New Health For Women
( Originally Published 1954 )
A brief survey of health conditions among women will show that few enjoy good health. The reasons are easily understood by those who think seriously concerning the question of women's health. Every earnest and intelligent person today should think about health as seriously as he or she does about other problems that concern the well-being and security of the individual.
Since women are vital to the social structure and to the well-being of the family, they must be enlightened in health matters. Women who are educated along health lines will accomplish much in preventing diseases in themselves, their brothers, sisters, husbands and children.
Health knowledge is as easy to acquire as the other fields of knowledge that are taught in primary and secondary public schools. Everybody who can read and write and aspires to act as a civilized modern person has also a right to scientific knowledge about the human body, knowledge that can lead mankind out of the miseries of disease.
A survey among your female friends and relatives is sure to disclose the startling fact that few women are well after they reach the age of fifty. Disease is a natural consequence of wrong living and of wrong treatment of minor ailments. The laws of health are violated knowingly and unknowingly from childhood onwards.
The body is continually subjected to physical overstrain, as well as to mental and emotional overstrain. The food is wrong, almost from birth on. Overprocessed baby foods inevitably help to raise sickly children. The school girl eats too much candy and other sweets and not enough health-building foods. Foods vital to health, such as raw vegetables and raw -fresh fruits, are rarely eaten by modern girls or women. Candy, pastry, meat and bread rob the appetite of the ability to relish the body-building foods whose importance is stressed by the discoverers of the New Knowledge of Nutrition.
The science of food in relation to the body is rarely applied in the daily lives of people. It is especially up to the women to make a start in acquiring that important knowledge, and when applied, such knowledge will go very far toward improving the health of everyone in the family.
The modern drug store does a thriving business selling patent medicines to women and girls for the relief of their aches and pains. Unfortunately, our civilized human beings seek easy remedies for relief.
Women and girls go to the drug store for pills and other types of patent medicines until the body cries out in severe pain and a doctor is consulted. If an ordinary doctor fails to recognize the symptom-complex of the patient, some kind of specialist is consulted. The groping goes on and on until the poor victims, women and girls in large numbers, are sick and in an advanced stage of disease.
The patient at this stage can make his or her own diagnosis. Physicians' or surgeons' diagnoses are based on what is called the "case history," or what the patient tells them, as well as what they can see and find. You can trace many of your serious ailments, as well as your lighter ones, by means of intelligent and simple reasoning. Following are some concrete examples.
You wear tight shoes. Your feet naturally hurt. You keep on wearing them; corns, bunions and calluses develop. These little nuisances are really tumors. Perhaps you never knew that a corn is a tumor; an overgrowth of callus is also a tumor. A bunion is a severe inflammation of cramped joints. These new growths and pains are caused by your ignorance, in habitually wearing tight shoes.
Did your family physician ever take the trouble to give you a lecture on wearing proper shoes in order to ensure good health and comfort for your feet? Did the chiropodist who cut your toe nails and other overgrowths advise you, perhaps, to buy comfortable shoes in order to prevent future growths? These professional people know exactly how to prevent foot trouble, yet they often fail to teach you.
Let's go further up in the human anatomy. Since this discussion is particularly addressed to girls and women, we will briefly discuss the anatomy of the pelvis and its diseases.
The pelvis is the basin-like floor of the human body which houses the genital structures and other related parts. Young girls very often begin to suffer pelvic pains at an early age—say, around the beginning of the monthly period.
This is so because the hygiene of the adolescent girl is sadly neglected by those who should know and teach it. Teachers in elementary and high schools should be well-grounded in the hygiene of the genital organs, and they should teach it to their charges. There is a very enlightening chapter on the hygiene of the adolescent girl in every medical textbook on gynecology. Every school teacher should know at least that much.
