The Hygienic System grew directly out of the effort of men trained in physiological science to create a system of mind-body care, both in health and in sickness, that was founded on the principles of physiology. Contrast this effort, initiated by Graham, to use the principles of physiology as the basis upon which to predicate a way of life, with the effort of medical men to so twist physiology as to make it appear to support their drugging practices--practices which had evolved in advance of physiological science and which are obviously anti-physiological.

In the care of the sick Hygiene peddles no cures, offers no grab-bag full of therapeutic modalities and has no treatments for sale. It holds that only the elemental requirements of the living organism, the primordial requisites of organic existence, can be serviceable in either a state of health or disease and that, other than these, all else is illusion. The time must surely come, and this in the immediate future, when it will be generally recognized that only such substances as help to constitute, in health, the fluids and tissues of the living organism can be of use to the body in a state of sickness.

A Hygienist, Ellen M. Snow, M. D., writing in the Journal, 1856, said: "We do not profess to cure disease in the common acceptation of the term. We can only supply favorable conditions. Nature, and Nature alone, can effect a restoration to health." Coming, then, to a consideration of the means of providing "favorable conditions," she said, first, that "we cannot do this by introducing into the system agents which are incompatible in themselves with the healthy exercise of its functions." Then she adds: "We have surrounding us, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water which serves a variety of purposes, agents which are necessary to the maintenance of life, and therefore perfectly compatible with the structures of the system." These she called "hygienic agencies," and said that by modifying conditions, these could be made to subserve important purposes in the restoration of health.

In the place of the systems of healing that now command the blind patronage of the sick, we offer a simple, plain, easy-to-understand system of mind-body care, with nature as its guarantee, the cardinal principle of which is that nature works for the restoration of health by the same means and processes in kind by which she works for the preservation of health. Hygiene holds that, as science and art are the children of nature, made wise by her teachings, that is not real science or true art, however illustrious the names that propogate them, that uses or proposes means and processes which nature indignantly rejects.

How, then, account for the reliance of the masses with the blind confidence of religious devotees on modes of treating disease which, so far as they produce effects, kill or tend to kill? So strongly is this absurdity held, even by men of education, it is unscientific to get well without resort to killative means. Indeed, it is scientific to die of poisoning. And so Hygiene is considered unscientific and empirical, void of all claim to the confidence of the invalid, because it begins and concludes its whole effort by a deliberate recognition of the supremacy of constructive and normal things and processes.

The simple principle that drugs never cure disease, but that healing is always a biological process, is the fundamental premise of what the early Hygienists called the Hygeio-Therapeutic System. Trall said of the Hygienic System that "it claims to have better success in restoring chronic invalids to health and in the treating of all kinds of acute diseases than is claimed or ever was claimed for any drug system ever known on the earth." A few days' care suffices in acute disease, but a chronic one may require weeks and months of persevering care, according to the condition of the sick and the nature of his impairment.

The normal condition of every organized being--plant, animal or man, is health. Disease is the result of some violation of the laws of nature. Hygienic care of the sick requires the removal of the consequents of such violation of law and a return to normal conditions. It consists in adapting the supply of the normal or physiological needs of the body to the capacity of the impaired organism to make constructive use of them. It is not essentially a program of denial, but of adjustment.

Whatever the body can constructively use and the amount that it can thus use, it should have; for the purpose of Hygienic care is to meet life's needs in a manner that enables it to restore a normal physiological state as quickly as possible.

Hygienic means are not employed as cures, nor are they employed with which to control symptoms. The Hygienic theory has vital action occurring where it is needed and, therefore, where it is safe to have it. This action should not be interfered with, either by drugs or by treatment of any kind, nor should it be diverted to points where it is not needed.

So intrinsically superior is Hygiene to all other methods of caring for both the well and the sick that nothing is needed to commend it to the general judgment and to give it general public approval, than a full understanding of it.

There is no such thing in the natural order of things as escaping from the consequences of our acts. Hence, Hygiene teaches and insists upon the principle that before health can be regained, there must be entire conformity to Hygienic law. Unlike the curing systems, Hygiene holds out to no person immunity from the consequences of actions and modes of living that violate or are in conflict with the laws of being. It does not tell the sick that they may continue to live in violation of these laws and still, by some magic potency, recover from the consequences. But it does point to the fact that living organisms are so constructed and endowed as to be able to repair their damages and restore their functions when the violations of biologic law are discontinued.

Today everybody is against you--everybody and everything is in your way. All attempt to lead you down the wrong path and influence you to do wrong. Nobody points out to you your initial errors; nobody shows you how and in what way you have violated the laws of being. Nobody stands up for the wisdom and goodness of the constitution of nature, as displayed in our own organism and its normal relations to its environment; nobody reveals to you the great, simple and most sublime of truths--that incorporated in every living organism itself is a great vital recuperative capacity as part and parcel of its very life, identical with and inseparable from our existence, by which and through which the organism is evolved, its waste recuperated, its injuries repaired, its infirmities removed and its diseases healed. Nobody seems to know anything about this; nobody seems to believe in it and you dwell in the common darkness of those around you. But it is no consolation to the sufferer to know that he is but one among many who are ignorant. Such knowledge does not repair his injuries and it does not help the others.