What Is Nature Cure?
is vastly more than a system of curing aches and pains; it
is a complete revolution in the art and science of living.
It is the practical realization and application of all that is good
in natural science, philosophy and religion. Like many another world-wide
revolution and reformation, it had its inception in Germany, the
land of thinkers and philosophers.
seventy years ago this greatest and most beneficent of reformation
movements was inaugurated by Priessnitz in Grafenberg, a small village
in the Silesian mountains. The originator of Nature Cure was a simple
farmer, but he had a natural genius for the art of healing.
pharmacopeia consisted not in poisonous pills and potions but in
plenty of exercise, fresh mountain air, water treatments in the
cool, sparkling brooks, and simple, wholesome country fare, consisting
largely of black bread, vegetables, and milk fresh from cows fed
on nutritious mountain grasses.
results accomplished by these simple means were wonderful. Before
he died, a large sanitarium, filled with patients from all over
the world and from all stations of life, had grown up around his
those who made the pilgrimage to Grafenberg to become patients and
students of this genial healer, the simple-minded farmer-physician,
were wealthy merchants, princes and doctors from all parts of the
the idea of drugless healing spread over Germany and over the civilized
world. In the Fatherland, Hahn the apothecary, Kuhne the weaver,
Rikli the manufacturer, Father Kneipp the priest, Lahmann the doctor,
and Turnvater Jahn, the founder of physical culture, became enthusiastic
pupils and followers of Priessnitz.
one of these men enlarged and enriched some special field of the
great realm of natural healing. Some elaborated the water cure and
natural dietetics, others invented various systems of manipulative
treatment, earth, air and light cures, magnetic healing, mental
therapeutics, curative gymnastics, etc., etc. Von Peckzely added
the Diagnosis from the Eye, which reveals not only the innermost
secrets of the human organism, but also Nature's ways and means
of cure, and the changes for better or for worse continually occurring
in the body.
this country, Dr. Trall of New York, Dr. Jackson of Danville, Dr.
Kellogg of Battle Creek, and others caught the infection and crossed
the ocean to become students of Priessnitz. The achievements of
these men in their respective fields of endeavor will stand as enduring
monuments to the eternal truths revealed by the genius of Nature
the itinerant spiritualist and healer, became successful and renowned
by the application of the natural methods of cure. At first his
favorite methods were water, massage, magnetic and mental treatment.
Gradually he concentrated his efforts on metaphysical methods of
cure, and before he died, he evolved a complete system of magnetic
and mental therapeutics.
teachings and methods were adopted by Mrs. Eddy, his most enthusiastic
pupil, and by her elaborated into Christian Science, the latest
and most successful of modern mental-healing cults.
Still of Kirksville, Missouri, made a valuable addition to natural
methods of treatment by the invention of Osteopathy, a system of
scientific manipulation of the bony structures, nerves and nerve
centers, muscles and ligaments. A later development of manipulative
science is Chiropractic, originated by Dr. Palmer of Davenport,
Iowa. Thus the simple pioneers of German Nature Cure, every one
of them gifted by Nature with the instinct and genius of the true
healer, who is born, not made, laid the foundation for the worldwide
modern healthculture movement.
were not blinded or confused by the conflicting theories of books
and authorities, or by the action of a thousand different drugs
on a legion of different symptoms, but applied common-sense reasoning
to the solution of the problems of health, disease and cure.
went for inspiration to field and forest rather than to the murky
atmosphere of the dissecting and vivisection rooms. They studied
the whole and not only the parts, causes as well as effects and
symptoms. Realizing that man had lost his natural instinct and strayed
far from Nature's ways, they studied and imitated the natural habits
of the animal creation rather than the confusing doctrines of the
they proclaimed the "return to Nature" and the "new
gospel of health," which are destined to free humanity from
the destructive influences of alcoholism, red meat overeating, the
dope and tobacco habit, and of drug poisoning, vaccination, surgical
mutilation, vivisection and a thousand other abuses practiced in
the name of science.
parents learn how to create children in accord with natural law,
how to mold their bodies and their characters into harmony and beauty
before the new life sees the light of day, when they learn to rear
their offspring in health of body and purity of mind in harmony
with the laws of their being, then we shall have true types of beautiful
manhood and womanhood, then children will no longer be a curse and
a burden to themselves and to those who bring them into the world
or to society at large.
thoughts are not the mere dreams of a visionary. When we see the
wonderful changes wrought in a human being by a few months or years
of rational living and treatment, it seems not impossible or improbable
that these ideals may be realized within a few generations.
thus born and reared in harmony with the law will be the future
masters of the earth. They will need neither gold nor influence
to win in the race of life—their innate powers of body and
soul will make them victors over every circumstance. The offspring
of alcoholism, drug poisoning and sexual perversity will cut but
sorry figures in comparison with the manhood and womanhood of a
true and noble aristocracy of health.