What do girls take as remedies for painful menstruation? Even if anxious mothers take them to the family doctor or to some doctor in the neighborhood, the doctor shrugs his shoulders and hardly prescribes anything more useful than such hygienic remedies as the drug store sells. This is why so many people go to the druggist and save a few dollars which would otherwise be spent for mediocre medical advice.
Later on in the life of the girl, backache develops. There are good reasons for a lower backache. One of them is the fact that growing young women are not educated in proper postural exercises.
Some of the exercises done in the school gymnasium should be those that help to drain the pelvic structures. Every school gymnasium should have a few waterproof and dustproof mattresses or floor cushions on which girls can lie flat and "ride a bicycle" in what is known as the dorsal or supine position. They can also turn somersaults and stand on their heads for a minute or two.
When girls know that this type of exercise helps to drain the uterine and ovarian blood vessels and therefore prevents pain in the back or lower abdomen, they will gladly do these exercises and be grateful to their physical education instructors for teaching them along these lines. Moreover. they will be eager to do such exercises as a daily habit even after school hours, at home, on their beds, before retiring and on rising in the morning, once they realize to what extent such a daily routine of pelvic hygiene tends to prevent ovarian and uterine tumors in later life.
It is not sufficiently known that there are many young girls, among those who have complained of dysmenorrhea for several years, who have the unfortunate condition of a developing ovarian cyst or fibroid uterus. us. Yet such knowledge might well be imparted to every mother and girl by the family physician. The family physician is considered a kind of super-being, a kind of savior; yet how much does he do to save those who put their sacred trust in him?
Your sensory nerves, which should give you notice that disease is overwhelming your body, are dulled by palliatives or by neglect. When a tumor is full-grown it is too late for the body's powers to absorb or dissolve it.
Nevertheless it pays to try. Give nature a first chance to cure your disease, before you let your family physician and the surgeon he recommends perform a painful and shocking operation. It is outrageous to unsex so many women, as is being done in our "scientific" hospitals. Surgical operation is not always the workable cure that it promises to be.
The principles of personal hygiene are clearly known and easily applied. You want to know how to start to live correctly, scientifically? It is never too late to give your body a chance to regenerate itself and recover from its morbid, disease-building habits.
You can build hygienic habits of living, with resultant good health of body, mind and emotions. Your body today can be stream lined, beautified and invigorated from within—in every one of its structural units. Your blood can be purified, your tissues and organs can be filtered of their wastes. Mother Nature will do that for you if you give her a chance.
Body function, or physiology, is a natural vital process. So is body chemistry. The living cells of the body have the potentiality of strength or weakness depending on how you feed them. And remember that your body cells may become diseased by emotional poison when you live wrongly and are unhappy for one reason or another. You must, therefore, learn to understand the teachings of the modern science of mental hygiene in relation to your own individual life and daily problems.
Yes, indeed, you must learn how to make a fine art of daily living. Then everyday life will not he a monotonous, humdrum routine of existence. With correct knowledge you can beautify your physical appearance, you can stay old age, you can stay the diseases you are afraid off You must learn to apply good and true knowledge in the fine art of intelligent living.
When you have mastered this knowledge in the same way that you mastered simple spelling and letter writing, you will indeed be the mistress of your own fate as far as your physical, mental and emotional health is concerned. As a rational human being you will not be either foolish or reckless and you will not ignore the constructive health-building and health-maintaining powers that are inherent in your own body, your own mind, your own intelligence.
Any modern art or skill that a person possesses is based on proper training. Reading, writing, typing, dancing, dressing—these are all simple modern skills. They are taken for granted as part of the education of the individual. Cultivating the art of hygienic body care and eating is as vital to a woman's happiness as the other arts which make us up-to-date and keep us in step with progress. One of the faults of the civilization of our time is the monopolistic hold that the healing professions have on elementary knowledge about the human body.
Every public school, primary and secondary, should have courses given by physicians to instruct growing girls and boys in scientific knowledge about the normal body, its structure and functions. This knowledge is at least as important as national or world geography. It can be as easy to grasp, or easier if taught properly and in an interesting fashion.
