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´╗┐Title: Vitality Supreme
Author: Macfadden, Bernarr, 1868-1955
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Vitality Supreme" ***

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By Bernarr Macfadden


The war cry of to-day in peace no less than in war is for efficiency. We
need stronger, more capable men; healthier, superior  women.  Force  is
supreme-the king of all mankind. And it is force that stands back of
efficiency, for efficiency, first of  all,  means  power.  It  comes
from power, and power either comes directly from inheritance or it is
developed by an intelligent application of the laws that control the
culture of the physique. The value of efficiency is everywhere
recognized. The great prizes of life come only to those who are
efficient. Those who  desire capacities of this sort must recognize the
importance of a strong, enduring physique. The body must be  developed
completely,  splendidly.  The buoyancy, vivacity, energy, enthusiasm and
ambition ordinarily associated with youth can be maintained through
middle age and in some cases even to old age. If your efforts are to be
crowned with the halo of success, they must be spurred on by the
pulsating throbbing powers that accompany physical excellence. These
truly extraordinary characteristics come without effort to but few of
us, but they can  be  developed,  attained  and maintained.

Why not throb with superior vitality! Why not possess the physical
energy of a young lion? For then you will compel success. You will stand
like a wall if need be, or rush with the force of a charging bison
towards the desired achievements. This book sends forth  a  message  of
paramount importance to those who need added efficiency. Adherence to
the principles laid down herein will add to the characteristics that
insure splendid achievements. They will increase the power of your body
and mind and soul. They will help each human entity to become a live
personality.  They will enable you to live fully, joyously. They will
help you to feel, enjoy, suffer, every moment of each day. It  is  only
when  you  are  thus thrilled with the eternal force of life that you
reach the highest pinnacle of  attainable  capacities  and  powers.
Hidden  forces,  sometimes marvelous and mysterious, lie within nearly
every human soul. Develop, expand and bring out these latent powers.
Make your body  splendid,  your mind supreme; for then you become your
real self, you possess all your attainable powers. And men thus
developed possess a capital that can  not be financially measured. It is
worth infinitely more than money. Within the pages of this volume the
pathway leading to these gratifying rewards is clearly described. Adhere
to the principles set forth and a munificent harvest of physical, mental
and spiritual attainments will  surely  be yours.

--Bernarr Macfadden


























CHAPTER I: Vitality--What is it?

Vitality first of all means endurance and the ability to live long. It
naturally indicates functional and organic vigor.  You  cannot  be
vital unless the organs of the body are possessed of at least a normal
degree  of  strength  and  are  performing  their  functions
harmoniously  and satisfactorily. To be vital means that you are full of
vim and energy, that you possess that enviable characteristic known as
vivacity. It means that you are vibrating, pulsating with life in all
its most attractive forms. For life, energy, vitality-call it  what
you  wish-in  all  its normal manifestations, will always be found

A vital man is at all times thoroughly alive. The forces of life seem to
imbue every part of his organism with energy, activity  and  all
characteristics  opposed  to  things  inanimate.  A  vital  man  is
naturally enthusiastic. He can hardly avoid being ambitious. And
consequently success, with all its splendid rewards, comes to such a
man  in  abundance. Life to such a man should be resplendent with worthy

No one belittles the importance of success. Everyone is guided to a
large extent by the desire to succeed. When a child toddles  off  to
school the training which he secures there is given for the single
purpose of bringing success, but  this  goal  cannot  possibly  be
reached  without throbbing vitality. In fact, you are not yourself in
every sense unless you possess vitality of this sort. The emotions and
instincts that  come to one when thoroughly developed, with the vital
forces surging within, are decidedly different from those which
influence one when  lacking  in stamina. Many who have grown beyond
adult age are still undeveloped, so far as physical condition and vigor
is  concerned,  and  this  lack  of physical development or vitality
means immaturity-incompleteness. It means that one is short on manhood
or  womanhood.  This  statement,  that one's personality, under such
circumstances, is not completely brought out, may seem strange to some;
but careful reasoning will soon verify its accuracy. Success of the
right sort, therefore, depends first of all upon intelligent efforts
that are guided day after day, with a view,  first of all, of developing
the physical organism to the highest possible standard, and maintaining
it there.

In other words, it is our first duty to be men, strong and splendid, or
women, healthy and perfect, if we are desirous of securing  life's  most
gratifying prizes. Many actually go through life only half alive. They
are, to a certain extent, doped by their physical deficiencies. They
have been handicapped by a lack of the energy that comes with physical
development. They need to be stirred by the regular use of the physical
powers of the body. When the body is complete in all of its various
parts it is truly a marvelous organism. Throbbing vitality stirs  the
imagination, gives one courage and capacity, thrills one with the
possibilities of life, fires the ambitions. The efforts involved in
one's daily duties,  be they ever so important, then become mere play.
To such a man inactivity is impossible. Every day must be filled with
active, interesting duties, and progress in such cases is inevitable.
Such a man grows, he improves, he ascends. He becomes a positive
dominating force in the world.

Can pulsating, vibrating, vitality of this kind be developed? Can one
who lacks enthusiasm and organic vigor obtain these  valuable  forces?
If you have failed up to the present to become a complete man, or a
splendid woman, can you achieve these extraordinary rewards in the
future?  You can rest assured that if the necessary efforts are made a
revolution can be wrought in your physical and mental powers. You, too,
can feel these throbbing vital forces stirring your every nerve,
thrilling your very soul. Go to work, in an intelligent manner,
realizing  that  fundamentally the attainment of these great rewards
comes from the development of the highest degree of physical excellence.
You must have strength  of  body. You cannot have too much strength. The
more nearly you feel like a strong man the more you can achieve in the
desired direction. All  successful men are, and have been, men of
tremendous energy. Their achievements have been simply the expression of
the vitality and nerve force  which  can no more be repressed than the
power of an engine when it has been once liberated. Success is due to
the dynamic quality of energy.  It  is  true that physical energy and
bodily strength are not sufficient for success in all fields. One must
have aptitude for his chosen work.  Your  energy must be directed in the
proper channels, but without this energy and vitality you can accomplish
virtually nothing.

Take the one particular characteristic known as vivacity. How we envy
those who possess in abundance this great gift! No  matter  how
irregular one's features may be, even though they repel, if a smile
shows vivacity  associated  with  a  keen,  intelligent  personality,
one  cannot  be otherwise than attractive. John Bunny, with features
rough, unchiseled, ugly, almost uncouth,  yet  possessed  a  personality
that  spread  its contagious good humor to millions of people in all
quarters of the world who mourned his recent death as that of a personal
acquaintance. On the other hand, even though a man or woman possess
regular features, the lack of animated expression, of vivacity, causes
the person to be  regarded as "cold" and "repellent." Speaking in the
vernacular, it puts you in the class of the "dead ones." One may  say
that  magnetism  and  all  the desirable qualities that draw others to
us are closely associated with the supreme development of the forces  of
life.  No  vivacity,  then  no personality.

The average individual goes through life without living. In other words,
he scarcely exists. He has never felt the  throbbing  exultation  of  a
keen joyous moment. Nor on the other hand has he ever suffered the
tortures that are supposed to be associated with  the  damned,  for  we
must remember that the power to enjoy carries with it a corresponding
power to suffer. But we should also  remember  that  the  possession  of
these extremes, the ability to enjoy or to suffer, indicates the
attainment of what might be termed the most complete human development.
If we wish to find a perfect picture of the phlegmatic temperament, we
can study a pig to advantage.  And  yet  there  are  many  human  beings
incapable  of manifesting life-forces equal to those of this humble

But why not be alive, vital, vivacious? Why not be alert, keen,
energetic,  enthusiastic,  ambitious,  bubbling  over  with  fiery
ardor?  The possession of these pulsating, vibratory forces proves that
one's physical development has closely  approached  to  perfection.  To
such  vital individuals life opens up opportunities that are almost

But those who have never lived in this "world" of fiery ambitions and
throbbing powers, who have never been stirred by the keen, satisfying
joys that go with these extraordinary, vital qualities, may ask if these
invaluable powers can be developed. Are these  stirring,  vital  forces
the possession of favored classes only, or may they be obtained by
anyone and everyone? In other words, can they  be  cultivated  or
developed?  My reply, in nearly all cases, would be in the affirmative.
There may be exceptions. There is a limit to the development of the
physical force, but health is attainable by the majority. So long as
there is life you should be possessed of sufficient vitality  to  attain
a  normal  degree  of health. It really takes more power to run a
defective machine than it does to operate one in which all parts are
working  in  harmony,  and  the same can be said of the body and its
parts or organs. Therefore, if you have vitality enough to continue to
live  even  though  diseased,  rest assured that you have enough to
acquire health if you conform to Nature's enactments. And this kind of
health  usually  brings  a  physical  and mental exaltation that is
truly beyond description.

It is my purpose in these pages to help the reader to solve the problems
associated with the attainment of vitality and health at its  best.  By
following out the suggestions which you will find in this volume, by
stimulating the life-forces  in  connection  with  the  thyroid  gland,
by straightening and strengthening the spine, by toning up the
alimentary canal, and by adopting other suggestions set forth in  these
pages,  you should be insured the attainment of vital vigor really
beyond price. Do not be satisfied with an existence. If life is  worth
anything,  it  is worth living in every sense of the word. The building
up of one's physical assets should be recognized as an imperative duty.

CHAPTER II: Functional Activity-The Secret of Power

Vitality means normal functioning. When the organs of the body are all
performing their duties satisfactorily, you can practically be sure of
a plentiful supply of vitality. So it can truly be said that proper
functioning is the secret of power.

The most important of all functional processes begins in the stomach.
There is where the blood-making process commences, and,  since  a  man
is what the blood makes of him, you can realize the tremendous
importance of this particular function. If the digestion is carried on
properly, and the blood is made rich in those elements that add to life,
health and strength, then the functions of the stomach are being
properly  performed. Strength of this organ, therefore, is absolutely
indispensable in vitality building.

This blood-making work is then continued by the small intestines, where
a large part of the  elements  of  nourishment  essential  to  life  are
assimilated, taken up and carried to the portal circulation, thence to
the lungs and heart, and  finally  throughout  the  entire  body.  It
is absolutely impossible for one to enjoy the possession of a high
degree of vitality, or of the general good health upon which  vitality
depends, unless the intestinal tract is in a healthy and vigorous
condition, so that the functions of this particular part of  the  body-
machine  may  be performed without a flaw. The entire digestive system
may be compared to a boiler supplying the energy by which the engine
does its work.

Then consider the heart itself. One cannot underestimate the functional
importance of this organ. It is commonly regarded as the most vital spot
in the body, the very center of life-indeed the poets have made it the
seat of love and the emotions in general. If  anything,  the  brain  and
nervous system should be regarded as the real center of life, but the
function of  the  heart,  the  marvelous  muscle-pump,  is  so  vital
and indispensable that the world is accustomed to thinking of it as the
organ of first importance. And so it is. Should it cease its efforts
for  a few moments even, life becomes extinct, and you are no longer an
animate being. A strong heart, therefore, is if anything  even  more
important than a strong stomach. But you must remember that the strength
of the heart to a large extent depends upon the cooperation of a strong
stomach, or at least upon the proper digestion of food. For the muscles
and tissues of the heart, like those of all other organs of the body,
are fed  by the blood, which depends for its life-giving and life-
sustaining qualities upon the food, which is first acted upon by the
stomach and thus made available for use by the cell structures in all
parts of the body. The heart is truly a wonderful organ, the one set of
muscles which apparently never rest, but work on night and day, year
after year, throughout our entire life.

Furthermore, the part played by the lungs in the maintenance of life and
health cannot be underestimated. Impaired functioning of the lungs  has
an immediate and vital effect upon every other part of the body. It is
through this channel  that  we  secure  the  oxygen,  without  which
the processes of life would terminate almost instantaneously. It is
through this  channel  also  that  the  elimination  of  carbonic  acid
gas  is accomplished. Without the continuous and thorough elimination of
carbonic acid our tissues would become choked up and poisoned  in  such
a  way that all cell activity and bodily function would come to an
abrupt end. If the lungs are sound and healthy in every respect the
supply of oxygen is abundant, and the elimination of carbonic acid,
which may be regarded as the "smoke" of the human system, is carried on
perfectly.  Breathing is only one of the various functions that must be
continuously carried on, but it is of such importance  as  to  require
special  attention  in building vitality.

In the work of eliminating impurities and keeping the system clean the
kidneys are to be classed with the lungs, although they have to  do
with poisonous wastes of a different type. Insufficient functioning of
the kidneys is not so immediately fatal as the failure  of  the  lungs
to  do their work, but proper action of the kidneys is none the less
important. If the poisons which are normally eradicated from the  system
in  this way are allowed to remain or to accumulate, they poison the
body as truly as any external toxic element that could be  introduced.
Insufficient activity of the kidneys leads to the accumulation of those
poisons, bringing on convulsions of the most serious nature, and unless
the condition is relieved there will be fatal results. The requirements
of health, therefore, demand that the kidneys should be strong and
active,  and  that their functional capacity should be maintained at the
highest degree of efficiency.

In supplementing the work of the kidneys and the lungs, the excretory
function of the skin is only secondary in importance. The skin has
various functions. It is one of our chief organs of sense, the sense of
touch being hardly second to those of  sight  and  hearing.  It  is
likewise  a wonderful protective structure, and at the same time is a
channel of elimination which cannot be ignored with impunity. To
interfere  with  the eliminative function of the skin by absolutely
clogging the pores for a period of several hours means death. One may
say that we really  breathe through the skin.

The importance of all these functions of elimination is vital. Pure
blood depends upon the perfect and continuous excretion of the wastes
formed in the body through the processes of life, and without keeping
the blood pure in this manner the body rapidly becomes poisoned by its
own  waste products, with the result that health, vitality and even life
are lost. Health is entirely a question  of  pure  blood,  and,  while
the  blood depends first upon the building material supplied through the
digestive system, it also depends equally as much upon functional
activity in  the matter of elimination.

The liver, which enjoys the distinction of being the largest organ in
the body, is designed for the performance of a multiplicity of
functions. It not only produces the bile, which has such an important
part to play in the work of digestion, but it  has  a  very  important
work  in  the changing of foods absorbed into such material as may be
assimilated or used by the cells  of  the  various  tissues  throughout
the  body.  For instance, it is part of the function of the liver to
bring about chemical changes in albuminous foods which make it possible
for the tissues  to assimilate these. It also has much to do with
bringing about certain chemical changes in sugar  or  dextrose.
Furthermore,  the  liver  has  an important function in connection with
the excretion of broken-down bodily tissue, converting this dead matter
into a form in  which  it  can  be filtered out of the blood by the
kidneys. Failure of the liver to perform its work  satisfactorily  will
upset  the  digestive  and  functional system, or may lead to an
accumulation of uric acid in the body, possibly resulting in rheumatism,
gout, neuralgia, disturbances of  circulation and other evils. When your
liver "goes on strike" you may expect trouble in general. A normal
condition of the entire body depends upon  perfect and continuous
functioning of the liver in cooperation with all the other vital organs.
The same may  be  said  of  the  pancreas,  spleen,  the thyroid gland
and other organs which have a special function to perform. The body is
really  a  combination  of  all  these  various  parts  and functions,
and without strength and activity in all of them, simultaneous and
harmonious, not one of these interdependent  parts  could  do  its work,
and the body as a whole would be thrown into a state of disease.
Strength of the internal organs is infinitely more  important  than
mere muscular strength, if one could properly make a comparison.

How, therefore, shall we build this internal, functional strength? Can
our organs be made to function more satisfactorily? How  may  we
promote their greater activity?

It will be the purpose of the succeeding chapters in this volume to
point out how the vital organs may be strengthened  and  the  sum  total
of one's vitality thereby increased. It is true that internal strength
is more important than external muscular strength, but the fact is that
they go together. As a general thing, by building muscular strength one
is able at the same time to  develop  internal  strength.  The
influence  of exercise in purifying the blood and in promoting activity
in all the internal organs really strengthens the "department of the
interior" at  the same time that it develops the muscles concerned.
Muscular stagnation means organic stagnation, to a very large degree. To
be  thoroughly  alive and to enjoy the possession of unlimited vitality
it is necessary to be both muscularly and functionally active. The
requirements of Nature,  or what are more commonly termed the "laws of
Nature," in reference to all these bodily functions must be strictly
observed, for it is  only  under such conditions that life and health
can be maintained at their best.

The body may be regarded as a machine. Why not make it a strong machine,
and as perfect as possible? Its efficiency means everything. If you had
an engine, a motorcycle, a sewing machine or a printing press that was a
very poor machine, you would like to exchange  it  for  a  better  one,
would you not? You would even spend large sums of money to secure a
better machine to take the place of the  poor  one.  But  if  your  body
is imperfect, inefficient, weak, rusty and clogged up with grit, dirt
and all the waste products due to the "wear" in the  bodily  structures,
you seem nevertheless entirely satisfied. You go on from day to day and
from year to year without thinking of the possibility of  getting  a
better physical equipment. But why not consider the body in the same
light as any other machine that is of value to you. Your body is  the
thing  that keeps you alive. If it is a poor instrument, then it is more
important that you should get a better one than that you should buy a
new engine or new printing-press or new sewing-machine. The only
difference is, that it is within your power to get a better body machine
by building  up  the one that you have. You can repair it, you can add
to its vitality, you can strengthen the functional system, you can make
it  more  perfect  and efficient. You can make it a high-power machine
that will be of real value in any undertaking that you may wish to carry
out. You  can  make  it strong instead of weak, and you can thus enjoy
that superabundant vitality without which life is hardly worth the

CHAPTER III: The Proper Bodily Posture

The very great value of maintaining the body in a proper position cannot
be too strongly emphasized. Man is the only animal that walks erect. He
is the only animal in whom old age brings a forward bending of the
spine. The hanging head, which is the attitude of hopelessness, and
which  is caused to a very large extent by the mental attitude that goes
with approaching old age, no doubt does a great deal to quicken physical

Therefore it would be wise to remember the very grave importance of a
straight, erect spine. Each day of your life should be to a certain
extent a fight for the best that there is in life and a struggle to hold
the spine as nearly erect as possible. If you are sitting in a chair,
sit  up straight, head back, chin in. If you are walking or standing,
the same rule should apply. The more nearly you can assume the position
which  is sometimes criticized by the sarcastic statement that "He looks
as though he had swallowed a poker," the more nearly  you  will
approximate  the ideal position.

As will be shown in the succeeding chapter, it is not necessary to make
extraordinary efforts to hold the shoulders back or to arch  the  chest.
The one idea-chin in, down and backward-will accomplish all that is
needed. The chest and shoulders will naturally take care of themselves.

Furthermore, it is well to remember that this attitude in itself has a
tremendous influence upon both the  physical  and  mental  organism.
The mind, for instance, is affected to an extraordinary degree by this
position. It quickens the reasoning capacity, helps to clear  the
brain  of "cobwebs" and unquestionably adds to one's courage. The man
who is afraid hangs his head. He who is void of fear holds his  head
erect,  "looks the world in the face!" There is no question that if a
man without fear were to assume the position of fear, with  hanging
head  and  shrinking body, he would quickly find himself stirred by the
emotions associated with such a posture. He would soon "get scared!" In
fact, the attitude of the body has so much to do with one's mental and
emotional state that the question of self-confidence or lack of
confidence may often be decided simply by throwing your head up and back
and assuming the general bodily posture that goes with confidence. It
not only expresses confidence: it also develops confidence. There is a
great truth here that psychologists and those who write "character
building" books  have  not  sufficiently understood or emphasized. And
when you feel discouraged, the best way to overcome the sense of
depression is to "brace up" physically.  It  will help you to "brace up"
mentally. Try it.

Then there are the definite physiological results of maintaining an
erect spine. The mechanical arrangement of the spine itself is such that
if it is held erect the important nerves that radiate to all parts of
the body from this central "bureau" are able more perfectly to perform
their functions. Where there is pressure on these nerves  there  is
bound  to  be  imperfect  functioning.  The  affected  organ  will  work
lazily, indifferently. In fact, the entire science of the osteopaths and
chiropractors is based almost wholly upon the value of spinal
stimulation  and the remedying of spinal defects.

There is another way in which an erect carriage has a direct physical
influence, namely, in maintaining the proper position of the vital
organs. When the body is held erect the chest is full, round and
somewhat expanded, affording plenty of room for the heart and lungs.
This,  in  itself, is conducive to vitality as compared with the flat-
chested attitude. The stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas and intestines
all tend to drop or sag below their normal position when the body bends
forward. In maintaining an erect position all these organs are drawn
upward and  held  in  their natural position, and this means greater
vigor and better functioning on  the  part  of  each.  This  particular
consideration  is  of  special importance in the case of women. It all
goes to show the truly wonderful value of maintaining the spine in a
properly erect attitude.

The sitting position usually assumed is far from what it should be in
order to insure health. As a rule, we sit humped forward, with  a
decided bend in the spine, ultimately developing splendid examples of
what we call round shoulders. The spine, while sitting, should be held
as  nearly straight as possible. The position of the head, to a very
large extent, determines the general posture of the body. As nearly  as
possible  the chin should be held inward, downward and backward. I will
admit that this position is almost impossible when one is using the
ordinary  type  of chair.

An extraordinary effort is required to sit properly in the conventional
chair. Furniture of this sort should be made to fit the body in the same
way as our clothing does. The back of a chair should be made to fit the
backs of those who are to occupy the chair. The  chair-back  should,  at
least to a reasonable extent, approximate the normal shape of the spine.
If the chair, throughout its entire back, cannot be thus  shaped,  then
it should be cut off even with the waist line of the occupant. Such a
low-back chair will  usually  allow  one  to  sit  erect  without
serious discomfort.

There has been much criticism of American men on the ground that they
are inclined to sit down on the small of the back. They slide  forward
in the chair, with the back bent over and the shoulders humped forward.
But the fault really lies with the construction of the chair. The back
of a chair does not fit the human back, and the seat is not at the right
angle to rest the body.

Why is it that men commonly like to tilt a chair backward on the hind
legs? Even when they do not place their feet on a  convenient  table
they are prone to tip the chair back and partly balance it on the hind
legs. Why do people instinctively prefer  a  rocking  chair  as  a
source  of comfort, even when they do not rock? The fact is that it is
not the rocking that makes a rocking chair comfortable, but the position
of the seat of the chair, with its downward slope toward the back. The
rocking chair is comfortable for just the same reason that the ordinary
dining  chair is made more comfortable when a man tilts it back upon its
hind legs. The reason is that in this position one does not tend to
slide forward off the chair, the weight of the body naturally carrying
the hips to the back of the chair, where it is supported naturally. In
order to  avoid  the "sliding down the cellar door" character of the
conventional chair a change should be made in the incline of the seat
similar to that  found  in the ordinary rocking chair and in the chair
when tipped back in the manner I have described.

The photograph which has been reproduced on the preceding page
illustrates the point I wish to make. In this particular instance I have
used  an ordinary chair to show what can be done to improve the chairs
in the ordinary home. Both of the back legs of this  chair  were  sawed
off  some three or four inches-thus elevating the front part of the
chair and lowering the back part, giving the seat an incline  toward
the  rear  which more comfortably accommodates the body. This position
approximates that of the ordinary swivel desk chair tilted back by
business men when  they are not leaning forward over their desks. This
suggestion can be adopted very easily and cheaply in almost any  home,
for  any  ordinary  chair treated in this manner will be very greatly
improved, and far greater comfort will be experienced as a result of the
change. Civilized  men  and women spend such a very large part of the
time in a sitting position that the bodily posture when sitting down is
a very  great  factor  in  the bodily welfare and health. Special
thought and study, therefore, should be given the  question  of  the
sitting  posture.  Unfortunately,  this particular subject seems to have
been ignored absolutely for hundreds of years in the making of our

It is just as harmful to sit all humped over as it is to stand in such a
position. The nervous system cannot be maintained at  its  best  unless
the spine is held reasonably erect. Whether sitting or standing,
therefore, it is important that you should make a never-ending struggle
for  a straight spine.

If the back of the chair in which you sit is not properly made then it
is better, in most cases, to ignore the  back  altogether.  Sit
slightly forward from the back and maintain an erect position, with the
chin held in, downward and  backward.  In  this  position  you  should
sit  well balanced, as it were. The chest should occupy the same
relative position as when standing erect. If you will hold the head  in
the  position  I have indicated it will help you to keep the chest and
back in the right position. As a general thing,  it  is  a  much  more
simple  matter  to maintain this erect position when sitting, if either
one foot, or both feet, are drawn back under the chair. When both feet
are  stretched  out forward upon the floor a person is inclined to sag
backward in a partially reclining position upon the chair. By holding
one foot underneath the chair in such a manner that you could rise to a
standing position, if desired, without lurching forward, you will find
it  easy  to  maintain  a well balanced and erect posture. If at any
time you find yourself slumping forward or slouching in your seat, it is
good to  stretch  your  arms high above the head, or to expand the chest
and draw your shoulders backward in the position  commonly  assumed
when  yawning  and  stretching. Either of these stretching movements
will give you an erect position, and you can maintain this thereafter by
keeping  the  head  in  the  right position-chin inward, downward and
backward. These stretching movements will be equally effective for
improving the carriage when standing.

The same complaint that I have made against the ordinary chair can be
registered with special force against the desks used in  the
schoolrooms. There is no question that a great deal of spinal curvature
in childhood, to say nothing of round shoulders and flat  chests,  are
directly  the result of the improper sitting posture in the schools
which is enforced upon the children because of the unsuitable character
of  their  seating arrangements. Thus we practically begin life hampered
by an unsatisfactory environment, so far as our sitting posture is

The chair back or the desk chair should fit the human back. It. should
favor and not hamper one in assuming a normal and  straight  position
of the spine.

When you get up in the morning, exercise yourself a little in
straightening the spine, chin in, downward and backward. When you walk
to business or when you go about your duties, keep the same thought in
mind. Force the head back. Take the  exercises  which  you  will  find
in  the  next chapter, referring to the thyroid gland, at very frequent
intervals during the day.

Remember that in fighting for a straight spine you are fighting for
youth and health and life and energy and courage  and  enthusiasm.  You
are fighting for everything that is best in life, and you should strive
and struggle with all the energy you possess to win the  rewards
associated therewith.

Each day of your life will bring difficulties, worries. Life at its best
is not a bed of roses. All these various  influences  are  inclined  to
make you hang your head. You may have moments when you are hopeless,
when life seems forbidding and cheerless. Fight against  such
inclinations with all the power you possess. Struggle against such
discouragements with all your might and main, not only through your
mental  attitude  but through your determination to maintain an erect
spine. Hold your head up and look the world in the face.

Don't shirk your duty. Don't deviate from the path along which your best
impulses and highest ideals would lead you. Life is worth while. It  is
filled with glorious opportunities. Reach out and grasp them as they
come up. Hold your head up and be a man or a woman to the fullest extent
of your abilities.

CHAPTER IV: Stimulating the Source of Stamina and Vitality

This is an age of short cuts. Any devious routes to the accomplishment
of an object should be avoided. If you want vitality, and  the
vivacity, energy and enthusiasm with which it is associated, you
naturally search for a method which  will  bring  certain  and  quick
improvements.  The reasonableness and general prevalence of this demand
was in my mind when I began experimentation  with  a  view  to
discovering  a  method  for stimulating what I term the source of vital

Scientific men while delving into the marvelous secrets of physiology,
have learned that the thyroid gland in some peculiar manner possesses
an extraordinary influence upon vital stamina and virility. This
mysterious gland is located in front of the neck, about half way between
the  so-called "Adam's apple" and the top of the sternum or breast-bone,
where it adheres to each side of the front of the trachea, or  windpipe,
in  a flattened form, something like the wings of a butterfly, with a
connecting "isthmus." It is a "ductless" gland, its secretions
apparently  being taken up by absorption into the lymph, and from that
into the blood.

While the functions of this little organ are not yet very clearly
understood, there  is  nothing  more  definitely  known  than  its
tremendous importance in the bodily economy. Without it there can be no
such thing as healthy development. Thyroid deficiency in children gives
rise  to  a form of idiocy, bodily malformation and degeneracy known as
cretinism, while in adult life it is associated with a  similar
disorder  known  as myxedema. Goiter is the most common disorder of the
thyroid gland; though not very serious in minor  cases,  it  is  capable
of  becoming  very dangerous, assuming such malignant forms as
exophthalmic goiter, which is marked by palpitation of the heart,
nervous symptoms and protrusion of the eyes.

It is thought by some authorities that the thyroid gland has to do with
the control of the excretion of  the  waste  products  from  nitrogenous
foods, for it has been found that a meat diet or a high-proteid diet is
extremely harmful in disorders of this organ. It  has  been  found  that
dogs fed on meat after the thyroid gland has been removed invariably die
in a few days, but that they can be kept alive for a long time  if  fed
on a diet very low in proteids. It is found as a rule that those
suffering from thyroid troubles do very well on a milk diet.

Some students of the subject conclude that the function of the thyroid
gland is to destroy poisonous products formed  by  the  decomposition
of proteid food substances. It is believed by others that it also has a
defensive action against other poisons in the body, including  alcohol
and poisonous drugs. In other words, it is thought to have an
"antitoxic" action. It has also been held that this organ has  much  to
do  with  the supply of iodine in the system, being particularly
affected by the lack of iodine in the food. Again, it is said that when
the thyroid gland has degenerated there ensues a condition of auto-
intoxication, followed by a degeneration of other organs which destroy
and eliminate poisons in the blood. It is claimed that in many cases of
thyroid deficiency, as in cretinism, good results have been obtained by
the use of  thyroid  extract, thus supplying the body with the secretion
which normally should have been obtained from this gland.

But, whatever may be the function of this remarkable little organ, the
fact remains that  it  is  of  tremendous  importance  to  health,
being undeniably endowed with extraordinary influence on virility,
physical strength and mental vigor. Now these facts were in mind when  I
commenced the experiments which, as I have said, led to the discovery of
a method of stimulating the vital forces of the body. The problem
seemed  simple in some respects. If the thyroid gland has such a
definite effect upon bodily health, the query as to how it can be
strengthened and  stimulated to perform its work more satisfactorily,
assumed unusual importance and I was strongly moved to discover the
answer. The problem,  however,  was not by any means an easy one. A long
time elapsed before a satisfactory solution presented itself. The first
thought that  naturally  occurs  to one when endeavoring to stimulate
the activities of any part of the body is to find some means of
increasing  the  circulation  to  that  part. Ordinary massage will
usually accomplish this purpose to a limited degree, though massage to
my mind is a superficial agent in  many  cases.  It will increase local
circulation, but it does not facilitate tissue changes to the same
extent as exercise which directly affects the  structures concerned, or
the mechanical movements of the parts themselves that are brought about
through active use of them in some way. I  have  known  of cases in
which pressure and massage applied to the region of the thyroid gland
have been followed by harmful  effects,  such  as  fainting,  and
certainly no one with a weak heart should attempt to stimulate this
organ in this manner. Therefore, in endeavoring to find a satisfactory
means of stimulating this important gland, I did not give massage
serious thought. And I might  as  well  say  that  I  finally
"stumbled"  upon  the important truth which is the basis of the method
that I am presenting.

For many years I have been a student of vocal culture, having taken up
the study of this art chiefly as a recreation, with no  thought  of
ever publicly using any ability I might acquire, though I might mention
that the additional vocal strength obtained as  a  result  of  this
training assisted me greatly in public speaking. While giving my
attention to this particular study, I was greatly impressed by the
extreme importance of maintaining an erect spine, holding the chin down,
inward and backward, and keeping the shoulders back and the chest
expanded. I found, however, like many others who become "slack" in
bodily posture, that a considerable effort was required to maintain a
proper position  at  all  times.  I therefore began a series of special
exercises intended really to force myself to assume a properly  erect
position.  While  experimenting  with these exercises for the purpose
mentioned, I noted a marked effect upon my general vital vigor. Not only
was this made apparent by  an  increase in physical strength and
stamina, but it was marked in an equal degree by additional mental
energy and capacity. My  mind  was  clearer,  and  I could surmount
difficulties presented in business enterprises in which I was interested
with far more ease than before. I could  make  decisions more easily and
quickly. In addition, a decided gain in weight was noted-not by any
means in the  form  of  mere  fatty  tissue,  but  of  firm, substantial
flesh. These very pleasing results induced me to go more carefully into
the causes underlying this remarkable improvement. I carried on an
elaborate series of careful experiments with a view to proving the
conclusions to which I had come in the course of  these  exercises.  It
was quite apparent that a full development of the back part of the upper
spine was necessary in order to  maintain  the  strength  essential  to
extreme vigor and vitality. And it became quite plain to me that this
development could not be achieved without stimulating to an unusual
degree the thyroid gland. Reasoning along this line, I called to mind
the appearance of various animals noted for their  great  strength  and
there  I found my conclusions verified with remarkable emphasis. The
arched neck of the stallion, the huge development of the back of  the
neck  of  the domestic bull, the same character in even more pronounced
form in the case of the bull buffalo and the musk-ox, and in varying
degrees in  other animals conspicuous for their vitality and energy-all
this seemed to indicate that I was on the verge of a remarkable
discovery. When you think of a fiery steed, in every instance you bring
to mind the arched appearance of the neck. The tight reins that are
sometimes used to give a horse a pleasing appearance, are based upon the
same ideal, showing a more  or  less  subconscious  recognition  of  the
idea  that  this  particular development is associated with tremendous
animal vigor.

After giving consideration to various methods that could be used for the
purpose of stimulating this little organ, the thyroid gland, I  finally
concluded as the result of prolonged experimentation that the exercises
illustrated in this chapter can most thoroughly  be  depended  upon  for
producing results. All movements here described have proved effective in
imparting to the neck a full, arched, well developed appearance, but  I
have given especial attention to the active use of the muscles on the
back of the neck. Nearly every movement which to a certain extent
develops these muscles is inclined to stimulate the thyroid gland. The
more special movements for this purpose are indicated in the various
illustrations accompanying this chapter. This development of the back of
the neck always indicates great vitality, because definite  proof  is
thereby  given that the spine is unusually strong and is maintained in a
position favorable to the functioning of all the organs  of  the  body.
Many  of  the movements illustrated are but slight in character, but
they are the more adaptable because of this. No matter where you may be,
whether  walking along the street, conversing with a friend, or sitting
at a desk, they can be practiced quietly without attracting attention.
Furthermore, it is absolutely essential that an erect position of the
spine be kept in mind continually. You should begin every morning to
hold the spine  straight and erect, and each day should represent an
increment of success in the struggle finally to maintain involuntarily
this position of the body. On arising in the morning, practice some of
the exercises illustrated in this chapter for stimulating the thyroid
gland, being careful  to  perform them just as instructed in each
illustration. Whenever you are unoccupied during the day,  it  is  a
good  plan  to  practice  these  movements occasionally, as they will
assist you materially in maintaining the spine in that erect position
which I found so important at the beginning  of my vocal studies. The
most important movement is to bring the chin downward, inward, and
backward as far as possible,  endeavoring  to  arch  as much as you can
the back of the neck. You may have to practice a long while before you
notice an outline that will in any way resemble  an  arch in the back of
your neck, but all this work you can be assured will be of decided
benefit to you. And, whether or not  you  attain  the  desired arch, you
can be assured of benefits that will be worth all your efforts. When you
make these movements properly,  there  is  no  necessity  for trying to
bring the chest out or the shoulders far back. The simple movements of
the neck  alone  as  described,  if  properly  performed,  will fulfill
all requirements. For these movements tend mechanically to raise and
arch the chest and to throw the shoulders  far  backward.  Remember also
the necessity, when taking these movements, of keeping the abdominal
region expanded as fully as possible. Do not draw in the  waist  line.
The importance of this admonition cannot be too strongly emphasized. If
you maintain a full abdomen, thyroid-stimulating movements seem to  tone
up, increase in size, and strengthen all the vital organs lying in the
gastric region.

In further proof of the value of the exercises described in this work as
a means of building unusual vital vigor, note  the  remarkable  stamina
and virility of men possessing an unusual development of the neck. Where
the neck is broad and well filled out  at  the  back,  you  can  depend
absolutely upon the possession of great vital vigor. It is quite plain,
therefore, that by merely adopting some method of developing  this  part
of the spine you will have accomplished a great deal towards obtaining a
high degree of vital stamina. Some of the strongest men  in  the  world
can be found among professional wrestlers. Many of those following this
profession retain their athletic ability a great many years  beyond  the
athletic life of men in other branches of sport. In fact, champion
wrestlers sometimes retain their championship honors for  a  score  of
years beyond the age at which champion boxers and runners retire. It is
a well known fact that wrestling requires extraordinary strength of the
upper spine. Some of the most strenuous wrestling holds use the muscles
of the upper back and neck in a very vigorous and violent manner.
Consequently wrestlers are noted for what are often termed bull necks,
thus plainly indicating the exceptional degree of vital vigor which they

Accordingly it is well to remember in connection with these exercises
that many movements which assist in the development of  the  neck
muscles also serve to stimulate the activities of the thyroid gland. You
cannot go through the  process  of  training  for  a  wrestling  match
without stimulating this organ to an exceptional degree. Therefore, in
following the suggestions which are given in this chapter, you are
securing  the full benefit of a vitality-stimulating process that
ordinarily can be obtained only by going through a prolonged course of
wrestling.  There  is no necessity for you to develop a "bull neck," but
you should make the most strenuous efforts to acquire a sufficient
development of the back of the neck to give it an arched appearance. The
more nearly you can approximate a development of this character, the
more vital will  you  become. And along with this superior power will
come a similar improvement in every other capacity, mental as well as

That there may be no mistake, let me reiterate: That the spine must be
held erect at all times when sitting or standing. That frequently
during the day when sitting or standing the chin should be brought down
and in with a backward movement, the head being turned at times far
either  to the right or left side, with a vigorous twist of the strongly
tensed muscles.

That on every occasion when this movement is made, the abdomen must be
fully expanded-not held in or drawn upward.

That great emphasis must be given to the importance of bringing the chin
slowly but vigorously downward against the chest before the inward  and
backward movement is begun. This insures a proper stimulation of the
thyroid gland.

CHAPTER V: Stimulating, Straightening and Strengthening the Spine

The human spine bears the same relation to the body as a whole as the
trunk of a tree does to the rest of the tree. If the trunk is  strong
the entire tree is sturdy and vigorous. If the spine is strong the body
as a whole possesses a similar degree of strength. Therefore, the
necessity for a strong spine is readily apparent.

This strength is necessary not only because the spine is what may be
termed the foundation for our entire physical structure  but  also
because therein are located the nerves that radiate to each organ and
every minute part  of  the  body.  These  spinal  nerves  control  the
functional processes of all our bodily tissues and structures. If the
spine possesses a proper degree of  strength,  if  the  bony  structure
is  properly proportioned, and if the alignment of all the vertebrae is
everything that can be desired, you are then practically  assured  of
the  pulsating vitality which is a part of superb health.

It is an interesting fact that the spine is the central and fundamental
structure of all the higher organisms on this earth. In  the  course  of
the evolution of life on this planet there developed from the very
simplest forms of animal organisms two different higher forms of
life--on the one hand the vertebrate animals, possessing an internal
skeleton, and on the other hand the insects, clams, crustaceans and
other creatures that have their skeletons on the outside, as one may
say, in the form of shells. The legs of an insect,  for  instance,  are
small tubes  with  the muscles inside. The limbs of vertebrate animals,
on the other hand, have the muscle outside the bone. Invertebrates
commonly have the main nerve trunk in front, or underneath, instead of
at the back, and likewise often have their brains in  their  abdomens.
Some of  them,  such  as  the grasshopper, even hear with their
abdomens. But all vertebrata have the great nerve trunk at the back,
contained in the spine and with a bulb on the front or upper end
constituting the brain. In fact, a vertebrate animal is primarily a
living spine, and all other parts of the body are  in the nature of
appendages. The limbs, for instance, and in the higher animals the ribs
and other parts of the skeleton, are  simply  attached  to the spine, or
are offshoots from it. In the fishes these limbs take the shape of fins.
In the higher developments of life they assume  the  form of legs.

All the higher animals, as we know, have evolved from the fishes and
reptiles, and all in common  possess  a  spine  which  in  its
fundamental characteristics is very much the same now as when it was
first evolved. In other words, the spine is a bodily structure  as  old
as  the  rock-ribbed hills. It has stood the test of time, and therefore
must be regarded as the most highly perfected mechanical structure in
the  body.  Its strength combined with its flexibility and its perfect
adjustment as a container for the central nervous  system,  makes  it
perhaps  the  most wonderful structure in the body outside of the brain
and the spinal cord itself. While other organs and features of the body
have  been  changed and modified to such an extent in the various
species which have been evolved that they can hardly be recognized as
having a common origin,  yet the spine has remained substantially the
same. It is true that the spine has been shortened in many species as
the result of  the  loss  of  the tail, but this means only the dropping
off of a part of it and does not greatly alter its fundamental

The human spine, however, differs from that of other animals in respect
to its suitability for the erect posture. Man is the only animal in  the
world who can straighten his body and stand perfectly erect. Even the
anthropoid apes when standing on their  feet  assume  a  somewhat
oblique position. The vertebral column in animal life was first
developed on the horizontal plane, and so, naturally, when man was
evolved  and  adopted the erect position, certain modifications of the
spine were necessary. A new strain developed on the vertebral column
which was due to  the  new position, and so there came about certain
changes in its structure. For one thing the spine  became  less
flexible  and  gained  in  stability, especially in the lower sections.
The sacrum, for instance, is created by the fusing together of several
vertebrae into one bone for the sake of greater strength and stability.
The sacrum in man is much broader than in animals, for it must supply
solidity and strength to the lower part of the spine, thus adapting it
to the vertical position, and in the same way the lower vertebrae
generally are comparatively broader  and  heavier, gradually decreasing
in size and tapering toward the top of the spine like the trunk of a

This particular feature of the human backbone is worthy of special
consideration because it is the upper section of  the  spine,  in  which
the vertebrae are smaller and tapering, that weakness is most likely to
exist. It is in this upper section of the spine that strength is most
needed in order to preserve it in perfect alignment, and keep the body
properly erect. And it is  for  this  reason,  as  the  reader  will
see,  that exercises affecting the upper parts of the spine are most
important. Therefore I have given them special attention.

The curves in the human spine are characteristic, illustrating in
another way the modification of  the  vertebral  column  that  has  been
made necessary by the erect position. The new-born baby has a backbone
that is almost straight, and in this respect it bears a strong
resemblance  to that of many of the lower animals. The typical human
curves, however, begin to take form as soon as the child learns to sit
up, and they  become more marked as he learns to walk and run. These
curves are essential to maintaining the balance of the body in the erect

There are really three curves in the human backbone, the cervical curve
being convex, the dorsal concave, and the lumbar convex,  when  each  is
regarded from the forward aspect. If we consider the sacrum and coccyx,
there is really a fourth curve, this being concave, although in  animals
generally the coccyx curves backwards and is extended to form the tail.
In some of the lower animals the spine is nearly straight, while in some
cases it virtually forms a complete arch from one end to the other.

These curves of the spine are generally more marked in the civilized
white races than among the black and savage races, and as a rule  they
are more pronounced among women than among men. For instance, in
comparing the sexes we find that in a woman the lumbar curve  is  more
marked  and extends slightly higher than in a man, and that the broad
sacrum characteristic of the human race is even  wider,  being  thus
adapted  to  the broader hips and wider pelvic cavity of the child-
bearing sex.

Now, the maintenance of a strong and erect spine, and especially of the
normal curves of youth is most important. With the weakness of advancing
age the curves, particularly in the upper part of the spine, tend to
become more pronounced. The more accentuated these curves are  the
greater is the weakness of the spine and of the muscles of the back that
is indicated. It is said that  a  man  is  as  old  as  his  spine,
since  the deterioration of the spine means the loss of elasticity and
supporting power in the disk-like cartilages between the  vertebrae,
and  also  the loss of strength in the muscles and ligaments of the back
which tend to hold the spinal vertebrae in place. It is usually  found
that  vigorous old men who are mentally and physically active at eighty
or ninety years are those who have maintained an erect bearing until
late in life,  who have kept their spines straight and strong instead of
allowing them to bend over and double up. In other words, the
deterioration of  the  spine means a general loss of bodily vigor and a
decline in the nervous energy or vitality.

With the flattening down of the cushiony disks or cartilages between the
vertebrae, and also with the dislocation even in the  slightest  degree
of these vertebrae, there is brought about more or less interference
with the free action of the spinal cord itself and of  the  spinal
nerves. The pinching of these nerves naturally interferes with the
supply of energy to the organs controlled by them, and causes more  or
less  serious derangement of the bodily functions. If one can keep his
spine straight and strong the central nervous  system  will  likewise
be  healthy  and vigorous, and all organs will be supplied with a normal
amount of energy and vitality.

The special exercises for the spine which I have recommended for years
have the general effect not only of maintaining the proper  alignment
of the vertebrae and thus promoting the health and welfare of the
central nervous system, but also of strongly stimulating the nervous
system,  and thus toning up the entire bodily organism. All movements of
the spine, whether of a twisting  or  bending  character,  naturally
influence  the spinal cord and the spinal nerves in a mechanical way.
The result is something akin to a massage of these nerve structures, and
in this way,  as I have long contended, it is possible directly to
stimulate the source of energy and vitality. I am convinced  for  this
reason  that  muscular exercise for the back is infinitely more
important than for any other part of the body, important as it is for
all parts. If one has  only  very little time each day to devote to
exercise, then it would pay him best to give that time to movements
which will strengthen  and  stimulate  the spine.

