Wee blog of a human being working as an osteopath

Chapter 19 – Nature as a physician

“There is probably no other branch of human knowledge about which the popular conception is so vague as the science of medicine. In theory people no longer look upon the physician as a man endowed with supernatural insight and power, but in fact they still regard him in that light. They call him to attend a case and expect him to see at a glance the nature of the disease, its cause, and its remedy. They confidently trust him to prepare some mysterious compound that shall by magic work the desired transformation in the weak and ailing body. When he fails, they blame him; when he succeeds, they extol him. All this is merely childish credulity. Man is powerless to effect a cure. He can no more change the tissue of the human body than he can add a cubit to his stature. Only nature cures. The utmost the wisest physician can do is to secure to his patients such physical conditions as favor nature’s restorative processes.

It is to nature, then, that we must look for the boon of health. Her remedies are few and simple, but they are effectual. First of the agencies which she employs is the self-healing energy of the human body. By this wonderful provision, she performs her surgical operations, now binding a broken bone in gristly splints and hastening new bone matter to the spot, or again casting out an irritating foreign body by suppuration, or encasing a non-irritating one in a tough membrane, to render it harmless. By this same provision, she sends the life-giving medicine to the blood, charged with oxygen, to any diseased or injured part, to tear down and burn waste matters, and replace them with strong, new tissue; and by the same provision she daily renews the cells of the brain, stimulating one faculty to perform the work of another impaired. In short, she repairs and rejuvenates every part of the body, equalizing the physical forces and keeping alive the vital spark. To perform this superhuman work, nature has need of certain fundamental elements. First of these is proper food to supply fuel for the furnace of the body, and to replenish the blood with the constituents of every organ,

Nature demands sleep. Only when the body is relaxed and the functions suspended, can the work of repair actually proceed. Everyone knows the importance of “nature’s sweet restorer,” but there are few who do not take liberties with this prescription of the wise old physician, and then marvel at their weakened nerves and failing strength and the inroads of old age. Not less essential is exercise. It lights the fires that burn up the refuse of the body. Every contraction of a muscle breaks up tissue and sets free latent heat. Many an indolent hypochondriac acquires ill health and even superinduces disease by the mere lack of exercise to keep the fires of the body burning.

Water is another of nature’s prescriptions which is not half appreciated by blind, heedless mankind. The ways in which it may be used to the advantage of general health are surprisingly many. Of itself, it is a tonic charged with vital principles, and taken in large quantities it is invaluable in its effects in flushing the system. Its value in the bath is also too little understood. Not only is it necessary to the proper ventilation of the skin, but it is a wonderful sedative, and has power to allay fever and pain.

Sunshine is another indispensable element in nature’s pharmacopeia. All vigor comes from the sun, and this is not more true in the vegetable than the animal world. It is a scientifically established fact that the influence of the sun’s rays upon the nervous system is markedly beneficial. It also develops the red disks of the blood. Sunshine is, moreover, the most successful foe of contagion, and many a substance that would undergo putrefaction in dark and damp places will remain sweet and wholesome under the benign touch of the sun. A sun bath is the only remedy needed in some disorders. The vital principle of nature’s prescription, however, is air. There is no poison so insidious as vitiated air, and there is no tonic so invigorating as pure air. It sweeps into the lungs laden with the life element, oxygen, and bears out, like a faithful scavenger, the impurities of the system. In many a family, the health of the members is slowly but certainly undermined by air starvation, and the only cure for the variety of scrofulous affections developed is air floods of pure, sweet untainted air.

In addition to these external elements, nature requires a buoyant spirit. A sound mind is necessary to a sound body. These facts are mere axioms known to every school child. All mankind is familiar with them, and all mankind regards them. If we followed the dictates of nature with the same absolute confidence and religious faithfulness with which we follow the superficial prescriptions of frail mortals the greater part of the ill health and disease in the world would be summarily cured.”

So, let me sum up:
– We cannot change the tissue of the human body
– Nature is basically immune system and normal organic life
– One needs proper food
– One needs sleep
– One needs exercise
– One needs water
– One needs sunshine
– One needs pure air
– One needs a good mental health

The text is from the Journal Of Osteopathy, December 1897, and was written by A.T. Still








2 responses to “Chapter 19 – Nature as a physician”

  1. […] Chapter 19 – Nature as a physicianJules Rampal […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *