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Make the rest of your years

The Best Years in Life


Part 1 of 2


by Chris Beckett, special correspondent for The Best Years in Life

This article is dedicated to all health-truth seekers everywhere, in the hope that the knowledge within it will inspire you as it did me; a system of health recovery/maintenance based on natural law, which saved my life from Leukemia 30 years ago, just y as one day……….. it may also save yours !!

Early in the 19th Century a remarkable health discovery was made that tore away the mystery that surrounded disease, revolutionized the care of the sick, saved countless thousands from premature death (so prevalent in that period), and was the advent of a period of physiological enlightenment for both medical and laymen alike. This discovery, known as Natural Hygiene, and the pioneers who fought to bring its truths to light, constituted an incredible piece of American history that involved Statesmen and World famous figures. This article is just part of the absorbing story of the evolution of Natural Hygiene, the movement which was built around it, its struggle to gain acceptance for principles that were based on natural law and a rudimentary understanding of the amazing but glorious health potential it holds for humanity as a whole.
What is Natural Hygiene?

Natural Hygiene is defined as being the science and fine-art of preserving and restoring health by those substances, agencies, and influences that have a normal relation to life, which are: pure food, pure water, sunlight, rest, sleep, relaxation, exercise, play, warmth, family relationships, and all healthful mental influences. Hygiene is neither a system of medicine, nor one of the healing arts, nor a system of therapeutics.  It offers the client no cures, has no cures, denies all cures, does not pretend to cure; but, it permits nature or the body to heal itself. Viewed this way, Hygiene is not just fasting, or dieting, vegetarianism, food combining, or any one life- element of living, but a combination of all of life’s agencies in such manner and degree as Nature can use, to realize the maximum physical and mental healing potential of the body.
The Principles of Natural Hygiene.
The human body has basic physical, physiological, emotional and spiritual needs – about 19 have been identified - such as proper food, sunshine, rest, sleep, exercise, water, emotional poise, gregarious social gathering etc.  These needs have to be supplied at the appropriate time in the appropriate amounts for abundantly good health to be achieved. If this is fulfilled, the human body can manage and take care of itself, resulting in superb robust health. If these needs are supplied either in excess or as a deficiency, or if other alien substances are consumed by the body, sickness eventually becomes inevitable.
The human body is self-preserving, self-maintaining, and self-healing. All that is required from us is to remove the causes of the problem, rest (go to bed) and preferably stop eating (fast), since the body will use the energy saved from not having to digest food, for the incredibly powerful healing & cleansing processes of the body to be initiated.
Body processes are very complex. In most cases, any medical intervention only results in further problems and complications; so the most effective course of action is to just leave the body "intelligently alone" to handle its own problems. Only in certain life threatening cases, or in cases of accidents, trauma etc, is it possible to do something (via emergency, surgery etc) to help the body.
If we also listen to our body it gives us very clear signals as to what it needs and what it does not need. For example, tiredness means it needs sleep, hunger - food, thirst - water. A coughing fit after your first smoke indicates it does not want tobacco!! We have to heed the signals of the body at all times. Lack of, or no appetite is a clear signal from Nature that food is not required from outside, but internal feeding or “fasting” means that you will be feeding from your own food reserves while your body heals and cleanses. Man can live for only minutes without air, days without water, and weeks without food. Even the thinnest of individuals have a store of food reserves from which they can feed from in times of deprivation, disease and/or injury.
Natural Hygiene believes that adulterated Diet and improper living habits are the primary reason for sickness and disease, but by eating a diet high in natural, whole, raw organic foods (at least 50%, preferably 80-85%) we can avoid most illnesses. It is recommended that cooked food should be minimized and processed food avoided altogether.
Poison habits such as smoking, drinking, and drugs also need to be eliminated.
1822: Isaac Jennings, M.D. of Fairfield, Connecticut, having practiced medicine for 20 years and being thoroughly discouraged with the results, began to administer placebos of bread pills, starch powders, and colored water tonics to patients, while instructing them in healthful living.

