The accumulation of functioning power is a fact to be accomplished with the same certainty that pertains to the storage of electricity in a storage battery. Functioning power can be accumulated--stored up--in the organism until it is brim full and running over, making for the individual an abounding holiday of joyous possibility.

The great error of the drugging systems is that their practitioners mistake stimulation for strength, when they are in reality the opposite of each other. We can stimulate a sick person and make him feel better and stronger temporarily, but he is inevitably being weakened daily. As a consequence of such methods, it is the almost universal fact of invalidism that patients are always getting well, but never get well. Why will not somebody tell us how stimulation sustains the flagging powers? It seems to us that the advocates of stimulation ought to do it. We affirm that all stimulation of an organ results in a waste, not in an addition of strength. Why cannot somebody tell the world how, by a substance that does not add to any tissues, strength can be added to the body?

No abnormal process can produce normal results; one may not derive good from evil. The apparent improvement resulting from the employment of forcing measures cannot be permanent. A temporary increase of action may be occasioned in any organ by exciting or stimulating it, but the action cannot be sustained for want of ability in the stimulated organ. It is the law of nature that only as much functioning power can be put forth by an organ or organism as it possesses. If under stimulation we obtain extra action today, a correspondingly reduced action must follow tomorrow as the organ or organism becomes exhausted, function fails and an organ falls as much below its usual activity when a stimulant has been withdrawn as it was raised above by the stimulant.

There is no means in nature by which the sum-total of action of an organ or set of organs can be increased, except by the development of power in the organ through the process of nutrition. This is the means by which functioning power is developed and it is by this power that work is performed. If, instead of seeking to improve nutrition and restore health and vigor by feeding and stimulating, we would commence where life begins and restore the first functions of life by processes which are obviously correct, we would obtain better results.

Intensity of effort or action, as occasioned by tonics or stimulants, can never take the place of real functioning power. Indeed, the greatest sufferings of the invalid are due to intensity of action, to that nervous, strained effort to perform life's functions which tonics and stimulants greatly aggravate, if they did not at first produce. Intensity is always in inverse ratio to volume, as observed in increased frequency of pulse, increased activity of nerves and general restlessness when the functioning power of the organism has been reduced from any cause--intensity thus seeking to compensate for loss of capacity. But restoration, therefore, must come through a recuperation of real functioning power and not through fictitious or apparent strength, for it is real and not apparent power that restores health. We can stimulate and deceive ourselves, our physician, our friends, as to our strength; but we cannot deceive the vital instincts. The work done in any case will be in exact ratio to the power used, not in ratio to waste through stimulation.

It is from sickness--debility--and depression of power, due to overwork, bad habits, improper eating and drinking that there has been failure in the performance of the vital functions, which failure can be obviated only by a restoration of functioning power. It will not appear strange to anyone acquainted with the recuperative and reconstructive powers of the living body that, when one ceases to do that which occasions abnormal actions and damages structures, one will automatically and spontaneously grow better, always providing that no irreversible condition has evolved.

What is wrong with our people? They rarely secure adequate rest and sleep and when they have brought themselves to the verge of vital bankruptcy by their enervating ways of life, it is as difficult to get them to take enough rest for full recuperation as it is to wean them from their tobacco and coffee. Put them to bed for a rest and they want to get up and become active by the time they have had half enough rest. Give them a physiological rest and they want to break the fast and return to overeating before the fast is half accomplished. Teach them to eat in moderation and they will not follow this plan of eating for very long, but hasten back to gluttonous indulgence. Teach them to take a few minutes of daily exercise and they will keep it up for a few days or a few weeks and settle back into the plush bottom of a rocking chair and vegetate. They will discontinue tobacco long enough to get relief from their worst symptoms and are then in a hurry to return to smoking.

To arise from a sleep as sound as that of childhood, to rush joyously into the fresh air and sunshine of early morning, to enjoy again the songs of the birds and the sights of nature with a sense of unwonted strength in every limb, to experience the cheerfulness, exhiliration and consciousness of returning health and strength, the invalid must be willing to abandon all disease-inducing habits and cultivate a way of life that is in harmony with the needs of life. Often this cultivation of a new way of life is best achieved away from old haunts and old associates and it is here that the Hygienic institution serves us best.

For the sick man at a Hygienic retreat, the whole life is one remedy--the hours, the rest, the new habits, the discipline, while not incompatible with gaiety, cheerfulness and high spirits, tend to train the body in the highest state of health of which it remains possible. The mental calm, physical relaxation and repose of the passions during early stages of the new life and the rest of the intellect are transmuted into a soothing rest that permits recuperation. Let us re-emphasize that in adopting the Hygienic System, one's whole way of life is the remedy.

One thing that strikes the visitor at a Hygienic institution is the extraordinary ease with which, under Hygienic management, wholesome habits are acquired and unwholesome habits relinquished. For example, we do not witness the difficulties with which stimulants are abandoned under medical care. People accustomed to half a century of coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol, salt, pepper, etc., after two to four days, cease to feel the "want" of them. Others who have grown so accustomed to taking drugs that they think they cannot live without them, leave them off with the greatest of ease. Even the mis-called "withdrawal symptoms" are much milder under Hygienic management than under conventional care. The safety of the Hygienic System is the most striking thing about it. Its power of replacing by wholesome substances, the disease-inducing ones, which it withdraws, is especially great.

It is as much to the regular life which the guests of Hygienic institutions lead, as to the fast, that they owe their remarkable improvements in health. Almost everybody, and invalids in particular, knows, perhaps, how difficult it is under ordinary circumstances to change their established habits from unwholesome to wholesome. The early rising, the walks before breakfast, so delicious in the feelings of freshness and vigor which accompany them, the regular periods of rest, the quiet and repose, the wholesome food and congenial surroundings, all contribute and share in making the change of life easy.

Most important in the series of needs of the sick organism, which we have stressed, is the preservation of organic structure. The second is to economize the expenditure of functional power. The third is that of supplying the body with adequacies of all the primordial requisites of organic existence.

We have traced all disease primarily to violations of the laws of life and, secondarily, to the self-poisoning that grows out of these violations. What is needed is a plan or mode of elimination much more compatible with physiology than those proposed by the so-called schools of healing. Fasting meets this requirement and will be discussed more fully in a subsequent chapter.

If health, as Hygienists insist, consists in man conforming to certain conditions of organic existence and disease rests upon his failure to conform with these conditions (if disease is but the struggle of an impaired organism to relieve itself of the effects of certain acts and unfavorable conditions), what remedy for sickness can be so potent as a faithful return to those conditions and patterns of behavior, remaining in which would have preserved him in health? Does it not appeal to the intelligence of the reader that in proportion as the sick organism is arranged normally to those conditions the normal effects of which promote health, will the patient recover health?

Let the sick man keep in mind, then, that to recover health, he is not called upon to suffer the performance of some mysterious operation of some exotic and adventitious, possibly rare, substance, nor, to sacrifice some essential part of his organic constitution, but only to understand well the elemental conditions of his being so that he may reorder his life to accord with its obvious requirements. The administration of specifics while the causes of organic and systemic impairment are neglected is stupid. Whoever hopes to secure the natural vigor of his organism or to realize the rich joys and blessings of uninterrupted health by means of the employment of poisons and disorganizing elements is destined to be disappointed.

All of 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 comprehends, not only a regulation of the diet, but a synthesis and coordination of all the factor-elements of normal living--drinking, breathing, sunning, clothing, exercising, resting, sleeping, emoting, temperature, etc.

In a broad sense it may be said that supplying the conditions of health involves also the removal of all causes of disease on the one hand and the recuperation of energy and the elimination of toxin on the other, thus making the four elements of successful care of the sick, as already outlined, to be included in one comprehensive thought of supplying the conditions for health, which thus becomes the equivalent of the means of restoring health.

If we supply the conditions for either mechanical or chemical action, we get it with unvarying certainty; what reason is there to doubt corresponding certainty in vital operations? Surely human life can be no more the subject of chance than the explosion of gun powder, the manufacture of alcohol or the operation of a steam engine. The one supreme duty of the Hygienist, therefore, is to supply, comprehensively, the conditions for health and permit the living organism to work out its own salvation.