The various movements that I am presenting in this chapter have been
devised  especially  to  accompany  the  hot-water  regimen  that  will
be described in the following chapter. They are intended not only to add
to the strength of the backbone itself, but have been devised with a
view to stimulating to an unusual degree the nerve centers located in
the spine. As I have already said, the spinal nerves control the
functions  of all the vital organs, and when the activity of these
organs is stimulated not only through increased nerve  force  but  also
by  the  increased supply of blood that will result from the hot water-
drinking regimen referred to, then indeed will we have a combination of
stimulating  forces which will bring about vital changes, in very many
cases, little short of astounding in character.

Each of these exercises should be taken until a feeling of fatigue has
been noticed, after which you may rest a few moments, breathing fully
and deeply with expanded abdomen. You should then be ready to begin the
next exercise.  There  is  little  danger  of  soreness  from  taking
these movements when they are combined with hot water-drinking, as
recommended in Chapter VI, The water seems to cleanse  the  tissues  of
the  waste products which ordinarily cause soreness when one begins the
practice of exercises to which one is not  accustomed.  If  one
possesses  unusual vigor, then to the exercises illustrated in this
chapter may be added those movements appearing in the following chapter.
All of  the  exercises given in this chapter are designed exclusively
for the stimulation of the spine and nerve centers. Those illustrated in
the  next  chapter  are intended chiefly to accelerate the circulation
throughout the chest, arms, legs and body as a whole, for when going
through a treatment of  this character it is naturally advisable for one
to arouse the activity of all the functions associated with tissue
changes throughout all  parts  of the body.

Although these exercises have not been devised especially for corrective
purposes in cases of spinal curvature, yet they will be of  exceptional
value in all such cases, or at least, where there is no radical
mechanical deformity of the vertebral column. Curvatures may be
prevented in all cases, or may be decreased, or even reduced entirely by
exercise of this type. Incidentally the practice of exercises for
improving  the  spine and giving one the proper erect carriage has a
very marked effect upon the chest. An erect position always  means
expanded  chest  walls,  with plenty of room for the free activity of
the heart and lungs.

CHAPTER VI: Cleansing and Stimulating the Alimentary Canal

The alimentary canal has been rightly termed the human fire-box. It is
there that the energy is  created  which  runs  the  human  machine.
The importance of cleanliness in this part of the physical organism
cannot be too greatly emphasized. Nearly all diseases have  their
beginning  in the stomach or some other part of the alimentary canal.
Defective digestion and imperfect assimilation represent the beginning
of many incurable and deadly diseases.

In seeking methods for building unusual vigor and vitality, one of the
first requirements is definite information on the care of the
alimentary canal. Mere regularity of the bowels does not in all cases
indicate a healthy condition of the stomach and bowels. A movement in
order to be  of the right sort should be so thorough that it leaves one
with a feeling of emptiness and cleanliness. In other words, you should
feel  that  the colon has been evacuated thoroughly. Many who have
regular bowel movements do not have this satisfying sensation
afterwards. When  the  movement is satisfactory in every way little or
no straining is necessary. The colon simply  empties  itself
thoroughly,  and  the  evacuation  is  then complete. However, few have
movements of the bowels that are satisfactory to this extent. There
should be at least one bowel  movement  of  this kind each day. Two
movements of this character would be better, but one is sufficient if

Do not acquire the idea that the bowels must move at a certain time each
day with unintermitted regularity, for they are  subject  to  the  same
extent as the appetite to what might be termed idiosyncrasies, according
to environment and other influences. For instance, you are  not  always
hungry at meal-time. Occasionally you eat very little or skip one or
more meals, and it would be a serious mistake to goad  your  appetite
with some stimulant or to eat a meal without an appetite. One can hardly
say that to force a bowel movement  when  its  necessity  is  not
naturally indicated is as harmful as to eat a meal when it is not
craved, but unquestionably it is of advantage to have  the  bowels  move
of  their  own accord, as the result of a natural impulse. Movements
that do not come through the call of an instinct for relief are rarely
satisfactory,  and, though we strongly emphasize the necessity of
regularity of the bowels, it is not absolutely necessary that this call
should come at  a  certain time during each day; and though it is
undoubtedly of some advantage if such is the case, yet so long as there
is one evacuation each day of the satisfactory sort described, you can
be assured that your alimentary canal is in a normal and healthy

However, should the bowels fail to move at the regular time this need
not cause concern if you are feeling "up to the mark," and  there  are
no other symptoms that would indicate possible trouble. I mention this
alimentary peculiarity to enable my readers to avoid the slavish  idea
that it is impossible to be in health unless the bowels move at certain
times with clock-like regularity.

Naturally when the contents of the alimentary canal are allowed to
accumulate for a considerable period and there is sluggishness
throughout the various parts of the small and large intestines, poisons
of all kinds are generated and absorbed into the circulation, thus
creating  conditions ranging all the way from a feeling of lethargy to a
condition of weakness and disease that confines one to an invalid's bed.
Regardless  of  the attention that you may give to the other information
in this book, it is extremely important that you should realize the
necessity  for  active elimination.

It is necessary in the maintenance of alimentary health to avoid a
slavish adherence to the theory of definitely regular movements of the
bowels and still not to make the mistake of allowing them to become
chronically sluggish or irregular. As a rule you should depend upon
having  regular movements each day, though if occasionally a day is
missed you should not allow this deviation to worry you.

Recognizing as I do the great importance of a healthy alimentary canal I
have given a vast amount of attention to the various methods which have
been suggested from time to time by students of natural healing for
assisting to regulate the functional processes of this important part of
our organism. The flushing of the lower bowel for instance has been
widely recommended, and it is unquestionably of value in some cases.
However, it cleanses only the lower part of the alimentary canal, that
is to say, the colon. It assists the  small  intestines  no  doubt  by
giving  their contents free access to the colon, but yet this aid cannot
directly affect them. If you have in view the  cleansing  of  the
entire  alimentary canal from stomach to rectum, the enema is often of
indifferent value. The use of various laxative foods can be recommended
in  most  instances, though even these sometimes fail to bring about
satisfying results, and then again there are cases where they provide a
remedy for only a  short period, after which the bowels resume their old
state of chronic torpidity. Naturally we cannot consider cathartics of
any kind, notwithstanding their power to produce temporary results. In
all cases the after effects of  their  use  are  seriously  destructive
to  the  delicate  nerves controlling the alimentary canal and its
functions in general. Cathartics invariably make the real condition more
obstinate and serious.

It is well to remember that the real cause of constipation in virtually
every instance, is the want of vital vigor of the structures and tissues
involved. Digestion, though to a certain extent a chemical process,  is
very largely mechanical. The muscles of the stomach "churn" the food in
the beginning of the digestive  process,  after  which  the  circulatory
muscle fibers of the small intestines continue the work. If these
muscles are lacking in tone, if they are relaxed,  prolapsed  and  weak,
then they cannot properly perform their functions. In attempting to
strengthen  this  important  part  of  the  bodily  organism  the
necessity  for increasing the vigor of the muscular tissues must
invariably be definitely recognized. Strong muscles for carrying on the
work required of these blood-making organs are of far more importance
than strength of the external muscles. For this reason when the system
is toned up by any means a beneficial change in the alimentary functions
and excretions will always be noted.

During a careful study extending over at least a quarter of a century of
all health-building methods, I have  acquainted  myself  with  numerous
theories and remedies which have been applied in accelerating alimentary
activity. I am, in this chapter, presenting a new system or combination
of means for strengthening and stimulating the alimentary functions
which experience has proved to be of extraordinary value.  This  method
has the advantage of directly affecting the organs involved, and results
can be obtained speedily in virtually every instance.

This system of alimentary stimulation can be roughly described as a
combination of hot-water-drinking and  a  nerve-center-stimulating
process. The best time for giving this method a thorough trial is
immediately upon arising in the morning. It should not be attempted at
any  other  time of the day, for it is especially important that the
stomach should be free of any recently ingested food.

All that is required to carry out this treatment is one or two quarts of
boiling water, a minute quantity of salt, and a cup that will hold from
one-half a pint to one pint of water. The second phase of this treatment
is exercise and comprises the series of movements illustrated  in  this
work. Wherever possible these nerve-stimulating exercises should be
taken out-of-doors or before an open window. If the  weather  is  cold,
you should wear enough clothing to maintain a satisfactory degree of
warmth; if the weather is warm, the less clothing worn the better. If
the skin is especially inactive, or if it is suffering from a disease in
which the eliminating process ordinarily accelerated by  a  Russian  or
Turkish bath is of value, then wear heavy warm clothing while taking the
treatment. A thick sweater is advantageous under such circumstances. A
profuse perspiration will result, indicating a purifying process that is
of special value when the system  needs  to  be  cleansed  of  the
accumulated poisons which are the direct cause of nearly all diseases.

If you are capable of taking about two quarts of water in the course of
the exercise then each cup should contain nearly  a  pint,  but  if  you
cannot drink over one quart each cup should contain not more than half a

Before beginning the nerve-stimulating exercise drink the first cup of
hot water, putting a pinch of salt in the bottom of the cup to take
away the flat taste of the hot water. Pour the cup half full of boiling
water and then add cold water until it is sufficiently  cool  to  be
rapidly swallowed. Drink the water as hot as possible without sipping
it. Now take exercises 11, 12 and 14. Continue each one of these
movements until a feeling of fatigue is noticed, after which you are
ready for a second cup of hot water.

Don't hurry. Don't continue any movement to exhaustion, though a feeling
of local fatigue in the particular muscles concerned is desirable. This
feeling, however, should entirely disappear after a rest of one or two

After the second cup of hot water you are ready for exercises 13, 7 and
8, whereupon you may take a third cup of hot water. You  may  then  take
exercises 15, 16 and 9, followed by another cup of hot water, and then
exercises 17, 6 and 10, and so on. While this is suggested as  a
general plan, it is not imperative that this order be followed strictly,
for your individual requirements might be better suited by minor
variations; for instance, by two or four exercises between the
intervals of hot-water-drinking.

If you find your capacity is unequal to the quantity of hot water
suggested, then simply take as  much  as  you  can  without
inconvenience  or discomfort. Each day, however, while following this
method you will find your hot-water-drinking capacity will increase,
though  as  a  rule,  a person of average weight and height can take
from one to two quarts without serious inconvenience.  The  hot-water-
drinking  together  with  the exercise will naturally very greatly
increase the pulse, and where there is heart disease or any weakness of
the heart this  treatment  must  be taken with unusual care. In
virtually every case this method will materially increase the strength
of a weak heart, though  there  is  naturally the possibility of strain,
and the treatment should be adapted to your strength in the beginning
and very gradually increased week by week.

Temporary attacks of constipation, where severe enough to need
attention, can usually be ready for exercises 13, 7 and 8, whereupon you
may take a third cup of hot water. You may then take exercises 15, 16
and 9, followed by another cup of hot water, and then exercises 17, 6
and  10,  and so on.

While this is suggested as a general plan, it is not imperative that
this order be followed strictly, for your individual requirements might
be better suited by minor variations; for instance, by two or four
exercises between the intervals of hot-water-drinking.

Temporary attacks of constipation, where severe enough to need
attention, can usually be quickly remedied  by  this  hot-water-
drinking,  nerve-stimulating method. Usually, if there is need for a
movement of the bowels an instinctive and compelling desire will  appear
while  taking  the treatment or very shortly thereafter. If, however,
you feel there is a necessity for such a movement and  it  does  not
appear,  you  can  rest assured that the treatment has brought about
sufficient benefit to excite the activity of the organs involved and
that  the  desire  will  come later. In some very obstinate cases of
constipation, or in serious temporary attacks of this difficulty, where
a  movement  of  the  bowels  is desired quickly, from one-quarter to
one-half a level teaspoonful of salt can be added to each cup of hot
water. This will in nearly  all  cases insure a speedy and satisfactory
bowel movement. This, however, is not advised unless absolutely

It is well to point out that this treatment in its extreme form can
hardly be used with complete satisfaction by those  who  are  below
average strength. In any case, however, the drinking of a small amount
of hot water can be attempted and the exercises illustrated can be used,
if  one is careful not to make his efforts too severe. The hot-water-
drinking process as  well  as  the  exercise  must,  however,  be
adapted  to  the requirements of each individual, and it may be well in
most cases to experiment two or three times before following all of
these suggestions  in detail.

Where one is lacking in vital strength a beginning can be made by taking
only two cups of hot water, using exercises 7, 8 and 9,  which  can  be
taken in a reclining position.

One may continue in this way for a week or two, after which a third cup
of hot water might be added. In this way one can gradually increase  the
amount of water consumed and the vigor and the amount of the exercise

Where there is a tendency toward rheumatism, gout, neuritis, neuralgia,
or where there are any other symptoms  indicating  the  accumulation  of
poisons or impurities in the system, it is advisable to use distilled
water, though if this cannot be secured  ordinary  boiled  water  will
be satisfactory. At least be sure to boil your water before using if it
is heavily charged with mineral matter, since boiling tends to
precipitate lime salts. In other words, hard water is not desirable in
such cases.

The hot-water-drinking regimen in itself has a decidedly beneficial
effect upon the stomach and intestines. But much better results,
especially in the case of constipation, are secured when the special
nerve-stimulating exercises recommended are taken  in  connection  with
it.  By  this combination we obtain results that cannot be secured in
any other way. In fact, stiffness, soreness and rheumatic "twinges" in
various parts  of the body are often removed with astounding rapidity
through the help of this particular treatment. The cleansing and
eliminating  functions  are stimulated to an extraordinary extent by
combining these two blood-purifying forces: hot-water-drinking and the
stimulation of the nerve centers.

This regimen is also a splendid means of increasing the weight in cases
of defective assimilation. It seems to tone  up  the  entire  vital  and
functional system, in addition to directly influencing the digestive
organs. The hot water alone tends to cleanse and empty very thoroughly
the stomach and intestines, also to stimulate the secretion of the
digestive juices. Those who are below  normal  weight  chiefly  because
of  poor assimilative powers are especially advised to give this method
a thorough trial for a period of a few weeks.

Again, if your complexion is sallow, dull, and "muddy," a remarkable
improvement will speedily appear as a result of this treatment. In a
recent case I observed a surprising change at the end of one week in a
complexion that had been sallow and lifeless. The complexion  in  this
instance not only assumed an improved color, but the tissues of the face
were also filled out considerably, and when improvement is  thus
manifested  on the surface you can well realize that the internal
changes are even more pronounced.

The devitalized condition of the various glands and structures in this
part of the  body  is  gradually  remedied  by  the  improvement  in
the circulation that comes with what might be termed a stimulating
supply of liquids, and the same good  result  is  accomplished,  so  far
as  the general circulation is concerned, in the welfare of the body as
a whole. Those suffering from high blood pressure will find  this
treatment  of unusual value, though great care should, of course, be
taken to avoid any movements that are in any way exhausting or violent.
When the blood is in a thick or viscous condition the use of the hot
water adds to its fluidity, and it can then be forced more easily
through  the  capillaries, thus greatly lessening the blood pressure. It
is well known that a low blood pressure is conducive to endurance and to
general health. And  when these exercises especially advised for
stimulating the nerve centers and for strengthening and vitalizing the
spine are combined with a  liberal use of hot water, the blood is forced
through all the tissues, with the general effect  of  thoroughly
cleansing  all  parts,  in  addition  to immediately cleansing the
alimentary canal.