Materia medica and toxicology can also be taught in elementary fashion to school children, and it would do much good. If girls and boys knew that the cells of the brain, nerves and all other body tissues and organs are deteriorated by cigarette smoking, they would he less inclined than they are at present to form the tobacco habit.
As a girl grows up to the sophisticated age of a high school junior or senior, she goes out with boys on dates and forms the habit of drinking strong beverages. If she knew the ill effects of these poisonous drinks on the body, the modern girl would not be so easily persuaded to take a drink or to get drunk, as too many girls of today are doing.
Loose sex habits, which lead to venereal disease and to other vitiating influences on the bodies of the mothers of the future, are also results of today's inadequate education. Mature women of today, women in all walks of life—poor, middle-class and rich—do not know how to guard their health and how to check disease processes that creep, stealthily but surely, though often very slowly, into the cells of vital structures.
Adult health education can do much to enlighten women on how to keep and guard their good health and the health of their daughters and sons. Health education can do much to rebuild, regenerate and reinvigorate the body.
The body is an organism that runs and works only as efficiently as it is trained to do. With good care and knowledge you can rebuild its parts even when they have grown old and worn or diseased. With E the knowledge that we possess about the sciences of nutrition and food chemistry, we can regenerate the sick and aging human body and streamline it for greater beauty.
The conventional masseur or masseuse can only rub out a little of the fatigue and fatty wastes. The beautician can only trim the nails and tweeze the eyebrows. A facial massage in the beauty parlor hardly helps to tone up aging lines in one's features. Grooming the face by beauty culture is a common practice among middle-aged and older women. It is evident that it fails of its objectives when aging women eventually have to seek the skilled aid of the plastic surgeon to cut away old sagging facial muscles in the hope of improving the appearance. The results are often sad and ghastly.
The aging wringled face of any woman can be made younger by intelligent self-care, self-care that requires a few weeks of retirement from public life and work.
Our idea of retirement is rather new. However, more and more, people are learning to understand this advanced way of thinking and acting to improve one's health. While unfortunately there are still only a few physicians who can guide you in taking a proper retirement period for self-regeneration, people are demanding and begging for this knowledge. Some of them seek and find it through their individual initiative in reading advanced literature on the subject.
The modern health movement is quite young. But it is progressing and gaining more and more adherents who are eager to learn from health teachers, health lecturers, progressive health magazines and similar sources.
Medical literature itself contains an abundance of enlightening material that is as readable as a magazine story. Form the habit of looking into some books on hygiene and physiology when you visit a public library. There are numerous good books on this subject for popular education.
Medical books need not have been published in the current year in order to convey the best information available about your body and its care. There are many good books on the public library shelves and on the shelves of medical book stores which may be a quarter of a century old or even older but which contain scientific knowledge about the body that is as up-to-date today as it was when those books were written. In the last quarter of our century we can boast of very little that has been put out that is new and valuable for human health. The sciences of the physiology, pathology and bacteriology of the healthy body were all matured at about the turn of the century. So you cannot go wrong in reading old books that were written by scientific people in the medical world.
One of the great discoveries in medical knowledge that has come to full maturity is our knowledge about the rest cure. A physician of the 19th century by the name of John Hilton published a book called Rest in Pain as early as 1879. It is a book that deals with the value of rest for various kinds of pain. Dr. Hilton was quite eminent. He was physician extraordinary to Queen Victoria and was a great surgeon of his time.
A great book on the subject of disease prevention and rational health treatment that came out in 1908 is the book by Alexander Haig, M.D. The name of the book is Uric Acid as a Factor in the Cause of Disease. In this medical classic of over 900 pages, Dr. Haig pointed out the basic truth that vegetarian diet, together with other rational non-drug procedures, can cure many of the diseases that remain incurable when treated with ordinary medical and surgical methods.
