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"Education rather than treatment is the great need."
Hygiene vs. Curing
by Dr. Herbert Shelton
My father developed asthma when I was a small boy, suffering intermittently for a number of years.
During this time he tried all the proffered asthma cures that were prescribed by the physicians he consulted, as well as the cures offered by advertisers and those recommended to him by friends and acquaintances.
While many of these cures afforded him a brief respite from suffering, none of them gave him permanent relief. The cures had to be repeated over and over again. Let's take one of them as an example.
I can still remember seeing him as he inhaled the smoke of the burning leaves of stramonium (jimson weed).The narcotic contained in the smoke occasioned a temporary relaxation of the bronchioles and enabled him to breathe freely, but, like the relief afforded him by opium or morphine, the relief from inhaling the fumes of burning stramonium was only temporary. No amount of repetitions of relief brought permanent relief.
Time flowed on, two World Wars and a number of smaller wars came and passed, the Earth has been ransacked by searchers and researchers in an effort to find a lasting cure for asthma, but today, as when my father was young, the curing professions are still satisfied to provide evanescent palliation for the sufferer with asthma. There were the adrenalin and antihistamine eras, followed by the present vogue for desensitization, by injections of antigens. As with the common cold, there is no known cure for asthma.
During the 80 years that have elapsed since my father developed asthma, literally thousands of asthma sufferers have regained health and maintained it thereafter by the simple plan of living defined by Natural Hygiene. Using no drugs with their inevitable aftermath of adverse reactions and iatrogenic diseases, but relying upon the normal things of life, superb and lasting health is built.
The first requisite of restoring health is the removal of the causes of impairment of health. Cause is multiple and never singular. Logically, we are entitled to include in our constellation of causative factors every act, habit, indulgence, circumstance and material that either remotely or immediately impairs the structural integrity or lowers the functional vigor of the organism or any of its parts. The lowered capacity to function produced by the totality of impairing influences checks secretion and excretion, producing a toxemic state out of which there evolve the many diseases to which the individual is predisposed. Trying to remedy a disease, such as asthma for instance, without removing the cause is like trying to sober a drunken man while he continues to drink.
The second requisite of recovery is an adequate supply of the normal requirements of healthy life mental, physical and physiological rest, adequate but not superfluous food, fresh air, sunshine, warmth, and cleanliness providing these within the reduced capacity of the crippled organism to make constructive use of them. Instead of using all the causes of disease known to the three kingdoms of nature in a futile effort to cure disease, Natural Hygiene employs the normal mainstays of life to build and maintain high level health.
There are certain fundamental conditions proper to the mental and physical well-being of man, and we must understand, as a matter of strictest science as well as of individual experience, that health is maintained or lost in exact proportion as these fundamental conditions are supplied or denied. This is one of the first important truths in reference to our physical organization which we must learn if we are to have health on anything more than the haphazard basis that is commonly accepted.
When, in our manner of living, we violate, whether through ignorance or in spite of knowledge, certain organic laws, obedience to which alone can preserve health, we must inevitably suffer the necessary consequence of each violation.
"Health by healthful living" thus becomes the watchword of Natural Hygiene.
Education rather than treatment is the great need.
Herbert M. Shelton (from the Hygienic Review)
Fasting Can Save Your Life --- Asthma
A young soprano whose voice and hard work had won her the high honor of being a member of the Metropolitan Opera found herself in a heartbreak-ing situation: She had developed a serious asthmatic condition and could no longer sing.
Her physician told her frankly, "I can give you temporary respite. We have no cure for asthma."
The desperate singer consulted a specialist who reiterated what the family physician had told her. There was no cure.
At that moment this singer faced the prospect of the wreckage of her career, in spite of her talent, training, work and dreams. She gave up singing. She retired to her farm in New Jersey. Medicine had written off her chances.
Then she heard of Natural Hygiene - the concept of the importance of the body's own healing capacity. Uncertain, but willing in her predicament to try any possible avenue of help, she consulted a Hygienist.
After examining her and hearing her story, he told her, "You can be helped. I believe you can free yourself of this asthmatic condition if you will do what I tell you - not by medicine or medical treatment at all."
"What then?" she demanded.
She did not understand. He explained at length to her the processes of fasting as we have been discussing them and their techniques in this book. The young singer grasped at this idea that was entirely new and startling to her.
The fast did the job.
In a matter not of months but of weeks the asthma cleared, within a few months she was back at the Metropolitan. A career that might otherwise have been smashed on the rocks of asthmatic suffering was able to return to its triumphant course.
H.M. Shelton, Fasting Can Save Your Life, 1964
"ALL cases of bronchial asthma are remediable."
Dr. Shelton's Orthopathy disease encyclopedia:
Symptoms: Asthma is preceded by chronic bronchitis and often by hay fever and sinus affections. The paroxysms may be preceded by such premonitory symptoms as oppression of the chest, mental depression, dyspeptic or other symptoms, or may come on suddenly, usually at night. The patient is unable to lie down, but is forced to sit up, often before an open window. The dyspnea becomes intense, the face is pale, the expression anxious, there is a great feeling of oppression in the chest and often a dread of suffocation. Though labored, respiration is not usually frequent, due to prolonged expiration. In severe or prolonged paroxysms there is blueness, sweating, cold extremities, small and frequent pulse and drowsiness. Paroxysms last from a few minutes to many hours and may pass off suddenly, perhaps to recur soon or on several successive nights, with slight cough and difficult breathing in the intervals; At first the cough is nearly dry and the sputum very tenacious. At the beginning the paroxysms may last only a few days, and recur at intervals of a few weeks or months, but as the condition grows chronic, the asthma becomes continuous.
Prognosis: ALL cases of bronchial asthma are remediable. Five to six weeks are sufficient time for complete recovery in the average case. More time is required in a small percentage of cases.
Care of the Patient: Eliminate toxemia, restore nerve energy and correct the mode of living. The fast should last until all abnormal breath sounds have disappeared from the lung; preferably, it should last until the tongue is clean. Two to four days of fasting is usually enough in even the most severe and long-standing cases to bring sufficient relief to allow the patient to lie down and rest and sleep.
When the underlying toxic condition is eliminated, all forms of sensitization disappear. When the asthmatic gets rid of toxemia he does not have to worry about sensitization. He automatically gets rid of this when he gets rid of the true cause — toxemia. It is, perhaps, true that all asthmatics will retain to some extent their sensitiveness to certain foods, chemicals, heat, cold, etc., as they originally had that tendency or diathesis when they were born, but by following a few simple rules of right living they may always avoid a recurrence of asthma.
..... Few asthmatics have much idea of their limitations in eating, working, enjoying, etc., and, as a consequence of their over-indulgence, are constantly adding to their trouble. If they are to get well and remain well, they must learn self-control.
..... The palliative treatment commonly employed adds greatly to enervation and thus to toxemia. The original causes are not corrected. Under such conditions, how can recovery be hoped for?
H.M. Shelton, Orthopathy, 1941
Herbert M. Shelton wrote more than 40 books, published the Hygienic Review monthly and operated his famous Dr. Shelton's Health School in San Antonio,Texas. He was the co-founder of the American Natural Hygiene Society.
Read more articles by Dr. Shelton: