We demand the employment of the normal means of preserving life and of unfolding the physiological capacities of man. The great question with the reader is simply this: will these means of Hygiene recuperate our wasted energies, restore their normal actions to our wasted organs, enable our body to heal itself and make of us men and women again? You cannot understand how such simple means as air and light, water and food, activity and rest and sleep can be so effective in restoring you to health. You think that you require something more potent, something more complex, something more mysterious, something that exercises a more particular influence upon your disease, if you are to again become well.

But, if you will reflect a minute, you will realize that these "simple" means are the regular and, so far as is known, the only sources of organic substance and functional energy. They are the very stuff of life itself. If they cannot provide you with the means of recuperation and reconstruction, what is there that can? Besides, what is so simple about them? You call them simple only because you are so familiar, in a superficial sort of way, with them. But is air more simple than aspirin; is sunshine more simple than penicillin; is food more simple than cortisone?

If, as we contend, disease is remedial effort, the legitimate work of those who care for the sick is that of supplying the conditions that assure the success of the remedial work. A knowledge of the vital laws will teach people that the first need in the care of the sick is the removal of the causes of disease and not the suppression of vital processes that are designed to restore health. These two processes, that of removing cause and that of supplying the conditions of health, constitute Hygienic care. It is Hygienic because it uses in its management of the sick only those things which have a normal relation to the living structures. Except for surgical purposes, it has no use for any other agents in the care of the sick. Listing Hygienic agencies in January 1874, Trall included mechanical and surgical appliances, although it must be admitted that these are not truly Hygienic.

There is a great rage today for specialty, as if there were great virtue in them--in themselves considered. This we regard as a serious mistake. The special, to be good for anything, must be born of correlations and dependent on the general. Special means, in the treatment of the sick, must, in the very nature of things, grow out of their conformity to general means. As, for example, the general principle on which the health of the human organism is to be preserved is that "agents," "instruments," "means," "influences" or "forces"--if you prefer these to other terms which are used--whose ordinary operations are to build up each organism (and only such means are to be used) shall be used so that they shall form a combination, thus greatly increasing their usefulness. These forces, if we may use this term, are air, water, food, light, warmth, rest, activity, cleanliness and wholesome mental influences. Each of these is good, but each is better in combination with the rest. The larger the combination the stronger the influence for good.

Suppose we have a patient in whom a specialty is needed. What shall it be? Most manifestly, something or some appliance which in ordinary conditions of the body can be used for its benefit. A specialty, therefore, consists in using under particular conditions of the organism, in a particular or special manner, something or some substance which in ordinary conditions the body will or may use in an ordinary way and this is the limit of the use of specialties. Beyond it no doctor can go, without entering the boundaries of empiricism. No matter how learned he may be or profound his intelligence, no matter how philosophical or skillful--the instant he passes this line he becomes a charlatan. Diplomas may grace the walls of his office; professorships may seek him--he is all the more censurable the more he traverses the territory of the uncertain. All that sphere is uncertain wherein, passing out of and from under the authority of those great general laws which govern the operations of life, the doctor undertakes to find his specialties in "things," "means," "substances," and "remedies," which bear no general healthful relation, but, on the other hand, do bear a general unhealthful relation to the organism.

Hygiene is not a desperate remedy to be resorted to only in emergencies, but a very agreeable and effective plan of care that should be resorted to at the outset of trouble. Now, what does Hygiene propose to do? It is not a system of curing. It is not a substitute for the biological processes of healing. It proposes to remove man from the false conditions in which he lives and teach him to live in obedience to the laws of his being. In other words, the cause of disease must be removed and, having done this, there is power within the organism to do the rest. The weak patient may be encouraged as well as guided; he may even be scolded. But, he requires no treatment. A gentle lift with Hygienic means, no violent kicks with drugs, constitute all the assistance nature can make use of.

Hygiene embraces and seeks to embrace truths in nature and their application, so as to embody a correct science, applicable to the preservation and restoration of human health. It relies upon no favorable accident to result from manuvering the body with foreign matters. It turns physiology to account in the care of the sick and is exultant at the range of means open to it from this source, competent to secure the highest physiological good. If the teachings of Hygiene seem somewhat incredible at first, despite the apparent soundness of its principles, this is only because we have been so strongly conditioned from early infancy to think in terms of cure and curing. Necessarily, then, Hygiene must be superior to all the other modes of care, inasmuch as all its force, when intelligently applied, works harmoniously with the forces of the organism, while drugs work destructively. There is no magic nor miraculousness in Hygiene. Its mightiness lies in its naturalness; the wonders it accomplishes lie in its simplicity. It is not enough to demonstrate by reason the superiority and all-sufficiency of Hygiene in all remediable conditions. Disease is always more or less uncertain and so it is impossible to be certain when the disease has been obscured by the deleterious effects and influences of drugs. Hygiene has scarcely a fair play after drugs have been used. Hygiene gives rise to none of those maladies that are denominated iatrogenic diseases. Disease, when no drugs are used, seldom leaves behind any sequelae. May we not infer from this that a plan of care which is consonant with and founded in a knowledge of physiology should be innocent?