A little later a Pennsylvania surgeon, Edward Hooker Dewey, M.D., discovered through his practice that fasting, or withholding food from the body, is a powerful aid to the combustion or burning up of impurities within the body cells by vital chemical processes that continually go on in the body. As long as there is life, even when the individual is in discomfort and pain, rational treatment can do phenomenal reconstructive or curative work.
The greatest advocate of such medical teaching and practice was the recently deceased Dr. J. H. Tilden. Dr. Tilden made an exceedingly fine art out of his application of the methods of fasting, rest cure and correct diet. The Tilden method of applying the principles of the New Knowledge of Nutrition is the greatest contribution in the modern practice of the healing art. Another great contribution by Dr. Tilden was his voluminous writings on health and medical subjects in a popular manner.
To come back to our idea of retirement in order to rid the body of ill-health symptoms that are marked by fatigue, weakness, pain, premature senility of the tissues, and emotional and mental states of anxiety and fear, we shall now outline our method of intelligent treatment more specifically.
Whether you take this treatment at home or away from home, do not receive company. In most instances it is necessary to get away from your home in order to avoid the distracting influences of door-bell and telephone ringing and of friends, acquaintances and relatives who drop in on you. Nipping disease in the bud is a serious private matter. It is your own problem. You can best solve it without anyone's interference.
It is wise, however, to have the scientific guidance of a physician, especially in your first experience with the treatment. After once going through this method of regenerative health-building, the intelligent woman (or man) can manage the regime required without special guidance. It is, however, advisable to receive periodic passive treatment such as is administered by the osteopathic physician or by one of the other drugless manipulative-school practitioners.
Your food should be served to you. It is not wise for one who is on a fast, or on a sub-maintenance diet, to prepare his own food. Energy must be conserved when the objective is to give the body a chance to oxidize its own impurities during a rest cure.
It is my belief that every so-called healthy person, past the age of 30 or 35, needs an annual or biannual rest cure, including a strict diet for one month at least. Such habitual care of the body would do more than you can realize to prevent the development of chronic and incurable diseases.
Almost everybody who subsists on the ordinary foods—such as meat, bread, cake and cooked food in the main—in due time becomes deficient in minerals, vitamins and other nutriments that can be obtained only from raw fruits and raw salads. When you go on a semi-annual restricted diet you immediately accomplish several important curative and disease-preventing objectives.
One of them is the burning up of the excessive fats in the body or waste that results cumulatively from a bread-and-potato diet. The other objective that is accomplished is regeneration of nervous energy. When you keep quiet and lie still for two to four weeks, all sorts of new incentives and ambitions awake in your mind after such an intelligent rest cure.
Another important gain that is achieved is the rejuvenating and toning-up effect that this treatment has on your physical appearance. At any age, a month's care can make a person a year to ten years younger-looking and younger-feeling. Your glandular system—involving the glands that produce the internal secretions or hormones which regulate the health, well-being and personality—is rejuvenated, reinvigorated, by the rest cure and restricted diet. Time and again basal metabolism tests and other tests have borne out the truth of this last statement. Hyper- or hypo-function of the glands of internal secretions are as a rule restored to normal activity during the rest and diet cure.
If women learned the importance of such periodic rest-cure vacations as are emphasized above, they would not suffer from the fears that our modern women are subject to—fears about "change of life," cancer phobia, and others. Knowledge is power when it is applied to your bodily health, as in the case of any other aspect of personal existence and the enjoyment of living.
When a middle-aged woman complains of any kind of discomfort to her doctor, in 99 cases out of 100 he ascribes it to "change of life." The fear of this normal transition period that doctors help to foster is the outcome of one of the unsound practices of modern medicine.
Surgical operations are performed on women to an alarming extent. It is amazing how gullible our modern women are. Even the most educated among them are easily persuaded to enter a hosptial for surgical work. To subject the ailing body of a woman to surgery is too drastic a step to be settled by some quick decision.
