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In the first article in this series Dr. Goldberg writes about how "Natural Hygiene avoids dogmatism. It is a way of approaching life, a way of thinking " and about how "everyone of us is unique".

Common Errors Of Natural Hygienists - 1

  by Paul A. Goldberg, M.P.H., D.C. D.A.C.B.N.

Error #1:   Viewing Natural Hygiene as a set of immutable practices applicable to all persons in an identical fashion.

Natural Hygiene is a way of approaching life and living. It is a way of discovering the truth in all things related to our relationship with the world, nature and other life on this planet. It is not a set of practices etched in stone for all times. Natural Hygiene is a tool...a realization that man, like all animals, is governed by nature and nature's laws. It is the goal of Natural Hygiene to discover what those laws are and to apply them appropriately to our lives. When we read of a practice that a Natural Hygienist has come up with based upon their interpretation of natural law as applied to human beings it is just that… their interpretation.

The most valuable contribution of Hygienic Pioneers such as Drs. Tilden and Shelton were not their specific ideas on fasting, diet, exercise, or any other specific aspect of Hygienic Living…rather it was the processes they used at arriving at their conclusions and their willingness to be proven wrong if they were mistaken. In other words there greatest contribution was in helping us learn how to reason and think rather than merely what to think.

Natural Hygiene is a practical philosophy that seeks to understand the workings of nature and apply these understandings beneficially to our lives. Natural Hygiene is not an immutable set of principles. As our comprehension of nature progresses, our application of hygienic principles may be modified both collectively and individually.

It is important to realize that while the laws that affect life on this planet are uniform, we as individuals are not. We differ in small, yet significant ways from each other in terms of our genetics and in large ways in terms of the climate and lifestyle each of us is subject to. Over the millions of years that man has developed on planet earth there have developed differences among us. This is seen most clearly in the types of diseases we are most prone to at birth.

A human egg cell represents one of eight million possibilities in terms of its genetic variability. When fertilized by a single sperm cell, which also represents one of eight million different possibilities a zygote with any of 64 trillion (eight million times eight million) diploid combinations results. It is therefore easy to appreciate that even brothers and sisters can be very different and subject to having different talents and the development of different problems. Each different set of parents generates another 64 trillion possibilities for each of their offspring. Everyone of us is unique.

The uniqueness of each person does not, however, mean that the laws of life are different for each person, but rather the manner in which each person is affected may differ. Natural Hygiene needs therefore to be applied to each person and their circumstances rather than in some one size fits all package.

The great nutritional biochemist Roger Williams Ph.D. coined the term “Biochemical Individuality” referring to the many differences that exist between each person's biochemical make up. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. The same laws of life affect us all, but due to our own inherent differences the ways in which they will affect us will differ from person to person. We also change with age…the same laws apply at any age but the way in which we are affected by those laws differ in small yet significant ways from decade to decade as we age.

When I am asked apparently simple questions such as “Are bananas good for you?” “Is running a healthy form of exercise”? “Is it good to take regular nude sunbaths?”…even here I must answer cautiously…for if one is a severe diabetic, with knees damaged by rheumatoid disease living in the southernmost areas of South America the answer to all three questions is for the most part “no”. For advanced diabetes bananas are too sweet (although for those living in tropical or semi-tropical environments they are generally an excellent food in moderation). One who has had significant damage done to their cartilage should avoid running activities, rather choosing less stressful activities to the joints such as swimming. The O-zone layer has been particularly damaged and become very thin in the southernmost hemisphere and therefore nude sunbathing there must be done with an extra degree of caution, although for those in the United States sunbathing done appropriately is an essential of healthy living. The reader can undoubtedly come up with many more examples that demonstrate the need to apply individual considerations to all aspects of a Hygienic Lifestyle in ways that are simple such as the examples given or in more complex matters.

Natural Hygiene avoids dogmatism. It is a way of approaching life…a way of thinking. It is the judicious combined use of observation, science, innate intelligence, reason and experience all used together to most efficiently and wisely live in balance with nature and make our lives more pleasant, productive and harmonious. Natural Hygiene encourages us to continue to explore our ideas and concepts and improve on them as in the words of Dr. Herbert Shelton, “Seek the truth even though the heavens may fall.”



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