HOME HYGIENICLIBRARY CATALOG
Go to Chapter Three
How and When to Be Your Own Doctor
by Dr. Isabelle A. Moser with Steve Solomon
The Nature and Cause of Disease
From The Hygienic Dictionary
Toxemia.  "Toxemia is the basic cause of allso-called diseases. In the process of tissue-building (metabolism), there is cell-building(anabolism) and cell destruction (catabolism). The broken-down tissue is toxic. Inthe healthy body (when nerve energy is normal), this toxic material is eliminatedfrom the blood as fast as it is evolved. But when nerve energy is dissipated fromany cause (such as physical or mental excitement or bad habits) the body becomesweakened or enervated. When the body is enervated, elimination is checked. This,in turn, results in a retention of toxins in the blood--the condition which we speakof as toxemia. This state produces a crisis which is nothing more than heroic orextraordinary efforts by the body to eliminate waste or toxin from the blood. Itis this crisis which we term disease. Such accumulation of toxin when once established,will continue until nerve energy has been restored to normal by removing the cause.So-called disease is nature's effort to eliminate toxin from the blood. All so-calleddiseases are crises of toxemia." John H. Tilden, M.D., Toxemia Explained. Toxins are divided into two groups; namely exogenous, those formed in the alimentarycanal from fermentation and decomposition following imperfect or faulty digestion.If the fermentation is of vegetables or fruit, the toxins are irritating, stimulatingand enervating, but not so dangerous or destructive to organic life as putrefaction,which is a fermentation set up in nitrogenous matter--protein-bearing foods, butparticularly animal foods. Endogenous toxins are autogenerated. They are the wasteproducts of metabolism. Dr. John. H. Tllden, Impaired Health: Its Cause and Cure,1921.
Suppose a fast-growingcity is having traffic jams. "We don't like it!" protest the voters."Why are these problems happening?" asks the city council, trying to look likethey are doing something about it.
Experts then proffer answers. "Because there are toomany cars," says the Get A Horse Society. The auto makers suggest it is becausethere are uncoordinated traffic lights and because almost all the businesses sendtheir employees home at the same time. Easy to fix! And no reason whatsoever to limitthe number of cars. The asphalt industry suggests it is because the size and amountof roads is inadequate.
What do we do then? Tax cars severely until few can affordthem? Legislate opening and closing hours of businesses to stagger to'ing and fro'ing?Hire a smarter municipal highway engineer to synchronize the traffic lights? Buildlarger and more efficient streets? Demand that auto companies make cars smaller somore can fit the existing roads? Tax gasoline prohibitively, pass out and give awayfree bicycles in virtually unlimited quantities while simultaneously building massrail systems? What? Which?
When we settle on a solution we have simultaneously chosenwhat we consider the real, underlying cause of the problem. If our chosen reasonwas the real reason. then our solution results in a real cure. If we picked wrongly,our attempt at solution may result in no cure, or create a worse situation than wehad before.
The American Medical Association style of medicine (a philosophyI will henceforth call allopathic) has a model that explains the causes of illness.It suggests that anyone who is sick is a victim. Either they were attacked by a "bad"organism--virus, bacteria, yeast, pollen, cancer cell, etc.--or they have a "bad"organ--liver, kidney, gall bladder, even brain. Or, the victim may also have beencursed by bad genes. In any case, the cause of the disease is not the person andthe person is neither responsible for creating their own complaint nor is the victimcapable of making it go away. This institutionalized irresponsibility seems usefulfor both parties to the illness, doctor and patient. The patient is not requiredto do anything about their complaint except pay (a lot) and obediently follow theinstructions of the doctor, submitting unquestioningly to their drugs and surgeries.The physician then acquires a role of being considered vital to the survival of othersand thus obtains great status, prestige, authority, and financial remuneration.
Perhaps because the sick person is seen to have been victimized,and it is logically impossible to consider a victimizer as anything but somethingevil, the physician's cure is often violent, confrontational. Powerful poisons areused to rejigger body chemistry or to arrest the multiplication of disease bacteriaor to suppress symptoms; if it is possible to sustain life without them, "bad,"poorly-functioning organs are cut out.
I've had a lot of trouble with the medical profession. Overthe years doctors have made attempts to put me in jail and keep me in fear. But theynever stopped me. When I've had a client die there has been an almost inevitablecoroner's investigation, complete with detectives and the sheriff. Fortunately, Ipractice in rural Oregon, where the local people have a deeply-held belief in individualliberty and where the authorities know they would have had a very hard time findinga jury to convict me. Had I chosen to practice with a high profile and had I locatedGreat Oaks School of Health in a major market area where the physicians were ableto charge top dollar, I probably would have spent years behind bars as did otherheroes of my profession such as Linda Hazzard and Royal Lee.
So I have acquired an uncomplimentary attitude about medicaldoctors, a viewpoint I am going to share with you ungently, despite the fact thatdoing so will alienate some of my readers. But I do so because most Americans areentirely enthralled by doctors, and this doctor-god worship kills a lot of them.
However, before I get started on the medicos, let me statethat one area exists where I do have fundamental admiration for allopathic medicine.This is its handling of trauma. I agree that a body can become the genuine victimof fast moving bullets. It can be innocently cut, smashed, burned, crushed and broken.Trauma are not diseases and modern medicine has become quite skilled at putting traumatizedbodies back together. Genetic abnormality may be another undesirable physical conditionthat is beyond the purview of natural medicine. However, the expression of contra-survivalgenetics can often be controlled by nutrition. And the expression of poor geneticsoften results from poor nutrition, and thus is similar to a degenerative diseasecondition, and thus is well within the scope of natural medicine.
Today's suffering American public is firmly in the AMA'sgrip. People have been effectively prevented from learning much about medical alternatives,have been virtually brainwashed by clever media management that portrays other medicalmodels as dangerous and/or ineffective. Legislation influenced by the allopathicdoctors' union, the American Medical Association, severely limits or prohibits thepractice of holistic health. People are repeatedly directed by those with authorityto an allopathic doctor whenever they have a health problem, question or confusion.Other types of healers are considered to be at best harmless as long as they confinethemselves to minor complaints; at worst, when naturopaths, hygienists, or homeopathsseek to treat serious disease conditions they are called quacks, accused of unlicensedpractice of medicine and if they persist or develop a broad, successful, high-profileand (this is the very worst) profitable practice, they are frequently jailed.
Even licensed MDs are crushed by the authorities if theyoffer non-standard treatments. So when anyone seeks an alternative health approachit is usually because their complaint has already failed to vanish after consultinga whole series of allopathic doctors. This highly unfortunate kind of sufferer notonly has a degenerative condition to rectify, they may have been further damagedby harsh medical treatments and additionally, they have a considerable amount ofbrainwashing to overcome.
The AMA has succeeded at making their influence over informationand media so pervasive that most people do not even realize that the doctors' unionis the source of their medical outlook. Whenever an American complains of some malady,a concerned and honestly caring friend will demand to know have they yet consulteda medical doctor. Failure to do so on one's own behalf is considered highly irresponsible.Concerned relatives of seriously ill adults who decline standard medical therapymay, with a great show of self-righteousness, have the sick person judged mentallyincompetent so that treatment can be forced upon them. When a parent fails to seekstandard medical treatment for their child, the adult may well be found guilty ofcriminal negligence, raising the interesting issue of who "owns" the child,the parents or the State.
It is perfectly acceptable to die while under conventionalmedical care. Happens all the time, in fact. But holistic alternatives are representedas stupidly risky, especially for serious conditions such as cancer. People withcancer see no choice but to do chemotherapy, radiation, and radical surgery becausethis is the current allopathic medical approach. On some level people may know thatthese remedies are highly dangerous but they have been told by their attending oncologistthat violent therapies are their only hope of survival, however poor that may be.If a cancer victim doesn't proceed immediately with such treatment their officialprognosis becomes worse by the hour. Such scare tactics are common amongst the medicalprofession, and they leave the recipient so terrified that they meekly and obedientlygive up all self-determinism, sign the liability waiver, and submit, no questionsasked. Many then die after suffering intensely from the therapy, long before theso-called disease could have actually caused their demise. I will later offer alternativeand frequently successful (but not guaranteed) approaches to treating cancer thatdo not require the earliest-possible detection, surgery or poisons.
If holistic practitioners were to apply painful treatmentslike allopaths use, ones with such poor statistical outcomes like allopaths use,there would most certainly be witch hunts and all such irresponsible, greedy quackswould be safely imprisoned. I find it highly ironic that for at least the past twentyfive hundred years the basic principle of good medicine has been that the treatmentmust first do no harm. This is such an obvious truism that even the AMA doctors pledgeto do the same thing when they take the Hippocratic Oath. Yet virtually every actiontaken by the allopath is a conscious compromise between the potential harm of thetherapy and its potential benefit.
In absolute contrast, if a person dies while on a naturalhygiene program, they died because their end was inevitable no matter what therapywas attempted. Almost certainly receiving hygienic therapy contributed to makingtheir last days far more comfortable and relatively freer of pain without using opiates.I have personally taken on clients sent home to die after they had suffered everythingthe doctors could do to them, told they had only a few days, weeks, or months tolive. Some of these clients survived as a result of hygienic programs even at thatlate date. And some didn't. The amazing thing was that any of them survived at all,because the best time to begin a hygienic program is as early in the degenerativeprocess as possible, not after the body has been drastically weakened by invasiveand toxic treatments. Later on, I'll tell you about some of these cases.
Something I consider especially ironic is that when the patientof a medical doctor dies, it is inevitably thought that the blessed doctor did allthat could be done; rarely is any blame laid. If the physician was especially carelessor stupid, their fault can only result in a civil suit, covered by malpractice insurance.But let a holistic practitioner treat a sick person and have that person follow anyof their suggestions or take any natural remedies and have that person die or worsenand it instantly becomes the natural doctor's fault. Great blame is placed and thepractitioner faces inquests, grand juries, manslaughter charges, jail time and civilsuits that can't be insured against.
Allopathic medicine rarely makes a connection between thereal causes of a degenerative or infectious disease and its cure. The causes areusually considered mysterious: we don't know why the pancreas is acting up, etc.The sick are sympathized with as victims who did nothing to contribute to their condition.The cure is a highly technical battle against the illness, whose weapons are definedin Latin and far beyond the understanding of a layperson.
Hygienic medicine presents an opposite view. To the naturopath,illness is not a perplexing and mysterious occurrence over which you have no controlor understanding. The causes of disease are clear and simple, the sick person israrely a victim of circumstance and the cure is obvious and within the competenceof a moderately intelligent sick person themselves to understand and help administer.In natural medicine, disease is a part of living that you are responsible for, andquite capable of handling.
Asserting that the sick are pitiable victims is financiallybeneficial to doctors. It makes medical intervention seem a vital necessity for everyache and pain. It makes the sick become dependent. I'm not implying that most doctorsknowingly are conniving extortionists. Actually most medical doctors are genuinelywell-intentioned. I've also noticed that most medical doctors are at heart very timidindividuals who consider that possession of a MD degree and license proves that theyare very important, proves them to be highly intelligent, even makes them fully qualifiedto pontificate on many subjects not related to medicine at all.
Doctors obtain an enormous sense of self-importance at medicalschool, where they proudly endured the high pressure weeding out of any free spiritunwilling to grind away into the night for seven or more years. Anyone incapableof absorbing and regurgitating huge amounts of rote information; anyone with a disrespectfulor irreverent attitude toward the senior doctor-gods who arrogantly serve as medschool professors, anyone like this was eliminated with especial rapidity. When thethoroughly submissive, homogenized survivors are finally licensed, they assume thestatus of junior doctor-gods.
But becoming an official medical deity doesn't permit oneto create their own methods. No no, the AMA's professional oversight and controlsystem makes continued possession of the license to practice (and the high incomethat usually comes with it) entirely dependent on continued conformity to what isdefined by the AMA as "correct practice." Any doctor who innovates beyondstrict limits or uses non-standard treatments is in real danger of losing their livelihoodand status.
Not only are licensed graduates of AMA-sanctioned medicalschools kept on a very tight leash, doctors of other persuasions who use other methodsto heal the sick or help them heal themselves are persecuted and prosecuted. Extensionof the AMA's control through regulatory law and police power is justified in thename of preventing quackery and making sure the ignorant and gullible public receivesonly scientifically proven effective medical care.
Those on the other side of the fence view the AMA's oppressionas an effective way to make sure the public has no real choices but to use uniondoctors, pay their high fees and suffer greatly by misunderstanding of the true causeof disease and its proper cure. If there are any actual villains responsible forthis suppressive tragedy some of them are to be found in the inner core of the AMA,officials who may perhaps fully and consciously comprehend the suppressive systemthey promulgate.
Hygienists usually inform the patient quite clearly and directlythat the practitioner has no ability to heal them or cure their condition and thatno doctor of any type actually is able to heal. Only the body can heal itself, somethingit is eager and usually very able to do if only given the chance. One pithy old sayingamong hygienists goes, "if the body can't heal itself, nothing can heal it."The primary job of the hygienic practitioner is to reeducate the patient by conductingthem through their first natural healing process. If this is done well the sick personlearns how to get out of their own body's way and permit its native healing powerto manifest. Unless later the victim of severe traumatic injury, never again willthat person need obscenely expensive medical procedures. Hygienists rarely make sixfigure incomes from regular, repeat business.
This aspect of hygienic medicine makes it different thanalmost all the others, even most other holistic methods. Hygiene is the only systemthat does not interpose the assumed healing power of a doctor between the patientand wellness. When I was younger and less experienced I thought that the main reasontraditional medical practice did not stress the body's own healing power and representedthe doctor as a necessary intervention was for profit. But after practicing for overtwenty years I now understand that the last thing most people want to hear is thattheir own habits, especially their eating patterns and food choices, are responsiblefor their disease and that their cure is to only be accomplished through dietaryreform, which means unremittingly applied self-discipline.
One of the hardest things to ask of a person is to changea habit. The reason that AMA doctors have most of the patients is they're givingthe patients exactly what they want, which is to be allowed to continue in theirunconscious irresponsibility.
The Cause Of Disease
Ever since natural medicine arose in opposition to the violenceof so-called scientific medicine, every book on the subject of hygiene, once it getspast its obligatory introductions and warm ups, must address The Cause of Disease.This is a required step because we see the cause of disease and its consequent curein a very different manner than the allopath. Instead of many causes, we see onebasic reason why. Instead of many unrelated cures, we have basically one approachto fix all ills that can be fixed.
A beautiful fifty cent word that means a system for explainingsomething is paradigm, pronounced para-dime. I am fond of this word because it admitsthe possibility of many differing yet equally true explanations for the same reality.Of all available paradigms, Natural Hygiene suits me best and has been the one I'veused for most of my career.
The Natural Hygienist's paradigm for the cause of both degenerativeand infectious disease is called the Theory of Toxemia, or "self-poisoning."
Before explaining this theory it will help many readers ifI digress a brief moment about the nature and validity of alternative paradigms.Not too many decades ago, scientists thought that reality was a singular, real, perpetual--thatNatural Law existed much as a tree or a rock existed. In physics, for example, themechanics of Newton were considered capital "T" True, the only possibleparadigm. Any other view, not being True, was False. There was capital "N"natural capital "L" law.
More recently, great uncertainty has entered science; ithas become indisputable that a theory or explanation of reality is only true onlyto the degree it seems to work; conflicting or various explanations can all work,all can be "true." At least, this uncertainty has overtaken the hard, physicalsciences. It has not yet done so with medicine. The AMA is convinced (or is workinghard to convince everyone else) that its paradigm, the allopathic approach, is Truth,is scientific, and therefore, anything else is Falsehood, is irresponsibility, isa crime against the sick.
But the actual worth or truth of any paradigm is found notin its "reality," but in its utility. Does an explanation or theory allowa person to manipulate experience and create a desired outcome. To the extent a paradigmdoes that, it can be considered valuable. Judged by this standard, the Theory ofToxemia must be far truer than the hodgepodge of psuedoscience taught in medicalschools. Keep that in mind the next time some officious medical doctor disdainfullyinforms you that Theory of Toxemia was disproven in 1927 by Doctors Jeckel and Hyde.
Why People Get Sick
This is the Theory of Toxemia. A healthy body struggles continuallyto purify itself of poisons that are inevitably produced while going about its businessof digesting food, moving about, and repairing itself. The body is a marvelous creation,a carbon, oxygen combustion machine, constantly burning fuel, disposing of the wasteproducts of combustion, and constantly rebuilding tissue by replacing worn out, deadcells with new, fresh ones. Every seven years virtually every cell in the body isreplaced, some types of cells having a faster turnover rate than others, which meansthat over a seven year period several hundred pounds of dead cells must be digested(autolyzed) and eliminated. All by itself this would be a lot of waste disposal forthe body to handle. Added to that waste load are numerous mild poisons created duringproper digestion. And added to that can be an enormous burden of waste products createdas the body's attempts to digest the indigestible, or those tasty items I've heardcalled "fun food." Add to that burden the ruinous effects of just plainovereating.
The waste products of digestion, of indigestion, of cellularbreakdown and the general metabolism are all poisonous to one degree or another.Another word for this is toxic. If these toxins were allowed to remain and accumulatein the body, it would poison itself and die in agony. So the body has a processingsystem to eliminate toxins. And when that system does break down the body does diein agony, as from liver or kidney failure.
The organs of detoxification remove things from the body'ssystem, but these two vital organs should not be confused with what hygienists callthe secondary organs of elimination, such as the large intestine, lungs, bladderand the skin, because none of these other eliminatory organs are supposed to purifythe body of toxins. But when the body is faced with toxemia, the secondary organsof elimination are frequently pressed into this duty and the consequences are thesymptoms we call illness.
The lungs are supposed to eliminate only carbon dioxide gas;not self-generated toxic substances. The large intestine is supposed to pass onlyinsoluble food solids (and some nasty stuff dumped into the small intestine by theliver). Skin eliminates in the form of sweat (which contains mineral salts) to coolthe body, but the skin is not supposed to move toxins outside the system. But whentoxins are flowed out through secondary organs of elimination these areas becomeinflamed, irritated, weakened. The results can be skin irritations, sinusitis ora whole host of other "itises" depending on the area involved, bacterialor viral infections, asthma. When excess toxemia is deposited instead of eliminated,the results can be arthritis if toxins are stored in joints, rheumatism if in muscletissues, cysts and benign tumors. And if toxins weaken the body's immune response,cancer.
The liver and the kidneys, the two heroic organs of detoxification,are the most important ones; these jointly act as filters to purify the blood. Hygienistspay a lot of attention to these organs, the liver especially.
In an ideal world, the liver and kidneys would keep up withtheir job for 80 years or more before even beginning to tire. In this ideal world,the food would of course, be very nutritious and free of pesticide residues, theair and water would be pure, people would not denature their food and turn it intojunk. In this perfect world everyone would get moderate exercise into old age, andlive virtually without stress. In this utopian vision, the average healthy productivelife span would approach a century, entirely without using food supplements or vitamins.In this world doctors would have next to no work other than repairing traumatic injuries,because everyone would be healthy. But this is not the way it is.
In our less-than-ideal world virtually everything we eatis denatured, processed, fried, salted, sweetened, preserved; thus more stress isplaced on the liver and kidneys than nature designed them to handle. Except for afew highly fortunate individuals blessed with an incredible genetic endowment thatpermits them to live to age 99 on moose meat, well-larded white flour biscuits, coffeewith evaporated milk and sugar, brandy and cigarettes (we've all heard of someonelike this), most peoples' liver and kidneys begin to break down prematurely. Thusdoctoring has become a financially rewarding profession.
Most people overburden their organs of elimination by eatingwhatever they feel like eating whenever they feel like it. Or, they irresponsiblyeat whatever is served to them by a mother, wife, institution or cook because doingso is easy or expected. Eating is a very habitual and unconscious activity; frequentlywe continue to eat as adults whatever our mother fed us as a child. I consider itunsurprising that when people develop the very same disease conditions as their parents.they wrongly assume the cause is genetic inheritance, when actually it was just becausethey were putting their feet under the same table as their parents.
Toxemia also comes about from following the wrongheaded recommendationsof allopathic-inspired nutritional texts and licensed dietitians. For example, peoplebelieve they should eat one food from each of the four so-called basic food groupsat each meal, thinking they are doing the right thing for their health by havingfour colors of food on every plate, when they really aren't. What they have actuallydone is force their bodies to attempt the digestion of indigestible food combinations,and the resulting indigestion creates massive doses of toxins. I'll have a lot moreto say about that later when I discuss the art of food combining.
Table 1: The Actual Food Groups*
|Starches ||Proteins ||Fats ||Sugars ||Watery Vegetables |
|bread ||meats ||butter ||honey ||zucchini |
|potatoes ||eggs ||oils ||fruit ||green beans |
|noodles ||fish ||lard ||sugar ||tomatoes |
|manioc/yuca ||most nuts ||nuts ||molassas ||peppers |
|baked goods ||dry beans ||avocado ||malt syrup ||eggplant |
|grains ||nut butters || ||maple syrup ||radish |
|winter squash ||split peas || ||dried fruit ||rutabaga |
|parsnips ||lentils || ||melons ||turnips |
|sweet potatoes ||soybeans || ||carrot juice ||Brussels sprouts |
|yams ||tofu || ||beet juice ||celery |
|taro root ||tempeh || || ||cauliflower |
|plantains ||wheat grass juice || || ||broccoli |
|beets ||"green" drinks || || ||okra |
| ||spirulina || || ||lettuce |
| ||algae || || ||endive |
| ||yeast || || ||cabbage |
| ||dairy || || ||carrots |
* Standard dietitians divide our foods into four basic food groupsand recommend the ridiculous practice of mixing them at every meal. This guaranteesindigestion and lots of business for the medical profession. This chart illustratesthe actual food groups. It is usually a poor practice to mix different foods fromone group with those from another.
The Digestive Process
After we have eaten our four-color meal--often we do thisin a hurry, without much chewing, under a lot of stress, or in the presence of negativeemotions--we give no thought to what becomes of our food once it has been swallowed.We have been led to assume that anything put in the mouth automatically gets digestedflawlessly, is efficiently absorbed into the body where it nourishes our cells, withthe waste products being eliminated completely by the large intestine. This visionof efficiency may exist in the best cases but for most there is many a slip betweenthe table and the toilet. Most bodies are not optimally efficient at performing allthe required functions, especially after years of poor living habits, stress, fatigue,and aging. To the Natural Hygienist, most disease begins and ends with our food;most of our healing efforts are focused on improving the process of digestion.
Digestion means chemically changing the foods we eat intosubstances that can pass into the blood stream and circulate through the body wherenutrition is used for bodily functions. Our bodies use nutritional substances forfuel, for repair and rebuilding, and to conduct an incredibly complex biochemistry.Scientists are still busily engaged in trying to understand the chemical mysteriesof our bodies. But as bewildering as the chemistry of life is, the chemistry of digestionitself is actually a relatively simple process, and one doctors have had a fairlygood understanding of for many decades.
Though relatively straightforward, a lot can and does gowrong with digestion. The body breaks down foods with a series of different enzymesthat are mixed with food at various points as it passes from mouth to stomach tosmall intestine. An enzyme is a large, complex molecule that has the ability to chemicallychange other large, complex molecules without being changed itself. Digestive enzymesperform relatively simple functions--breaking large molecules into smaller partsthat can dissolve in water.
Digestion starts in the mouth when food is mixed with ptyalin,an enzyme secreted by the salivary glands. Pylatin converts insoluble starches intosimple sugars. If the digestion of starchy foods is impaired, the body is less ableto extract the energy contained in our foods, while far worse from the point of viewof the genesis of diseases, undigested starches pass through the stomach and intothe gut where they ferment and thereby create an additional toxic burden for theliver to process. And fermenting starches also create gas.
As we chew our food it gets mixed with saliva; as we continueto chew the starches in the food are converted into sugar. There is a very simpleexperiment you can conduct to prove to yourself how this works. Get a plain pieceof bread, no jam, no butter, plain, and without swallowing it or allowing much ofit to pass down the throat, begin to chew it until it seems to literally dissolve.Pylatin works fast in our mouths so you may be surprised at how sweet the taste gets.As important as chewing is, I have only run into about one client in a hundred thatactually makes an effort to consciously chew their food.
Horace Fletcher, whose name has become synonymous with theimportance of chewing food well (Fletcherizing), ran an experiment on a militarypopulation in Canada. He required half his experimental group to chew thoroughly,and the other half to gulp things down as usual,. His study reports significant improvementin the overall health and performance of the group that persistently chewed. Fletcher'sreport recommended that every mouthful be chewed 50 times for half a minute beforebeing swallowed. Try it, you might be very surprised at what a beneficial effectsuch a simple change in your approach to eating can make. Not only will you haveless intestinal gas, if overweight you will probably find yourself getting smallerbecause your blood sugar will elevate quicker as you are eating and thus your senseof hunger will go away sooner. If you are very thin and have difficulty gaining weightyou may find that the pounds go on easier because chewing well makes your body morecapable of actually assimilating the calories you are consuming.
A logical conclusion from this data is that anything thatwould prevent or reduce chewing would be unhealthful. For example, food eaten whentoo hot tends to be gulped down. The same tends to happen when food is seasoned withfresh Jalapeño or habaneo peppers. People with poor teeth should blend or mashstarchy foods and then gum them thoroughly to mix them with saliva. Keep in mindthat even so-called protein foods such as beans often contain large quantities ofstarches and the starch portion of protein foods is also digested in the mouth.
Once the food is in the stomach, it is mixed with hydrochloricacid, secreted by the stomach itself, and pepsin, an enzyme. Together these breakproteins down into water-soluble amino acids. To accomplish this the stomach musclesagitate the food continuously, somewhat like a washing machine. This extended churningforms a kind of ball in the stomach called a bolis.
Many things can and frequently do go wrong at this stageof the digestive process. First, the stomach's very acid environment inactivatespylatin, so any starch not converted to sugar in the mouth does not get properlyprocessed thereafter. And the most dangerous misdigetion comes from the sad factthat cooked proteins are relatively indigestible no matter how strong the constitution,no matter how concentrated the stomach acid or how many enzymes present. It is quiteunderstandable to me that people do not wish to accept this fact. After all, cookedproteins are so delicious, especially cooked red meats and the harder, more flavorfulfishes.
To appreciate this, consider how those enzymes that digestproteins work. A protein molecule is a large, complex string of amino acids, eachlinked to the next in a specific order. Suppose there are only six amino acids: 1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. So a particular (imaginary) protein could be structured: 1, 4,4, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4, 2, 3, 6, 1, 1, 2, 3, etc. Thus you should see that by combininga limited number of amino acids there can be a virtually infinite number of proteins.
But proteins are rarely water soluble. As I said a few paragraphsback, digestion consists of rendering insoluble foods into water-soluble substancesso they can pass into the blood stream and be used by the body's chemistry. To makethem soluble, enzymes break down the proteins, separating the individual amino acidsone from the other, because amino acids are soluble. Enzymes that digest proteinswork as though they are mirror images of a particular amino acid. They fit againsta particular amino acid like a key fits into a lock. Then they break the bonds holdingthat amino acid to others in the protein chain, and then, what I find so miraculousabout this process, the enzyme is capable of finding yet another amino acid to free,and then yet another.
So with sufficient churning in an acid environment, withenough time (a few hours), and enough enzymes, all the recently eaten proteins aredecomposed into amino acids and these amino acids pass into the blood where the bodyrecombines them into structures it wants to make. And we have health. But when proteinchains are heated, the protein structures are altered into physical shapes that theenzymes can't "latch" on to. The perfect example of this is when an eggis fried. The eggwhite is albumen, a kind of protein. When it is heated, it shrivelsup and gets hard. While raw and liquid, it is easily digestable. When cooked, largelyindigestable.
Stress also inhibits the churning action in the stomach sothat otherwise digestible foods may not be mixed efficiently with digestive enzymes.For all these reasons, undigested proteins may pass into the gut.
Along with undigested starches. When starches convert bestto sugars under the alkaline conditions found in the mouth. Once they pass into theacid stomach starch digestion is not as efficient. If starches reach the small intestinethey are fermented by yeasts. The products of starch fermentation are only mildlytoxic. The gases produced by yeast fermentations usually don't smell particularlybad; bodies that regularly contain starch fermentation usually don't smell particularlybad either. In otherwise healthy people it can take many years of exposure to starchfermentation toxins to produce a life-threatening disease.
But undigested proteins aren't fermented by yeasts, theyputrefy in the gut (are attacked by anaerobic bacteria). Many of the waste productsof anaerobic putrefaction are highly toxic and evil smelling; when these toxins areabsorbed through the small or large intestines they are very irritating to the mucousmembranes, frequently contributing to or causing cancer of the colon. Protein putrefactionmay even cause psychotic symptoms in some individuals. Meat eaters often have a veryunpleasant body odor even when they are not releasing intestinal gasses.
Adding a heavy toxic burden from misdigested foods to thenormal toxic load a body already has to handle creates a myriad of unpleasant symptoms,and greatly shortens life. But misdigestion also carries with it a double whammy;fermenting and/or putrefying foods immediately interfere with the functioning ofanother vital organ--the large intestine--and cause constipation.
Most people don't know what the word constipation reallymeans. Not being able to move one's bowels is only the most elementary type of constipation.A more accurate definition of constipation is "the retention of waste productsin the large intestine beyond the time that is conducive to health." Properlydigested food is not sticky and exits the large intestine quickly. But improperlydigested food (or indigestible food) gradually coats the large intestine, makingan ever-thicker lining that interferes with the intestine's functioning. Far worse,this coating steadily putrefies, creating additional highly-potent toxins. Liningthe colon with undigested food can be compared to the mineral deposits filling inthe inside of an old water pipe, gradually choking off the flow. In the colon, thisdeposit can become rock-hard, just like water pipe scale.
Since the large intestine is also an organ that removes moistureand water-soluble minerals from the food and moves them into the blood stream, whenthe large intestine is lined with putrefying undigested food waste, the toxins ofthis putrefaction are also steadily moved into the bloodstream and place an evengreater burden on the liver and kidneys, accelerating their breakdown, acceleratingthe aging process and contributing to a lot of interesting and unpleasant symptomsthat keep doctors busy and financially solvent. I'll have quite a bit more to sayabout colon cleansing later.
The Progress Of Disease: Irritation, Enervation, Toxemia
Disease routinely lies at the end of a three-part chain thatgoes: irritation or sub-clinical malnutrition, enervation, toxemia. Irritations aresomething the person does to themselves or something that happens around them. Stresses,in other words.
