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The following is an outline of a daily regimen for natural living and home treatment which will prove fully sufficient to maintain good health and to insure physical and mental efficiency, provided, however, the system is in good condition to begin with. In order to cure acute or deep-seated chronic conditions it is necessary to apply thorough systematic natural treatment as outlined under the respective headings. The regimen may have to be modified somewhat to suit various constitutions and changing conditions.
1. Mental Adjustment. When your mental alarm clock (Vol. I, Chap. XLII) has awakened you in the morning from sleep, lie flat on your back in a completely relaxed position. For a few minutes let a feeling of rest, peace and good will permeate your whole being. Then in a prayerful attitude of mind make your affirmations and denials according to your daily need. Say, for instance:
"I am thankful for being alive and for all the privileges and responsibilities which life confers upon me. I am glad I have before me another day of glorious opportunity to give and to receive, to gather greater knowledge and to work for self-completion through better control of all my faculties and powers.
"There is that within me which can rise superior to own weakness and to outward circumstancesthe power of free will, a spark of the creative force that animates every living thing. By the power of the divine will within me I WILL BE WHAT I WILL TO BE. I shall attain complete mastery over my body, mind and soul; I shall express inward harmony in outward health, strength, success and happiness." (For other affirmations see Vol. I, Chap. XLIII)
2. Water Sniffing. Then arise without further delay and after washing your face and hands in cold water, sniff cold water from the hollow of your hand through your nose until the water passes freely through the nasal passages into the mouth. Repeat this in the beginning six times, and gradually increase to twelve times.
The water sniffing should be repeated three or four times a day, every time one has occasion to wash, and before retiring in the evening. At first this practice may have an irritating effect, but this will soon be overcome.
If in the beginning the water cannot be taken cold, it may be tempered. Within a few days or weeks, however, it should be used as it comes from the hydrant.
Water sniffing is an excellent means for cleansing the nasal passages of all obstruction. It is the best treatment for catarrh and a splendid natural stimulant to the membranes and nerve endings in the nasal passages. Through stimulation of these nerve endings it has a tonic effect upon the brain and nervous system.
3. Eye Bath. Follow instructions under Sec. XXV. In case of weak eyes, follow with the eye massage and exercises.
4. Morning Drink. After the water sniffing and eyebath, and after cleansing the teeth and mouth with dilute lemon juice (one fourth of a lemon to one half a glass of water) sip slowly a glass or two of fresh, cold water. In the water, unless ordered otherwise, you may take the juice of half a lemon or lime.
Do not use warm or hot water for drinking. Warm water is weakening and enervating inside as well as outside of the body. The hot water drinking fad is all wrong, though it may be temporarily indicated under certain disease conditions.
5. Morning Cold Rub and Air Bath. (Secs. XIII and XX.) After the bath, exercise nude before an open window, if the outside temperature permits. Soon the circulation and skin action will improve to such an extent that you can do this with impunity in midwinter as well as in summer time.
After the cold rub, while taking the air bath nude before an open window, go through the breathing exercises and curative gymnastics. If possible, exercise from fifteen to thirty minutes. Also pinch, pull, slap and massage the fleshy parts of the body vigorously, from the feet up. Rub the back with a flesh brush or with a rough towel.
The breathing exercises you will find in Sec. XXI, beginning on page 181; the internal massage exercise on page 187; the physical exercises in Sec. XXIII; and the psychological exercises, Sec. XXIV. Study these sections carefully, especially what is said on page 197 about changing and alternating the exercises from week to week. Begin with the lighter exercises and from day to day take more difficult ones.
The time to be spent in exercise must be determined by your occupation and other individual conditions.
Do not exercise immediately before or after eating, nor when very tired.
6. Morning Walk. After dressing, if the weather permits take a brisk walk or short run in the open air. Otherwise spend from ten to fifteen minutes in bag punching or other exercises adapted to your individual requirements.
7. Exercise. Exercise is one of the most important factors in the daily natural regimen and one that is too much neglected.
Normal, healthy life means that there must be activity of each individual cell in order to promote the assimilation of food and the elimination of waste products from the cells and tissues.
Performing ordinary daily routine work, such as housework, or even hard labor, does not accomplish the desired result. It exercises only certain sets of muscles and leaves others undeveloped. In order to be effective, exercise should be undertaken with enthusiasm and energy. Outdoor field sports and games are best, and should be continued until profuse perspiration comes. Where that is not possible some regular substitute should be used, and the will power should be directed to that set of muscles or that part of the body which is being exercised at any given time.
Walking is a splendid form of exercise, provided it is made vigorous enough to set in motion all the muscles of the body and to produce perspiration. There is no better form of elimination than natural perspiration.
8. Sun and Air Baths. Sun and air baths are important for reviving the dead skin and for keeping it in normal condition. They should be taken every day. This can be done in combination with your regular exercise, but may be taken at a separate time and place. (Sec. XX)
Vitality or life force comes to us through the sun; and the direct action of sun, light and air on the skin is very beneficial.
Do not expose your body to the direct rays of the sun for too long a time at the start, as the sun's rays have a powerful, stimulating effect. You should begin with moderate exposure and gradually increase until you get the amount suited to your individual condition.
If no special provision is made for outdoor air baths, take all exercises nude before an open window. The cold spray or sponge bath taken during exposure to the sun and air will increase skin action. Let the body dry in the air, rubbing it with the hands to increase its magnetism.
Before going to sleep, take a short air bath in front of the open window. This may be combined with breathing exercises, internal massage or a few corrective movements; but care must be taken not to drive away sleep by over-strenuous exercise.
9. The Evening Cold Sitz Bath. You will find this important application described on page 138. It should be taken regularly as long as there are no bad aftereffects. Some few people seem to become stimulated by this bath instead of soothed and quieted and complain of disturbed sleep. In such cases the sitz bath may have to be taken lukewarm or may have to be omitted entirely. Women must not take the cold sitz bath during the menstrual period. They should cease cold-water applications a few days before the arrival of the period and not resume until a day or two after.
If you do not react well to the sitz bath, try the air bath with self-massage and friction as described under "morning cold rub". The cold sitz bath is beneficial in the majority of cases. It draws the blood from the brain and spinal cord into the abdominal parts and organs where it is most needed, thus inducing quiet, dreamless sleep.
If you suffer from cold feet due to defective circulation, follow the directions for Foot Baths and Barefoot Walking, pages 135, 136.
10. Eating and Drinking. Wrong eating and drinking is the most prolific of all the causes of disease, and therefore regulation of the diet in harmony with Nature's laws and principles becomes of prime importance in the treatment of acute and chronic disease.
In case of chronic disease every drop of blood and every cell is affected and in order to produce a cure complete regeneration has to take place. The greater the change in food, provided you select foods that are pure and eliminating, the greater and faster will be the changes in the blood and tissues.
A carefully selected balanced diet containing the neutralizing and eliminating elements provides one of the most important means for complete regeneration of the human organism.
It requires steady, persistent use of will power and self control to arrive at the proper daily quantity and kind of food and to maintain that schedule, but the results obtained are well worth the effort.
There are certain kinds of foods and drinks which have no place in the strict natural regimen. These are coffee, tea and all kinds of alcoholic or fermenting drinks.
Meat, fish or other flesh foods should not be used. When you eat the flesh of an animal you eat the waste products of the animal's life processes, urea, uric acid, cell waste, etc., all of which are poisons. If you add this to the quantity of waste products and poisons produced in your own body it is very evident that by eating of meat foods you are putting double work on the organs of elimination.
Excess quantities of starches, proteins and fats are not desirable in the natural regimen, for the reason that they may produce acids and ptomains which are difficult to eliminate.
The digestion of starchy foods begins in the mouth. Therefore it is important that they be thoroughly masticated and mixed with saliva before being swallowed. This can be accomplished much better if the starchy foods are eaten dry or nearly dry, as this promotes the flow of saliva.
In the following is outlined a daily regimen as to frequency of meals and combination of foods.
The ideal breakfast should consist of raw fruits only; best, one kind of fruit at a meal. However, if it agrees with you, you may add to the raw food some dried, stewed or baked fruit.
During the treatment of serious chronic ailments the breakfast should consist of raw juicy fruits only, such as oranges, grape fruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, plums, pears, cherries, berries, etc.
Dinner, the chief meal of the day, should be eaten after the day's work is over. It is never advisable to eat a heavy meal when it has to be immediately followed by great physical or mental exertion. Either work or digestion will suffer. The vital force employed in manual or Intellectual labor cannot at the same time be utilized for the digestion and assimilation of food.