It is customary among athletes to use massage, or what is commonly
called a "rub down," following their exercise. The  purpose  of  this
is  to increase the circulation and thereby to carry out of the muscles
the fatigue-poisons that have accumulated therein during the exercise.
Now if a large amount of hot water is used in connection with movements
such  as  we  are  illustrating,  this  purpose  will  be  even  more
thoroughly accomplished during the exercise itself, as the muscular and
other tissues are virtually flushed out owing to the more fluid
character  of  the blood and its more ready and perfect circulation
through all parts. One who feels stiff from severe exercise, or  finds
his  tissues  sore  for other reasons, should be able to overcome this
stiffness and gain a sense of refreshment through this method.

Referring to the subject of elimination in the case of fatigue, I might
say that some students have ascribed the feeling of fatigue at  the  end
of the day's work to an accumulation of deposits within the walls of the
arteries and veins, which deposits are ordinarily  carried  off  during
sleep. If this theory is true I can think of no simpler or more
satisfactory method of removing this waste matter in the blood-vessels
than this system of flushing them. For producing immediate results of
any kind there is no other method so far as I know which is so effective
as this  if one has sufficient strength properly to use it. I have known
cases in which a headache has been cured in a few minutes  by  sprinting
or  other violent exercise, and cases in which neuralgic toothaches and
other pains have yielded to vigorous exercise continued for a prolonged
period.  I have also known the same relief to be obtained by drinking a
liberal quantity of hot water, but in all such  instances  results
would  be  more quickly and certainly secured through a combination of
these stimulating forces.

To repeat for clearness and emphasis, the method outlined consists of
the following:

A combination of hot-water-drinking and specially adapted movements for
stimulating the nerve centers.

Half a pint to a pint of hot water-as hot as can be drunk-to be taken on
beginning the treatment immediately  on  arising  in  the  morning.  An
additional quantity of hot water to be taken each five to ten minutes
thereafter until from one to two quarts have been consumed.

A large amount of clothing to be worn if profuse perspiration is
desired, though where an increase of weight  is  of  advantage  and  no
actual disease exists in the system, no more clothing should be worn
than is necessary to maintain warmth.

When a bowel movement is definitely needed, a complete and perfectly
satisfactory evacuation is often brought about while taking this
treatment. The cleansing process, however, will result in a clearer
brain and an improved physical as well as mental capacity, whether or
not  the  bowels act immediately, and one can nearly always depend upon
a satisfactory movement later.

When there is suffering from temporary attacks of constipation and
immediate relief is  desired,  add  from  one-quarter  to  one-half  a
level teaspoonful of salt to each cup of hot water. Speedy results can
be depended upon in virtually every case. Another method of
accomplishing  the same thing is to continue the hot-water-drinking even
beyond the two quarts suggested, adding no more than a small pinch of
salt to each cup, as previously suggested. No harm will come from this
excessive water-drinking if one is possessed of a normal amount of

If one is athletic, jumping one to two hundred times, as when jumping a
rope, just previous to moving the bowels is often of value in inducing a
natural desire that in nearly all cases brings satisfactory results.
Where it is difficult to take the amount of water prescribed, take as
much as you conveniently can, gradually increasing the quantity each

This hot-water-drinking regimen is not necessarily recommended as a
permanent measure to be continued every day for an indefinite  period.
When you feel that your physical status is satisfactory in every way,
you can drop the method for a few days,  after  which  it  can  be
resumed  as desired, though it would be of advantage to continue taking
the exercises each day, and if even one or  two  glasses  of  hot  water
are  taken beneficial results would accrue.

CHAPTER VII: Exercise for Vitality Building

Inactivity is non-existence. It means death. Our bodily powers and
organs were given to us for a definite purpose. Failure to  use  them
brings serious penalties. There can be no real health with physical
stagnation. To be sure, we may point to some men possessing
extraordinary  vitality who, apparently, have lived without exercise.
But a study of their habits of life will usually bring to light some
form  of  muscular  activity, even if it be nothing more than a moderate
amount of walking. In some cases, such extraordinary vitality may be
possessed that health  laws  can be broken with apparent impunity, but
it will usually be found that a vigorous  constitution  was  developed
in  early  youth  from  plenty  of exercise. However, the failure to
observe these important bodily requirements invariably means trouble
before reaching the period at  which  old age begins.

Though the average of human life has been greatly increased through the
decline in infant mortality, the death rate among men of middle age  has
more than doubled in the past thirty years. And even if those of
exceptional vitality can neglect their physical requirements without
suffering, the man of limited energy, who is trying to build vitality,
certainly cannot afford to do so.

We ought to take a reasonable amount of exercise at intervals, regular
or otherwise, in order to keep fully alive. It is not a case of
exercise for the sake of muscular strength alone, but for the sake of
health and life. There are many people who labor under the delusion
that they  are living without exercise, but existing does not mean
living. To live in the full sense of the word means that you are
thoroughly alive,  and  you positively cannot be thoroughly alive unless
all the physical processes involved in the various functions of the
body  are  active.  Functional activity means pure blood, of superior
quality, and when one fails to give the muscular system its proper use,
the functions stagnate, the blood is filled with impurities of various
sorts, and under such circumstances the body is not really alive. When
the body is harboring  an  excessive number of dead cells and other
waste material one cannot say that he is entirely alive. Under such
conditions you are literally  half  dead  and half alive. It is well
known that the body is dying at all times. Minute cells that constitute
the bodily tissues lose their vitality and  life, and are taken up by
the venous blood and carried to the various organs which take part in
the work of elimination.  Now  these  dead  cells  and minute corpuscles
linger in the tissues if one lives an inactive life. Therefore it is
literally true that you are half dead if you do not  give the muscular
system its proper use.

Physically the muscular system is such an important part of the body
that failure to keep it in good condition by  failure  to  keep  it
active seriously affects all other parts. The greater part of the food
we eat is consumed by the muscles. Most of the heat  produced  by  the
body  is generated in the muscles. Therefore to neglect this part of our
organism means to disorganize, to a large extent,  the  workings  of
all  other parts. The appetite, under such conditions, fails and the
entire functional system loses tone. In fact, I may say that exercise is
the first and most important of all the methods of building functional
strength. When the muscles are exercised  the  vital,  organs  are
energized  and  the activity of the entire functional system greatly
increased-all clearly indicating that in taking  physical  exercise  the
internal  organs  are aroused and stimulated.

Gigantic strength is not especially needed. It is not necessary for one
to strive to eclipse the feats of famous strong  men.  Unusual  muscular
development is of no great value in this age, but a normal degree of
strength is absolutely necessary in the struggle for health  and
vitality. No one should be satisfied with less than what might be
regarded as a normal degree of strength, and this, when once developed,
can  usually  be retained by a moderate amount of exercise each day.

Now it is not necessary to adopt some complicated system of exercise for
giving the muscles the required activity. Your exercise  can  take  the
form of play. It may preferably be taken out-of-doors. But you must keep
definitely in mind that the body was given you for active use, and some
regular method must be adopted that will insure the activity required.

The exercises referred to in the chapter on Outdoor Life may first of
all be recommended. If you have no bodily defects any one of these
outdoor sports will probably give your muscles all the exercise needed,
but if you are suffering from defects of  any  kind  and  you  are
desirous  of remedying them some special exercises adapted to your
individual needs should be taken with religious regularity. If you have
a flat  or  sunken chest, if you are round-shouldered, if there is one
shoulder higher than the other, if there is a spinal curvature, or if
the  muscles  of  the stomach or abdomen are weak, it will be necessary
to give special attention to such parts  through  systematic  movements
intended  to  have  a corrective influence. In another part of this
volume various exercises have been illustrated that are especially
recommended to  those  who  are already in possession of ordinary
strength. In this chapter I am illustrating a series of movements that
have a  similar  object  in  view,  but which will be found far easier
to perform. The exercises in this chapter are especially adapted to
those  who  are  weak  or  ailing.  They  are designed, however, for the
purpose of stimulating and strengthening the spine, which, as I have
previously suggested, is the central  source  of vitality. The hot-
water-drinking regimen referred to in the chapter on Cleansing the
Alimentary Canal can also be used in connection with  these exercises,
though naturally if one is weak but a small quantity of water can be

CHAPTER VIII: How to Breathe

Volumes have been written upon the value of breathing exercises. Many
exaggerated statements have been made  as  to  what  can  be
accomplished through deep breathing. Nevertheless, it must be definitely
understood that full,  deep  breaths,  which  expand  the  lungs  to
their  fullest capacity, and are taken at frequent intervals, are of
great value.

Almost any vigorous exercise will enforce deep breathing, and there is
no  question  as  to  the  benefit  of  the  involuntary  or
spontaneous inhalation and exhalation thus induced. Running and
wrestling are types of very vigorous athletic exercises that  will
compel  one  to  breathe deeply and fully, and will insure a full lung
development without special breathing exercises. And this is more
especially true if much exercise of this character is taken regularly,
day after day, all the year round. But where the occupation and
surroundings  are  such  that  one  cannot indulge in such active
pastimes, or where the time for such exercises is necessarily limited,
frequent voluntary deep-breathing exercises can be highly commended.
About the best example of the proper use of the diaphragm and the
natural movement of  the  abdominal  and  dorsal  region  in correct
breathing is illustrated in a small child. In nearly all cases an active
healthy child  will  breathe  properly,  and  by  studying  the movement
of his abdomen in both standing and reclining positions you will find
that as the breath is inhaled the abdominal region  will  expand. When
the breath is exhaled this part of the body will contract or be drawn
inward. This demonstrates very  conclusively  that  the  movement  or
expansion of the body in natural breathing is abdominal, and that the
bony framework of the chest should not be involved except when taking
full deep breaths, or when breathing hard from the effects of very
vigorous exercise.

It is not at all necessary to go through a complicated system in order
to learn proper methods of breathing, since this is comparatively
simple if you are willing to make persistent efforts day after day until
you are fittingly rewarded. If you simply acquire the habit of  drawing
in  a deep full breath, at frequent intervals during the day, expanding
first in the abdominal region, you will soon be able to  breathe
properly.  A correct position of the body is very important, for if you
have the proper erect posture, and have no constricting clothing about
the waist  and abdominal region, you will almost instinctively be
inclined to breathe diaphragmatically, or abdominally, as we call it.
Furthermore, when going out in the open air you will find as a result of
this practice that you are unconsciously expanding in the proper manner
as suggested. In  fact, you will be more inclined to breathe freely and
deeply at all times if a proper position is maintained. It is hardly
necessary  to  mention  the necessity for breathing pure air, and
especially when taking deep-breathing exercises, if you wish the very
greatest results.  Take  these  deep breaths when in the open air, or
else before an open window. It is a good plan, for instance, when rising
in the morning to stand before an open window and inhale perhaps a dozen
full, complete breaths. This will help greatly to brush the cobwebs from
your brain and brighten  you  up  for the day's duties and

All of these suggestions apply with equal force to both sexes. Because
of the fashions of dress usually in vogue the breathing of women is
much more restricted than that of men. Furthermore, they are generally
less inclined to athletic  pursuits  involving  exercise  which  compels
deep breathing.

The method of breathing recommended for women is absolutely identical
with that suggested for men. It is a curious fact that until recent
years the world generally, the medical profession included, held the
opinion that  there  is  a  fundamental  difference  between  men  and
women  in breathing. Observation of the natural breathing of boys and
girls would soon prove the absurdity of this opinion. Owing to the
universal use  of the corset, thoracic breathing, or chest breathing,
the result of the artificial constriction of the body at and below the
waist line,  appeared to be the natural method of breathing for women,
whereas diaphragmatic breathing was recognized as proper and natural for
men.  Only  in  recent years have medical authorities recognized that
this difference was really due only to artificial methods of dress and
that natural breathing  in women and men is absolutely the same. Recent
fashions have permitted the enlargement of the waist line in  women,
but  unfortunately  there  is still too much constriction of this
important part of the body. When the world becomes more truly civilized
and our methods of dress  are  based upon common sense and an
intelligent understanding of the physical requirements of the body, we
may hope that the dress of women will be such as to permit entire
freedom in the matter of breathing, and the easy expansion of the body
at the waist line. Some day women will learn  the  value of suspending
skirts, stockings, etc., from the shoulders instead of relying upon the
restriction at the waist as a means of support.

If you wish to ascertain more exactly whether or not your breathing is
entirely satisfactory, stand up, take a deep breath, and observe not
only the expansion in the region of the stomach and abdomen but also at
the sides and in the back. If you place the palms  of  your  hands  upon
the lower ribs in the back, just above the waist line, you should feel
the expansion of the body in this part pressing upward through the
action  of the diaphragm as a deep breath is inhaled. Also by pressing
the hands upon the lower ribs at the sides, just above the waist
line,  you  will feel the lateral expansion in this region at the same
time that the expansion is noted in the front of the body. You will
therefore realize that there should be an expansion of the lower ribs at
the back and at the sides along with the expansion in the region of the
stomach  and  abdomen. Of course, when a very full breath is taken there
will also be an expansion of the chest following the filling up  of  the
lower  part  of  the lungs.

CHAPTER IX: Outdoor Life

Civilized man is an indoor animal. We no longer live in tree-tops nor
even in caves, but in houses, and a great many of us spend the larger
part of every year in close, ill-ventilated, overheated rooms. From a
health viewpoint the cave-dweller would no doubt have the  advantage
over  the average American who follows a sedentary occupation. The
steam-heated apartments  of  our  great  cities  are  thoroughly  aired
only  on  rare intervals, and consequently those who reside therein
often dry up in mind, soul and body along with the furniture.

In order to live in every sense of the word we must become a part of the
great outdoors. Outdoor life adds  to  one's  vitality  and  vigor.  It
increases one's energies and enthusiasms. You cannot be ambitious or
vivacious, you cannot really  amount  to  anything  in  life,  if  you
are confined to an overheated flat.

If there is any hobby that is worth while it is one that takes us out-
of-doors. What the attractive features of your hobby may  be,  is  not
of very great importance provided this object is secured. You must be
lured away from your stuffy living rooms and encouraged to breathe the
fresh, pure air of the open.

There are out-of-door exercises of all sorts which are of great value,
but even a seat  in  a  motor  car  wherein  your  exercise  is
confined principally to increased respiration through the pleasure that
comes with fast riding, is at least of some value. The health of the
nation, as a whole, has been greatly improved by the automobile through
its encouragement of the outdoor life. But if you can join  with  your
outdoor  life some active exercise which will use all the muscles of the
body the benefits will be much greater.

There are various open-air pastimes that can be made unusually vigorous,
and so can be highly  recommended  if  one  is  possessed  of  ordinary
strength. Football is perhaps one of the most strenuous of outdoor
games, and is to be  especially  advised  where  one  has  the  vitality
and endurance which fits him for an exercise of this character. Golf is
an example of a milder  outdoor  pastime  that  is  particularly  suited
to middle-aged and elderly persons, although young men and women are
benefited by it, too. It  affords  excellent  exercise  in  walking,
and  the swinging of the golf clubs affords more exercise for the chest,
arms and back than is usually supposed. One who is not accustomed  to
the  game will usually find the muscles of the arms, shoulders and chest
sore or at least stiff from the unusual exercise when first  attempting
to  play this game.

Tennis furnishes a vigorous exercise that is especially commendable for
adding to one's vitality. It is a good endurance builder. Tennis can  be
made as fast and energetic, or as leisurely and moderate as one wishes,
depending entirely upon the skill, strength and ability of  the  player.
Tennis is a safe and sane pastime that is growing in popularity, and can
be universally recommended for both sexes and all ages.