1822 - 1832: Dr. Jennings and physiologist/minister Sylvester Graham started a healing system called "Orthopathy". During the following few decades, a group of health-conscious doctors and citizens boldly claimed that Nature knows better than the most learned physicians. Citizens of this country were fed-up with failures and contradictions of the then current medical practice and theory. The truths proclaimed by Jennings and Graham found immediate and widespread acceptance. After becoming fully convinced of the correctness of his "Let-Alone Plan," "Do-Nothing Cure," and the "No-Medicine Plan," Jennings announced his discovery to the world, but he is misunderstood. Because of his pioneering impact Jennings is credited with being "The Father of Natural Hygiene."

1830 - 1832: For several years Graham lectured nationwide on the relationship of physiology to Hygiene and gained a large following, especially among the common working people. In just a few years, he published "The Graham Journal of Health and Longevity"; established the Library of the American Physiologic Society; opened the nation's first health food stores, health book stores and health food restaurants; and founded numerous "Grahamite" health retreats and boarding houses.

1833: Dr. Russell Thacker Trall emerged as a great mastermind of Hygienic "Hygieo Therapy", which combined the use of all Hygienic agents into one holistic system. A brilliant thinker and articulate debater, Dr. Trall publicly challenged the entire medical establishment on their theory and practice, always emerging as the victor.

1844: Dr. Joel Shew introduced the European system of "Hydrotherapy" to the United States, a "curing treatment" which used little or no drugs while employing water as the main therapeutic agent. Hydropathists adopted the Hygieo-Therapy (Natural Hygiene) dietary and exercise plan, as well as its emphasis on fresh air and sunlight. American physicians who had lost faith in drugging but lacked belief in Hygiene adopted Hydrotherapy wholesale as both became intertwined and indistinguishable for several years.

1830 - 1860: Scores of Hygienic homes, schools and sanitariums opened throughout the country. Dr. Harriet Austin and James Jackson founded the largest Natural Hygiene institution in the world, "Our Home on the Hillside", with 250 beds. Seventy-five hydrotherapy (water-cure) institutions were founded. During this time, over 80 "health papers" effectively reached the masses which coincided with an improvement in the hygienic habits of Americans.

1852: Natural Hygiene was so enthusiastically received and popularized that its practitioners outnumbered those of allopathic, homeopathic and chiropractic medicine combined.

1853: Dr. Russell Trall founded the New York College of Hygieo-Therapy to educate competent health practitioners. This inaugurated a new era in medical science, theory, philosophy and practice that was in variance with prevailing allopathic doctrines of the time.

1861: Dr Trall, who had once been a practicing Hydropathist, announced a formal declaration separating Hydrotherapy from Hygieo-Therapeutics (Natural Hygiene) by stating "water possesses no power whatsoever to cure any disease. Nature is the remedial principle".

1862: Dr Trall delivered a landmark lecture at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. before the most distinguished medical minds of the United States entitled "The True Healing Art, or Hygiene vs. Medication". The lecture was widely published and circulated among the populace, and the health reform movement in America reached its height. Ironically, in 1861, with the onset of the Civil War, national attention focused on survival, and health reform ended.

1861 - 1865: The Civil War caused Hygienic institutions everywhere to close. The health reform movement was halted as the war impoverished the nation. Schools and sanitariums were wrecked and the common citizen could no longer afford Hygienic educational literature.

1864: French chemist Louis Pasteur fathered "The Science of Bacteriology" and "The Germ Theory of Disease" by demonstrating the existence of microorganisms. It concluded that "germs" cause pathogenic change in living cultures within laboratory experiments. With Pasteur, a new era in modem medicine was inaugurated, including sterilization, pasteurization, vaccination, and fear of raw foods. The prevailing "germ era" helped usher in the decline of 19th century health reform. Not only did people develop germ-phobia, but they also found complacency in blaming their ill health on malevolent invading bacteria, rather than taking responsibility for their own poor lifestyle choices.

1881: Clara Barton, student of Hygiene founds the American Red Cross and becomes its first president.

1900 - 1940: Dr. J. H. Tilden, after thoroughly reading 19th century Hygienic literature, became convinced that disease need not be experienced. Tilden conducted a private practice to teach patients how to eliminate body toxicity; he lectured widely; wrote 25 books; and widely circulated a monthly magazine both in this country and abroad.

1909 - 1910: The infamous Flexner Report ended health-care reform in the States, as alternative schools of healing were shutdown nationwide, under the influence of the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations.