If circumstances are such that dinner must be eaten in the middle of the day, take a short rest and relax thoroughly, physically and mentally, from 10 to 15 minutes before eating. You should also relax and rest for about half hour before going back to your work. The American habit of sitting down to meals in a tense, strained condition of mind and body is to blame for much of the chronic dyspepsia from which we as a nation are suffering.
Dinner should be composed of the following foods: Soup (see Cook Book) should not be served more than twice or three times a week. For relishes use raw vegetables and olives. Vegetable salads (see recipes in Cook book). One cooked leafy, juicy vegetable belonging to group V (see recipes in Cook Book). Selection of potatoes or roots (see recipes in Cook Book). For desserts take fruits, or use recipes given in Cook Book. Health and butter, or rye crisp.
This does not mean that you should have all of the above dishes at one meal. As a matter of fact, the less the variety of food at one meal the better.
In order to lessen the intake of protein and starchy foods, it is a good rule to take either a potato or bread, not both, at the same meal.
The noon luncheon might consist of salads, vegetable relishes (see Cook Book); alkaline fruits, such as figs, dates, raisins, prunes, etc.; cereal dishes; health bread and butter, cottage cheese or honey; also dried, stewed or baked fruits, and nuts.
What has been said about dinner concerning variety and quantity of foods applies also to luncheon.
The principal rule to observe is that one half of the meal should consist of juicy fruits and juicy, leafy vegetables, as outlined in Group V, page 33. The other half may consist of foods belonging to Group I (starches), Group II (sugars), Group III (fats), and Group IV (proteins).
For further information regarding the selection, combination and preparation of foods, see Sec. X. Also study acid diseases, in Vol. I, beginning page 350.
11. Frequency of Meals. The frequency of meals cannot be determined by hard and fast rules. Various factors must be taken into account-occupation, physical condition, circumstances in the home, etc. As a rule, the two-meal plan is the best. The ideal way is to have breakfast between nine and ten o'clock in the morning and dinner between five and six in the afternoon. This allows sufficient time for thorough digestion and assimilation.
In our experience, the no-breakfast plan does not agree with most people. Putting off the first meal until noon is likely to create excessive hunger and a tendency to over-eat. It also brings the noonday meal and the evening meal very close together.
If circumstances are such that breakfast has to be taken early in the day and dinner late in the evening, it may be found advisable to eat the raw fruit meal at noon.
12. Hot food and Drink. Next to eating the wrong kinds of food or good food in abnormal combinations, there is nothing more injurious to the digestive organs, particularly the teeth, than the foolish custom of swallowing food and drink piping hot and mixing the glowing viands with ice water. Solid foods, soup, coffee and tea are served at temperatures varying from 120° to 160° F. (as much as 70° above blood heat), or as hot as the food can be conveyed from the cooking utensils to the table.
Hands or feet immersed in water of the temperature at which food is usually served would be severely scalded, yet the tender membranes of the mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach are brought a few times daily into intimate contact with burning hot food and drink. None other of the many foolish customs of hypercivilization contributes no much to the early decay and destruction of the teeth and gums as scalding them with hot food and drink and then chilling suddenly with ice-cold water. The sudden application of heat to the teeth will crack the enamel in similar manner as glass will crack when suddenly immersed in hot water. The destruction of the enamel is hastened by abrupt changes from excessive heat to contact with ice cold drinks or ices. Is it any wonder that decay of the teeth and pyorrhea are almost universal in this country?
While among Europeans the custom of serving food as hot as possible is as prevalent as in this country, they not yet acquired the injurious ice water habit. The American traveler is greatly surprised when he asks in vain for ice water in the home, the railroad trains, and in the best hotels of Europe. Nature nowhere serves her wild creatures with hot food and drink; that is one of the reasons why they do not need dentists.
In our institutions we make it a practice to serve the food moderately warm. At first many of the guests are strongly inclined to resent this practice, but they quickly become accustomed to the better way and then thoroughly relish the warm viands; it is all a matter of habit and we might as well indulge in the right habits as in the wrong ones which tend to create suffering for us in the long run.
The injurious habit of "fire eating" accounts to a large extent not only for early decay of the teeth and for diseases of the gums, but also for acute and chronic inflammation of the stomach and, in many instances, for ulcers, and for the development of benign and malignant tumors.
13. Drinking. We are not in favor of excessive drinking. The "flushing of the system" fad is a mistake. The purification of the body is not a mechanical process like the flushing of a sewer with water. It is a chemical process which depends upon the proper concentration of the different secretions in the system. These secretions, the most important of which is the blood, cannot be made more effective by diluting with large amounts of water.
