There exist three primary causes of disease and of premature death of the physical body. These are:
- Lowered vitality.
- Abnormal composition of blood and lymph.
- Accumulation of morbid matter and poisons.
In the ultimate, disease and everything else that we designate as evil are the result of transgressions of natural laws in thinking, breathing, eating, dressing, working, resting, as well as in moral, sexual and social conduct.
In Tables I and II, I have endeavored to present in concise and comprehensive form the primary and the secondary causes or manifestations of disease and the corresponding natural methods of treatment.
THE UNITY OF DISEASE AND TREATMENT
Barring trauma (injury), advancing age and surroundings uncongenial to human life, all causes of disease may be classified as given below.
Violations of Nature's Laws in thinking, breathing, eating, drinking, dressing, working, resting and in moral, sexual and social conduct result in the following:
- Lowered vitality due to overwork, nightwork, excesses, overstimulation, poisonous drugs and ill-advised surgical operations.
- Abnormal composition of blood and lymph due to the improper selection and combination of food, and especially the lack of organic mineral salts and other essential nutritional elements.
- Accumulation of waste matter, morbid matter and poisons due to the first two causes, as well as to faulty diet, overeating, the use of alcoholic and narcotic stimulants, drugs [both street and prescription], vaccines, accidental poisoning and, last but not least, to the suppression of acute diseases (Nature's cleansing and healing efforts) by poisonous drugs and surgical operations.
- Hereditary and constitutional taints of sycosis, scrofula, psora, syphilis; mercurianism, cinchonism, iodism and many other forms of chronic poisoning.
- Fevers, inflammations, skin eruptions, chronic sinus discharges, ulcers, abscesses, germs, bacteria, parasites, etc.
- Mechanical subluxations, distortions and displacements of bony structures, muscles and ligaments; weakening and loss of reason, will, and self-control resulting in negative, sensitive and subjective conditions which open the way to nervous prostration, control by other personalities (hypnotic influence, obsession, possession); the different forms of insanity, epilepsy, petit mal, etc.
THE UNITY OF DISEASE AND TREATMENT
In correspondence with the three primary causes of disease, Nature Cure recognizes the following:
1. Return to Nature, or the establishment of normal habits and surroundings, which necessitates:
- Extension of consciousness by popular general and individual education.
- The constant exercise of reason, will and self-control.
- A return to natural habits of life in thinking, breathing, eating, dressing, working, resting and in moral, sexual and social conduct.
- Correction of mechanical defects and injuries by means of massage, chiropractic or osteopathy, surgery and other mechanical methods of treatment.
2. Economy of Vital Force, which necessitates:
- Prevention of waste of vital force by the stoppage of all leaks.
- Scientific relaxation, proper rest and sleep.
- Proper food selection, magnetic treatment, etc.
- The right mental attitude.
3. Elimination, which necessitates:
- Scientific selection and combination of food and drink.
- Judicious fasting.
- Hydrotherapy (water cure).
- Light and air baths, friction.
- Chiropratic or osteopathy, massage, and other manipulative treatment.
- Correct breathing, curative gymnastics.
- Such medicinal remedies as will build up the blood on a normal basis and supply the system with the all-important mineral salts in organic form.
We shall now consider the three primary causes of disease one by one.
There is a well-defined limit to the running of a watch. When the wound spring has spent its force, the mechanism stops.
So also the living forms of vegetable, animal and human life seem to be wound by Nature to run a certain length of time, in accordance with the laws governing their growth and development. Even the healthiest of animals living in the most congenial surroundings in the freedom of Nature do not much exceed their allotted span of life, nor do they fall much below it. As a rule, the longer the period between birth and maturity, the longer the life of the animal.
All the different families of mammalia, when living in freedom, live closely up to the life period allotted to them by Nature. Man is the only exception. It is claimed that according to the laws of longevity his average length of life should be considerably over one hundred years, while according to life insurance statistics, the average is at present  thirty-seven years.This shows an immense discrepancy between the possible and the actual longevity of man.
Even this brief span of life means little else than weakness, physical and mental suffering and degeneracy for the majority of mankind. Visiting physicians of the public schools in our large cities report that seventy-five percent of all school children show defective health in some way. Diagnosis from the Eye proves that the remaining twenty-five percent are also more or less affected by hereditary and acquired disease conditions. Christian Science says, "There is no disease." Nature's records in the iris of the eye say there is no perfect health.
These established facts of greatly impaired longevity and universal abnormality of the human race would of themselves indicate that there is something radically wrong somewhere in the life habits of man, and that there is ample reason for the great health-reform movement which was started about the middle of the last century by the pioneers of Nature Cure in Germany, and which has since swept, under many different forms and guises, all portions of the civilized world.
