Fasting for the cure of disease/Chapter 15

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"Seldom have you teen one continent that is not abstinent."

Hals*: Golden Remains.



JUST what normal sex desire in both male and female originally signified is somewhat difficult to define, but it is safe to assume that primordial sex relations were limited to the purposes of procreation. The ultimate object of the fast is discovered in the restoration of all physiological functions to a primary condition, and this is effected not only with respect to the processes of digestion, assimilation, and elimination, but to that of the sex instinct as well. While the fast is in progress, sexual desire, whether formerly active to excess or abeyant, is brought to normal, and attention to diet and to right living in the future finds passion controlled and desire subservient in all senses to the will.

In the female during the fast the menses may or may not appear, but, after the fast is completed, the monthly discharge may miss several or more periods. Its temporary cessation should occasion no anxiety, for the menstrual flow is at all times a waste product, and, in pregnancy and after the menopause, its disposal is accomplished through other channels. However, instances have been noted in which the menses have appeared, when food was omitted, at irregular intervals almost viscid in consistency and very offensive in odor. This may be regarded as the result of congestion localized in ovaries and uterus, and as a natural cleansing of a reproductive system clogged with refuse.

With respect to the menstrual discharge, the interesting facts are to be observed that it is of regular recurrence during the bearing period in the females of all mammals ; that it is barely perceptible in some; and that in none is it so profuse in quantity as in woman. She is the only female in the animal kingdom that is compelled to undergo a monthly inconvenience of copious flow from the uterus ; yet this evidence of function is as natural as breathing, but because of perversion in habit, it has become aggravated in excessive degree. Profuse discharge is the penalty attached by nature to the use of the organs of reproduction for other than legitimate purposes, and it is a perfect demonstration of the universal law of compensation.

In treating disease of the reproductive system in the female, the fast both cleanses and relaxes, relieves congestion and restores tone. From one to three days' abstinence from food will correct excessive menstruation, and, when no mechanical defect is present, relief is obtained within twenty-four hours when the flow is accompanied with pain. In this connection attention is directed to the use of the douche, the warm bath, and the enema, while the discharge is present. Medical opinion to the contrary notwithstanding, all of these hygienic accessories are not only helpful, but are absolutely essential at the time of the monthly period. In all cases thorough cleanliness is imperative if the benefits derived are to prove permanent, and right living in after time is a necessary condition of continued well-being.

The menopause, or change of life, is a period dreaded by all women. There is never any certainty as to the time of its occurrence, nor any means of foretelling the character of its manifestations. Treatment by the fast demonstrates that the menses may be properly regulated, and that assurance as to their normal recurrence is possible when right living is adhered to. Similarly purification of the system at the period of the menopause or before, coupled with proper diet and judicious exercise, will fc permit any woman to pass through this experience without distress, excessive nervousness, or other evil consequences.

The object of the fast is achieved in cleansing functional energic avenues and in resting the vital organs of the body. By virtue of these accomplishments the high function of reproduction is not only benefited, but is also restored almost to original ease in gestation and accouchement. Ordinarily, congested healthy secretion as well as impurities deposited in the organs of reproduction are eliminated through the circulation; but even the excessive and offensive discharge that sometimes is present during the fast may be regarded in the light of an eliminative product evacuated on the line of least resistance.

In fact, unless organic defect exist, everpresent female troubles are unknown to nature when her dictates are accepted and obeyed. The fast and subsequent treatment result in a set of healthy muscles for the support of the organs of reproduction and in healthy secretions for all purposes peculiar to these parts. Judicious general exercise and normal nutrition will maintain the sustaining ligaments in strength, and the generative system cannot fail functionally or structurally if normally used.

The dress of woman is responsible for some of her sex weaknesses, and, without entering into details, it is well to call attention to the garment to which is attributed so much of female woe. The corset has no right nor title in the wardrobe of a healthy, normal woman. Her own bones and muscles shape her form as intended by nature, and any woman, not distorted in framework, may attain perfection of figure by muscular freedom and proper exercise. The restriction of a healthy muscle causes it partially to lose its functioning ability, and habitual restraint and unnatural pressure brought to bear upon the muscles of the trunk result in local congestion and in displacement of special organs. Lungs, liver, and intestines, together with the organs of reproduction, suffer from the constrictive effects of the corset, and lack of nourishment, due to restricted circulation thus produced, causes atrophy of muscular tissue, since the latter is not adequately rebuilt. Energy is likewise impeded in the process of liberation; intestines, unable to function, are filled with food rubbish; and congestion, inflammation, auto-intoxication, and sexual decay ensue. The corset alone succeeds in producing many degenerate, breastless women, who eventually suffer under the surgeon's knife; who cannot fulfil the natural function of child-bearing; and who, if they by accident reproduce their species, are unable to furnish their young with natural food.

