The belief in disease and cures stands as an effective barrier to a true education in healthful living”

Hygienic Review
Vol. XXVIII July, 1967 No. 11
Healing Versus “Curing”
Herbert M. Shelton

Healing is a prerogative of the living organism. It is omnipresent and is forever functioning in the body that is not in full health. Curing disease is a voodoo game. A cure for disease will be discovered simultaneously with the discovery of perpetual motion. The search for cures should have been abandoned at the same time the search for the Philosopher’s stone was given up. People who want to be cured should not consult a Hygienist. Hygienists cannot cure; they have no cures.

Man can know what to do to help lagging function; he can know much about the creative processes that go on in his body, and their requirements; but he cannot make blood; he cannot produce a cell; he cannot knit a broken bone; he cannot repair a wound. All that he may legitimately do is to remove all interfering factors, whether internal or external, and supply the normal conditions of this creative work; after which the organs and processes of life, under the control of the laws of life, get busy and do the work of healing.

We have a great army of invalids and semi-invalids who are going from specialist to specialist, from hospital to hospital, from clinic to clinic, from sanitarium to sanitarium, from one health resort to another, from climate to climate, from the sea shore to the mountains, seeking, ever seeking, for health. They go from one school of curing to another school of curing, but they never regain health. They spend time and money in their search for health and never find it. What is wrong? If the drugs and operations, the sea bathing and sunshine and mountain air and different climates and the specialists and the famous hospitals and clinics and sanitariums cannot cure them, what is the reason? If modern medical science, with all of its great wealth of cures, fails them and they turn to the lesser schools of curing, and these also fail them, what shall they do?

The answers to all these questions are simple ones. These people are not getting well because the causes of their illnesses are not being removed. Their modes of living are not being corrected. Enervating habits are being permitted to cripple their functioning power so that they remain toxemic. They continue to eat in a manner to maintain the constant and seething cesspools in their digestive tracts. They do not need to change climates. They do not need to go to the mountains or to the sea shores. They need to change their modes of life. They can get well as soon as they cease to build disease. When they learn the correct way of life and conform to it, they can have health. Until then, they are destined to go on suffering and chasing cures until the undertaker relieves them of the necessity of further chasing.

The first deviation from health is a gradually evolving enervation resulting from enervating mental and physical habits. So long as enervation checks secretion and excretion, there is a general inability of the organs of the body to function normally. A toxemic state of the body develops and slowly devitalizes the tissues for years, resulting in delayed healing and degeneration in injured or devitalized parts. The varying symptom-complexes, starting with enervation and progressing to toxemia, impaired nutrition, with a gradual deterioration of the entire system, and ending, finally, in ulceration, induration and fungation (cancer), is a long drawn-out pathological evolution with a continuous degeneration of tissue. When men live in a manner to maintain continuous toxin saturation, they are in line for the development of any disease to which diathesis or environment determines them.

It may be questioned that this progressive toxemic saturation of the tissues of the body is responsible for the many so-called diseases with which man suffers. It is commonly thought that each of these so-called diseases is a distinct entity, requiring a specific cure. This idea grows out of the symptomatic differences noted in the various so-called diseases. Why should not organs differing as much in histology and function as the tonsils and the stomach present different symptoms when they are inflamed? Will it be denied that the cardinal symptoms of inflammation are the same in the two organs? It will not. But the secondary symptoms will differ and these differences will flow from the differences in structure and function of the two organs. If pneumonia differs from hepatitis or if nephritis differs from colitis, this is due to the fact that, while inflammation in every possible location is basically the same, the different structures lend their own characteristic features to the symptoms. But if they are basically and actually one and the same thing, why should they be recognized as different diseases and treated differently?

Pneumonia is a symptom-complex based on inflammation localized in the air cells. Were the inflammation localized in the bronchial tubes, it would be called bronchitis. When the inflammation is localized in the tonsils, it is called tonsilitis; if in the stomach, gastritis; if in the womb, metritis; if in the appendix, appendicitis; if in the colon, colitis, etc., etc.

In studying pathology in the text books, it has neither past nor future. It is without beginning and without end. We study isolated fragments of pathological processes. Is it atrophy we study? We never have it connected with preceding states of the body. Do we study abscess of the liver? We study the abscess as though it has no connection with the ills of functional impairment, irritation, chronic inflammation, etc., that have preceded. End-points are studied. Unfortunately, also, there is no differentiation between what we may term natural pathology and drug-created pathology. Nobody ever suspects that we are studying end-products of years of pathological functioning and our pathology is like topsy; it was never born, it just “growed”. It appears without cause, without a history of premonitory symptoms, to be cut out and pronounced cured.

The belief in disease and cures stands as an effective barrier to a true education in healthful living. The medical profession is not teaching the people how to live, but has opposed every effort at living improvement. The only prevention they have fostered is that of immunization by means of vaccines and serums.

Wrong habits of body and mind reduce the powers of the body and make it possible for parasites and germs to live in its cavities. Parasites and germs are not the causes of disease of the body, but incidents of the disease. Germs are as helpless in a truly healthy body as a feather in a gale. The cause of disease is not the germ that is present, but the mental and physical habits that have broken down the body. Let the office of the germs be what it may, they can no more cause disease than a fire can be kindled in a vacuum. The theory that germs and parasites have to be destroyed in order to cure disease is one of the myriads of delusions that collectively constitute what is called scientific medicine.

Parasites seem to be almost, if not quite as omnipresent as germs, but like germs, parasites of all kinds must find favorable habitats if they are to begin housekeeping. When you start homesteading parasites, you may know that your tissues and secretions have become so impaired that the parasites find residence in them possible. “Carriers” of germs and parasites are those who have converted their bodies, particularly their digestive tracts, into bouillon cultures, by enervating habits and gross eating. Amebic dysentery, a so-called parasitic disease, ends in recovery in two to three weeks if the patient is properly cared for and no amebicides are given by mouth or by rectum. These drugs cause inflammation, build ulcerative colitis and proctitis.

If we take a look at the curing process in the case of cancer, we cannot help but be shocked and amazed at the pain to which people are subjected in their effort to regain health without the necessity of removing the cause or causes of their suffering. The tortures of the orthodox hell are mild compared to the suffering of the cancer patient who has been operated upon and then given the orthodox treatment that is used as a follow-up. The pain is “relieved” with narcotics given in increasing doses, with diminishing “relief,” until the patient dies in a narcotic drunk. At no point in the care of a cancer case is any effort made to discover and remove its cause.

Cancer does not develop in a normal body. This is to say, a genuinely healthy body will not evolve cancer. Cancers are not self-caused. It should be understood, then, before any effort is undertaken to treat cancer, that it is necessary to know what changes have taken place in the body before cancer develops. If these are known and corrected, the cancer should disappear, providing the whole organism is not so greatly devitalized that it is not capable of throwing off the evolving pathology. To remove the cancer and follow the removal with X-ray and radium certainly does nothing to correct the pre-cancerous developments and their causes.

A physician is called to see a sick man. He finds him in severe pain and administers an anodyne. This provides a temporary respite from pain, but it practically suspends the operations of the body in throwing off toxins and repairing damage. If the case is one of pneumonia, and the cough is “relieved,” the lungs fill with secretion and the patient dies; if it is one of diarrhea in an infant, and the diarrhea is checked, the infant may die of the “relief.” Maltreated pneumonia may end in death or in tuberculosis. Maltreated pleurisy may end in pyothorax (pus in the pleural cavity). If the pus is well drained, and the patient is otherwise properly cared for, he will make a full recovery. If drainage is imperfect, pus absorption follows and the patient will be kept in a state of semi-invalidism with the possible development of one or more abscesses in some vital organ or organs. In such a case, ultimate death from exhaustion is the contingency to be expected.

We frequently read in medical works that “most fatal diseases start with a cold;” we are warned not to neglect a cold, lest it be the forerunner of more serious illness. We are also told that colds make us liable to “other diseases.” The real truth, as any practitioner of the so-called healing arts may demonstrate to his own satisfaction, is that, unwise care of the patient with a cold often produces a fatal malady. The imprudent always “feed a cold” until it ends fatally. There is one important rule of life that all informed people should know and observe, and this is: When feeling bad, cease all eating. This is one of the most important rules that may be observed in the care of the ailing body.

Children that are kept in bed, kept quiet, and not permitted to eat when they have measles, whooping-cough, scarlet fever and other so-called children’s diseases, will be well in a few days. If fed and drugged in the usual manner, a child that should soon recover may die in a few days.

Parents whose misguided sympathy leads them to persuade, even to coerce, their children to eat when they are irritated, excited, tired, hard to please, or have no desire to eat, may lose one or more children before they learn the simple fact that such children should not be fed. If they are put to bed and allowed to keep quiet, but without food, they will be well and happy the next morning. Parents should send their false teachers and doctors and physicians of all “schools of healing,” with their drugs and foods, and their neighborhood advisors to the oblivion, to which they so richly deserve to go, and care for their children sensibly.

The child or adult with a cold, should refrain from eating so long as the cold lasts. The original meaning of the old maxim, “Feed a cold and starve a fever,” was feed a cold and you will have to starve a fever. Its meaning has been perverted. People who develop pneumonia are those who have a cold and who continue to eat up to and during the development of pneumonia. Pneumonia begins with a cold; the patient commonly complaining for a week, but eating daily, even overeating. It requires a week to ten days of eating while the cold lasts to evolve pneumonia; often it requires but three more days to prepare the patient for the undertaker.

I will be told that germs cause pneumonia. Yes, I am aware that this is the theory. But germs are as omnipresent as the orthodox god. They are always on hand. Pneumonia develops only when our living and eating have made it possible. In spite of the constant presence of pneumonia germs, we can maintain good health and never have the disease. Feeding in a cold provides a culture medium for the growth and multiplication of the germs. If they are the cause, they are invited by feeding.

People who die of pneumonia have been toxemic for years. They have suffered with a long-drawn-out sub-acute inflammatory state, accompanied with colds and other symptoms until the ultimate development of pneumonia. In the majority of cases there has also been impairment of liver function. But the immediate cause — the fulminant — is protein poisoning, due to excessive eating of animal foods. If these patients have also been addicted to alcohol, the death rate is higher. I think that a careful statistical analysis of pneumonia cases will also show that smoking increases the death rate.

More than three million people are incapacitated by illness every day. Great numbers of these are cared for in hospitals. New hospitals are continually being built and new additions are being built to those already in existence. We are always preparing to care for increasing numbers of sick people, all the while the story goes out that preventive medicine is such a howling success.

It is obvious, however, that the art of keeping well is not well understood and that knowledge of how to stay well is not spreading very fast. The great amount of sickness observed among those who are the closest adherents of the schools of healing, reveals that they are not receiving the right kind of health education. If our people knew how to keep well, we could do with fewer rather than more institutions in which to care for the sick.