Most of the people that come to us for treatment suffering from stubborn chronic constipation have been "flushing" for years, through mouth and rectum, using quarts and even gallons of water daily, with the result that they were getting more constipated all the time. On our dry food diet and our treatments, the bowels begin to act normally within a short time.
Very large quantities of lime, iron, sulfur or other inorganic minerals in water that is used constantly for drinking or bathing are injurious to the system. We do not sanction the use of distilled water under any circumstances, because it has a tendency to leach the mineral elements from blood and tissues.
If the water contains vegetable or animal organic matter it should be filtered.
It is the customary highly spiced meat and egg diet which creates excessive, abnormal thirst. A rational, non-irritating and non-stimulating vegetarian diet furnishes the organism with fluids of the best possible kind in the form of fruit and vegetable juices, prepared in Nature's own laboratory, rich in medicinal qualities and free from All objectionable constituents.
Under ordinary conditions, drink from four to eight glasses of pure water at ordinary temperature in the course of the day, according to your own individual inclination: in the morning before breakfast, at night before going to bed and at intervals during the day.
14. Drinking at Meals. The less you drink with your meals the better. The dryness of the food furnishes the necessary stimulus to the secretion of saliva and of gastric and intestinal juices.
An abundance of liquid in the digestive tract interferes with the action of the secreting glands. It dilutes the secretions and thereby weakens their digestive qualities. The juices of the stomach and the intestines cannot be made more effective by adding to them large amounts of water at mealtime.
Coffee and tea or alcoholic drinks should be especially avoided at meals. The former retard digestion: the latter over-stimulate temporarily the secretion of gastric and intestinal juices and this unnatural stimulation is followed by corresponding weakness and inactivity of the secreting glands in the digestive tract. Liquor taken before and during meals, therefore, encourages overeating, and when the reaction sets in, the secretions as well as the vitality are lacking in strength to digest properly the excess of food taken under the influence of unnatural stimulation.
A glass of water taken from one half to one hour before meals will in most cases do away with the desire to drink at mealtime. However, if there be actual thirst it must be satisfied. If you prefer a warm drink, you may take cereal coffee or warm milk or (sparingly) cocoa. Skimmed milk, buttermilk and fruit juices diluted with water are good cold drinks.
15. Losing Weight. As before stated, the first effect of the natural regimen and of the natural methods of treatment is to promote the elimination of morbid matter from the system and this is naturally accompanied by some loss of weight. Many patients, unless they are instructed on the subject, become alarmed over this, especially since the laity as well as the old school of medicine seem to regard increase of flesh and fat as an evidence of increasing strength and better health. This, however, is another popular fallacy.
To increase flesh and fat in a diseased body by stuffing and swamping it with large quantities of fat-producing foods and drink simply means increasing the disease conditions. It is the purpose of natural methods of living and of treatment to first purify cells and tissues of their encumbrances with morbid matter and disease taints. When this has been accomplished and when the blood has been built up on a natural basis, then will come a perfectly natural gain in flesh and strength; and whatever is built up then in new tissue is certain to be solid, pure and wholesome.
If all directions are carried out faithfully, there may be some loss of flesh but no corresponding loss of strength. On the contrary, in most cases there will be a decided increase of vital energy. Therefore do not dread the loss of a few pounds of flesh during the first periods of treatment. Whatever you lose is not good anyway. The old, diseased man must go before the new man can be built up in perfect health, strength and beauty.
16. Mental Attitude. The attitude of the mind is of great importance in following the natural regimen of living and of treatment. By our habitual thoughts we create in our brains the actual centers which make either for weakness and disease, or for health and strength. (See Sec. VI)
From these centers impulses or vibrations are sent into every cell and organ of the body, and these mental vibrations are changed into the corresponding physical conditions of health or of disease. This very important subject is treated at greater length in Vol. I, Chap. XL.
17. Relaxation. In our strenuous modern life the art of relaxation is known little and practiced less. Perfect relaxation is of the greatest importance for the conservation of our vital energies. It allows the greatest possible in flow of vital force into the system and economizes its expenditure.
Most people spend the best part of their vitality not in the amount of work they do, but in the way they do it. We must learn to be perfectly relaxed not only during the periods of rest and sleep, but also during the hours of physical and mental activity.
Some people on account of a tense nervous condition, spend more vital energy while resting and sleeping than others do while at work. In most instances, nerve exhaustion in its many different manifestations is brought about not through overwork, but through the tense, fretful, impatient, irritable, hurrying way in which the work is performed.
The ability to rest, to sleep and to work in a condition of perfect relaxation and repose plays an important part not only in the ordinary daily life but especially in the natural treatment of diseases. We have therefore a special chapter on the subject of Relaxation. (Vol. I, Chap. XLII)
18. Sleep. During sleep the liberation of vital energy in the body continues as during the wakeful hours of active work, but none is expended. The body acts as a storage battery. A reserve of vital energy is thus accumulated for the work of the following day.
The moment the consciousness wakens and mental activity begins the expenditure of vital force commences.
It is for these reasons that nothing can take the place of sleep as a restorer of vital energy. No amount of food and drink, no tonics or stimulants can make good for lost sleep.
Therefore we must learn how to derive the greatest good from deep, sound sleep. This can be learned and the habit acquired even by those who have suffered from insomnia for years. It is fortunate for insomnia patients that they sleep more than they are aware. If it were not so, they could not live.
The following rules, if closely followed, will help to induce sound sleep:
a) Sleep in a well ventilated and not overheated room.
b) Never sleep in the garments worn during the day. Wear a night garment of light, porous material, so that the poisonous exhalations of the skin may easily escape; or, better still, wear NONE.
c) Let the covering be neither too warm nor too heavy.
d) Avoid excitement or extraordinary strain just before bedtime if possible.
e) Do not eat heavy food shortly before bedtime. However, it is a good practice to eat one kind of juicy fruit before retiring, and many nervous, wakeful people are benefited by taking a glass of milk.
f) After going to bed, practice the formulae for "Relaxation Before Sleeping". See Vol. I, Chap. XLII.
19. Bedtime. Two hours before and the two hours after midnight are the most valuable for sleep of all the twenty four hours of the day. In these four hours mental and physical vigor are at their lowest ebb and sleep is soundest and most natural. It is true, therefore, that "one hour of sleep before midnight is worth two at any other time." Actors and others whose occupations require intense mental work during the midnight hours are prone to suffer from nervous disorders.
Establish the habit of going to bed early. If you have extra work let it not be done during the precious midnight hours, but rather in the early morning after the organism has been refreshed and strengthened by sleep.
20. Duration of Sleep. Eight hours of sleep a day is considered the average amount required by the average person. However, some people require more sleep than others, especially those who are nervous or anemic. On the other hand, too much sleep begets a tendency to laziness.
Therefore no general rule can be established as to the exact amount of sleep required. This must be determined by the individual through close observation of the amount of sleep required to keep him in the best possible condition.
21. The Noonday Nap. If you are weak and nervous or subject in your daily work to considerable physical and mental strain, make it a practice to take a nap after the noonday meal or at any other suitable time.
Retire to a quiet place where you will be undisturbed. Sit in a chair in a comfortable, relaxed position or, better still, lie down on a couch or bed. If there be sufficient time for doing so, take off the shoes and loosen the clothing.
Dismiss all disturbing thoughts from your mind and go through one of the formulae for Relaxation given in Vol 1, Chap. XLII.
If in this manner you can rest and relax sufficiently to lose consciousness for a short while, even if it should not be for more than ten or fifteen minutes, you will rise strengthened and refreshed. Only through entire temporary loss of consciousness can perfect relaxation be attained.
In order to ascertain whether you have accomplished your purpose, hold some small object, say a lead pencil, in your closed hand when you take your rest. If loss of consciousness and complete relaxation have taken place, you will find that your hand has opened and the pencil has slipped from it.
Some people claim that they feel worse after a brief nap in the daytime, but it has been my experience that by persisting in this practice the seemingly adverse effects are soon overcome. I believe that many overtired and nervous people would find this noonday nap or "psychic" nap, as it has been called, more beneficial for rest and recuperation than the taking of a walk.
Neither is it true that the noonday nap keeps one from sleeping at night. Insomnia is caused by overwrought nerves. The more relaxed the brain and nervous system during the day, the deeper and more normal the sleep at night. It is the exhausted and overworked brain that has been kept at work for many hours without intermission or relaxation that either cannot go to sleep at all, or obtains at best but a disturbed, fitful, half-conscious and therefore unrefreshing sleep.
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