The science of Osteopathy has not as yet recognized the ease and the benefit of manipulation of the uterus and its appendages,' and it is only now and then that an osteopathic physician is discovered who, upon his own initiative, has made known the good that accrues by transcending prescribed methods when occasion demands. Fasting will relieve congestion, while manipulation of the uterus and the ovaries from within and without, and of the region of the Fallopian tubes, assisting in this process, will also mechanically adjust the uterus, and will give tone to the condition of the reproductive apparatus by stimulating circulation.

Sexual disease other than that peculiar to the female may be divided into that which is contracted through sexual intercourse, and that which results from lowered nutrition or is transmitted congenitally.

The first class is represented by the local symptoms of gonorrhoea in both sexes, of gleet, stricture, and urethritis in the male, of leucorrhoea and displacement of the womb in the female, etc.

The second class is represented by impotence in the male, barrenness in the female, and the various degrees of the blood taint, syphilis, in both sexes.

In discussing the problem of sexual disorder of any kind and its cure, it is necessary to revert to the primary cause of disease, lowered nutrition resulting from impairment of the digestive process. While cleanliness in the female will, in those symptoms that are merely local in character, undoubtedly minimize the chances of infection by contact, the soil in which the germs of venereal disease flourish is distinctly an eliminative product embodied in the fluids of the reproductive tract. The bacillus of gonorrhoea, for instance, transferred to either sex, cannot long exist if the products of elimination are normal in quality, and if cleanliness, especially in the female, is properly observed. The former condition is promptly effected by the fast, and the latter is a matter of ordinary personal care. The irritating symptoms of local venereal infection yield to the treatment in few days, and convalescence brings no supervening annoyance, as expressed in urethral stricture, prostatic congestion, etc.

The taint of syphilis, congenital or acquired, if treated before its characteristic organic lesions have developed, is eradicated with equal success, but with somewhat more difficulty, since this disorder is deeply seated, and, affecting the composition of the blood, partakes of the nature of structural defect in vital organs.

Masturbation, a habit of more widely common practice in both sexes than is generally believed, may have its origin in the curiosity of pubescence stimulated by vicious influences. But its development into habitual form requires a constitutional derangement of the functions of nutrition, and the vice of self -abuse is purely a symptom, not a cause of disease. Digestive ferment, occasioning excitement of the nerve centers controlling the genital organs, or local congestion caused by constriction of the waist, by constipation, or by like means, are the active stimulating agents responsible for lascivious dreams and perverted forms of sex satisfaction.

Disease is a unity. The solitary vice is but a symptom, and the fast, applied for the removal of the cause, restores morbidity to health.

In connection with the effects of the fast and of diet upon sexual development and desire, observation establishes the fact that children fed upon a non-flesh regimen progress sexually in gradual, normal manner to puberty, and exhibit fewer tendencies towards sexual abuse or perversion than do those whose diet includes the various flesh foods. A dietary embodying meat is far more stimulating than one purely vegetable in character, for the reasons adduced in previous discussion.

The ideal to be desired in all life is that of equilibrium. Physical existence without normal sex relation is an unbalanced state, nor can it be implied that this natural function, when not exercised, is changed in purpose and acts as an increment to intellect, as moral reformers would have us believe. Far from, it, since, in the male, the propagating secretion is produced only as it is discharged. And, in the female, monthly production and removal of the ovum indicates renewal of fertile cells. In both sexes constant exhaustion of sex secretion undoubtedly draws upon nervous energy and in this manner affects brain power, but the reverse cannot be true. If so, the bulk of the brains of the world would be in possession of continent celibates. Sex and intellect demand impartial exercise, the former for procreation only, the latter for physical control and spiritual advance.