Care Of The Blood
( Originally Published 1927 )
The blood is the foundation of the body. It may seem queer to talk of a liquid foundation, but a human body is more than two-thirds water. The blood is composed of the air we breathe, the fluids we drink, and the foods we eat. After air, food and water enter the blood they act as carriers, as repairers, as maintainers, and as fuel for the vital spark.
Our air, water, and food are as young when we are fifty as they are when we are fifteen. If we use proper precautions, the blood at fifty can be as young as the blood at fifteen. If we keep the blood pure, clean and undefiled, the body and mind remain young. Health and vigor are maintained. All we have to do to enjoy this desirable condition is to use reasonable care in breathing, eating and drinking, as explained in other chapters.
The blood is full of little cells called corpuscles. The red corpuscles (which are not red when seen alone) contain iron, which unites with the oxygen in the lungs, and carries it to all parts of the body. This oxygenation maintains the body heat and the energy; it also burns up old materials so that they can be re-moved from the body in the form of waste. As the blood circulates through the structures of the skin, mucous membrane of the bowels, lungs, and kidney substance, specialized cells there select waste materials and expel these from the body. These wastes are salts in solution, carbonic acid gas, and other acids and gases, urates, fatty substances, etc. It is a beautiful arrangement, attended to by millions of intelligent beings (cells) within the body. If we attend to the gross details, such as eating, drinking, breathing, exercising and thinking, in fairly intelligent manner, the little individuals within do their work perfectly without our giving them the least attention.
The blood also contains white corpuscles, which act in a most marvelous manner. These white corpuscles are the body guards, the policemen of the blood. Suppose, for instance, that a bacterium (germ) sneaks into the blood, on mischief bent. Along comes a white blood corpuscle (phagocyte), wraps himself around the intruder, incorporates the villain in his own (the phagocyte's) body, and starts to digest him. If we treat ourselves fairly and squarely, the blood is always able to take care of any kind of infection, with one exception: If a puncture wound is made and filth is introduced into the body and the wound is then sealed up again; or if filth is rubbed into an abraided surface, then there is apt to be trouble. If such wounds are freely drained, there will be no trouble. This explains why serum treatment, and vaccination, and antitoxin treatment kill many individuals each year, for they are injected into the body, or rubbed into the skin and no drainage furnished; these substances are a form of animal filth—diseased or decayed animal matter. They have no relationship to health, except that they sometimes destroy it, and sometimes end life. The blood stream should be kept sweet and pure. These serums, antitoxins, bacterins, caccins—or whatever the filth is called—make the blood foul, and poison the body.
The process of aging usually begins farthest from the heart, in the extremities. The circulation there grows poor, and the individual suffers from cold hands and more especially from cold feet. The surface of the body also shows this aging process early, if it is allowed to manifest. The body surface is served by small blood vessels. If the blood is allowed to deteriorate these small vessels fill up with waste or connective tissue, and then the blood can not circulate normally in the surface. As a result the skin grows tough, loses its fine texture, and easily wrinkles. In the face this shows in the wrinkles of age, and bad complexion.
This aging process—which often starts as early as the twenties—can be prevented by keeping the feet warm and giving the skin proper care. Give the body surface the dry rubbing elsewhere recommended.
Another aging tendency of the circulation in civilized man is for the blood partly to stagnate in the great vessels of the abdomen. Right living will prevent this, especially deep breath ing, and exercising. But there is one exercise which is so effective that it bears repetition:
Either while standing still or while walking, draw the anterior abdominal wall backwards and upwards, as if it were to come up under the ribs; then let it relax again; repeat this about a dozen times. Those who have poor circulation and cold hands and feet should do this exercise at least three times daily. With deep breathing it is a wonderful aid in reestablishing good circulation and warming the body. This abdominal exercise pushes the blood that lies sluggish in the big abdominal veins into the heart, which forces it into the lungs, where it takes up a load of oxygen; then it goes back to the heart again and is pumped to all parts of the body, where it helps to fan the flagging vital fires.
The circulation need not deteriorate. Give the body good care and the circulation will be as good at sixty as it is at twenty. Make intelligent use of air, water and food, and the quality of the blood does not deteriorate. When the structures of the body are bathed in pure blood, all internal organs will remain clean. And clean organs give health, increased physical and mental power, prolonged youth—in brief, clean organs can be transmuted into a long life of health and success.
Internal cleanliness is health.