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"Natural Hygiene is such a great thing, it should spread like wildfire"


Illness Is Not Inevitable

Natural Hygiene illuminates the laws that govern health

William Esser, the director of Dr. Essers Health Ranch in Florida, in a 1978 portrait,
Not many people are ready to believe that a normal human being is immune to all disease. Man always has thought and been taught that health is an uncertainty, and that disease is as inevitable as death.

Most people have a fear complex, and they have been educated into it by the various "professions" in general. The clergy has often preached that disease and death result from the wrath of God; the medical profession has done the best job of teaching the uncertainty of health. The legal profession has added to man's fears by fostering injustices.

The power of fear
The result of such teaching is the building of fear complexes, which reduce vitality and lower health standards, and is a prominent reason why other nations point to America as a country of sick people. Sadly, there is shocking truth to this belief. The average American has developed "the habit of being sick." Seeking cures from curers is the tragic national pastime. Cures are as elusive and unreal as mirages. But the palliation and subsequent impairment of vital organs— and the surgical mutilation—are very real and lasting.

The time is long overdue for thorough renovation. The causes of fear must go. Man has nothing to fear except himself and his disease-building, life-shortening habits. Years ago, when the microscope enlarged tiny organisms to a size which made them look ferocious and dangerous, a wave of fear swept the land. It was decided that these caused most of our diseases, and, as a consequence, a sterile existence was frantically sought after by all who wished to be healthy. Today, the fear of germs is mostly a thing of the past. But another phobia, more mysterious but less tangible—the "virus," has taken over to explain disease.

Illness results from man's own violations and indiscretions, his own sins against himself. When he ceases to make himself sick, he becomes immune, and disease no longer exists. John H. Tilden, M.D., once wrote, "All the cures which have been invented by man are boomerangs that have returned to do him evil."

Freedom of will
Man has freedom of will. It is about time that he becomes aware that his destiny is of his own choosing. The knowledge of health and its maintenance is not exclusive with a small chosen group of people. Nor is the knowledge too technical for the average mind to grasp. Man's willingness to allow someone else to think for him has almost caused him to lose his self-protection.

The animal kingdom has its claws, teeth, beaks, and other instinctive defenses for protection and for securing food for young and self. But man has his mind, which gives him dominion over everything else on Earth. He has opened many doors and unlocked many mysteries with his mind. Unfortunately, he knows more about things outside himself than he knows about himself The results of this ignorance, plus lack of self-control, are sickness, pain, and premature death. And the accumulated sequences of crime, perversity, war, and a decaying society are the by-products of this ignorance. Unless man learns to know himself, he will destroy himself.

Knowledge is strength
Sickness is unnecessary. Those who possess good health should know why they are well. If the only reason they can give is that they have always enjoyed good health and that their ancestors were good specimens of longevity, they have no reliable knowledge with which to keep the good health they possess. Their good health potential and sound constitutions can easily be frittered away.

The fact that parents and grandparents lived to a ripe old age gives one a fine feeling of security but is very much like an athlete resting on his laurels. Unless he continues to train and maintain his achievement, he will soon find his records toppling. The asset of long-lived forebears can be offset easily by the rush and worry of modern business, or by a frantic social pace, which outdistances that of our fathers by at least five to one.

Challenges we face
Today, there are many advantages over previous decades, but there also are many disadvantages. The machine age, with its push button existence, enables men and women to achieve many things with great efficiency. But it does nothing to relieve the grueling pace and tension which goes hand and hand with it. The nervous and digestive systems, brain, and heart are taxed far beyond their endurance. In order to keep up with the demands of competition, tobacco, coffee, and other drugs are relied upon to stimulate flagging nerves and functions. The man is wise who from time to time withdraws from the insanity of today's graceless living for somber contemplation of true and eternal values.

Requirements of life
Natural laws are unchanging. They govern each of us. To push beyond individual requirements in working, eating, sex, and pleasures—without sufficient allowance for restorative rest to replace what has been spent—
promotes much suffering and earlier death.
It is not the aim of Natural Hygiene to invalidate the definite advances which man has made since the beginning of time. It is, however, necessary to point out the flaws in civilized living, and the false security which comes from depending upon the physician for health, rather than upon obedience to natural law.

Common sense
Common-sense care of the body is all that is necessary; not some peculiar kind of food or vitamin preparation, nor a disagreeable asceticism. Fanaticism is unnecessary. Live in keeping with natural law, determine to be moderate, and poise of mind and body will be the natural result. The difficulty lies in disentangling oneself from the web of conventional and synthetic living. Cold, analytical investigation is the key.
William Esser ND., D.C. 1958

This article first appeared in the June 1958 issue of Natural Hygiene, an early publication of the American Natural Hygiene Society, and was re-printed in ANHS Health Science in 1998, with these words: It is remarkable that the overall thrust of this article and the issues that it addresses are as timely today as they were 40 years ago. William Esser, N.D., D.C., author of Dictionary of Natural Foods, was the director of Dr. Essers Health Ranch in Lake Worth, Fla, until age 90. Dr. Esser was one of the original co-founders of ANHS. He began his professional career In Natural Hygiene in 1935.

"Sickness is unnecessary."

A voice of experience

Excerpted from a 1992 interview (ANHS Health Science)

Natural Hygiene is such a great thing, it should spread like wildfire. It offers great hope for people, and a wide variety of conditions respond well to fasting and Natural Hygiene care. But it requires discipline. It is not something to be bought or to be sold as a quick fix.
Those who are not disciplined are accustomed to their addictions, and it is very difficult for them to get away from that. Some of these people come back to the Ranch year after year, and often I am tempted to tell them not to come! But then I realize that a little benefit is better than nothing. I tell people to value health and the pleasure of being well. Cherish the wonderful knowledge and enjoyment that you gain from living in a healthy way. That is the reward of it all!
William Esser, ND., D.C

"One of the great benefits of Natural Hygiene is the ability to live without fear"

Three ANHS Past-Presidents

Former ANHS presidents Dr. William Esser (I), Dr. Virginia Vetrano, and Jack Dunn Trop are pictured here at the 1978 ANHS Conference that was held in Buffalo, N.Y., where Drs. Esser and Vetrano received awards for their lifelong efforts on behalf of Natural Hygiene.
While Herbert M. Shelton was the most widely recognized name in Natural Hygiene for most of the 20th century, and was the first president of the American Natural Hygiene Society many men and women have made substantial contributions. Dr. William Esser, Dr. Virginia Vetrano, and Jack Dunn Trop each served as president of the Society in addition to their many other efforts on behalf of Natural Hygiene.
The roots of the Hygienic movement can be traced to the 1830s, set into motion by pioneering doctors, both male and female, who first articulated the laws of life on which the basic principles of Natural Hygiene are founded. Dr. Shelton was instrumental in bringing these ideas into the 20th century In 1948, he, Dr.William Esser, Dr. Gerald Benesh, Dr. Christopher Gian-Cursio,Dr.Jesse Mercer Gehman, Jack DunnTrop, Irving Davidson, and Symon Gould founded the American Natural Hygiene Society. The first annual ANHS Conference was held in 1949, at the Diplomat Hotel in NewYork City.
(from ANHS Health Science 1998)

Natural Health & Energy
INHS Hygienic Review

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