It takes a long time, perhaps half a lifetime, to develop a tumor in an organ or a tissue of the body; it is worthwhile to give natural methods a fair trial before deciding on surgery. Mother Nature's treatment of the ailing body is to be preferred to surgery because in many cases she can perform a knifeless, bloodless operation that brings with it the great gifts of good health to the body.
It is important for the public to learn to reason along these new lines: change those habits of yours that brought disease into health-building habits, and the results will be gratifying. In some kinds of diseases the medical profession applies this rule. Good doctors treat heart disease and tuberculosis by giving nature every chance to do reparative and curative work.
When a tumor can be felt or palpated and it is removed, the body may also have invisible and intangible disease manifestations that no surgery, no X-ray or radium, can eradicate. The only way in which disease can be eradicated from the body is by giving the body a chance to chemically oxidize it. According to the best authorities, during a fast or low-calorie diet the body necessarily burns up its accumulated surplus cellular wastes.
No less an authority than Professor Virchow, the founder of modern pathology, proclaimed the truth that the origin of disease is within the individual cell. In other words this means that when there are disease manifestations in any part of the body the entire body is correspondingly affected by the same morbid process. This is common knowledge in medicine. Unfortunately in practice this truth is side-stepped.
In our own time the human race, living under the civilized conditions that we enjoy, could have a world free from disease to a great extent, if Professor Virchow's principle were stressed in medical teaching and practice. The average doctor, to be sure, gets acquainted with Professor Virchow's principles and other great medical truths, but he is not trained to apply them in his everyday dealing with the ill-health problems of his patients.
Good health for women is obviously very important to the destiny of mankind, for the health of the human race depends so largely on the way children and men are fed and cared for. Every woman must know how to feed her family according to the best knowledge extant. Moreover, every woman must know enough about mild or minor symptoms of disease to be able to check it even before she decides to consult a physician.
If women possessed the health knowledge that is needed to guard the health of the family, better judgment would be used by all parties concerned before mutilating operations were performed.
Think of such an example as this: When children undergo operations for mastoid infections, deafness results in about 15 per cent of the cases. Another type of preventable mutilation is appendectomy in the case of children. In many cases, if women knew the correct hygiene of feeding and care of the bowels, operations for the appendix would not be needed.
The following example is exceedingly tragic but it is worth citing because it is about an interesting case of sinus trouble.
A pretty young girl, age 23, underwent fourteen operations for draining pus from the sinuses. Some of these operations were above her eyebrows, several of them around the upper and lower parts and nasal chambers. When we first saw this patient she had two tiny open channels above each side of her nose, each constantly trickling yellow pus. These little channels are called fistulae.
Even fourteen conventional surgical operations by a "Park Avenue specialist" failed to drain out, or to stop the manufacture of the pus by the inflamed cells of her sinuses in the facial and head bones. Several months of very strict dietary care, following a ten-day fast, gave nature an opportunity to perform a first-class job in stopping that pus from being manufactured and draining outward! It is amazing that physicians and surgeons of high standing ignore the powerful methods represented by fasting and fruit- and salad-diets used as medicine.
It is high time for the medical profession to realize that correct foods, rather than drugs and surgery, are the right medicine! The medical profession must also realize that enlightening the patient on hygienic daily living habits is a more important service than operating on a patient or drugging him.
It seems that the leaders in the healing profession are not ready to function as teachers of health to prevent disease. Yet there is a crying need for this knowledge. Many people actually plead and beg for it. A great number are searching for it at health-food dealers, at health lectures, in health magazines, and from drugless physicians.
To sum up: It pays to live on clean, pure, wholesome foods for the best results in purity of the blood and body tissues. For mental and emotional health, it is essential to avoid associations that irritate you. For their own self-preservation, women must have the guts to do the things that are best for their health. Peace of mind, strength of body, intelligence in judging how to conserve your energy in daily activities, all this will result from success in the new project that might be called: Building a Healthy Body.