Mental stressors include strong negative emotional statessuch as anger, fear, resentment, hopelessness, etc. Behind most diseases it is commonto find a problematic mind churning in profound confusion, one generated by a characterthat avoids responsibility. There may also be job stress or ongoing hostile relationships,often within the family.
Indigestible foods and misdigestion are also stressful irritations,as are mild recreational poisons such as "soft" drugs, tobacco and alcohol.Opiates are somewhat more toxifying, primarily because they paralyze the gut andinduce profound constipation. Stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines are the mostdamaging recreational drugs ; these are highly toxic and rapidly shorten life.
Repeated irritations and/or malnutrition eventually produceenervation. The old-time hygienists defined enervation as a lack of or decline inan unmeasurable phenomena, "nerve energy." They viewed the functioningof vital organs as being controlled by or driven by nerve force, sometimes calledlife force or élan vital. Whatever this vital force actually is, it can be observedand subjectively measured by comparing one person with another. Some people are fullof it and literally sparkle with overflowing energy. Beings like this make everyonearound them feel good because they somehow momentarily give energy to those endowedwith less. Others possess very little and dully plod through life.
As vital force drops, the overall efficiency of all the body'sorgans correspondingly decline. The pancreas creates less digestive enzymes; thethymus secretes less of its vital hormones that mobilize the immune system; the pituitarymakes less growth hormone so the overall repair and rebuilding of cells and tissuesslows correspondingly; and so forth. It does not really matter if there is or isnot something called nerve energy that can or cannot be measured in a laboratory.Vital force is observable to many people. However, it is measurable by laboratorytest that after repeated irritation the overall functioning of the essential organsand glands does deteriorate.
Enervation may develop so gradually that it progresses belowthe level of awareness of the person, or times of increased enervation can be experiencedas a complaint--as a lack of energy, as tiredness, as difficulties digesting, asa new inability to handle a previously-tolerated insult like alcohol.
Long-term consumption of poor-quality food causes enervation.The body is a carbon/oxygen engine designed to run efficiently only on highly nutritiousfood and this aspect of human genetic programming cannot be changed significantlyby adaptation. Given enough generations a human gene pool can adapt to extractingits nutrition from a different group of foods. For example, a group of isolated Fijianscurrently enjoying long healthy lives eating a diet of seafoods and tropical rootcrops could suddenly be moved to the highlands of Switzerland and forced to eat thelocal fare or starve. But most of the Fijians would not have systems adept at makingthose enzymes necessary to digest cows milk. So the transplanted Fijians would experiencemany generations of poorer health and shorter life spans until their genes had beenselected for adaptation to the new dietary. Ultimately their descendants could becomeuniformly healthy on rye bread and dairy products just like the highland Swiss were.
However, modern industrial farming and processing of foodstuffssignificantly contributes to mass, widespread enervation in two ways. Humans willprobably adjust to the first; the second will, I'm sure, prove insurmountable. First,industrially processed foods are a recent invention and our bodies have not yet adaptedto digesting them. In a few more generations humans might be able to accomplish thatand public health could improve on factory food. In the meanwhile, the health ofhumans has declined. Industrially farmed foods have also been lowered in nutritionalcontent compared to what food could be. I gravely doubt if any biological organismcan ever adapt to an overall dietary that contains significantly lowered levels ofnutrition. I will explain this more fully in the chapter on diet.
Secondary Eliminations Are Disease
However the exact form the chain from irritation or malnutritionto enervation progresses, the ultimate result is an increased level of toxemia, placingan eliminatory burden on the liver and kidneys in excess of their ability. Eventuallythese organs begin to weaken. Decline of liver and/or kidney function threatens thestability and purity of blood chemistry. Rather than risk complete incapacitationor death from self-poisoning, the overloaded, toxic body, guided by its genetic predispositionand the nature of the toxins (what was eaten, in what state of stress), cleverlychannels surplus toxins into its first line of defense--alternative or secondaryelimination systems.
Most non-life-threatening yet highly annoying disease conditionsoriginate as secondary eliminations. For example, the skin was designed to sweat,elimination of fluids. Toxemia is often pushed out the sweat glands and is recognizedas an unpleasant body odor. A healthy, non-toxic body smells sweet and pleasant (likea newborn baby's body) even after exercise when it has been sweating heavily. Otherskin-like organs such as the sinus tissues, were designed to secrete small amountsof mucus for lubrication. The lungs eliminate used air and the tissues are lubricatedwith mucus-like secretions too. These secretions are types of eliminations, but arenot intended for the elimination of toxins. When toxins are discharged in mucus throughtissues not designed to handle them, the tissues themselves become irritated, inflamed,weakened and thus much more subject to bacterial or viral infection. Despite thisdanger, not eliminating surplus toxins carries with it the greater penalty of seriousdisability or death. Because of this liability, the body, in its wisdom, initiallychooses secondary elimination routes as far from vital tissues and organs as possible.Almost inevitably the skin or skin-like mucus membranes such as the sinuses, or lungtissues become the first line of defense.
Thus the average person's disease history begins with colds,flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, chronic cough, asthma, rashes, acne, eczema, psoriasis.If these secondary eliminations are suppressed with drugs (either from the medicaldoctor or with over the counter remedies), if the eating or lifestyle habits thatcreated the toxemia are not changed, or if the toxic load increases beyond the limitsof this technique, the body then begins to store toxins in fat or muscle tissuesor the joint cavities, overburdens the kidneys, creates cysts, fibroids, and benigntumors to store those toxins. If toxic overload continues over a longer time thebody will eventually have to permit damages to vital tissues, and life-threateningconditions develop.
