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"Instead of there being hundreds of diseases there are simply many variations in form and manifestation of the disease process - the curing process"
Unity of Disease and Symptoms
The UNITY OF DISEASE is a central concept in Natural Hygiene. When we talk of the unity of all diseases, we mean the unity of disease and symptoms.
There are not thousands of diseases, instead there is only one disease process, with different stages - the familiar "irritation, inflammation, ulceration, ...." (more here)
Below, Dr. Bass and Dr. Shelton explain how it works.
The Unity of Disease
All diseases, even though they use the same one vital force in manifesting through the various progressive stages in tissues and organs, for thousands of years since the beginning of medical practice, have traditionally been named according to the location of where the disease is present.
For example, rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose, sinusitis is the mucous membrane inflammation of the sinuses, hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, colitis of the colon etc.
Note, the process is the same in all locations, and the stages of healing are the same, but the variations in symptoms differ in each organ because of the differences in tissue structures between each organ.
Dr. Stanley S. Bass
read more: Energy - Its Oneness and Unity As the Chief Factor in Health and Disease
"The stages of healing are the same in all locations."
The Unity of Diseases and Symptoms
The Unity of Disease means simply that all "diseases" by whatever name they are called are one and the same thing. Instead of there being hundreds of diseases there are simply many variations in form and manifestation of the disease process - the curing process.
This is a most revolutionary principle and when finally understood and acted upon will simplify medicine and result in the passing away of nearly all of what now passes for science in the realm of medicine. It is possible to see all symptoms and all symptom complexes in terms of their essential unity. We can go still farther and show that the phenomena of health and the phenomena of disease are essentially one. Instead of health and disease creating, for us, the puzzles of nosologists and epistemologists, they are but two phases of the same thing - life or living.
"This is a most revolutionary principle and when finally understood and acted upon will simplify medicine."
But if disease is a unit and the disease process is the same wherever located and however far advanced, how are the apparent different diseases accounted for. This question may, at first, seem difficult to answer. However, the difficulties are more apparent than real.
The so-called different diseases are disease in different organs or in different structures. The apparent differences are given to them by the differences in the affected organs and the degree of affection.
The brain can't vomit and the stomach can't become insane. The liver can't urinate and the kidneys can't produce bile. The bowels can't cough and the lungs can't give rise to a diarrhea. The heart can't sweat and the skin can't miss pulsations.
Each tissue has its own work to perform and when affected or deranged gives rise to its own peculiar symptoms; that is, each deranged organ speaks its own language or dialect.
The symptoms of any disease are characteristic of the part affected. The distinguishing symptoms of the "different" so-called diseases are due to the differences in the organs affected.
"The brain can't vomit and the stomach can't become insane."
Thus, if the meninges of the brain and cord are affected, stupor and delirium will be present; if the lungs are affected, respiratory difficulties are present: if the stomach, intestine or bowels are affected, the symptoms will be characteristic of these organs. It is the tissue that is affected and the degree of the affection that lends individuality to disease. All the specific characters of disease are derived from the tissue or organ affected and not from some specific character of the "disease" itself. Disease is not an entity.
The reason for calling one form of disease catarrh, another diarrhea, or appendicitis or phrenitis, or tonsilitis, or metritis, or nephritis, or asthma or headache, etc., is not because of any real essential difference in the "disease," nor even in the cause of the "disease," but rather because of the difference in location. Each organ has its own way of acting and feeling and this gives rise to "different" symptoms. The real difference in one disease and "another" disease is in the structure and function of the organ affected. All disease is essentially one, every form having essentially the same general characteristics and, at basis, due to the same causes.
Catarrhal inflammation may exist in any mucous surface in the body and may be either acute or chronic. Or inflammation may begin in one mucous surface and, as time passes, extend to other mucous surfaces.
Thus a woman who has catarrh of the nose and throat may develop metritis and the woman who has asthma or hay fever almost always has leucorrhea and metritis. The same constitutional derangement is at the bottom of each of these "diseases." Hay fever is but an aggravated case of catarrh. Bronchial asthma is a bronchial catarrh.
The symptoms in these "diseases" are fundamentally the same. The distinguishing symptoms are those of location or structure.
Asthma is a special disease only because it is located in the bronchial tubes and not in the nasal passage or colon.
Dr. Tilden sagely observes that if the structural changes occurring in the nasal mucosa during an attack of hay fever, or in the bronchial mucosa during an attack of asthma, were also to occur in the neck of the womb their presence there would afford a complete and adequate explanation of the phenomena of dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation. "This simile," he adds: "can be carried to every passage and cavity of the human body that is lined with mucous membrane. The fact is, there is no difference between a catarrhal state of one part of the body and that of some other part."
The same blood and flesh condition that causes asthma can and does cause uterine and ovarine diseases to develop and exist at the same time the asthma exists. The asthma is not the cause of the uterine troubles nor vice versa. They both stem from the same fundamental cause.
Herbert M. Shelton,
"Human Life - Its Philosophy and Laws", Chapter XV, read more here
"All 'diseases' by whatever name they are called are one and the same thing"
Disease is a Unit
Dr. Benjamin Rush, who signed the Declaration of Independence (1776, USA), and who also insisted, when the Constitution was being framed, that provisions for medical liberty equal to that of religious and political liberty be made, also accepted the idea of the unity of disease. Dr. Rush was one of the greatest minds of the Revolutionary period, a scientist and painstaking investigator. He declared:
"Disease is as much a unit as fever. . . . Its different seats and degrees should no more be multiplied into different diseases than the numerous and different effects of heat and light upon our globe should be multiplied into a plurality of suns.
"Science has much to deplore from the multiplication of disease. It is as repugnant to truth in medicine as polytheism is to truth in religion. The physician who considers every different affection of the different parts of the same system as distinct diseases, when they arise from one cause, resembles the Indian or African savage who considers water, dew, ice, frost, and snow as distinct essences; while the physician who considers the morbid affections of every part of the body, however diversified they may be in their form or degree, as derived from one cause, resembles the philosopher who considers dew, ice, frost, and snow as different modifications of water, and as derived simply from the absence of heat."
We agree perfectly with Dr. Rush in placing those who see in every "abnormal" manifestation of life a different and specific disease on the intellectual level of savages.
"Disease should no more be multiplied into different diseases than the numerous and different effects of heat and light upon our globe should be multiplied into a plurality of suns."
THE ROAD TO KNOWLEDGE IN MEDICINE WILL BE SHORTENED
Dr. Benjamin Rush:
"By the rejection of the artificial arrangement of diseases, a revolution must follow in medicine. . . .
The road to knowledge in medicine by this means will likewise be shortened; so that a young man will be able to qualify himself to practice physic at a much less expense of time and labor than formerly, as a child would learn to read and write by the help of the Roman alphabet, instead of Chinese characters.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER - THE ROMAN OR CHINESE ALPHABET?
Herbert M. Shelton, Human Life - Its Philosophies and Laws, 1928
"We agree with placing those who see in every "abnormal" manifestation of life a different and specific disease on the intellectual level of savages."
Note: there is also a unity of disease and health.