When people in general grow better acquainted with the laws underlying prenatal and postnatal child culture, natural living and the natural treatment of diseases, human beings will approach much more closely the normal in health, strength, beauty and longevity. Then will arise a true aristocracy, not of morbid, venous blue blood, but pulsating with the rich red blood of health.
However, to reach this ideal of perfect physical, mental and moral health, succeeding generations will have to adhere to the natural ways of living and of treating their ailments. It cannot be attained by the present generation. The enthusiasts who claim that they can, by their particular methods, achieve perfect health and live the full term of human life, are destined to disappointment. We are so handicapped by the mistakes of the past that the best which most of us adults can do is to patch up, to attain a reasonable measure of health and to approach somewhat nearer Nature's full allotment of life.
Wild animals living in freedom retain their full vigor unimpaired almost to the end of life. Hunters report that among the great herds of buffalo, elk and deer, the oldest bucks are the rulers and maintain their sovereignty over the younger males of the herd solely by reason of their superior strength and prowess. Premature old age, among human beings, as indicated by the early decay of physical and mental powers, is brought on solely by their violation of Nature's Laws in almost all the ordinary habits of life.
The freer the inflow of life force into the organism, the greater the vitality, the more there is of strength, of positive resisting and recuperating power.
In the book Harmonics of Evolution we are told that at the very foundation of the manifestation of life lies the principle of polarity, which expresses itself in the duality and unity of positive and negative affinity. The swaying to and fro of the positive and the negative, the desire to balance incomplete polarity, constitutes the very ebb and flow of life.
Disease is disturbed polarity. Exaggerated positive or negative conditions, whether physical, mental, moral or spiritual, tend to disease on the respective planes of being. Foods, medicines, suggestion and all the other different methods of therapeutic treatment exert on the individual subjected to them either a positive or a negative influence. It is, therefore, of the greatest importance that the physician and every one who wishes to live and work in harmony with Nature's Laws should understand this all-important question of magnetic polarity.
Lowered vitality means lowered, slower and coarser vibration, and this results in lowered resistance to the accumulation of morbid matter, poisons, disease taints, germs and parasites. This is what we designate ordinarily as the negative condition.
Let us see whether we can explain this more fully by a homely but practical illustration: A great many of my readers have probably seen in operation in the summer amusement parks the "human roulette." This contrivance consists of a large wheel, board-covered, somewhat raised in the center, and sloping towards the circumference. The wheel rotates horizontally, evenly with the floor or ground. The merrymakers pay their nickels for the privilege of throwing themselves flat down on the wheel and attempting to cling to it while it rotates with increasing swiftness. While the wheel moves slowly, it is easy enough to cling to it; but the faster it revolves, the more strongly the centrifugal force tends to throw off the human flies who try to stick to it.
The increasing repelling power of the accelerated motion of the wheel may serve as an illustration of that which we call vigorous vibration, good vitality, natural immunity or recuperative power. This is the positive condition.
The more intense the action of the life force, the more rapid and vigorous are the vibratory activities of the atoms and molecules in the cells, and of the cells in the organs and tissues of the body. The more rapid and vigorous this vibratory activity, the more powerful is the repulsion and expulsion of morbid matter, poisons and germs of disease which try to encumber or destroy the organism.
We must not forget that health or disease, in the final analysis, is resident in the cell. Though a minute, microscopic organism, the cell is an independent living being, which is born, grows, eats, drinks, throws off waste matter, multiplies, ages and dies, just like man, the large cell. If the individual cell is well, man, the complex cell, is well also, and vice versa. From this it is apparent that in all our considerations of the processes of health, disease and cure, we have to deal primarily with the individual cell.
The vibratory activity of the cell may be lowered through the decline of vitality brought about in a natural way by advancing age, or in an artificial way through wrong habits of living, wrong thinking and feeling, overwork, unnatural stimulation and excesses of various kinds.
On the other hand, the inflow of vital force into the cells may be obstructed and their vibratory activity lowered by the accumulation of waste and morbid matter in the tissues, blood vessels and nerve channels of the body. Such clogging will interfere with the inflow of life force and with the free and harmonious vibration of the cells and organs of the body as surely as dust in a watch will interfere with the normal action and vibration of its wheels and balances.
From this it is evident that negative conditions may be brought about not only by hyperrefinement of the physical organism, but also by clogging it with waste and morbid matter which interfere with the inflow and distribution of the vital force. It also becomes apparent that in such cases the Nature Cure methods of eliminative treatment, such as pure food diet, hydrotherapy, massage, chiropractic, osteopathy, etc., are valuable means of removing these obstructions and promoting the inflow and free circulation of the positive electric and magnetic life currents
As one of the primary causes of disease, we cited abnormal composition of blood and lymph. The human organism is made up of a certain number of elements in well-defined proportions. Chem-istry has discovered, so far, about seventeen of these elements in appreciable quantities and has ascertained their functions in the economy of the body. These seventeen elements must be present in the right proportions in order to insure normal texture, structure and functioning of the component parts and organs of the body.
