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Can Natural Hygiene give some practical guidelines to maintain and preserve good health? What are the guidelines in cases of illness?

Many people are able to recognise the signs of ill health within them. We have been conditioned to look for signs of ill health rather than health.

People are so used to seeing their symptoms vanish with the prick of a needle, that they also expect instantaneous relief when they embark on a Hygienic way of life. They forget that the speedy relief they had was only temporary.

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.

Toxaemia and toxins are words commonly used in the Natural Hygiene field but many people are still in ignorance of what they are and what they imply.

Not many people have the time to undertake a fast. For those who want to detoxify themselves the following practical suggestions will go a long way in helping them to detoxify.

Many people make the mistake of choosing a fragment and building a total way of life around it. Vegetarianism is one of them.

The Hygienic practitioner's first duty is to make the person with depression realise that it is within his or her own power to get well, without resort to drugs

Many people have no idea that the modern day "Health Food Store" has very little in common with the one opened 50 years ago.

What is the natural diet of man? - How much, when, how to eat? - Speaking of food as "medicine" is to transfer to food all the misconceptions about drugs.

In the past Dr Shelton was chastised by Hygienists for his strong language in criticising the medical profession - modern day Hygienists are still sitting on the fence.

Ill health is so prevalent that doctors are beset with a mass of people who are seeking relief from their aches and pains and their disabilities.

Many Natural Hygiene adherents would probably be greatly surprised to learn that there is undoubted evidence that Natural Hygiene ideas are gradually being purloined ...
  Many Natural Hygiene adherents would probably be greatly surprised to learn that there is undoubted evidence that Natural Hygiene ideas are gradually being purloined by certain members of the medical profession and other so-called practitioners of "holistic medicine", both in private practice and in hospitals.

I have myself received information from various sources, which makes the truth of this statement increasingly evident, and although it is flattering to know that our ideas and views are being tacitly accepted by members of the medical and nonmedical profession, it must at the same time be accepted and admitted that the take over of Natural Hygiene and Nature-cure ideas is being effected without any credit being given for the pioneering work which has been done by members of the Nature-cure profession.
Indeed the appropriation is being accomplished in such a way that there are good grounds for asserting that Natural Hygiene is being purloined surreptitiously and that Nature-cure ideas are really being stolen from us.


This may seem a rather dog in the manger policy on my part, but my reason for saying it is twofold:
first no one is given the slightest reason to suspect that the use of the ideas in question constitutes the adoption of principles of healing which have their origin outside the ranks of orthodox medicine;
secondly the ideas are being used in what may be called a stealthy and even underhand manner, as though the doctors and holistic medicine practitioners, who are using them, are afraid to admit even to themselves that they come from unorthodox sources, which are still an anathema to the general body of orthodox medical opinion and Simon Pure osteopaths, chiropractors and others.

Thus on the one hand Nature-cure and Natural Hygiene is anathematised by the medical profession in its public relations, whilst, on the other Nature-cure ideas and usage are being quietly purloined for medical use.


It is something which Dr. Herbert Shelton, Dr. James C. Thomson and I have anticipated. I have always held the opinion that Nature-cure practices would be taken over increasingly by the medical in as time goes on, without Natural Hygiene itself being given the credit, and so I am not in the least surprised at the present The British Medical Holistic Foundation (founded in 1983) is a case in point. Their brochure, which was sent to me recently, endorses a great many ideas which have been in practice by Natural Hygiene professionals for over 100 years.

In none of their literature, I have seen so far, has any credit been given to the pioneers of Natural Hygiene and Nature-cure in U.S.A. or Britain.

Let us take a few ideas. A great deal is being said about modern day Western diet and 'junk food", the use of salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates being bad for you. Two doctors made themselves world famous by denouncing them. One was Surgeon Cleave of the Royal Navy and author of the famous book "The Saccharine Disease'. Another, corroborating Cleave's work and whose statistical findings on the value of high fibre in the diet made him known as the "High Fibre Doctor", was another surgeon, Dr. Denis Burkitt.

I applaud their work and their honesty in denouncing the modern day Western diet, but nowhere in their entire writings did credence to the pioneering work of Sylvester Graham, Thacker Trall, Jackson, Tilden, Shelton or James Thomson, who preceded them by 20, 30 and even 100 years.

Natural Hygiene and Nature-cure pioneers have always insisted that man's natural diet and the optimum nutrition could be obtained from a vegetarian diet composed of fresh fruits, vegetables (green and root), unrefined whole grains, nuts and seeds and a minimum of dairy products.

I have myself advocated this diet to my fellow men since 1945, and yet these medical men had not the temerity to acknowledge their debt to Nature-cure principles and practices. They and others of their profession make it seem to the public that they were the originators of such ideas and it was their discovery.

