Hygiene is based squarely upon the principle that health is intended to be, and therefore should be, the ruling condition of human life; biological laws are designed to operate as certainly within their sphere as physical laws are in theirs and, therefore, abstractly considered, sickness is not more necessary than drunkenness; whenever and wherever sickness does exist, it is in consequence of a violation of these laws and to cease to violate them and, in addition, earnestly to obey them, is to begin to cease to be sick and to begin to get well. For this reason, all that is required in order to get well, when one is ill, is to find out just in what direction the laws of life have been violated and in that direction to cease their violation and, in the management of the physical organism to conform to these laws and the sick one, if recoverable at all, will be restored to health.
This being true, all agencies, instrumentalities, or things that are in their nature calculated to disturb and derange a living organism are unfriendly to its health and can by no means whatever be made subservient to health-preserving or health-restoring purposes; but that, on the other hand, their direct and legitimate effect, whenever they are used, is to kill or to tend to kill the organism. That, on the other hand, all agencies, instrumentalities, or things which, in their nature and in their ordinary or extraordinary application, tend to preserve the health of a living organism, are the means and remedies, and the only ones, which may be relied upon to overcome its morbid conditions and restore it to health.
It will at once be seen that this view is exactly the opposite of the common one and that when the sick place themselves in the hands of a Hygienist, he will proceed to employ as a means of recovery only healthful things and influences, avoiding the use of all substances whose legitimate effect and end must be to impair and damage the human organism and thus produce and add to ill health.
We do not mean to infer that all patients can recover health by means of a Hygienic way of life, for there are people of such frail constitutions or such extensive organic impairment or of such profound enervation that they will fail of recovery. Nor do we mean to infer that all patients can make a speedy recovery by turning to Hygiene. It is idle to suppose that when a man, who has been months or years evolving chronic pathology, turns to Hygiene, he can by any process be suddenly transformed into a well man. What we do mean to infer is that all recoverable cases will attain full health by adopting a Hygienic program and sticking to it long enough to undo the damages of years of wrong life.
Writing editorially in January 1872, Trall said: "The underlying question is: 'Should disease be cured?' We say no. And we challenge all the medical men of all the earth to prove the affirmative." The idea of cure is an illogical and dangerous delusion and the time will come when it will be common knowledge that curing has killed more people than would have died had there never been a cure-monger on the earth. Treating builds disease and the curing systems, which are but systems of meddlesome trifling with human life, are all destructive rackets.
When we have learned to see in such symptoms as irritation, inflammation, fever, agitation and accelerated function such as diarrhea, diuresis, etc., the protest of outraged tissues against illegitimate infringements of primary principles of vital existence, their desperate struggle to free themselves from the paralyzing presence of toxic debris, we will cease to combat with every objective weapon at our disposal the symptoms of disease. We will cease launching grotesque campaigns against fictional entities, echoes and phantoms of the evil spirits of our ancestors, while neglecting the authentic villian and permitting him free reign of the vital precincts. Entitative diseases are dramaturgic fictions that are as unreal as pink elephants and snakes in the boots, and seeking to cure the symptoms as though they are the literal stuff of our ailments is as ridiculous as seeking to remove shadows while ignoring the objects that cast them.
If healing is a biological process, which we can neither imitate, duplicate nor substitute, as Hygienists contend, the proper plan of caring for the sick will be one of supplying the most favorable conditions for the successful operation of the vital healing processes. The primary requisite of the success of the healing process is the removal of all causes of organic and systemic impairment.
Let us always keep in mind that the forces of organization are ever busy, by silent operations, in their work of removing the causes of disease and restoring good health. Those ideologies that picture health and disease as antagonistic forces at war with each other represent dualistic delusions. This concept of opposites (that health and disease are ideological opposites) is a biological schism that has no reality in living phenomena.
Because of this false dualism in our thinking upon health and disease the practitioners of the many and various healing arts labor to subject their patients to cunningly devised expedients, rather than to the laws that govern living processes. Instead of permitting nature to do her own work in her own way, they have conjured up myriads of forcing measures designed to compel the living organism to do its work in the way they think it should be done. They do not work with the normal things of life, but seek to impose upon the processes of the organism exotic and adventitious substances and conditions that necessitate activities of the body other than those in which it is engaged and this must certainly divert its attention and its energies from the regular processes of elimination, repair, restoration and healing. In the very nature of things, all of this interference with the processes of life must retard and even prevent the healing processes. Such meddling must be the cause of many deaths which, except for the meddling, would not occur. Imposing chemical substances upon an organism that is incapable of assimilating them, as is done by the medical profession, cannot do otherwise than damage the body. A sane method of caring for the sick will not attempt to force the body to utilize substances that are not subject to its metabolic processes.
All care, to be genuinely beneficial, no matter what the condition of the sick person, must bear a precise relation to the constitutional habits of man. This must be duly fitted, for best results, to the greater or lesser diseased state of the body. From this premise, which no one will dare deny, the conclusion is quite logical that anything which tends to genuinely renovate the whole physiological condition conduces to recovery.
It is necessary to emphasize that it is indispensibly essential to the normal performance of the processes of healing that between the forces of the organism and the substances of the organism there shall intervene no artificial agency. Only those natural elements that are normal to the life of the organism can be allowed to enter into the process. The physiological processes cannot have an artificial basis. The processes of healing, being as integral to the living organism as the regular processes of physiology and biology, cannot rest upon any artificial foundation. No drug is capable of entering into direct physiological relations with the living organism as food.