Fasting Hydropathy And Exercise - Exercise: Nature's Wonderful Remedies For The Cure Of All Chronic And Acute Diseases (Original Version Restored) - Bernarr Macfadden - Felix Oswald M.d. - ebook

The great truths of Nature are here ready for you, reader. Are you ready for them? Are you free from prejudice, and willing to read and reason without considering the opinions of so-called authorities ? To a free and intelligent human being there is no authority for him higher than his own reasoning power. If you are free from the slavery of prejudice this book will give you food for thought. It will teach you that weakness is a crime—that it is the result of plain, easily avoided causes—that if your body is weak, or diseased, there is not the slightest excuse for remaining so—that health and strength of a high degree is the natural heritage of man and woman, and if this superb condition is not possessed, this book will clearly and concisely furnish the knowledge necessary to acquire it.Refuse to be an invalid, reader!Refuse to be a physical nonenity!Table of Contents PREFACE. I.—FASTING. CHAPTER I. Physiological data. CHAPTER II. The one meal plan. CHAPTER III. Dietetic restrictions. CHAPTER IV. Protracted fasts. CHAPTER V. An experience of the authors. II.—HYDROTHERAPY. CHAPTER VI. Physiological data. CHAPTER VII. The cold-water-cure. CHAPTER VIII. Air baths. CHAPTER IX. Climatic sanitaria. CHAPTER X. Ventilation. III.—EXERCISE CHAPTER XI. Physiological data. CHAPTER XII. Outdoor exercise. CHAPTER XIII. Indoor exercise. CHAPTER XIV. Gymnastics. CHAPTER XV. Free movement cures or sanitarium exercises. IV. Detailed advice for treatment.CHAPTER XVI.

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Fasting Hydropathy







   Health that intoxicates with its power and intensity, is within the reach of all who are willing to reason for themselves, and begin that activity of muscle, mind and body without which there can be no health, for stagnation always means disease and death.

   Activity is the law of life. A machine made of the finest steel will rust and decay if not used, and the human body is not stronger than steel.

   To those whose souls are rent by sorrow and pain, to those whose days and nights are heavily laden with the dull dispair of physical weakness and disease, this book is respectfully dedicated.

    May it be a light which guides these poor stricken human beings to the haven of perfect health, beautiful, superb—is the wish of the authors.

   Awake!Open your eyes.    Clear your brain.    Reason!    Reason clearly!    An enemy is at your door.He has already entered nearly every home!    Is he in your home?Are you struggling for life as he slowly "strangles" you in his "grip of poison"?Are your sons, your daughters, your father or your mother fighting this fearful enemy?

Table of Contents


   The great truths of Nature are here ready for you, reader. Are you ready for them?

   Are you free from prejudice, and willing to read and reason without considering the opinions of so-called authorities ? To a free and intelligent human being there is no authority for him higher than his own reasoning power.

   If you are free from the slavery of prejudice this book will give you food for thought. It will teach you that weakness is a crime—that it is the result of plain, easily avoided causes—that if your body is weak, or diseased, there is not the slightest excuse for remaining so—that health and strength of a high degree is the natural heritage of man and woman, and if this superb condition is not possessed, this book will clearly and concisely furnish the knowledge necessary to acquire it.

   Refuse to be an invalid, reader!

   Refuse to be a physical nonenity!

   Are you depending upon drugs?—that gorgon horror that is torturing more human lives into misery, weakness and death than all the combined cruelties and barbarism of past ages.

   Drugs! Drugs!! Great heavens, will this crime of the century never end?

   Drugs never did and never will cure disease. The body cures itself if it can secure an opportunity, but with the poisonous drugs always at hand, and with their authorities standing at your side, I know it is difficult to refuse. But, friends, strengthen your minds and strike for freedom. You must be free from the drug delusion mentally before you can ever be free physically.

   Years ago when my own soul was rent by the torturous belief that the health of a fully developed man was never to be mine, I tried drugs. Nauseating and disgusting pills, powders and liquids were swallowed. The pain of my disappointment, as remedy after remedy was tried without benefit, can never be described. If I live to be a thousand years of age, there could be no experience in my life that would be stamped upon my brain quite so vividily as this.

   And when freedom came at last—when the truths of Nature were revealed to me one by one, a great joy overcame me.

   For I was free!

   Free, friends! Free from pain, free from misery; free from weakness.

   Think of it!! A freedom as glorious as the most happy moment of life!

   And with this freedom came an intense desire for others to share my freedom; and drugs, the humbug, the delusion that saps your strength while they pretend to cure, will find in me a life-long enemy. As long as I have the power to think, as long as I have the power to utter a sound, my voice, my pen, my utmost energies will be expended in fighting and exposing the horrible crimes to modern humanity committed by drugs.

   Read this book!!

   Act upon its suggestions. Secure health with all its joy.

   Be a man, complete, superb.

   Or a woman, beautiful and strong.

   And help me in this glorious work of stamping out the curse of weakness and disease, and the drugs that often cause this unnatural condition.



   "What shall we do to be saved?" is a question which, from a physical point of view, can be answered in less than ten words: "Learn to interpret the language of your sanitary instincts." To him who has mastered that task, the science of health is not a sealed book.