Rowing, running, cross-country work, track athletics, lacrosse,
handball, hockey and polo are all splendid and vigorous games,  well
calculated to develop the best type of physical stamina. For those
possessing the requisite strength they can all be highly recommended,
though as  a  rule it is best not to specialize in any one of them but
to secure as much variety as possible. Specializing in athletics may win
championships  and may stimulate interest in sports, but for the average
man or woman specialization is not desirable. Even if you are only a
"dub"  instead  of  a champion in each of these games, it is better to
play them all, since you will thereby secure a  well-rounded  physical
development,  and  also obtain the maximum of "fun."

For those who are less rugged but who on that very account are all the
more in need of open-air exercise there is a great variety of other
less strenuous pastimes. Cycling and horseback riding can be
particularly recommended as enjoyable forms of outing  in  combination
with  a  certain amount of exercise. Skating is an ideal pastime for the
colder weather as it requires no special strength and adds to the vigor
of  the  heart, lungs and other vital organs; besides this, the brisk,
cold air of the winter months is a tonic of great  value.  Snowshoeing,
yachting,  rope-skipping, canoeing, archery, croquet, coasting and
various similar pastimes are all to be commended.

Swimming is of great value, both as a means of physical development and
as a health builder, but if your vitality is limited do not stay in  the
water too long. Swimming may be made mild or very strenuous. If you swim
with the skill of an expert, only a very moderate exertion is required,
though some of the new racing strokes tax the strength and endurance of
the strongest athlete. Swimming combines the pleasures  of  bathing  and
exercise, and under proper conditions is invaluable. Those who are
"fleshy" can stay in the water a long time, but if you are "thin"  take
care lest you lose weight by too much bathing. The slender man or woman
may take a daily swim for its tonic effect. It may even cause one to
gain  in weight if the exercise is not prolonged, but persons of this
type usually lose weight in the course of a season of too much bathing.

There is one point of special importance in connection with our exercise
and that is to cultivate the play spirit. You will  never  fully  enjoy
your sports and you will never obtain all possible benefit from them
until you lose your dignity and learn how to play. Try to be glad that
you are alive and able to play these games. One great drawback to
American sports is the tendency to take them too seriously. There is too
much of strained effort involved in the desire to win the game at any
price. Keep yourself in a state of mind where you "see the fun."  Though
"playing to win" may be commended, the real purpose of any game is the
fun and benefit that is secured therefrom whether you win or lose. There
have been cases when members of a boat crew or a football team have
actually cried over a lost game. Imagine the nerve strain involved in
taking athletics so seriously! It is splendid to win, but it should also
be pleasurable to lose to a worthy antagonist. Do not take your games
too seriously, but make them a laughing matter. Only by assuming this
attitude can you get the greatest possible benefits that  can  be
derived  from  games.  The nature of your exercise does not matter so
long as there is that increased activity of the heart, lungs and other
organs which tends to  improve the circulation throughout the entire
body. The exercise must insure deep breathing, and if a certain amount
of perspiration is induced it  will be advantageous. First of all get
out-of-doors; find some exercise that appeals, some alluring attraction
which will  take  you  away  from  the confinement of your home. Live as
much as you can in the open. If possible, try sleeping out-of-doors. Men
and  women  of  today  may  be  aptly compared to sensitive plants. We
are the devitalized product of the universal custom of coddling, and the
less we live within  four  walls,  and the more we breathe the free
outdoor air, the stronger, healthier and more capable we become.

There is one outdoor exercise that we can all take without expense, and
it is by far the best when  everything  is  considered.  At  least  this
statement is true so far as the building of vitality and endurance is
concerned. I refer to walking. This  is  an  exercise  that  can  be
made decidedly vigorous if desired. And no matter what health-building
regimen  you  may  follow,  a  certain  amount  of  walking  is
essential  to maintaining the highest degree of physical vigor.

Walking is a tonic of very great value to every one of the organic
functions. It stimulates the activities of the purifying organs to an
unusual degree. It is a remedy of great efficacy in overcoming
constipation. It can be highly recommended for strengthening the heart,
for  stimulating the liver and kidneys, and it will tone up the physical
organism throughout. Furthermore,  this  exercise  is  of  unusual
value  as  a  mental stimulant. It clears the "cobwebs" from the brain.
If you are bothered with vexing problems put them aside until you can
take a long walk.  With the improved quality of the blood and the more
active circulation of this functional tonic, your mental efficiency will
be  greatly  increased. You will think more quickly; your conclusions
will be clearer, more definite and more dependable. I know a successful
novelist who depends very largely upon his long walks for working out
the themes and plots of his stories. I have frequently followed the same
plan in connection with  my own work. I know of other writers who depend
upon this method of  gaining  inspiration.  I  have  been  told  that
chopping  wood  is  mentally stimulating, and also that horseback riding
and cycling are sometimes helpful in this direction, but walking is
without doubt the most effective mental stimulant to be found out-of-
doors. It accelerates the circulation, and seems to arouse the vital
forces  of  the  body,  but  does  not require such an expenditure of
energy as to prevent the brain from being exceptionally active.

Now to secure the real benefits that come from walking there should be
no laziness about it. Do not walk as though you were on a fashion
parade. The Sunday afternoon stroll on the city streets may be very
alluring, but you cannot under such circumstances secure the real
benefits that  may be found in walking. If possible go out on the
country roads or walk across the fields. Put a certain amount of energy
into  your  every  step. Walk briskly and as though you enjoyed it, and
you will discover that you do enjoy it. Even if your first few steps
require an unusual effort on your part, "step lively" just the same, and
you will shortly find that you feel lively, too. A walk of this sort
into which you put real  energy in every step is a tonic of amazing
value. It will stir up your entire organism. It will insure an active
functioning, and make you feel and  be thoroughly alive. If you have the
added advantage that comes from pure country air you are  to  be
envied.  But  even  without  these  superior advantages, even if your
route is confined to city streets, some benefit will still result from
taking the walk tonic.

While walking give special attention to my suggestions concerning
breathing. Breathe deeply and fully at frequent intervals. Expand the
body  in the abdominal region. If you like, you can carry your breathing
still farther and allow this expansion to extend to the chest walls,
though as a rule, this is not necessary. No doubt one of the most
valuable suggestions for strength and vitality  building  while  walking
is  to  take  at frequent periods several movements which are referred
to in the chapter on Thyroid Stimulation, namely, the chin-in-downward-
and-backward motion while holding a full breath with abdomen fully
expanded. In fact this idea, if carried out until the  muscles  of  the
back  of  the  neck  are fatigued at the completion of the walk, will
energize you mentally and physically. A suggestion that I have often
offered  in  various  articles upon this subject is to practice what I
may term harmonious or rhythmic breathing, which I regard as of
exceptional value. By this I mean taking the same amount of time to draw
in the breath as you do to exhale it, keeping time with a certain number
of steps. For  instance,  while  taking eight steps, draw in a breath
and exhale during the next eight steps. You may make this six, eight,
ten or twelve steps if you like. If you have some piece of music in mind
that carries with it a rhythm that accommodates itself to your steps
while  walking,  and  if  each  inhalation  and exhalation takes up an
even number of steps, you will find that you are swinging along with a
sense of  harmony  and  pleasure  that  will  make distances pass away
and cause you to be unconscious of the length of your walk. This
rhythmic or harmonious breathing is an excellent  means  of cultivating
the deep-breathing habit.

Another exercise is of material value in connection with the practice of
deep breathing while  walking,  serving  especially  to  stimulate  the
digestive and other internal organs. This consists in holding a fairly
full breath for a series of four, six or eight steps,  and  at  the
same time expanding the body still further in the region of the stomach.
This is accomplished largely through the action of  the  diaphragm  and
the muscles across the front of the body in the region of the stomach.
This should be executed with a sort of pumping motion, that is to  say
by  a series of alternate contractions and relaxations rapidly following
each other. Expand the region of the stomach by this muscular effort
for  an instant, relax, repeat, and continue in that way several times
during the course of the six or eight steps during which  you  hold  the
breath. Then exhale freely and after one or two breaths repeat. This has
the effect of massaging, as it were, the internal organs, and  is  of
material value in bringing about improved functioning, as well as
strengthening these parts.

If you can find an opportunity to go camping there is no better way in
which to spend a vacation. Everyone knows that a term  of  two  or
three weeks in the woods or by the side of a lake, living out-of-doors
to some extent after the manner of primitive man, and getting a certain
amount of pleasurable exercise with the continuous fresh air, will work

But if camping for a short period is beneficial, then a part of each day
in the open air during the summer is well worth while; therefore  try
to "camp out" for two or three hours each evening. If you are through
work at five o'clock, for instance, enjoy a picnic  dinner  in  the
open, instead of a regular supper in the dining-room of your home. It is
daylight until almost eight o'clock during most of the summer, and this
plan would yield two or three hours of open-air life. Or take advantage
of part of this time, before supper, to go rowing, or swimming, to play
some game, such as tennis, or to do anything else that will occupy you
pleasantly for an hour or two in the open air. At least you can always
take  a good walk. If you go to bed at a reasonable hour you can
probably rise early enough to permit a walk of one or two hours, or some
other open-air activity, before going to work. If your work is in an
office where you will be confined all day this advice is especially
important.  When  your office hours begin at eight or nine o'clock in
the morning you should imbibe as much fresh air as possible before work,
if only by walking  part or all the way to your place of business. Be in
the open air as much as you can. Many people think they are too busy for
this.  They  make  the plea of lack of time, but when illness appears
they have plenty of time to stay in bed. The open-air man or woman
"side-steps"  sickness.  Since superabundant vitality can be obtained
through open-air life, spend as much time as you can out-of-doors.
Cultivate the outdoor habit.  It  will increase your efficiency so that
you will do better work in less time.

CHAPTER X: Strengthening the Stomach

One of the first requirements in vitality building is strengthening the
stomach. Within the stomach we find the beginning of  all  vital  blood-
making processes. Here is where the food first passes through the
changes essential to create the  life-building  fluid  called  the
blood.  We therefore cannot exaggerate the importance of strength to
this important organ. When referring to a strong stomach, I do not  mean
strength  in the abdominal muscles lying immediately in front of the
stomach; I mean strength of the muscles within the walls of the stomach
itself,  which, to a large extent, actually constitute the stomach.
These layers of muscular fibers which assist in carrying on important
parts of the digestive processes must be strong if digestion is to be
satisfactory in every way.

Now the work of strengthening the stomach does not, by any means,
consist wholly of exercise. The stomach in order to be strengthened must
have a due amount of intelligent consideration at all times. For
instance, you cannot make a garbage can of your stomach and expect to
increase  the strength of the organ. It is really necessary, if you are
seriously desirous of securing the best results in  vitality  building,
to  learn  at least the fundamental facts relating to rational
dietetics; and, after acquiring this knowledge, to apply it to your
individual  use  throughout every day of your life. The suggestions that
I have offered in the chapter on Cleansing and  Stimulating  the
Alimentary  Canal  are  truly  of extreme importance in these
strengthening processes. In fact in every instance this plan will
increase  the  assimilative  strength,  and  will enable you to create a
better quality of blood; and this result in turn naturally aids in
strengthening the stomach itself as well as all  other parts of the
body. Furthermore, this is a method for cleansing directly not only the
organ itself but  the  various  glands  which  furnish  the digestive
juices. Therefore, if difficulties are frequently presented in
connection with the functions of this organ, special  attention  should
be given to the elemental cleansing and strengthening processes as
outlined in the chapter referred to.

There are various special exercises which will have a certain influence
upon the stomach because of their mechanical stimulation of this  organ.
All bending and twisting movements of the trunk of the body will
naturally  stimulate  the  action  of  the  stomach  because  of  their
direct mechanical effect. All movements of this sort are naturally
valuable under the circumstances, though for a short time after a meal
any  exercise that is so severe as to interfere with digestion should be
avoided. Such interference results when the muscles are used to such an
extent  that they require greatly increased quantities of blood at a
time when a plentiful supply is needed by the stomach to carry on the
work of digestion. All my readers no doubt already understand the
necessity for giving the digestive organs every opportunity to carry on
their  processes  for  at least one hour after a hearty meal. Bending
and body-twisting movements are valuable one hour  or  more  after  a
meal  for  strengthening  the stomach, but they interfere with digestion
if taken immediately thereafter. For increasing the vigor  of  this
most  important  organ  I  would especially recommend the method already
referred to for cleansing the alimentary canal and also the exercises
which  are  given  in  connection therewith in the same chapter. If one
is not in possession of a fair amount of strength I would suggest
merely  the  exercises  illustrated  in Chapter VII to be taken in
conjunction with the morning hot-water-drinking regimen.

It should be remembered, however, that for the strengthening of the
stomach one must really depend most of all upon a proper diet and  the
care of the stomach generally, rather than upon any system of exercises
intended to invigorate this organ.

To build up a strong stomach a daily plan of life must be followed which
requires of the entire body a normal amount of activity, thus demanding
and using a fairly liberal supply of nourishment. An active life is
always favorable to good digestion, and especially so if it  is  an
out-of-door life for at least a large part of each day, for then an
appetite is created demanding of the stomach that  healthy  activity
essential  to strength building; in other words, an active and normal
life generally is essential to the maintenance of a strong and healthy
stomach. The body must be regarded not as an aggregation of parts, but
as one complete unit, and anything that affects all parts affects each
separate part. It is quite true that when the stomach is weakened from
any cause, it is not wise to overtax it by the  ingestion  of  foods
that  are  difficult  to digest. But at the same time a policy of using
predigested foods, or others that are suited only to a weak stomach, is
not likely to  develop  a vigorous digestion. It is essential that one
should use a proper supply of natural and wholesome foods properly
prepared. If this  is  done  and the general rules of rational dietetics
are observed, there is no reason why any one should not enjoy the
possession of a strong stomach  and  a vigorous digestion. I cannot,
however, place too much emphasis upon the value of outdoor  life  and
general  activity  and  the  constitutional benefits that go with them
for improving the stomach as well as all other parts of the body.

CHAPTER XI: Preserving the Teeth

Health to a large extent depends upon the teeth. Food can not be
properly masticated without sound molars. The modern tendency of teeth
to decay early in life clearly proves that something is wrong with our
dietetic or chewing habits. Like any other part of the body,  the  teeth
must  be exercised in order to be properly preserved. Our foods are so
frequently macerated to a fine consistency and they are so often cooked
to a  mush before they are eaten, that the teeth have little to do. They
decay and become soft or brittle because of lack of use.

It is necessary to give the teeth a reasonable amount of regular use.
Cultivate the habit of eating zwieback, hard crackers or other  hard
food substances that require real vigorous chewing. If this is
difficult, then make a habit of exercising the teeth in some way. The
idea  suggested in the illustrations accompanying this chapter will be
found of value, though any method can be recommended that serves  the
same  purpose.  Do not, however, depend upon the chewing of gum for
hours each day as a means of exercising the teeth. Chewing a hard gum
for a few minutes after a meal might be of advantage, but continual gum-
chewing wastes and weakens the digestive elements of the saliva. In
other words, if you  sit  down to a meal after chewing gum for two or
three hours, the saliva that you mix with your food will not have  the
normal  digestive  elements.  One might say that the "strength" of the
saliva has been lost while chewing gum.

If your teeth are decayed the offending members should be removed or the
cavities filled. It is always wise to retain every tooth you can  until
extraction is practically compulsory. Decayed teeth should be filled
promptly. As long as a tooth can be filled it should not  be  extracted.
A good dentist should be consulted at frequent intervals.

