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Here Dr. Goldberg writes about how "The correct application of Natural Hygiene to the individual can prevent many problems and minimise many others but it cannot prevent all disease --- it can only help to make us the best that our genetic potential allows us to be."

Common Errors Of Natural Hygienists - 2

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

Error #2:   Viewing Natural Hygiene As A Panacea.

There is a natural tendency for us all to want a philosophy, a way of life, a set of behaviors or other tool that will provide the solutions to all our problems. It is little wonder that throughout human history organized religion has had such an influential role. It can be observed that the more promises of solving all the individuals problems, (including those of morbidity, pain, and mortality), that a religion offers the more eagerly that religion is embraced by people. Those religious faiths that do not offer easy answers and whom do not offer rewards of heaven/paradise for their adherents are less popular and have fewer adherents.

This should not surprise us. Life is difficult. It has many uncertainties. Even for the most blessed, talented, and hardworking of us it entails some pain and suffering along the way. All of us age and with aging see our physical bodies deteriorate and the graces of youth fade away. Pain is a part of life and for some the pains can be great and start early in their lives.

In our society there is much illness with a wide variety of degenerative diseases. Many of these problems entail long term pain, and loss of enjoyment for the pleasures that life can afford us. It is natural that we would like someone to tell us how we can solve all these problems in the most efficient, effective and yes please, most easily implemented way possible!

The word “panacea” derives from Greek panakeia, from panakes, all-healing, from pan-, all + akos, cure. Who would not like a panacea to all of life's health problems? It seems that ever since Pandora opened that forbidden box and allowed all the ills of the universe to be unleashed among the world that we mortals have continued to seek a readily available solution to them.

The works of the Natural Hygiene Masters including Tilden and Shelton never presented Natural Hygiene as being a Panacea…yet that is the way it is viewed by many Natural Hygiene Students. Natural Hygiene is the ongoing study of natural laws as applied to human existence and the wise study and application of the laws of life so as to make our existence here as comfortable as possible. To help us make the very best that we can of our earthly existence, which by its very nature, presents us with many difficult challenges.

The application of Natural Hygiene as we understand it today cannot completely resolve all health difficulties. There have been many Natural Hygienists over the years who have believed that virtually any health problem could find its solution by the application of natural hygiene elements including fasting, diet, sunlight, rest and sleep, etc…if only they were applied long enough in a conscientious manner. In fact, many health problems do improve or resolve through the application of these natural /practices if applied long enough in a conscientious manner. It is important to realize, however, that not everyone has the same potential for health. Some of us are born with more limited capacities. Some of us have genetic weaknesses that prevent the same high level of health and well being as found in others. This does not make the application of Hygienic Behaviors irrelevant. On the contrary living in a Hygienic Fashion allows us to maximize our health potential…but we must accept that the potential in one will differ from that of another. A Chihuahua will never be a Great Dane no matter how hard it tries…but it can work to be the darn best Chihuahua possible!

In three decades of practice I have frequently run into people who are having great anxiety and frustration over their impaired health despite what they thought to be the correct application of Hygiene. Often they were overlooking important factors that were specific to them that it took an outsider like myself to identify. Once an individualized program was set up for them their health did greatly improve. For others, their expectations were unrealistic within the framework of their genetics.

Yes, ladies your breasts will sag as you grow older and yes gentlemen your sexual vitality will not be the same at 65 as when you were 18 years of age…that is life.
More importantly, however, is that some individuals will encounter diseases such as rheumatoid problems, cancer, parkinsons and alzheimers disease, etc., despite living lives that they believed to be hygienically based, due to strong genetic influences. The correct application of Natural Hygiene to the individual can prevent many problems and minimise many others but it cannot prevent all disease - it can only help to make us the best that our genetic potential allows us to be.

When we meet others whose health is not up to par, including those with serious illnesses who have tried to live Hygienically, do not be quick too judge them…each of us is given a different set of cards at birth and the test of the individual is not the set of cards they were given but how well they play them. Many people with impaired health, including many Hygienists have skillfully played their hand of cards and thus enabled themselves to live far more productive lives than they otherwise would have.

Today I am one of a number of practitioners studying and learning more about not only how to identify genetic weaknesses in the individual that make them more prone to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune conditions, osteoporosis, and other degenerative diseases, but also how to apply specific nutritional/biochemical measures to keep genetic problems from surfacing or turning them down/off once they do surface. This does go beyond the scope of Natural Hygiene as it is commonly understood but in no way replaces it.

Our genetic predispositions (our genotypes) do not have to result in those genes expressing themselves in illness (our phenotypes). Constructive preventive and rehabilitative steps can be taken to alter our genetic expression of disease. The advancements we are making in altering genetic expression, by identifying and modifying genetically based illnesses by modifying environmental influences are giving us “new” tools to help people with. I put the word new in italics as some of the new tools have their basis in Natural Hygiene. Natural Hygienic Principles remain the basics for good health.

In summary, let us keep three things in mind:

  1. Natural Hygiene, tailored to the individual's genetic predisposition (their diasthesis) should form the foundation of every person's health program.

  2. Natural Hygiene is not a panacea. Each person's genetic potential for disease will differ widely from the next person's and therefore their capacity for health will differ also.

  3. Natural Hygiene is a constantly evolving science. The Laws of Life do not change, but our correct understanding of them does.



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Dr. Goldberg Dr. Paul Goldberg is a graduate of Bowling Green State University (B.A.), Life University (B.S.) The University of Texas Medical Center, Graduate School of Public Health (M.P.H.), and Life College (D.C.). He is a Certified Natural Hygiene Practitioner and has been awarded Diplomate Status by the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. He became interested in Natural Hygiene due to personal illness with rheumatoid disease and served as a Health Director of The Shangri-La Natural Hygiene Institute as well as completing a Natural Hygiene Internship under his mentor the late Dr. William Esser.

For twenty three years he served as a Professor of Gastroenterology, Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at Life College. Since 1983 he has had an ongoing practice in Clinical Nutrition, Natural Hygiene, Clinical Epidemiology and Biological Medicine as the Director of The Goldberg Clinic in Atlanta Georgia. He also currently serves as the Director of Physician Education for Garden of Life, Inc.

Dr. Goldberg's clinical focus in practice, teaching and research has been on chronic disease conditions including systemic arthritic, autoimmune, and gastrointestinal disorders. He is best known for his successful work in the reversal of chronic degenerative diseases by seeking out causal factors utilizing clinical epidemiology and a nutritional/biochemical/hygienic approach.

Dr. Goldberg is Vice President and co-founder of the International Natural Hygiene Society.

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