When we fully understand that Hygienic means do not act on the system, but are used by the body in virtue of their fitness to serve its vital needs, then we will understand that the needs of two sick persons with the same symptom-complex are not identical in degree, although they are identical in kind. One will require more rest or more water or more abstinence or more warmth or more food, etc., etc. This adjustment of the physiological needs of life to the requirements or capacities of the sick organism is the very essence of Hygienic care of the sick.

Note particularly that these are not means of cure, but needs of life--the same needs, in fact, that are required by the healthy body every day in order that life can go on at all.

To make this plain: if we supply the sick with fresh air, we do so for the same reason that we supply fresh air to the well--not to cure, but to supply an indispensable need of the living organism under all conditions of existence. Hygiene is the preservation and restoration of health by the use of means that are absolutely essential to life and that are abundantly supplied to man to preserve him in a normal state.

The sick person is not to be cared for by some mechanical routine, but according to vital needs and vital actions. Hygienic means are not applied by routine according to the name of the disease. Dr. Trall was right when he said: "There is no such thing in the universe as telling a person what to do because he has a given disease. We can only indicate the rule of action." It is possible to tell him the principles that govern our actions or that should govern them, but if he does not understand the principle, he cannot follow it.

How can the people or the Hygienic practitioner apply a principle if they do not know what the principle is? Hygiene has long held out to the people the principles which govern the employment of all the legitimate means of care; but few people, as yet, have a comprehension of these principles. By applying these basic principles (not specific cures) to the circumstances of each individual sick person, genuine recovery is promoted.

Hygienic care is not directed to the cure of disease, but seeks to provide the most favorable conditions for the efficient operation of the body's own healing processes. We recognize the so-called disease as an effort to resist and expel morbific causes and repair damages, not as an enemy to be cast out or killed. When you know how to care for the sick body, you will know how to care for all sick bodies. Of necessity, all sick bodies have to be cared for alike, for the reason that, basically, all human organisms are alike. Their needs are the same. The principle of adjusting these needs to the condition of the sick body is the same in all cases. In caring for the sick, no matter what the symptom-complex is called, we are but applying a principle.

The often-heard complaint that Hygienists treat all diseases alike is wrong. Hygienists do not treat diseases. Hygienists are not in the curing business. They peddle no cures; they sell no treatments. They supply only the ordinary, everyday physiological needs of the living organism. As these are the same for everybody, it is natural for everybody to be supplied with the same primordial requisites of organic existence. It is a false idea that we should supply one person with fresh air to breathe and another with poisonous fumes to breathe, that we should supply one patient with wholesome food and another with unwholesome food.

The successful practice of Hygiene consists of applying certain principles or rules to the ever-varying conditions of invalids and to the various circumstances of disease, having not, as most people seem to imagine, a routine of processes, according to the name of the disease. Instead of resorting to a particular plan of care with a certain amount of fasting, a particular diet, a predetermined amount of rest, etc., etc., we must take a universal principle and apply it to the needs or circumstances of each individual in his particular condition. No man can tell beforehand how much rest, how much abstinence, how much sunshine, how much time, and how often and how many times the Hygienic means must be repeated for health to be restored. Fortunately, this is not as serious as it may at first appear; for, unlike drugs, these means of care do not poison. One needs only to persevere until the desired results are achieved.

A routine practice, adopted simply because somebody who is looked up to as an authority advised it, is unworthy of thinking beings. We should have well-defined ends in view in all our applications of Hygienic means. We should know why we employ a fast, or a diet, or a form of exercise, or why we demand more rest. We should know why we do one thing instead of another. One man needs only a short fast, another a long one; one needs more food, another less; one woman needs corrective exercise, another only general exercise--it is essential that we employ Hygiene intelligently. The indiscriminate, outrageous and unphysiological employment of the means of Hygiene cannot be logically expected to yield ideal results.

Of course it is true, as is often complained, that Hygienic care of the sick, like Hygienic care of the well, is a "simple monotonous repetition." What else can one expect? The needs of life are simple, monotonous and daily repeated. Of course, Hygiene is alike for all. All need fresh air--this is not a need of only an occasional individual. All need rest. All need food. All need sunshine. We need fresh air all the time, rest and sleep daily. It does become monotonous, doesn't it? It is repetitive, isn't it? But while we can break the monotony of daily eating by fasting, we cannot break the need for breathing by cutting off the supply of oxygen--too bad, isn't it?