If tartar has collected on the teeth, it should be removed by a
competent dentist. One good method of keeping the teeth free from tartar
is  to rub the gums and teeth daily with table salt containing
considerable grit. Dampen the finger, place a quantity of table salt
thereon  and  then rub the teeth where they meet the gums. Make the
process sufficiently vigorous to rub off any tartar that may have
accumulated. The mouth should be rinsed with moderately warm water
immediately after this process to remove the salt. Any good tooth wash
that is sold in the  form  of  paste can be used instead of salt for
this same purpose. This rubbing process is of more value to strengthen
the gums and to cleanse  the  teeth  than brushing the teeth with an
ordinary tooth brush.

Tooth brushes, however, are valuable and should be used morning and
evening. In caring for the teeth the following plan is suggested:

Soon after rising rinse the mouth out thoroughly with a mild antiseptic
tooth wash; soap, or salt and water, is fairly good  if  nothing  better
can be obtained. Plain water will also serve the purpose. Lemon juice to
which considerable water has been added, also makes a good mouth  wash.
Orange juice can also be recommended.

It may be said that most of the standard tooth powders and tooth pastes
on the market at the present time are fairly reliable and  satisfactory,
particularly those of which the formula is printed on the wrapper. When
brushing the teeth, avoid using a brush with the bristles  too  hard.  A
medium- or even a soft-bristle brush is preferable. The lateral action
of the tooth brush, commonly used, is of limited value. One should use
a vertical or up-and-down movement, so that the bristles will reach the
crevices between the teeth. It  is  the  spaces  between  the  teeth
that particularly need cleaning and the brush should be used in such a
way as to reach these. It is here that decay usually begins.

After having brushed the teeth then rub them in the manner previously
described. Spend two or three or even four or five minutes at this
rubbing process. If the teeth are free from tartar do not use the salt
more than once or twice weekly, though any good tooth paste could be
used  daily to advantage, not for brushing the teeth, mind you, but for
rubbing the gums and teeth.

For removing accumulated food substances from between the teeth silk or
linen floss can be recommended. Holding the thread between  the  fingers
of each hand force it down between two teeth and bring it back and forth.
If you have no regular dental floss, use any white silk thread
for the purpose. It does not do one much good to brush  the  teeth  if
he does not remove decaying and acid-forming matter from between the
teeth. The use of dental floss is fully as important as the  use  of  a
tooth brush. Where Rigg's disease, or pyorrhea, is present, an
antiseptic can be used to advantage two or three times daily after
rubbing  or  washing the teeth. Massage of the gums may prove helpful,
if gently applied, though in a serious case of pyorrhea a fasting and
general  blood-purifying regimen is advisable.

The condition of the teeth is influenced to a large extent by the state
of the stomach. Where the digestion is perfect, the breath free from all
foul odors, the teeth are less liable to decay and tartar rarely
accumulates. Where there is any stomach disorder, however, very great
care must be taken to avoid a number of unpleasant symptoms associated
with the gradual deterioration of the teeth. If the various suggestions
I have made in this volume for maintaining superior health are followed
with a reasonable amount of care, and the tooth brush is used regularly,
in addition to proper attention being given to thorough mastication, the
teeth should be retained as long as there is use for them. Remember,
however,  the very important suggestion made in another chapter in
reference to the value of fruit acid in cleansing the mouth and teeth.
If  you  will  rinse the mouth out at frequent intervals with the juice
of an orange or eat part or all of  an  orange,  you  will  be
surprised  at  the  cleansing influence of this acid fruit. Almost any
acid fruit will be of value, but the orange is perhaps the best for this
purpose. The free use of water to insure alimentary cleanliness together
with the acid fruit habit will form a very superior insurance for our

Finally, and of not least importance, the character of the diet has a
great influence on the teeth. You cannot keep the teeth sound  and
strong if the foods you eat do not contain the material out of which
teeth are built. If the food elements that build teeth and bone are
lacking,  you cannot expect the teeth to last long. A great hue and cry
has been raised about the poor teeth of the school children of to-day,
and  an  effort is being made to teach the children to brush their
teeth. Of course this is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far
when the children are fed upon a diet that is defective. When you find
the child of a poor family given a diet of little more than white  bread
and  coffee  you  can absolutely depend upon it that his teeth are
crumbling and decaying. No other result is possible, no matter if the
greatest of care is  used  to keep the teeth well brushed and clean.

Therefore, my remarks in another chapter upon the influence of refined
foods will apply particularly in the case of the  teeth.  A
satisfactory supply of lime in the diet is especially necessary for
building teeth and bone. Whole-wheat bread will supply the material  for
building  sound teeth, while oatmeal and other whole grain foods are
almost equally satisfactory for this purpose.

Some women lose their teeth rapidly as a result of pregnancy, because
the diet upon which they live is really a starvation diet so far as
these important elements are concerned. Eggs are rich in lime and
elements required for building strong teeth, while vegetables and
fruits  in  their natural state are valuable in this way. Good milk is
of value for its supply of lime and other organic minerals in the case
of  young  children. Furthermore, all natural foods that provide good
exercise for the teeth through the necessity for mastication are
valuable on this  account  for strengthening the teeth, as I have
already said.

Dentistry is one of our most useful professions. But there would be need
for few dentists if the suggestions given in this chapter were  closely
followed by men, women and children the whole country over. One may have
strong teeth in practically every instance, as a result of proper  care
and suitable diet, just as he may have strong muscles, strong organs and
strong nerves.


Civilization has brought with it a train of evils unknown in the natural
life. There is no need, for instance, to tell a  wild  animal  what  to
eat; his life is planned for him in advance. His food is supplied by
Nature and not superabundantly, so he is compelled to eat it in a manner
to secure the greatest amount of vital vigor therefrom. Hunger controls
his eating, and therefore  he  always  enjoys  his  food.  If  we  were
to eliminate many of the mechanical processes involved in the
preparation of our foods, there would be little or no necessity  for
instruction  in eating, for, if we ate our food in a natural state, we
would be compelled to masticate it, and this is the fundamental
requirement  of  healthy digestion.

Just here let me point out the importance of appetite. A food cannot
possibly be of benefit unless it is thoroughly enjoyed. It must taste
good. The more delicious a food tastes the more quickly and
advantageously it  will  digest.  The  idea  is  frequently  advanced
that  dieting  must necessarily be unpleasant, for many think that a
"diet" must consist of food that cannot possibly be eaten  with
enjoyment.  This  is  a  great mistake. Diet of this character would
indeed bring about harmful results in nearly every instance. The diet
which will be of the most  value  is that which you can enjoy, confining
your selection, of course, to wholesome articles of food.  I  cannot
emphasize  too  strongly  the  extreme necessity for the enjoyment of
your meals. Do not under any circumstance ignore the demands of your
taste in selecting your diet.

Your food must be thoroughly masticated as well as thoroughly enjoyed.
This chewing should continue until the food becomes a liquid and
actually passes down your throat involuntarily. Food should never be
swallowed hastily. Swallowing should  be  an  unconscious  process
associated  with enjoyment; with a view to prolonging the pleasure of
eating, each mouthful should be retained in the mouth until it  is
swallowed  before  you realize it. Thorough mastication is absolutely
necessary to the attainment of the  very  important  requirements
connected  with  the  complete enjoyment of foods.

Now note the effect of prolonged enjoyment of food upon the digestive
processes. When one is masticating an appetizing meal the digestive
system is being prepared for the reception of this meal. The various
glands of the stomach that perform such important work in digestion
begin to  pour their juices into the stomach; consequently when the food
reaches this organ everything is ready for its reception. To begin with,
as  a  result of thorough mastication and the action of the saliva, the
food is already partly digested, and the stomach is ready to continue
the process. The work is easy and satisfactory under such circumstances,
and digestion continues unconsciously. You do not realize that you have
a  stomach.  How often one hears a healthy man say that he has no
conscious knowledge of the possession of such an organ! In other words,
he has never had a pain or other unpleasant symptom located in its
region. It is said on the other hand that the dyspeptic is so
continuously and unpleasantly aware  of the existence of this organ that
he often thinks he is "all stomach."

Remember also the importance of a suitable mental attitude at meal-time.
Your mind should be occupied almost entirely with the pleasure  of  the
meal itself. You should not be seriously diverted in any way. If for
instance  you  are  reading  a  newspaper  or  carrying  on  an
engrossing conversation you are directly interfering with the digestive
processes; for, as I have already  said,  a  thorough  enjoyment  of
the  food  is necessary to arouse to their greatest activity the glands
which furnish the digestive juices. Therefore, when  meal-time  comes
around,  devote yourself to the one single purpose of getting as much
enjoyment as possible out of your food.

If you are desirous of catching a train, do not make the mistake of
bolting a meal. Eat when you arrive at  your  destination,  or  eat  on
the train, when you can have the leisure to enjoy your food. Remember
that, with eating as with work, it is not how much but how well. If your
time is limited it is better to eat only a small amount, and eat it
properly, than to attempt to eat a large meal hurriedly.

Especially do not eat when you are angry or worried; do not allow
anything to distract you at meal-time. If anything  comes  up  that
seriously mars your ability to enjoy your food it is far better to delay
your meal or wait until the next meal, or until you can eat  in
accordance  with these requirements.

There can be no objection to light conversation, which requires no
special amount of mental energy  or  concentration; in  other  words,
any deviation can be recommended which does not seriously interfere with
the enjoyment of your meal. Music, for instance, if  it  is  of  a
gentle, soothing character, or entertainment of any kind that is
relaxing, is a helpful form of recreation. The "cabaret," if not carried
to an extreme, is therefore a natural, well-founded institution.
Congenial company is also naturally advantageous in helping one to enjoy
his meals.

There has been much controversy as to whether or not one should drink
during a meal. I have at all times condemned the usual habit  of
drinking at meal-time for the purpose of washing down food that is eaten
hastily. For instance, it is not at all unusual with many people to
take  three or four mouthfuls of food, hastily swallow them, and then
find a certain amount of liquid essential to avoid choking. I cannot too
emphatically condemn a habit of this sort. I do, however, recommend the
use of liquids during a meal when they are necessary to satisfy thirst.
Furthermore, it is of considerable importance to take some liquid during
a meal if one is not in the habit of drinking freely of water between
meals, since a certain amount of liquid is necessary to carry on the
digestive process. When there is any digestive difficulty or when there
is merely  a  weak digestion, hot water can be used to great advantage
fifteen minutes or a half-hour before the meal. Taking hot water in this
manner cleanses the stomach and adds materially to the digestive
capacity by stimulating the glands of the stomach. The quantity of water
taken  in  this  way  may range from half a pint to a quart, depending
upon one's physical condition. The amount of liquid taken during a meal
must also be  regulated  by one's needs. For instance, if you are poorly
nourished and apparently need more weight properly to round  out  your
body,  then  an  additional amount of liquid will often be of advantage,
provided you do not take so much as actually to interfere with
digestion.  Where  increased  bodily tissue is needed, therefore, in
virtually every instance the free use of water during the meal will be
of  decided  value;  though  one  should always keep in mind the
necessity of drinking these liquids warm or even hot if taking any

The use of a large amount of cold water at meal-time is likely to be
detrimental. There is a wide-spread custom of drinking ice-water during
the meal. This is one of the most pernicious of all dietetic errors,
since  chilling  of  the  stomach  invariably  retards  digestion  and
favors dyspepsia. Even water that is very cold, though not iced, is not
desirable, unless used in very small amounts. Also  the  use  of  ice-
water  or extremely cold water between meals is inadvisable, since
because of its low temperature one cannot comfortably drink enough  of
it  to  satisfy completely his bodily requirements. Water that is only
moderately cold or cool can be used liberally, and is always to be
preferred in the  case of overheating through violent exercise. It is
usually advisable to drink water at the temperature that is most
pleasant to  you,  though  large quantities of cold water should always
be avoided. And, as I have said, at meal-time, especially, if much water
or other liquids are  used  they should be either warm or hot.

Without question, the greatest of all dietetic errors is to eat without
appetite. It is nothing less than a crime against the stomach,  and  yet
this practice is one of the most common of all those which contribute to
the prevalence of dyspepsia in civilized communities.  No  animal,  the
human race excepted, would attempt to eat without the relish that
absolutely depends upon the possession of a keen appetite. Many
thousands  of people attempt to eat their meals regularly without regard
to the demands of hunger merely because it is "meal-time." Eating in
such  cases  has only the excuse of habit, although frequently it is
regarded as a duty. Eating should never be regarded as a duty, nor
should it be allowed to become a habit, for when not pleasurable it is
not beneficial.

One will often, hear the remark that one must "eat to keep up his
strength." While this advice is fundamentally sound in  a  large  sense
under normal conditions and when a true appetite is present, yet there
never was a greater delusion when it is  applied  to  forced  eating
when  the appetite is lacking. Eating under such conditions does not
keep up one's strength, but on the contrary actually  impairs  it  by
burdening  the digestive system with food that cannot be properly
assimilated. It is not what you eat but what  you  assimilate  that
keeps  you  strong,  and digestion depends upon appetite and the
enjoyment associated therewith. The question of enjoyment is really a
question of appetite, and  if  you are not hungry and cannot relish the
food keenly when meal-time comes it is certainly best to wait until the
next meal or until you are  hungry. Every wild animal has sense enough
to follow its natural inclination in this respect, but thousands of
human beings go to the table  because  it is dinner-time, and force
themselves to eat food that they do not desire simply because of the
stupid  delusion  that  continual  and  frequent eating is necessary for

The discussion of appetite brings up the question of the number of meals
that is proper for each day. The prevailing system of three  meals  per
day is a custom surviving from a time in which early rising and hard
physical labor throughout a long day was the rule, especially in
connection with out-of-door work. This does not mean, however, that
three meals is always the best plan for civilized life in sedentary
occupations.  There are some wild races that eat only two meals per day,
and there have been instances of hunters and even whole populations
following the one-meal-per-day plan. Naturally at the present time the
occupation and the requirements of the individual would have much to do
with  the  question.  If one does hard work, has an appetite for three
meals per day, and seems to thrive on that plan, it is the preferable
one. If, however, you are  a sedentary worker, and especially if you do
not have an appetite for three meals per day and cannot thoroughly enjoy
them,  the  two-meal-per-day plan would be much better. The two-meal-
per-day plan has often proven beneficial even when  associated  with
the  strenuous  physical  training required for athletic competition in
racing, wrestling, boxing, Marathon running and other  vigorous  sports.
It  is  entirely  a  question  of appetite. If you have no appetite for
breakfast then follow the two-meal-per-day plan. I will say, however,
that in many cases one can enjoy and profit by a breakfast of fruit.

The question of how to eat is closely related to the question of how
many meals one should take. Overeating is a very prevalent  failing.
There is no question that large numbers eat themselves, as it were, into
a condition of stupor. Their energies are required for the  disposal  of
the excessive quantity of food ingested, and they have no energy left
for mental work or for physical activity. They are, so to speak, "food
drunk." I am personally satisfied that the best cure for overeating is
food in less frequent meals and the practice of masticating the  food
thoroughly in the manner that I have suggested. In a case of this kind
the two-meal-per-day plan is also to be recommended. Actual  experience
shows  that those inclined to overeat do not eat any more at one meal
when eating two meals than when eating three meals-they may possibly eat
less, because of the more normal condition of the stomach. Another good
plan to pursue is the use of uncooked foods, or  at  least  the
adoption  of  a  diet consisting in part of uncooked foods. It is
entirely possible to eat too little of nourishing food, just as it is to
eat too much. But  one  who lives a natural and active life, especially
if out-of-doors a fair part of the time, is not likely to lack a good
appetite nor to eat less  than the required amount. Good general health
always brings with it a normal appetite.

