Hygiene has changed all this. In Hygiene, the first step towards restoring the body to health is enlightenment of the sick. The best foundation for a belief in Hygiene is a thorough knowledge of physiology and the causes of disease. We have no mystery except the great mystery of life. When we have explained the human constitution and its relations to external nature, our work is done; when this explanation is understood, our convert is made. People's attention is attracted by recoveries under Hygienic care, but it is only by an understanding of principles that they are converted-hence the necessity for a multiplication of books and the promotion of Hygienic journals, hence also the duty of all who can write or speak to use pen or tongue in this most worthy cause.
The aim of the physiological system of Hygiene infinitely transcends that of medicine; it proceeds from a knowledge of the reason and nature of things, and is scientific; the other can establish no connection between the disease and the drug that is applied to it, and is empirical. Hygiene depends for its success upon the intelligence of those who adopt it; medicine depends on the faith that is ever a concomitant of ignorance.
The Hygienist must educate his patient. To control the captiousness and ignorant whims of the sick requires much tact, but little deceit; it is generally best to supply knowledge in these matters, to supplant incorrect notions, as fast as it can be received. Knowledge is the only true corrective of ever-recurring vital mistakes. The laws of life, so intimately connected with our wellbeing and happiness, should not be conjectural or of ambiguous significance. They are carved on a page as broad as the face of nature and are exemplified in all that breathes. Every patient should have a full knowledge of them.
The modern Hygienic movement, or so it seems to the author, is the result of real progress in knowledge. The most thorough Hygienic converts we know are the most intelligent. Indeed, up to this time, there are few others. A man can believe in Hygiene just as far as he understands its principles, but his belief in the common practices of medicine or the use of drugs in any way is just in proportion to his lack of understanding. In all this Hygiene is peculiar. Other systems have their books and journals, but they are for the profession alone and cannot be understood by the uninitiated. For thousands of years the sick world has trusted practitioners to cure it and the result has been an increase of diseases and a more premature and frightful mortality.
13. Under the prevailing system of medicine, as in past systems, it is sought to restore health by the use of those things which destroy health; invigoration is hoped for through processes that exhaust, and it is sought to develop the powers of the body by defying nature--hence it is that the plans in vogue are by their very terms and nature empirical and not scientific. The plan of Natural Hygiene, on the other hand, is nature's own plan and method and is, therefore, the scientific one.
The Hygienist employs no agents that are in their very nature destructive of the welfare of the animal economy, which is always the case with drugs in whatever amounts given or in whatever dose employed. It has long been lamented by physicians that, in the administration of their remedies, they cannot count on universal results. They claim that the most inexplicable peculiarities and individualities interpose themselves so that their supposedly salutary remedies become pernicious. Drugs (poisons), instead of assisting the body in its restorative work, check the healing processes of nature and deaden and stifle disease instead of restoring health. Often they change acute infections, which left to their own courses would result in health, to chronic and irremediable diseases. In Hygiene there is no patching up, but a thorough renovation, both of the individual organism and of the ways of life of the individual. In Hygiene there is no tampering with evils. They are all rejected and only beneficial agencies are invoked. "We neither bleed nor madden, nor stupefy, nor intoxicate--in a word, we do not poison." We restore the vital functions to their natural harmony and their highest vigor by the employment of physiological requirements.
14. The medical man finds a sick body filled with toxic debris and he proceeds to add the equally potent poisons of his materia medica in the vague hope that somehow one poison will expel the other, then get rid of itself. In such a case, the Hygienist calls to his aid the elements of health. Every drug, every potent article of the materia medica, is a poison and, as such, in large or small doses, exerts a deceiving influence upon the system. Of this there is no question--it is on all sides admitted--and the whole practice of drug medication is confessedly a choice between evils. It professes to cure a greater evil by producing a lesser; but in practice, too often, this rule is reversed, for one evil is added to another.
In medical practice, when one drug is given to act upon a disease, another is given to counteract the effects of the first and so on, until the patient, feeble and exhausted from the actions and reactions due to a whole series of poisons, is left at last with just the breath of life remaining, to get well by the operation of what vital power medication has spared him.
Health, once established by Hygienic care, is maintained by it ever after. It is rare that a Hygienic family ever requires the services of a Hygienist a second time. Hygiene threatens, in this way, to destroy all so-called medical practice. Mothers learn, not only to care for the diseases of their families, but what is more important, to keep the family in health. The only way that a Hygienist can live is by constantly getting new clients, as the old ones are too thoroughly restored and too well informed to require further services.
15. The Hygienist cares for a sick person very much in the same way that he would a well one, whom he desired to keep well. The homeopath treats him just as he would if he were well and he desired to make him sick. The allopath loses sight of the man altogether, making use of him only as a medium through which to fight a myth he calls disease--which myth no man has seen and the allopath can tell neither from whence it comes nor whither it goes, when its action is present (if present it be) nor give any description of it further than its name, disease. In the melee, if the man escapes, it is well for him; if he dies, the death is charged to the disease, not to the physician.
Under the plan of care prevailing at the origin of the Hygienic System, sufferer after sufferer lingered and was dosed, bled and blistered, but died. In such cases, it was assumed that, all having been done to save them that could be done, their "time had come." God had so decreed and, of course, it was best that they go. What logic! What worse than ludicrous muddle! Concurrent events in the one class of cases are accepted as causes and effects; in the other, an imaginary decree is conjured up to relieve the shameful failure, not to say drug murder. Strange, is it not, that nobody ever thought to credit recovery to the fact that the "patient's time" had not come--God had not decreed his death?