1924-1940: Tilden opened and operated a Hygienic school and sanitarium in Denver, Colorado. In 1926, he published the famous book "Toxemia Explained", which identified the primary cause of ALL disease as toxemia (a state of internal pollution) brought on by debilitating, enervating, and unhealthful living practices. In the meantime, medical authorities strongly opposed and condemned Tilden.

1920: Dr. Herbert M. Shelton wrote the first of 40 books in his efforts to revive Natural Hygiene. Over the next 50 years, many of Dr. Shelton's books were translated into eight languages.

1928 - 1981: Dr. Shelton's Health School operated in San Antonio, Texas and included a clinic, laboratory, and educational program. Well over 60,000 fasts were professionally supervised. According to Shelton, "the sick get well, the well get better, and all gain the priceless knowledge needed to stay well". Throughout his career, Shelton was considered a threat to medicine. He is repeatedly threatened and jailed over 30 times!!

1948: The American Natural Hygiene Society was founded. Several chiropractors and laymen elected Shelton as its first president. Annual conventions were held, and 30 chapters worldwide are established, some of which are still active today. Current membership in the U.S., however, is below 10,000.

1939 - 1980: Shelton published the monthly magazine Hygienic Review popularizing and reviving Natural Hygiene worldwide for 20th century thinkers. From 1934 - 1941, Shelton also wrote and published the seven volume series entitled The Hygienic System, which became the basis for Hygienic study.

1970: At age 44, Terrance C. Fry read Shelton's book "Superior Nutrition" and became a hygienist overnight. Within a few years, he wrote and self-published several easy-to-read booklets and books popularizing Natural Hygiene, some of which were in contrast to Shelton's formidable text-books and manuals.

1982: T.C. Fry founded the Life Science Institute and published Healthful Living magazine with a circulation of 30,000. Fry also developed a Natural Hygiene teacher training course, a 2200 page, 111 lesson home study curriculum. The Life Science Institute also produced audio and video cassettes on Natural Hygiene and offered retreats and seminars to students and to the general public.

1986-1988: Harvey and Marilyn Diamond, after years of counseling, teaching and study with Life Science Institute, wrote “Fit For Life”, the best-selling health and diet book in history. A second book “Living Health” followed. Warner Brothers published and provided extensive national coverage through media and conferences, which popularized Natural Hygiene for millions of Americans.

1990's: Many Hygienic organizations and practitioners continued operating educational programs, retreats, sanitariums, and private practices, although relatively few were directed by those with "recognized" credentials.

1995 - 1997: Art Baker serving as Dean of Students of Life Science Institute enrolled nearly 1,000 students into the Natural Hygiene correspondence program before the company veered from its Natural Hygiene roots and focused on digestive enzyme supplements, as it was sold off to a group in Canada.

1996: Inspired by T. C. Fry's Healthful Living, David Klein published the first issue of Living Nutrition Magazine, "The True Voice of Hygiene."

1999: Healthful Living International (HLI) is founded by a dynamic group of pure Natural Hygiene educators and practitioners (Healthful Living Consultants) whose mission was to incorporate knowledge of total wellness of body, mind and spirit into teaching pure true Natural Hygiene. The Healthful Living Consultants were the first international professional association of Natural Hygiene practitioners that included licensed doctors and professional health educators and counselors.

Differences between Natural Hygiene and Alternative Medicine
Natural Hygiene stands unique amongst all other therapies and healing sciences in that it alone insists that there is no such thing as cure - only self-healing. All other therapies try to deal with the symptoms using this therapy or that. Herbs, Magnets, Needles, lotions, potions, light, heat, mud etc.  In Natural Hygiene there is no therapy, no treatment. Natural hygiene does not try to treat symptoms - it is the ONLY system that insists on discovering the cause of the disease and eliminating that cause.
Natural Hygiene and Naturopathy
Although these terms are used interchangeably, there is a World of difference between them. "Pathy" means "disease". Naturopathy means using natural ways to deal with disease.  This includes a proper diet, massage and mud baths, water baths etc.   Pure Natural Hygiene does not recognize all these treatments - only adjusting the diet, sunbaths and air baths are recognized.
In part two of this article (coming soon) discover the amazing and only system of health recovery employed by Nature that saved my life through FASTING and what it can also do for you too.

For part two, click here.

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