In order that a substance may be truly metabolized by the body it must be susceptible of being transformed into cell substance. Any substance, the relation of which to the living organism is a poison, is directly antagonistic to the processes of healing and occasions added impairment of function and damage of structure instead of promoting a restoration of health. Every artificial preparation, every non-normal element, every substance that is incapable of being metabolized, weakens the natural functions, impairs the process of nutrition and reduces the efficiency of the healing process.
The prevailing uncertainty with regard to human life and health is due to a blind precedent and ignorant, even wicked, disregard for the requirements of life. In the case of disease, the leaders of thought on the subject add to the causes instead of removing them. They correspondingly fail to supply the conditions of health and worst of all, their methods impair and finally exhaust the powers of life. Medicines (drugs) are causes of disease. This is admitted by all and denied by none, in the face of which fact it is impossible to explain their alleged curative virtues. Indeed, medical men believe in no such absurdity, although they are not very earnestly engaged in correcting the false impression the people have on the subject.
The popular mind has become so imbued with the curative virtues of drugs, all of which are poisonous, that the attempt is being made daily to recover health without reference to the habits of life, if not in open and acknowledged violation of all the laws of life. The medical profession is truly, as Graham so aptly described it, a "mere drugging cult."
The needed materials and conditions, which alone can be used, are air, water, food, temperature, rest, sleep, light, warmth, agreeable social surroundings and abstinence from all harmful indulgences such as tobacco, alcohol, drug poisons, etc., etc., their appropriation being directed by instinct. The mere enumeration of these requirements commends them to our intelligence and their necessity would not be questioned were it not for the claims, tacit or expressed, that there exists a mode of cure and that specifics and panaceas are possible.
When the sick man hears of Hygiene, which is radically different and opposed to all that he has been taught and conditioned to believe, he cannot comprehend how the sick can get well without the administration of poisons. Thus he makes up his mind that, although some patients may recover from some diseases by means of Hygiene, it cannot possibly be good in all diseases and that it is impossible to entirely discard the use of drugs (poisons) and all who think so are poor deluded fanatics--men who can harbor but one idea at a time and, who, blindfolded, ride by one hobby.
Upon what, then, do we depend for the recovery from disease? The simple answer to this question may not satisfy those who have been brought up to believe that some mysterious and powerful therapeutic means is necessary to the recovery of health. Both the people and their physicians are so accustomed to thinking that no healing can take place without the assistance of a professional man and his bag of tricks, that people are commonly surprised to learn that healing can and actually does occur without the bag of tricks. Nevertheless, it is important that we understand that the living organism possesses remarkable powers of self-healing and self-restoration. It is upon this self-healing power of the organism that we must always rely for the recovery of functional and structural integrity, whether we are sick or wounded, no matter what the form of treatment employed.
It is a fortunate circumstance for the sick and wounded individual that this healing process is in continuous operation. It is as ceaseless as time, at least so long as the organism continues to live. It begins spontaneously and automatically as soon as there is the slightest injury to the organism or as soon as there is the least deviation from the normal and it never ceases until a normal condition has been re-established or until the body is dead from causes that overwhelm the healing process. This means that failure of recovery, not recovery, is the thing we need to understand. The processes of healing are as much a part of life as the digestion of food or the beating of the heart. We need not marvel, then, that the sick recover; we need only to supply a valid explanation of those cases where recovery fails.
Whatever its cause, a lesion is essentially a cleavage of normally integrated tissue. When we speak of the healing of a lesion, we mean nothing more mysterious than the re-integrating of the separated tissue, so that unity is restored. A progressive aggravation of a lesion grows out of the persistence of the causes that have produced it, thus annuling the efficacy of all healing potentials and widening the lesion. Thus it will be seen that failure of recovery rests primarily upon the persistence of the cause or causes that have produced and that maintain the trouble, and secondarily, upon the superaddition (usually in the form of treatment) of other aggravating factors.
A man whose health is impaired has impaired health because he has violated the laws of being and he can regain health only by a return to obedience and this nobody else can do for him. Whenever any individual has habitually disregarded the laws of life and health until he has evolved disease, he needs as the first requirement of recovery of health a return to obedience to the laws of life. "Warring on disease" amounts to battling down reserve life forces and fighting delusional causes and entities. It is really a war upon the human constitution rather than a war against fictional disease. The idea of cure prevents man from discovering cause; so long as the search is centered on the discovery of cures, causes and effects will not be studied. The absurdity of the view that the problems of disease can be solved by microscopes and test-tubes should be apparent to every sane man.
Every living organism is compelled, upon pain of disease and extinction, to adjust itself in conformity with the laws of its being. 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. Restorations of health that are made by nature are conditional.
The ways and processes by which the sick recover health, when they do recover, no matter what the name given the disease, nor what the treatment employed, are strictly biological processes and are not susceptible of duplication or imitation by the practitioners of any school of so-called healing. The forces and processes of the living organism alone restore health and these processes and operations are always in obedience to the same general principles of life; the power and the processes by which the organism is developed and maintained are the same as that by which wounds are healed and health restored in disease.