Medical men do not inquire into the ways of life of their patients and do not rebuke them for their violations of the laws of life; they do not teach their patients how to live--instead, they seek to cure them with poisons. The profession has carried on a very profitable trade in promises which it could never fulfill, but it found their non-fulfillment easily referred to Divine intervention. If the patient recovered, the physician cured him; if he died, "the Lord took him."

So long as it has existed, the medical profession has failed to learn or at least to apply a few plain and apparent principles pertaining to the laws of matter and of life; it has chosen, rather, to affect to be in possession of mysterious curative substances which form the basis of its practices. As there is no intelligible relation between the drug-remedy and the disease-condition, the practice has always been purely experimental and empirical. They drug and dose and cut and inject, but they never propose to correct a single cause of disease.

However misdirected the efforts of the sick man may have been, he is always ready to try again and with the desperation of a drowning man, clutches at the straws within his reach. Ignorant of those elements within and around him that work to perpetuate existence as well as of the causes that are tearing him apart, he is ever ready to try anything and to bless the accidental means to which he ignorantly attributes his recovery. It is amazing how anxious the sick are to find any possible excuse not to abandon disease-building habits. This is the only reason that they can be so easily persuaded that to cut out a diseased organ is a much shorter route to health than to cease building the excuse for the operation. Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent during the past 90 years for surgical operations that could have been avoided by the simple plan of ceasing to build disease.

It is true that the causes of disease are often obscure and that mistakes in their discovery and association are liable to occur, but this difficulty is obviated by removing from their influences upon the patient all causes of disease. If we may not always particularize as to the causes, we can generalize and no matter how inefficiently our work may be performed, it will prove more successful than the attempt to cure ailments by adding to their causes.

Failure to recover is often due to small indiscretions, which the incorrigible refuse to discontinue. Those little indulgences that "do not amount to anything" are often enough to prevent the evolution of good health. Sitting up and reading until 11 or 12 o'clock because "I can't sleep if I go to bed before;" a little candy, "not enough to hurt me;" a dish of ice cream, "just a small amount, not enough to amount to anything," a smoke with a friend, "just one cigarette, that can't hurt me;" a small drink, "just to be sociable, not enough to amount to anything;" staying in bed too late in the morning to get regular exercise; a little food between meals, "just enough to expel the longing, that all-gone feeling;" "surely such small trifles cannot possibly have anything to do with my continued bad feeling." If told not to eat between meals, they will chew gum and ask: "Why can't I chew gum? It cannot do any harm. Besides, it relaxes me and is advertised to be good for the digestion." If told to abstain from starch, the patient will take "just a little bread" or "only a few crackers or cookies, not enough to amount to anything." If coffee is enjoined, he will have "only a little weak coffee, it was mostly water." He will have a small lunch after the theatre, "not enough to count, just a sandwich and a bottle of Coca Cola."

These chronic sufferers are likely to ask: "Doctor, can you do anything for me?" Such sufferers want somebody to do something for them; they do not want to do for themselves. The correct answer to their question is: "No. But I can instruct you how to do something for yourself." How to do something for themselves is not the kind of prescription they are seeking. They want palliation--relief--and they will have it if they have to die to get it.

Certainly the sick person, desirous of recovering health, should not be unwilling to discontinue any and all habits and indulgences that are producing and perpetuating, even intensifying his weakness and suffering. Recovery of health should not be expected so long as the mode of life is such as to constantly impair it. How does the drunkard expect to sober up so long as he continues to drink? How does the sensualist expect to recover potency so long as excessive venery is permitted to drain the powers of life? So long as the causes of organic and functional impairment are operative, they will continue to produce their effects and no form of treatment will ever be devised that will cause it to be otherwise.

A correction of the habits of life, even if for only a time, results in a disappearance of symptoms; but to build vigorous health and restore a normal body and mind, to retrieve lost vigor and add years to life, the correction must take place before serious organic change has occurred in some or several of the vital organs of the body.

As before stressed, our care should be conservative of the whole organism. The undisputed object of all remedial care of the individual whose constitutional equilibrium has been disturbed or impaired is to conserve the interests of all the parts of the organism.

Depletion of nerve energy with the consequent toxemia is the grand fact of invalidism and restoration of nerve energy with purification of the blood stream is the grand fact of recovery. Rest, relaxation and sleep are the great representative restorative processes; work, activity and excitement are the great representative exhausting processes. Rest is the great need of the invalid. Rest is the restorer. Rather, rest is the normal condition under which the restorative process, which is intrinsic to life, is conducted at its highest efficiency.

Abstinence from every artificial strain is commanded by nature and all animals except man implicitly obey this command. Taking for our guide the necessities of the constitution, it will be obvious that the modes of treatment commonly resorted to ought to be reversed and that, instead of straining to the utmost the already weakened powers of the sick organism, our effort should be directed to securing for overworked and overtaxed organs that repose that is tired nature's sweet restorer. Functioning power is a fluctuating quantity, now abundant and again deficient. The vigor of morning differs materially from the exhaustion of the evening, the depression of invalidism from the strength of an athlete, the freshness of abounding health from the wasted energy of the feeble and emaciated. The fact that functioning vigor fluctuates from hour to hour and day to day proves that functioning power is manufactured on the one hand and expended on the other.