The cells and organs receive their nourishment from the blood and lymph currents. Therefore, these must contain all the elements needed by the organism in the right proportions, and this, of course, depends upon the character and the combination of the food supply.
Every disease arising in the human organism from internal causes is accompanied by a deficiency in blood and tissues of certain important mineral elements [organic salts]. Undoubtedly, the majority of these diseases are caused by an unbalanced diet, or by food and drink poisoning. Wrong food combinations, on the one hand, create an overabundance of waste and morbid matter in the system and, on the other hand, fail to supply the positive mineral elements or organic salts on which depends the elimination of waste and systemic poisons from the body.
The great problem of natural dietetics and of natural medical treatment is, therefore, how to restore and maintain the positivity of the blood and of the organism as a whole through providing in food, drink and medicine an abundant supply of the positive mineral salts in organic form.
This is the third of the primary causes of disease. We have learned how lowered vitality and the abnormal composition of thevital fluids favor the retention of systemic poisons in the body. If, in addition to this, food and drink contain too much of the waste-producing carbohydrates, hydrocarbons and proteins, and not enough of the eliminating positive mineral salts then waste and morbid materials are bound to accumulate in the system and this results in the clogging of the tissues with acid precipitates and earthy deposits.
Such accumulation of waste and morbid matter in blood and tissues creates the great majority of all diseases arising within the human organism. This will be explained fully in the following chapters which deal with the causation of acute and chronic disease.
More harmful and dangerous, and more difficult to eliminate than the different kinds of systemic poisons, that is, those which have originated within the body, are the drug poisons, especially when they are administered in the inorganic mineral form. Health is dependent upon an abundant supply of life force, upon the unobstructed, normal circulation of the vital fluids and upon perfect oxygenation and combustion. Anything that interferes with these essentials causes disease; anything that promotes them establishes health. Nothing so interferes with the inflow of the life force, with free and normal circulation of blood and lymph and with the oxygenation and combustion of food materials and systemic waste as the accumulation of morbid matter and poisons in the tissues of the body.
This I have endeavored to explain more fully in connection with lowered vitality. Let us now see how disease and health are affected by mental and emotional conditions.
In like manner, all other destructive emotional vibrations obstruct the inflow and normal distribution of the life forces in and through the organism, while on the other hand the constructive emotions of faith, hope, cheerfulness, happiness and love exert a relaxing, harmonizing influence upon the tissues, blood vessels and nerve channels of the body, thus opening wide the floodgates of the life forces, and raising the discords of weakness, disease and discontent to the harmonics of buoyant health and happiness.
Let us see just how mind controls matter and how it affects the changing conditions of the physical body. Life manifests through vibration. It acts on the mass by acting through its minutest particles. Changes in the physical body are wrought by vibratory changes in atoms, molecules and cells. Health is satisfied polarity, that is, the balancing of the positive and negative elements in harmonious vibration. Anything that interferes with the free, vigorous and harmonious vibration of the minute parts and particles composing the human organism tends to disturb polarity and natural affinity, thus causing discord or disease.
When we fully realize these facts we shall not stand so much in awe of our physical bodies. In the past we have been thinking of the body as a solid and imponderable mass difficult to control and to change. This conception left us in a condition of utter helplessness and hopelessness in the presence of weakness and disease.
We now think of the body as composed of minute corpuscles rotating around one another within the atom at relatively immense distances. We know that in similar manner the atoms vibrate in the molecule, the molecules in the cell, the cells in the organ and the organs in the body; the whole capable of being changed by a change in the vibrations of its particles.
Thus the erstwhile solid physical mass appears plastic and fluidic, readily swayed and changed by the vibratory harmonies or discords of thoughts and emotions as well as by foods, medicines and therapeutic treatment.
Under the old conception the mind fell readily under the control of the body and became the abject slave of its physical conditions, swayed by fear and apprehension under every sensation of physical weakness, discomfort or pain. The servants lorded it with a high hand over the master of the house, and the result was chaos. Under the new conception, control is placed where it belongs. It is assumed by the real master of the house, the Soul-Man, and the servants, the physical members of the body, remain obedient to his bidding.
This is the new man, the ideal progeny of a new and higher philosophy. Understanding the structure of the body, the laws of its being and the operation of the life elements within it, the superman retains perfect poise and confidence under the most trying circumstances. Animated by an abounding faith in the supremacy of the healing forces within him and sustained by the power of his sovereign will, he governs his body as perfectly as the artist controls his violin and attunes its vibrations to Nature's harmonies of health and happiness.
* Abstracts from the Naturopathy Classic "Philosophy and Practice of Nature Cure" by Henry Lindlahr, MD (1922 Ed.).