Hygienic doctors always stress that disease is remedial effort.Illness comes from the body's best attempt to lighten its toxic load without immediatelythreatening its survival. The body always does the very best it can to remedy toxemiagiven its circumstances, and it should be commended for these efforts regardlessof how uncomfortable they might be to the person inhabiting the body. Symptoms ofsecondary elimination are actually a positive thing because they are the body's effortsto lessen a dangerously toxic condition. Secondary eliminations shouldn't be treatedimmediately with a drug to suppress the process. If you squelch the bodies best andleast-life-threatening method to eliminate toxins, the body will ultimately haveto resort to another more dangerous though probably less immediately uncomfortablechannel.
The conventional medical model does not view disease thisway and sees the symptoms of secondary elimination as the disease itself. So theconventional doctor takes steps to halt the body's remedial efforts, thus stoppingthe undesirable symptom and then, the symptom gone, proclaims the patient cured.Actually, the disease is the cure.
A common pattern of symptom suppression under the contemporarymedical model is this progression: treat colds with antihistamines until the bodygets influenza; suppress a flu repeatedly with antibiotics and eventually you getpneumonia. Or, suppress eczema with cortisone ointment repeatedly, and eventuallyyou develop kidney disease. Or, suppress asthma with bronkiodialators and eventuallyyou need cortisone to suppress it. Continue treating asthma with steroids and youdestroy the adrenals; now the body has become allergic to virtually everything.
The presence of toxins in an organ of secondary eliminationis frequently the cause of infection. Sinuses and lungs, inflamed by secondary eliminations,are attacked by viruses or bacteria; infectious diseases of the skin result frompushing toxins out of the skin. More generalized infections also result from toxemia;in this case the immune system has become compromised and the body is overwhelmedby an organism that it normally should be able to resist easily. The wise cure ofinfections is not to use antibiotics to suppress the bacteria while simultaneouslywhipping the immune system; most people, including most medical doctors, do not realizethat antibiotics also goose the immune system into super efforts. But when one choosesto whip a tired horse, eventually the exhausted animal collapses and cannot riseagain no matter how vigorously it is beaten. The wise cure is to detoxify the body,a step that simultaneously eliminates secondary eliminations and rebuilds the immunesystem.
The wise way to deal with the body's eliminative effortsis to accept that disease is an opportunity to pay the piper for past indiscretions.You should go to bed, rest, and drink nothing but water or dilute juice until thecondition has passed. This allows the body to conserve its vital energy, direct thisenergy toward healing the disordered body part, and catch up on its waste disposal.In this way you can help your body, be in harmony with its efforts instead of workingagainst it which is what most people do.
Please forgive another semi-political polemic here, but inmy practice I have often been amazed to hear my clients complain that they have notthe time nor the ability to be patient with their body, to rest it through an illnessbecause they have a job they can't afford to miss or responsibilities they can'tput down. This is a sad commentary on the supposed wealth and prosperity of the UnitedStates. In our country most people are enslaved by their debts, incurred becausethey had been enthralled by the illusion of happiness secured by the possession ofmaterial things. Debt slaves believe they cannot miss a week of work. People whofeel they can't afford to be sick think they can afford to live on pills. So peoplepush through their symptoms by sheer grit for years on end, and keep that up untiltheir exhausted horse of a body breaks down totally and they find themselves in thehospital running up bills to the tune of several thousand dollars a day. But thesevery same people do not think they can afford the loss of a few hundred dollars ofcurrent income undertaking some virtually harmless preventative maintenance on theirbodies.
Given half a chance the body will throw off toxic overburdensand cleanse itself. And once the body has been cleansed of toxemia, disagreeablesymptoms usually cease. This means that to make relatively mild but unwanted symptomslessen and ultimately stop it is merely necessary to temporarily cut back food intake,eating only what does not cause toxemia. These foods I classify as cleansing, suchas raw fruits and vegetables and their juices. If the symptoms are extreme, are perceivedas overwhelming or are actually life-threatening, detoxification can be speeded upby dropping back to only dilute raw juices or vegetable broth made only from greens,without eating the solids. In the most extreme cases hygienists use their most powerfulmedicine: a long fast on herb teas, or just water. I will have a lot to say aboutfasting, later.
When acutely ill, the most important thing to do is to justget out of the body's way, and let it heal itself. In our ignorance we are usuallyour own worst enemy in this regard. We have been very successfully conditioned tothink that all symptoms are bad. But I know from experience that people can and dolearn a new way of viewing the body, an understanding that puts them at cause overtheir own body. It allows you to be empowered in one more area of life instead ofbeing dependent and at the mercy of other peoples decisions about your body.
Finally, and this is why natural medicine is doubly unpopular,to prevent the recurrence of toxemia and acute disease states, person must discoverwhat they are doing wrong and change their life. Often as not this means eliminationof the person's favorite (indigestible) foods and/or (stress-producing) bad habits.Naturally, I will have a lot more to say about this later, too.
Go To Chapter Three
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