   "And let me assure you, in measured words alive with conviction, that long series of cases running through seventeen years of attendance has been a line of evidence, line upon line, of the self-sufficiency of Nature to right herself in attacks of disease, no matter what the disease, or how severe its character."—E. H. Dewey, M.D.

   Every living organism is a self-regulating apparatus. Our nervous system performs its functions by a combination of alarm signals that apprise us of an infinite variety of external dangers and internal needs, in a language that has a distinct expression for every want of our alimentary and respiratory organs, for every distress of our tissues, sinews and muscles, for every needed reaction against the influence of abnormal circumstances. Our skin protests against injurious degrees of heat or cold; our lungs against atmospheric impurities; our eyes against the intrusion of the smallest insect. The human body is a house that cleanses its own chambers and heats its own stoves, opens and shuts its windows at proper intervals, expels mischievous intruders and promptly informs its tenant of every external peril and internal disorder.

   If it were not for the perverting influence of baneful sanitary superstitions we should run no risk of mistaking poison for food, nor of substituting unnatural for natural stimulants. We should never have conceived the idea that the sick must be forced to swallow virulent drugs; all our "ailments and pains, in form, variety and degree beyond description," could be cured by the three remedies of Nature: Exercise, fasting and refrigeration.

   The application of those remedies is not followed by distressing after effects. It does not develop a morbid hankering for a repetition of the prescription in constantly increasing doses.

   Compare the effects of outdoor exercise with those of Dr. Quack's Digestion Bitters, as characteristic instances of normal and abnormal tonics. Both prescriptions tend to stimulate the appetite. But how? and at what expense? To the palate of a healthy child alcohol is almost as repulsive as corrosive sublimate: Nature's protest against the incipience of a health-destroying habit. Nor does instinct yield to the first disregard of its appeals: Nausea, gripes, nervous headaches and gastric spasms warn the novice again and again. But we repeat the dose, and Nature, true to her highest law of preserving existence at any price, and realizing the hopelessness of the life-endangering struggle, finally chooses the alternative of palliating an evil for which she has no remedy, and adapts herself to the abnormal condition. "The body of the dram-drinker," says a medical reformer, "becomes a poison-engine, an alcohol-machine, performing its vital functions only under the spur of a specific stimulus. And only then the unnatural habit begets that craving which the toper comes to mistake for the prompting of a healthy appetite—a craving which every gratification makes more exorbitant. For by and by the jaded system fails to respond to the spur; the poison-slave has to resort to stronger stimulants.

   And, moreover, every excitation of the flagging vital energies is followed by a debilitating reaction. The bowels fail to act; disinclination to physical and mental efforts makes work a penalty. The "pleasant and exhilarating tonic "has evolved the soul-darkening mists of Katzenjammer. As a net result of his experiment Dr. Quack's customer finds himself worse than before by just as much as the unnatural stimulant has still further exhausted his small reserve fund of vital vigor.

   The benefits of the movement cure, on the other hand, are not heralded by the kettledrum methods of Quackstetter& Co.; but they can dispense with such endorsements. Outdoor sports commend themselves to the instincts of a healthy child as unmistakably as wholesome food and pure air. Exercise creates an expenditure of energy that has to be replaced by stimulating the functions of every organ; effete tissues are eliminated; the heart beats stronger and faster, the lungs, liver and kidneys respond to the spur; the whole system works as a machine under an increase of steam-pressure. The same healthy, prompt and harmless tonic reacts upon the bowels; the problem of digestive stimulation has been solved without the risk of distressing after-effects. No baneful habit has fastened upon the patient; no drastic suppression of symptoms has made the remedy worse than the evil. The disorder has been cured by the removal of its cause. And all these advantages can be claimed for the Fasting Cure.

   "Take away food from a sick man's stomach and you have begun, not to starve the sick man, but the disease."—E. H. Dewey, M.D.

"The principle on which the fasting-cure acts is one on which all physiologists agree, and one which is readily explained and understood. We know that in animal life the law of nature is for the effete, worn out, and least vitalized matter to be first cast off. We see this upon the cuticle, nails, hair, and in the snake the casting off of his old skin. Now in wasting or famishing from the want of food, this process of elimination goes on in a much more rapid manner than ordinarily, and the vital force, which would otherwise be expended in digesting the food taken, acts now in expelling from the vital domain, whatever morbid matters it may contain. This, then, is a beautiful idea in regard to the fasting-cure—that whenever a meal of food is omitted, the body purifies itself thus much from its disease, and this becomes apparent in the subsequent amendment, both as regards bodily feeling and strength. It is proved, also, in the fact that during the prevalence of epidemics, those who have been obliged to live almost in a state of starvation, have gone free from an attack, while the well-fed have been cut off in numbers by the merciless disease."—Joel Shaw, M.D.


   The progress of culture often resembles the undulating rise of the tide, rather than the steady advance of a river current; the rippling waves surge in capricious eddies and for a time may even seem to recede. Scientific tenets familiar to the philosophers of pagan antiquity were lost sight of during the night of the Middle Ages, and in the dawn of modern civilization are apt to be viewed with doubt or accepted as novel discoveries.