The employment of Hygiene requires knowledge, judgment, wisdom and experience. A man, like a parrot, may be taught to repeat wise sayings; but if he lacks good judgment, he will not understand them. Judgment, understanding and wisdom cannot be inoculated into a man so as to saturate his system with them. Until biology and physiology have established for us a perfect science of life, more or less enlightened empiricism will continue to constitute a part of our work; but we must recognize that in accepting experience as a guide, we are faced with the difficulty of finding the right experience.

In consequence of the persistent misrepresentation of the system of Hygiene by the practitioners of the various schools of so-called healing and the general air abroad that fasting alone or dieting alone is our panacea for all forms of disease, there has resulted a tendency to obscure the fact that Hygiene involves the application of all Hygienic measures in the care of the sick. These need but be employed in keeping with the capacity of the sick organism to constructively utilize them.

When we ask: how shall the daily supply of the needs of life be adjusted to the altered needs or capacities of the sick body, we meet with a wide variety of answers and with many proposals intended to solve this problem. We need a simple and entirely physiological means of meeting the modified, but not radically changed needs of the body in illness. Certainly, the most important factor in any successful and biological method of caring for the sick organism depends on a satisfactory solution of this problem. Certainly, we cannot accept those proffered modes of care or cure that propose to meet the needs of the sick organism with unphysiological means.

All processes of recovery or healing are but extensions and modifications of the processes that preserve health and the materials and processes employed in caring for the sick must be in consonance with physiology and compatible with all other useful measures. There must always be a normal connection between the living organism, whether in its normal or abnormal activities, and the material things that contribute, more or less perfectly, to sustain psychological and physiological phenomena. As we have emphasized elsewhere, no substance or process that is not a factor-element in physiology can have any value in the living structure under any circumstances of life. That which is not useful in a state of health is equally non-useful in disease.

All the needs of normal physiology are present in states of disease and require to be supplied to the end that organic and functional integrity may be preserved or restored. Hygienic care, therefore, comprehends not only regulation of diet, but a synthesis and coordination of all the factor-elements of normal life--drink, breathing, sunning, temperature, growth, exercise, rest, sleep and the emotions, in keeping with the altered needs of the organism.

Can we reach precision in adapting the normal requisites of life to the reduced capacities of the sick organism? The attempt to do so becomes so complex and confusing that it may be doubted that it can be done or that it is even desirable. We have to leave most of this to life itself.

The bewildering confusion that has resulted from trying to attain precision in supplying the body with the requisite amounts of the several vitamins, the various salts, the several amino acids. etc., illustrates the complexity of the subject. We simply lack the definite and conclusive knowledge and the means of supplying such elemental needs of life with precision. The senses and instincts of the sick man are often more reliable guides than is science. The sick man knows when he is chilly (in need of warmth), thirsty (in need of drink), tired (in need of sleep), hungry (in need of food), not hungry (in need of abstinence), etc. Science can be of service; it is not supreme, except insofar as it serves as a handmaiden to the instincts of life.

Dr. Jackson warned that Hygienists should be cautious in their application of Hygiene to those whom he called the "drug-smitten," making as few mistakes as possible. This is in line with the warning given by other Hygienists about caring for those who have been damaged by much drugging. They are by no means easy patients to care for.

Not every patient who turns to Hygiene successfully applies its measures and not every practitioner who calls himself a Hygienist properly administers Hygienic care. Because miraculous recoveries do not continually result from an indiscriminate, haphazard and often injurious routine of Hygienic applications, people become discouraged with the system and its practitioners and often disgusted with its consequences. Happily, however, large numbers of people are now studying Hygiene in earnest, with the view of understanding precisely what may be expected from Hygienic means and the proper ways of securing such benefits.

It would be false to say that Hygiene will save every sick individual who turns to it. The Hygienic practitioner, however skillful, cannot be expected to do the impossible. The value of Hygiene over every other plan of caring for the sick is that, when judiciously administered, it will save every sick individual who is capable of recovery, while other means of care and especially those modes that administer poisons (drugs), which tend naturally and legitimately to kill and when they do not kill, to render the condition permanent or irreversible or increase the disease, will register a great number of failures.

Let all those of us who conduct Hygienic institutions and all of us who live Hygienically at home claim for Hygiene that which belongs to it, that is, that it is sufficient for the restoration of health in all restorable conditions, doing this more certainly, more satisfactorily, more quickly, more safely, more expeditiously, than it can be restored under any other plan of care, and that it can restore health in many instances in which failure results under other plans of care.