The "Old School" of medical science defines acute
diseases as those which run a brief and more or less violent
course and chronic diseases as those which run a protracted course
and have a tendency to recur.
Nature Cure attaches a broader and more significant meaning to
these terms. This will have become apparent from our discussion
of the causes, the progressive development and the purpose of acute
diseases in the preceding pages.
From the Nature Cure viewpoint, the chronic condition is the latent,
constitutional disease encumbrance, whereas acute disease represents
Nature's efforts to rectify abnormal conditions, to overcome and
eliminate hereditary or acquired morbid taints and systemic poisons
and to reestablish normal structure and functions.
To use an illustration: In a case of permanent or recurrent itchy
psoriasis, the "Old School" physician would look upon
the itchy skin eruption as the chronic disease, while we should
see in the external eczema an attempt of the healing forces of Nature
to remove from the system the inner, latent hereditary or acquired
psora, which constitutes the real chronic disease.
It stands to reason that the exterior eruptions should not be
suppressed by any means whatever, but that the only true and really
effective method of treatment consists in eliminating from the organism
the inner, latent psoric taint. After this is accomplished, the
external "skin disease" will disappear of its own accord.
As another illustration of the radical difference in our respective
points of view, let us take hemorrhoids (piles). The regular physician
considers the local hemorrhoidal enlargements in themselves the
chronic disease, while the Nature Cure practitioner looks upon hemorrhoids
as Nature's effort to rid the system of certain morbid encumbrances
and poisons which have accumulated as a result of sluggish circulation,
chronic constipation, defective elimination through kidneys, lungs,
and skin and from many other causes.
These constitutional abnormalities, which are the real chronic
disease, have to be treated and corrected. After this has been done,
the hemorrhoidal enlargements and discharges will take care of themselves.
It is, therefore, absolutely irrational, and frequently followed
by the most serious consequences, to surgically remove the piles
or to suppress the hemorrhoidal discharges and thereby to drive
these concentrated poison extracts back into the system.
In a number of cases we have traced paralysis, insanity,
tuberculosis, cancer and other forms of chronic destructive diseases
to the forcible suppression of hemorrhoids.
Chronic disease, from the viewpoint of Nature Cure philosophy,
means that the organism has become permeated with morbid matter
and poisons to such an extent that it is no longer able to throw
off these encumbrances by a vigorous, acute eliminative effort.
The chronic condition, therefore, represents the slow, cold type
of disease, characterized by feeble, ineffectual efforts to eliminate
the latent morbid taints and impediments from the system. These
efforts may take the form of open sores, skin eruptions, catarrhal
discharges, chronic diarrhea, etc.
If acute diseases are treated in harmony with Nature's laws, they
will leave the body in a purer, healthier condition. But if the
treatment is wrong, if under the "Old School" methods
fever and inflammation (Nature's methods of elimination) are checked
and suppressed with poisonous drugs, serums and antitoxins or if,
instead of purifying and invigorating cells and tissues, the affected
parts and organs are removed with the surgeon's knife, Nature is
not allowed to get rid of the disease matter, and the poisonous
taints and morbid encumbrances remain in the organism.
In this way originate the worst forms of chronic diseases which
now afflict civilized races.
The truth of this assertion is proved by the fact that chronic
diseases we know are rare among the primitive peoples of the earth,
such as the early indiginous people of Africa and Australia or the
Eskimos of the arctic regions. They are not found among people who
do not use drugs. All the different forms of venereal disease, chronic
rheumatism, chronic indigestion, etc., are unknown in those countries
whose inhabitants live in harmony with Nature. The reason is that
these people have not learned to suppress Nature's acute purifying
and healing efforts by poisonous drugs and surgical operations.
Let us now study the actual condition of the cells, tissues and
organs of the body in chronic disease.
We know that the human body is made up of billions of minute cells
of living protoplasm. Though these cells are so small that they
have to be magnified under the microscope several hundred times
before we can see them, they are independent living beings which
are born, grow, eat, drink, throw off waste matter, multiply, decline
and die just like the large conglomerate cell which we call Man.
Each one of these little cells has its own business to attend
to, whether it be assimilation, elimination, nervous activities
and functions, etc.
If these little beings are well individually, the man is well.
If they are starved or ailing, the entire man is similarly affected.
The whole depends upon the parts. In the human body as well as in
a nation or a city, the welfare of the entire community depends
upon the well-being of its individual members.
If governing bodies would realize and apply these truths, and
pay more attention to providing wholesome surroundings and proper
conditions of living for their subjects, to an adequate supply of
pure food and a normal combination of work and rest, instead of
concentrating their best efforts upon restrictive and punitive measures
(allopathic treatment), there would be no social problems to solve.
It is our duty to provide the most favorable conditions of living
for the little cells that make up the individual human organism.
If we do that, there will be no occasion for disease.
Natural immunity will be the result.
Herein lies the vital difference between the attitude of Nature
Cure and that of the allopathic school toward disease. The latter
spends all its efforts in fighting the disease symptoms, while the
former confines itself to creating health conditions in the habits
and surroundings of the patient, from the standpoint that the disease
symptoms will then take care of themselves, that they will disappear
on account of nonsupport. It is the application of the injunction
"Resist not Evil" to the treatment of physical disease.
Under the influence of wrong habits of living and the suppressive
treatment of diseases, all forms of waste and morbid matter (the
feces of the cells), together with food, drink and drug poisons
accumulate in the system, affect the cells and obstruct the tiny
spaces (interstices) between them. These morbid encumbrances impinge
upon and clog the blood vessels, the nerve channels and the other
tissues of the body. This is bound to interfere with the normal
functions of the organism, and in time lead to deterioration and
In this connection we wish to call attention to a difference in
viewpoint between the school of osteopathy and the Nature Cure school.
Osteopaths and chiropractors attribute disease almost entirely to
"impingement" (abnormal pressure) upon nerves and blood
vessels due to dislocations and subluxations of the vertebrae of
the spine and of other bony structures. They do not take
into consideration the impingement upon and obstruction of nerve
channels and blood vessels all through the system caused by local
or general encumbrances of the organism with waste matter, morbid
products, and poisons that have accumulated in cells and tissues.
The Life of the Cell
Every individual cell must be supplied with food and with oxygen.
These it receives from the red arterial blood. The cells must also
be provided with an outlet for their waste products. This is furnished
by the venous circulation, which represents the drainage system
of the body. If this drainage is defective, the effect upon the
organism is similar to the effect produced upon a house when the
excretions and discharges of its inhabitants are allowed to remain
Furthermore, every cell must be in unobstructed communication
with the nerve currents of the organism. Most important of all,
it must be in touch with the sympathetic nervous system through
which it receives the Life Force which vivifies and controls all
involuntary functions of the cells and organs in the human body.
Each individual cell must be supplied with nerve fibers which
convey its sensations and needs to headquarters, the nerve centers
in brain and spinal cord. Also, each cell must be connected with
other nerve filaments which carry impulses from the cranial, spinal
and sympathetic centers to the cell, governing and directing its
For instance, if the cell be hungry, thirsty, cold or in pain,
it telegraphs these sensations to headquarters in the brain or spinal
cord and from there directions necessary to comply with the needs
of the cell are sent forth in the form of nerve impulses to the
centers controlling the circulation, the food and heat supply, the
means of protection, etc.
This circuit of communication from the cell over the afferent
nerves to the nerve centers in the brain or spinal cord, and from
these centers over the efferent nerves back to the cell or to other
cells is called the reflex arc.
Let us use an illustration: Suppose the fingers come in close
contact with a hot iron. The cells in the finger tips experience
a sensation of burning pain. At once this sensation is telegraphed
over the afferent nerves to the nerve centers in the brain or spinal
cord. In response to this call of distress the command comes back
over the efferent nerve filaments: "Withdraw the fingers!"
At the same time the impulse to withdraw the fingers is sent over
the motor nerves to the muscles and ligaments which control the
movements of the hand.
If the means of communication between the different parts of the
organism are obstructed or cut off entirely, the individual cell
is bound to deteriorate and to die, just like a person lost in a
barren wilderness and cut off from his fellowmen must perish.
In warfare it is a well-known fact that if one of the contending
armies succeeds in cutting off the telegraphic communication of
the other army with its headquarters, the activities of that other
army are seriously handicapped. So the waste materials in the system,
the disease taints, narcotic and alcoholic poisons, etc., obstruct
the nerve passages, and thus interfere with the functions of the
cell by cutting off its means of communication.
What has been said will serve to elucidate and emphasize the necessity
of perfect cleanliness, inside as well as outside of the body. It
justifies the dictum of Kuhne, the apostle of Nature Cure: "Cleanliness
is Health." Anything that in any way interferes with or obstructs
the circulation of vital fluids and nerve currents in the system
is bound to create the abnormal conditions and functions which constitute
When the morbid encumbrances and obstructions in the organism
have reached the point where they seriously interfere with the nourishment,
drainage and nerve supply of the cells, the latter cannot perform
their activities properly, nor can they rid themselves of the impediment.
They may be compared to people who are forced to live in bad, unwholesome
surroundings and who cannot do their best work under these unfavorable
conditions from which they cannot escape.
In this way originates chronic disease, which means that the cells
have become incapable of arousing themselves to acute eliminative
effort in the form of inflammatory febrile reactions.
In my lectures I sometimes liken the cell thus encumbered with
morbid matter and poisons to a man buried in a mine under the debris
of a cave in such a manner that it is impossible for him to free
himself of the earth and timbers which are pinning him down. In
such a predicament the man is unable to help himself. His fellow
workers or his friends must come to his aid and remove the obstructing
masses until he can assist them and free himself.
This is a good illustration of the condition of the cells of the
body in chronic disease. They also have become unable to help themselves
and need assistance until they can once more arouse themselves to
self-help by means of an acute eliminative effort.
What can we do to help them? We must endeavor in the flrst
place to furnish the cells with the right nourishment.
We must abstain from everything that may be injurious to the body
in food and drink, so as to relieve the cells of all unnecessary
Whatever one may think of vegetarianism as a continuous mode of
living, a little consideration will make it plain that a rational
vegetarian diet is the sine qua non in the cure of chronic diseases.
It builds up the blood on a normal basis, excludes all food and
drink poisons and thereby gives the organism an opportunity to throw
off the old accumulations of waste and morbid materials.
In chronic disease, every drop of blood and every cell of the
organism is affected. In order to produce a cure, the old tissues
must be broken down and removed and new tissues built up. The more
thorough the change in diet, the greater and more rapid will be
the changes for the better in cells and tissues, especially if only
pure and eliminating foods are used.
For these reasons it is advisable to omit most red-blooded meat
while under the natural treatment. All animal flesh contains the
morbid secretions and other waste products of the animal organism,
and this means additional work for the cells already overburdened
with systemic poisons.
Then we must work for elimination. Cold water
applied to the surface of the body is the most powerful stimulant
to the circulation. It actually pumps and pushes the blood through
the system. One feels the blood rushing through the arteries and
veins with greater force.
The cold-water treatment makes the skin more
alive and active, stirs up and accelerates the circulation throughout
the system and thus promotes the elimination of systemic poisons
through the skin.
This stimulating effect of cold water upon the organism has been
proved by counting the number of red blood corpuscles in a drop
of blood before and after the application of the cold "blitzguss."
They were found to have doubled in number. That does not mean that
in an instant again as many red blood corpuscles had come into existence,
but it does mean that before the cold "guss" one-half
of them were dozing lazily in the corners. The cold water stirred
them up, forced them into the circulation, made them travel and
attend to business.
Another powerful means to promote elimination is thorough,
systematic massage. The kneading, rolling, twisting and
clapping actually squeezes the stagnant morbid matter and the waste
products out of the tissues into the circulation, to be carried
off through the venous drainage and allows the red blood with its
nourishment and fresh supply of oxygen to flood the cells and organs.
Massage is also very effective as a means of regulating the blood
supply in the system. In every chronic disease there is obstruction
or congestion in some part of the organism, causing high blood pressure
in the interior of the body and insufficient blood supply to the
external parts, especially the extremities. Massage distributes
the blood quickly and evenly.
Of great importance is osteopathy. All dislocations,
luxations and subluxations of bones and ligaments should be corrected
by expert manipulation. As a matter of fact, hardly a person can
be found today whose spine is not abnormal in one way or another,
just as there is hardly a single normal human eye [as far as iridology
markings are concerned].
Manipulative treatment adjusts the lesions of the spine and other
bony structures, thus removing abnormal pressure upon the nerves
and blood vessels and establishing a free and abundant flow of nerve
and blood currents.
Air and light baths, by stimulating the skin
in a natural manner to increased activity, also contribute to the
attainment of the various good results just described.
Next comes physical exercise. Corrective and curative movements
combined with deep breathing promote the combustion
(oxidation) of morbid materials and in this way facilitate their
elimination from the system.
Life itself is dependent upon breathing. The Life Force enters
the body with every breath we draw. Show me a man with well-developed,
full-breathing lungs, and I will show you a man with good vitality.
Last but not least among the natural methods of treating the cell
in chronic disease we mention the right mental and emotional
attitude. Fear, anxiety and all kindred emotions congeal
the nerve matter and thereby shut off the supply of nerve force.
The cells and tissues starve and freeze. On the other hand, the
emotions of hope, confidence and cheerfulness relax and open blood
vessels and nerve channels and allow the free and unobstructed inflow
and circulation of vital energy.
The different methods of natural treatment and their practical
application in chronic diseases will be discussed in detail in subsequent
When through natural methods of living and of treatment the morbid
encumbrances have been removed sufficiently to provide and maintain
normal blood supply, better venous drainage and the unobstructed
flow of the nerve currents, when lesions of the bony structures
have been corrected by skilful adjustment, and when, through right
mental attitude, a free and abundant inflow of Life Force has been
established, then the cells and tissues of the body become once
again able to arouse themselves to an acute eliminative effort,
and the organism is ready for a healing crisis.