of agricultural products, nor on alcohol and other stimulants.
In cold weather especially, one ought to take a great deal of exercise during the light-and-air bath by walking and running.
It is of course peremptory to become thoroughly warm again after the light-and-air bath. This is accomplished by brisk walking or by physical work, also by housework, or by wrapping in woollen blankets or bedding.
It is a mistake to think that the light-and-air bath is taken for the purpose of feeling colder. We take it in order to feel warmer at all other times, for it is well known that he suffers from cold who is always sitting about a warm stove [or by the taking of hot baths and showers. Editor]
It is also very beneficial besides taking the light-and-air baths to go bareheaded in the rain.
Besides taking the light-and-air bath one ought to go barefooted whenever there is time and opportunity for it.
The windows in the bedroom must always be open at night winter and summer.
One kind of light-and-air bath is the sun-bath. You lie on the ground, preferably without clothes.
In the hot sun the sun-bath must not be too long. One can take the light-and-air bath by alternating between sun and shade.
It is of great importance that the sun-bath should be taken lying on the earth, and not on a mattress, or even roofs, as has been sometimes done. Man belongs to the earth.
It is advisable to avoid as far as one may the scorching of the body by the sun. But if it should occur, the remedy to be applied is cold water and wet compresses (also compresses of moist earth). The customary oils and salves should be avoided.
by Adolf Just†
† Extracted from: Just, Adolf. 1903. Return To Nature. New York: Lust.