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Almost all of us have been guilty at some time in our lives, of indulging in the above habit, but most of us do realise that living beyond our means in an economical sense, means economical ruin and bankruptcy. Most of us do realise that it is a mug's game; that by winning on the roundabout, we are sure to lose on the swings, so we try to live within our means to the best of our ability. Economic thrift in the past has been one of the secrets of many people who have reached the top financially and otherwise: many a millionaire would attest to this.|
Husbanding one's resources is a sure sign of good investment. But how many of us fail to realise that what is true of economical strength is also true of bodily and mental wellbeing.
Many a newcomer to natural living fails because they have failed to learn the primary lesson of conserving their assets. Almost every moment of living we are consuming nervous energy. All our voluntary and involuntary actions involve a certain expenditure of energy. Efficient use of a machine consumes less energy than inefficient use, therefore, less is wasted.
This wastage of energy is responsible for slowly but surely unwinding the mechanism, the process of living, and gradually leads to ageing and death.
The importance of healthy living depends to a great extent on the efficient use of this energy, this 'elan' vital, the life force.
In Natural Hygiene, the primary importance is to teach the person the wise use and conservation of this vital force. Budgeting and book-keeping are just as vitally important in this sphere of our lives as in the financial strata.
An ill person is more in need of such counselling and a good Natural Hygiene practitioner is like a good accountant pinpointing the pitfalls that are likely to occur to those who do not know how to budget their day to day expenditure.
In order to preserve the integrity of the whole system, the body has ways and means of counteracting the abuses piled upon it, e.g. when you overeat, your body has either to get rid of the excess, or store it within itself. The effort of throwing it out by diarrhoea, or vomiting, consumes and wastes precious energy. The result is a gradual depletion of the essential enzymes, so very essential to digestion, and chronic trouble. Storing it as fat means encumbrance and inefficient use of the body's machinery.
The importance of the endocrine system has not been stressed as much in Natural Hygiene literature as it merits. The endocrine system, i.e., the various internal glands of secretion, are another valuable line of defence that the body has, to counteract abuses. The endocrine glands are called into action to aid in eliminating toxic poisons from the system, i.e., the metabolic wastes due to the normal wear and tear of the body and those due to excess food, improper food, foodless foods and actual poisons and chemicals consumed by civilised society as a whole.
The food eaten today is about as far removed from the natural diet of man, as man is from his primitive jungle. Man, however, still has approximately the same digestive apparatus and liver as his remote ancestors. If he lives on wholesome, natural foods, his liver remains efficient; if he fills his stomach with hamburgers, fish and chips, tea, coffee, alcohol, etc., his outraged liver cannot do its work. It soon gets exhausted.
Whether his liver breaks down earlier or later, depends upon how good the organ was at birth and to what extent he has exhausted his nervous energy. But break down it will, and when the liver fails to filter and neutralise toxins from the blood, an extra line of defence must come into play. This defence is carried on by the endocrine glands which try to direct these toxins into other eliminative organs. The main endocrine glands called upon for this effort are the pituitary, the thyroid and the adrenals. The glands of internal secretion then are pressed into hyper function and forced to manufacture more of their secretion. Since, however, the amount of a gland's secretion is in exact ratio to the volume of blood entering it, the gland is enlarged by this extra blood supply, which often can have disastrous physical consequences.
Hormones, the secretion of the above mentioned glands, even in extremely tiny amounts are unbelievably potent; they direct and regulate much of the subtle biochemistry of life.
According to Dr. Henry G. Bieler, MD., the path of the eliminated toxins will depend largely upon the comparative and potential strength of the endocrine glands, e.g., should the thyroid be the strongest, we would expect the vicarious elimination to take place through the skin, either through the outside skin (the hide), the inside skin (mucous membranes), or the middle skin (serous membranes).
Should the adrenals predominate, vicarious elimination may occur through the bowels or the kidneys, or the toxic materials virtually could be burned up by hyper-oxidation in the liver, effected by adrenal action, often giving rise to elevated body temperature or fever.
It must be pointed out that too frequent use of the same paths of vicarious elimination will lead to atrophy and degeneration of any path of elimination as well as a gradual wearing down of the strength of the glands themselves.
Although disease, especially acute disease, is a life-saving process, it is also a life consuming process. Frequent stimulation leads to exhaustion leading to further enervation of the whole system.
When man does not overstep nature's limits regarding harmful diet and emotional indulgences; when he does not deplete his nerve energy by late nights, overwork, worry, excess sexual indulgences or by constant stimulation in the form of chemical, thermal or physical goals, the balance of the life force is maintained and with it good health.
Under such utopian conditions, it is conceivable that disease would be an impossibility. In other words, living within your means, the individual, under the above circumstances, would be immune to disease.
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