   The true theory of the solar system, for instance, was known to the disciples of Pythagoras; but a thousand years later was forgotten almost as completely as the existence of the lost Atlantis. Centuries before the birth of Ludwig Jahn the Greeks had recognized the truth that in thickly settled countries the lack of wood-sports ought to be compensated by gymnastic training and competitive athletics. There were fresh-air doctors two thousand years before Dio Lewis, and during the zenith period of Grecian and Roman civilization monogamy was not half as firmly established as the rule that a health-loving man should content himself with one meal a day, and never eat till he had leisure to digest, i. e., not till the day's work was wholly done.

   For more than a thousand years the one meal plan was the established rule among the civilized nations inhabiting the coast-lands of the Mediterranean. The evening repast—call it supper or dinner—was a kind of domestic festival, the reward of the day's toil, an enjoyment which rich and poor refrained from marring by premature gratifications of their appetite. Cares were laid aside before the family and their guests assembled in the supper-hall. People of wealth provided reclining couches, and their desserts included a good many things besides Attic figs. They treated their guests to perfumes, to music and dances. Athenæus describes a symposium enlivened by musical contests and juggler shows. All but the poorest had at least a minstrel who bartered comic ditties for a basketful of cold lunch. Amusements of that sort were supposed to aid digestion and keep the revelers awake during the two hours' interval between the termination of the repast and the setting of the sun, though appetite alone generally guaranteed the assimilation of a good-sized meal. Dinner, in the form of a noon-time lunch was unknown, and for breakfast a biscuit or a piece of crust, to counteract the acidity of the stomach, were considered sufficient.

   There were exceptions, but they were tolerated merely as we should tolerate a sportsman unable to wait for legal holidays, and enjoying leisure periods in the middle of the week, or vacations before the beginning of summer. "To desecrate one's appetite," the Romans called the habit of eating between meals, and Suetonius mentions among the demerits of the Emperor Vitellius a "penchant for gorging himself in the early morning hours,"—the time of the day that ought to have remained consecrated to labor or study. As a rule, probably nine out of ten well-educated Greeks and six out of ten Romans did not think twenty-two hours too long an interval between meals which, with chat and other pauses, lasted more than an hour and a half.

   "They were probably athletes," remarked a critic of a lecture on Roman customs; "but what about women and persons of delicate constitutions? Would they not risk to faintwith hunger in trying total abstinence, in that extreme sense of the word, all the day long?"

   In reply to such questions the lecturer ought to have added a few words on the subject of Diet and the Influence of Habit. A little child, according to Dr. Page's experiments, can be taught to guzzle day and night, or to content himself with being stilled about once in three hours. Little habitues of a hundred daily guzzles will howl horribly at the first attempt to restrict them to seventy-five, but after a month or two will get so used to ten nursings that it requires coaxing to make them accept a dozen.

   And in the course of a few years the tapering-off process can be easily brought to an average of one meal a day. Baker Pasha (Sir Samuel Baker) ascertained that fact in studying the habits of the Abyssinian hunters. Youngsters of twelve years join the hunting expeditions of their tribe and think themselves lucky if the kettle can be set a-boiling to the extent of furnishing a good evening meal. In the repose of the kraal they might yield to the temptation of a noon-time lunch; but when game is scarce, think nothing of rolling themselves up in a blanket at night and trying a nap to forget the disappointment of the day, trusting to the chance of better pot-luck for the morrow. "Qui dort dine," say the French—"he who sleeps feasts." A good night's rest in the bracing night air of the Abyssinian tablelands will sustain strength even on the basis of alternate day meals. A daily feast is so abundantly sufficient that active youngsters would fear to handicap themselves by re-loading their stomachs before the end of the next day. With the prospect of an up-and-down hill race against time and the competition of athletic companions, the offer even of a moderate morning lunch would probably jar upon their sanitary conscience.

   The subjects of the two Kaisers, on the other hand, would consider it a grievance to be limited to three daily meals. All over Germany and northern Austria a pause of four hours is thought a distressingly long time between meals, though some brands of wurstare apt to resist the assimilative apparatus of unfeathered bipeds at least half a clay.

   Master Karl Schulze has no springboks to hunt; the stifling atmosphere of his grammar-school room does not promote digestion; yet Karl insists on a Frühstück(breakfast) six A. M.; zweitesfrüstück("second breakfast") at nine; mittagsmahl at noon; vesperbrot (vesper lunch) at half past three; and abendessen at 6 P. M. Just before retiring from the scene of their gastronomic exploits Vienna burghers often add a night-cap of beer, pretzels and more wurst, "for the stomach's sake." "In spite of the stomach" might seem more correct, but it isn't. One month's practice would be enough to supplement the horrid load of ingesta with a midnight meal. It might shorten the glutton's life one half; but as sure as the noon and night comes around his stomach, or the ulcerated receptacle retaining that name, would interrupt the nightmare circus to clamor for its perquisites; and disappointment would result in fits of insomnia and yearnings for the picnic grounds of a better hereafter.