Recently (November/December 1985) Dr. Peter Mansfield said on Pebble Mill, B.B.C.1 program that, "Fever is a good thing and to try to bring down a temperature by artificial means (drugs, icepacks, etc.) is harmful." That is an out and out Nature-cure precept, albeit an unorthodox idea, but he flaunted it as if medicine has suddenly realised this great discovery.

Even in osteopathic schools of Simon Pure osteopaths, they are now being taught to pay more attention to posture, usage of the body mechanism, the vulnerability of discs to degeneration due to bad nutrition, smoking and waterlogged tissues. Soft tissue work on muscles and joints is now being taught in chiropractic and osteopathic colleges. Thirty-forty years ago only those colleges with a Nature-cure background emphasised these points, yet today Nature-cure is being wheedled out of the real credit.
The value of fresh air, sunshine, exercises, mental and emotional poise, and psychological counselling were all in the curriculum of Natural Hygiene colleges and Nature-cure colleges.

Today the modern day average practitioner of Holistic medicine neglects these criteria for maintaining good health, and resorts to herbs, flowers and their essences, needling, various aromatic oils, tissue salts, etc., to get the patient quickly to dismiss their symptoms.
of course, while doctors continue to believe that drugs and medicines can "cure" diseases, whatever use they may make of Nature-cure ideas and principles, they will achieve no really worthwhile results, in the long run, because one cannot practice Nature-cure and drug therapy at one and the same time. Nevertheless, the trend in question is significant, for all that.

This criticism does not apply, of course, to those doctors who, even though they have qualified as medical practitioners, have given up their orthodox views in order to practise Natural Hygiene. The number of these practitioners is increasing quietly and steadily each year. I have nothing but praise for practitioners of this kind. As vice president of the International Association of Professional Natural Hygienists (Ed. Note: now IAHP) , I am glad to welcome the few who are clamouring to join the Association or who have already done so. At the present moment a doctor from France, two doctors from Italy and one from Spain have written to me that they are tired of being pill peddlers and drug pushers and want a more positive approach to health.

I am reproducing here extracts of a letter, which I received recently from a student in an osteopathic college, which speaks for itself:

Dear Mr. Sidhwa,
I am writing partly on behalf of my classmates at the College of Osteopaths, and also off my own bat, so to speak, in the hope that you may be able to help us locate one of Dr. Shelton's more obscure works, namely, Syphilis, The Werewolf Of Medicine.

Our Dean, Joseph Goodman, has told us to read this book along with, Fasting Can Save Your Life, and none of us has been able to obtain a copy for love nor money.
As a member of the BNHS, I immediately - thought of contacting you regarding the possibility of ordering this elusive work. I wonder if you are able to help us. If so, I shall be very surprised as the book in question seems to be long out of print. If not, then I am still grateful to receive my copies of "The Hygienist" which inspire me far more than a stack of the popular health "glossies" ever could.

My brief acquaintance with Natural Hygiene is beginning to me think quite radically about the so-called "holistic" health movement, especially since the recent explosion in "alternative medicine" has occurred.
I wish you good health and success for many years to come.

Yours sincerely,

Does the BNHS ever organise training programmes/seminars Hygiene? Surely these would be a 1st class complement to of osteopathy?
Is Natural Hygiene not an implicit part of classical Osteopathy, which seems to be so little stressed these days?
I would like to discover more of such matters. G.B.

What I am criticising is the practice of certain doctors and the A.M.A. and the B.M.A., who have learnt something about Nature-Cure Food reform and who use these ideas in ordinary medical work without disclosing to their patients that the treatment they are them to adopt has any unorthodox origin. The patient is led to assume that what he is being advised to do is "the latest thing" in medical science and that it is entirely the outcome of the work of medical scientists.

Take the example of severe burns, Nature-cure people have treated burns by immersing the person in a cold water bath or cold water compresses, and fasting or fruit diet. The medical profession has now been giving similar advice together with skin grafting for several years, without giving credit to Nature-cure.

Food combining is another field. Lately the medical profession has begun to admit and advise people with severe gastric and intestinal problems to use a mono-diet or simple meals. One of the medical doctors, Dr. Wm. Howard Hay, adopted this Hygienic modality so successfully that people thought of Food combining as the Dr. Hay's diet. No mention was made that Dr. Hay took this idea from the Hygienist pioneers of that era.

Take the whole field of modern physiotherapy. Dr. Felix Oswald, an old time Hygienist, and others insisted that corrective exercises and good posture are of vital importance in joint and muscle injuries. But was there any credit given to him or other Hygienic pioneers?

The words "vitamins" and "minerals" are bandied about quite freely nowadays, but long before the two words were coined, the old Hygienists advocated raw food and conservative cooking in order not to eliminate the "vital essence" of food. They were miles ahead of their time.

These are but a few illustrations of the trend of events to which I have been referring. Such examples could be repeated over and over again, showing conclusively that Nature-cure ideas and usage are being quietly taken over and used by the medical profession and others on a steadily increasing scale.

If Natural Hygiene were given credit for what is being done, I and the Natural Hygiene movement would be delighted of course. It would provide confirmation from medical sources of the correctness of our ideas. But naturally, no such confirmation is forthcoming, because official medical policy and other vested interests, requires the public to be kept as ignorant as possible about Natural Hygiene, whilst medical science is lauded to the skies.

Under such circumstances I cannot be blamed if I assert that Nature-cure ideas are being stolen, for there seems to be no other conclusion to which we can come after studying the evidence.
Even journalists (and I have one or two particularly in mind) write articles on Health and Beauty in glossy magazines, etc., are prone to write about nature ideas mentioning only those who have medical qualifications, and totally ignoring that these medical pioneers took their philosophy from unorthodox sources of Natural Hygiene and Nature-cure.

Just one example, a Russian medical doctor, Dr. Yuri Nikolayev became famous for fasting his patients for three to four weeks in order to help them to recover from schizophrenia (a mental disorder) and then put them on Hygienic food to maintain their recovery. Dr. Yuri has publicly mentioned that he learned all about fasting and Natural Hygiene from Dr. Shelton's writings and gave him credit, but the press, including some naturopaths, went on giving Russian doctor the accolade which rightly belonged to Dr. Shelton.

The same with Dr. Bircher-Benner of Switzerland, famous for muesli. He got his ideas of eating raw food from Hygienic sources, but the Hygienic sources were never mentioned.

The press and journalists who write on such matters have this view that a person with a medical qualification is the only one to quote to give kudos to their authenticity rather than mention an unorthodox Natural Hygiene practitioner. It is time they stop doing this and give credit where it is rightly due.
The same holds for fasting and typhoid cases. Nature-cure advocated fasts in this severe condition, on purified water. In hospitals years ago they did fast typhoid patients and they made excellent recoveries, but the doctors never gave thought to the fact that all fevers should be fasted.

The doctors concerned and the followers of holistic medicine unfortunately seem to think that they can do both things, i.e. give Nature-cure advice and hand out bottles of dope at the same time, but it is this mentality which will destroy Nature-cure. Some of my modern Naturopath colleagues cannot or do not want to see the implications involved and are for ever currying the favours of "medical pseudo-science" and want Nature-cure to be integrated with medicine. They want to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

This is what my friend and colleague, who died two or three years ago at the age of ninety, Mr. Harry Clements wrote about modern day Naturopaths and their eclectic practices:
"But what we do have to fear, if we want to see the Nature-cure philosophy translated into a great social and educational movement, are those who are supposedly within its folds and who take advantage of the position to undermine insidiously the belief of Nature-cure adherents. The technique is very simple. With their tongues in their cheeks they profess adherence to the fundamental principles of Nature-cure, and then proceed to argue that their 'remedies', unlike medical remedies, are in accordance with Nature's ways. They instil into the minds of their readers the idea that Nature is too slow, or that the natural healing process needs artificial aids, and if the propagenda has been successful the patients find themselves with a bigger chest of medicine bottles, pills and potions than the devout followers of orthodox medicine.
"Such a conflict of opinion tends to produce hypochondriacs, who, in trying to get the best of both worlds, tend to fall between two stools. They lose their confidence in the "vis medicatrix naturae", the healing power of nature and they are unable to bring to the man-made remedies the devout faith, which is such an important ingredient in the orthodox bottle of medicine. And so, instead of getting the best out of both worlds, they have simply put themselves into a dilemma.
"No one wishes to proscribe the use of medicines for those who wish to prescribe them, or take them; that is an essential freedom. But let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that it is compatible with the philosophy of Nature-cure." (Health For All, February 1964.)

I concur absolutely with what he wrote and this is as true today as it was then.
What, then, does the future hold, in view of the trend of events which I have discussed? It is plain to me that in due course all Natural Hygiene "modus operandi" (methods) will be taken over by the medical fraternity, and used as part of their ordinary procedure, without one word as to the origin of these methods being allowed to reach the lay public. It will be assumed that the "new" methods of taking care of an ill person have originated in the great pioneering work of our medical scientists, and various doctors will be given the credit for discoveries made by Natural Hygiene stalwarts of the past.

What we need is not so-called "Holistic Medicine" but more and more opportunities for the great majority of the people of the world to live healthier lives:
clean unpolluted air, fresh unpolluted food grown on mineral rich soil, without chemicals, enough hours for people to participate in vigorous physical activity at some time every day, freedom from fear and the rat race (i.e. improvement of our socioeconomic culture), sufficient time for rest and recuperation from just earning a living to learn to "live" a moral and ethical resurgence to help each other on the pathway of creative enlightenment through unconditioned love, and above all a respect not only for our fellow human beings of various races and cultures, but a respect for that "inner you" that particle of divinity, that lies buried in each one of us.

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