Overeating, however, is no doubt in many cases due very largely to the
inadequate character of the foods consumed. I am satisfied  that  if
all our foods were eaten in their natural condition and if they
perfectly supplied the  needs  of  the  body  there  would  be  no
tendency  toward overeating. The great trouble is that conventional
methods of food preparation have such a destructive effect upon the
nutritive  value  of  the foods in common use that a healthy body often
craves large quantities of diverse foods in order to get a sufficiency
of certain  elements  which are lacking. The use of white bread is a
case in point, for, as stated in another chapter, the best part of the
wheat has  been  eliminated  in the process of milling. Furthermore, to
a large extent the mineral salts are removed from our vegetables in the
process of boiling; that  is  to say, when the water in which they were
boiled is thrown away. The polishing of rice, the use of  white  flour
in  manufacturing  macaroni,  the refining of our sugar, and many other
processes, are directly responsible for the almost universal habit of
overeating.  Certain  elements  are taken out of the food, the body
craves these elements, and in trying to secure adequate nourishment, one
eats an excessive amount of the refined defective foods.


The suggestions offered in the previous chapter concerning the necessity
for the enjoyment of food, give one a fairly clear idea as to  what  he
should eat. In other words, he should select those foods that he
thoroughly enjoys, keeping in mind the necessity of using only those
that  are at least reasonably wholesome. If you have a large variety
from which to select, this will be to your advantage, provided you do
not include too many foods at one meal. It is a good plan to get your
variety from meal to meal and from day to day, but without including too
many  dishes  at any one meal.

One of the most remarkable cases of longevity with which I have ever
come in contact proved in a very pointed way the value of this
suggestion. This was a woman who had lived to be over eighty years of
age. During the last forty years of her life she was as agile, as clear-
headed and  as capable as a young woman in the heyday of her youth. I am
satisfied that to a large extent the unusual vitality possessed by this
woman was  due to her habit of eating but one article of food two meals
each day,  although  occasionally  she  would  eat  only  one.  Her
meals  were  taken irregularly, because she would eat only when she was
hungry. When she had a definite appetite  it  would  nearly  always
indicate  to  her  the particular food that she wanted. She would then
prepare a meal of this food and thoroughly satisfy her appetite with it.
Nothing else was  eaten at that meal. This woman naturally went through
some very severe trials before she adopted this diet-indeed, a  terrible
lesson  of  some  sort seems necessary to compel one to follow a strict
dietetic regimen. At the age of forty she was a physical wreck, having
been for years  tortured with rheumatism. Having vainly tried every
other remedy, she finally became interested in diet, and through it
finally overcame her  difficulty. It might also be of interest in this
connection to know that she never used salt, pepper, or condiments of
any sort with her meals, and it would be well to emphasize that it is
important to avoid the too free use of condiments and stimulating foods.
We have used  salt  so  long  that  our bodies seem adapted to it, and
it is usually considered essential to the welfare of domestic stock;
therefore  it  is  a  moot  question  as  to whether it is advisable for
human beings to avoid it altogether. Yet the excessive use of it to
which we are prone is certainly harmful. How  is this to be avoided? If
we eat our food in a hand, I have found that the longer you are without
it the more you long for it,  until  the  craving becomes much more
intense than is the hunger of a man who fasts (the symptoms are those of
a disease rather than of  being  hungry).  Among  the uncivilized
Eskimos the dislike of salt is so strong that a saltiness imperceptible
to me would prevent them from eating at all. This  fact  was often
useful to me, and when our Eskimo visitors threatened to eat us out of
house and home we could put in a little pinch  of  salt,  and  thus
husband our resources without seeming inhospitable. A man who tasted
anything salty at our table would quickly bethink him that he had plenty
of more palatable fare in his own house. On the score of what to eat I
would reiterate what I have said about the use of foods  in  their
natural condition. The refinement of various foods has made them
entirely unfit for human consumption. Of first importance without doubt
is the  use  of the whole grain of the wheat for flour. Wheat, as
produced by the Almighty, is practically a perfect food, containing all
the elements  required by the human body and in a proportion not very
far from that found in the body. In modern methods of milling, however,
the  effort  is  made  to eliminate everything in the wheat grain except
the pure starch, which naturally makes a fine, smooth, white flour. The
miller is not  absolutely successful in his endeavor, but he does
succeed in robbing the product of the natural state, that is in an
uncooked  form,  salt  can  be  more easily avoided, but cooking in many
instances modifies the flavor to such an extent that salt seems necessary.
I am not prepared to admit that it is a necessity, for I know of many who
avoid the use of salt altogether  and  who  have maintained unusual vital
vigor. I have known of others, however, who have tried to eliminate salt
from their diet  and  the  results  have been unsatisfactory. We may
therefore say that in most cases the moderate use of salt can be

One of the most interesting expressions of opinion on the subject of
salt that I have seen was a statement by Stefanson, the Arctic explorer,
in his "My Quest in the Arctic," in which he discusses the diet of the
Eskimos and their constitutional aversion to salt.

"Most people are in the habit of looking upon the articles of our
customary diet, and especially upon salt, as necessities. We  have  not
found them so. The longer you go without green foods and vegetables the
less you long for them. Salt I have found to behave like a narcotic
poison; in other words, it is as hard to break off its use as it is hard
to stop the use of tobacco. But after you have been a month or so
without salt you cease to long for it, and after six months I have found
the taste of meat boiled in salt water positively disagreeable. In the
case  of  such  a necessary element of food as fat on the other hand, I
have found that the longer you are without it the more you long for it,
until the  craving becomes much more intense than is the hunger of a man
who fasts (the symptoms are those of a disease rather than of  being
hungry).  Among  the uncivilized Eskimos the dislike of salt is so
strong that a saltiness imperceptible to me would prevent them from
eating at all. This  fact  was often useful to me, and when our Eskimo
visitors threatened to eat us out of house and home we could put in a
little pinch  of  salt,  and  thus husband our resources without seeming
inhospitable. A man who tasted anything salty at our table would quickly
bethink him that he had plenty of more palatable fare in his own house."

On the score of what to eat I would reiterate what I have said about the
use of foods in their natural  condition.  The  refinement  of  various
foods has made them entirely unfit for human consumption. Of first
importance without doubt is the use of the  whole  grain  of  the  wheat
for flour. Wheat, as produced by the Almighty, is practically a perfect
food, containing all the elements required  by  the  human  body  and
in  a proportion not very far from that found in the body. In modern
methods of milling, however, the effort is made to eliminate  everything
in  the wheat grain except the pure starch, which naturally makes a
fine, smooth, white flour. The miller is not absolutely successful in
his  endeavor, but he does succeed in robbing the product of the larger
part of its food value, until it is absolutely incapable of sustaining
life,  and  this serious mistake is without question the prime cause of
the prevalence of constipation. The refining of  rice  by  removing  the
coating,  which contains organic salts, is another process by which is
produced a food that is almost pure starch. The disease beriberi  is
now  recognized  as being due to a diet of polished rice. Where the
natural unpolished rice is used this disease is both prevented and
cured. In refining our  sugar a similar denaturing process 'is carried
on. The same is true in the grinding of corn, and in  preparing  a
whole  host  of  other  foods.  The practice of "refining" is the great
food crime of the age. In addition to this the average housewife adds to
our  difficulties  when  preparing vegetables and other foods, by
"draining" off the water in which they are cooked, thus throwing away
the invaluable mineral elements which  have been dissolved in the liquor
during the process of cooking. The ultimate result of these crimes of
the manufacturer and mistakes of the cook, is that the people are to a
large extent starved, as far as mineral salts are concerned, in spite of
the enormous food supply and  the  payment  of the highest prices.

Though bread is supposed to be the "staff of life," it might reasonably
be termed the "staff of death" when it is made entirely from white flour
and is depended upon exclusively for nourishment. It is well to point
out also that bread of all kinds should be avoided in some cases  of
weak digestion. Under such circumstances it often irritates the lining
of the stomach and intestines. When symptoms of this kind  are  noticed
bread must not be used-more especially when made with yeast. When the
bread is made without yeast and is masticated very thoroughly it may do
no harm. There are instances also in which there is a Strong craving for
white bread and when graham or whole-wheat bread is not appetizing. When
one has an abundant variety of foods and the alimentary canal is
unusually active the desire for white bread can be satisfied without
harmful  results. In fact when the diet is varied by numerous articles
of food at one meal considerable white bread can be used if it is
appetizing. Those  taking the treatment for constipation recommended in
this book often stimulate the alimentary canal to  such  an  extent
that  graham  or  whole-wheat products are slightly irritating in their
effect. As long as such symptoms exist white bread can be used.
Remember, however, that whenever there is the slightest sign of
constipation white flour products of all kinds should immediately be
eliminated from the diet.

As nearly as possible foods should be used in their natural condition.
Those that can be enjoyed when uncooked  are  more  valuable  when
eaten without cooking. When cooking is necessary the food should be
cooked in such a way that there is no waste nor  loss  of  the  natural
elements. Steaming and baking are both preferable in many cases to
boiling; cooking in a double boiler may  be  especially  recommended  in
the  case  of vegetables, as these are in such a case cooked in their
own juices. Therefore my most important suggestions on what to eat would
be:  first,  to select only natural foods; and second, to avoid too much
variety at one meal. As to what sort of a diet one should adopt, I might
say  that  the proper answer to a question of this kind depends largely
upon one's individual condition and requirements.

Unquestionably a perfect diet is furnished by nuts and fruits. From a
theoretical standpoint this  would  appear  to  be  ideal.  I  would
say, however, that very few persons can be thoroughly nourished on a
limited diet of this sort, and therefore it cannot be universally

Perhaps the next diet that closely approximates perfection would be a
raw or uncooked diet. This would include all the foods that  can  be
made palatable without cooking, such as nuts and fruits of all kinds,
vegetable salads, cereals and dairy products.  A  diet  of  this  sort
can  be continued indefinitely in some cases, and where one can be
thoroughly nourished on this regimen it can be highly recommended. Foods
in their raw state possess a tremendous amount of vitality-building
elements. They are live foods, consequently they give one life, energy,
vivacity. One can usually fast longer with a smaller loss of weight and
energy after a raw than after a cooked diet. But in many  instances
this  diet  does  not maintain the weight and the bodily energies at
high-water mark; consequently in such cases it often proves
unsatisfactory, even where its  first effects are pleasing to an unusual

Nearly all restrictive diets are valuable for a short period where there
is evidence of overeating. On this account many enthusiasts who adopt a
restricted diet and who note their improved appearance and general
increase of energy for a time, will be profoundly  impressed  with  the
idea that at last they have found a perfect diet. On account of their
enthusiasm they will often continue such a strict dietetic regimen until
it  is productive of seriously harmful results. It should be kept in
mind that any diet which is really adequate for  all  requirements  will
maintain your normal weight and your energy. In other words, you should
feel well and look well, if your diet is as it should be. This is  an
invariable test, and can be depended upon absolutely.

Probably the next diet that can be recommended in many cases would be a
meatless or vegetarian diet. There is absolutely no question as  to  the
superiority of this plan over a regimen that includes meat, provided
again that you can be fully nourished  and  that  you  feel  energetic
and capable. A vegetarian diet will usually make a better quality of
tissue; you will have more endurance, and there is  but  little  doubt
that  a healthy vegetarian will outlive a meat-eater, since his vital
organs remain in a healthier condition for a  longer  period  than
those  of  one accustomed to a free use of meat.

We must admit, however, that many cannot maintain their weight and keep
their full allowance of energy on a vegetarian diet. Where  you  find  a
vegetarian whose skin is white, whose lips are colorless, who is thin
and seemingly in need of nourishment, you can rest assured that  the
diet is not agreeing with him. Such persons in virtually every instance
need animal food of some sort. It is therefore wise, if you are
searching for a diet that is capable of developing in you the greatest
degree of mental and physical efficiency, to make a careful study  of
your  individual condition and requirements. After you have acquired
sufficient knowledge on the subject it might even be well to do some
experimenting,  and  in that way determine what particular diet is best
suited to your needs.

It is extremely difficult, however, for one to adopt a regimen which is
radically different from that of those with whom he associates. You  may
have sufficient enthusiasm for a time to subsist on a nut-and-fruit diet
or on an uncooked diet, but when your own family and friends are  using
other foods at all times the temptation to vary your own diet is
sometimes too strong to resist, consequently you will be inclined
gradually  to resume the general regimen of those with whom you live.

One can, however, maintain good health without being what might be
termed a dietetic crank. To be sure, where one is suffering from a
disease or is definitely in need of some special diet in order to secure
certain results, a very rigid diet is of great importance and should be
adhered to strictly. After such results have been achieved, however, and
after normal health is regained, you can secure at almost any well
supplied  table a selection of foods which will furnish satisfactory

Some intelligence in selection, however, is necessary. There are a few
articles of food that it would always be well  to  avoid.  For
instance, nearly all white-flour products are to be condemned. This
means not only bread but biscuits, cakes, crackers, and pastries made of
white  flour. Unquestionably, if one is using meat freely, white-flour
products are not nearly so harmful as when taken  with  a  vegetarian
diet.  The  meat supplies some of the deficiencies, though not all. At
one time I had an experiment  made  which  proved  in  a  striking
manner  the  defective character of white flour as a food. The subject
tested the results of a fast of two weeks. He weighed himself before
and  after  the  fast  and several times during its progress. He
accurately determined his strength at all times, before, during, and at
the  completion  of  the  fast.  A considerable time thereafter he
experimented with a diet of white-flour products for the same  period
of  two  weeks,  eating  white  flour  as commonly prepared, in the form
of bread, cakes, etc. The result showed that he lost more weight and
more strength  while  following  the  white-flour regimen than he had
while fasting absolutely. This would seem to indicate that, in this
case, at least, white-flour products  were  not  a food, but a slow-
acting poison.

Among foods especially valuable I would call attention to green salads.
If possible one should eat  some  food  of  this  kind  each  day,  more
especially during warm weather. They are of great value as blood
purifiers and they supply to a very large extent  the  mineral  salts.
Various combinations can be used in the form of salads, and the most
satisfactory dressing is probably a combination of olive oil and lemon
juice. I  do not recommend vinegar partly because it is seldom pure, and
one never can tell what  combination  of  chemicals  it  contains.
Lemon  juice  is preferable even to the best vinegar for the purpose of
salad dressing. Celery, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, water-cress, parsley,
cucumbers,  and other foods of this character are suitable for salad
purposes. Spinach, dandelion leaves, and other greens can be recommended
in  their  cooked form, and it is unnecessary to add that virtually all
cooked vegetables are of value.

Fruits of all kinds can be recommended for the same reasons that make
the green salads so useful to the body. They  are  of  the  very
greatest value where there is any tendency toward biliousness. In many
cases of this kind where it is undesirable to undertake  an  absolute
fast  as  a means of setting the stomach right and where there is a lack
of appetite, a fruit fast can be highly recommended. This is  simply  an
exclusive diet of fresh acid fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit,
grapes, cherries, apples and other fresh fruits in season. It is
especially important to know in such a case that these fruits should be
eaten in their strictly natural condition, properly ripened and without
the addition  of  sugar. As a general thing a sufficient allowance of
fruit and green salads will so balance the diet that one is not likely
to have any trouble even  if he eats heartily of the foods served at the
ordinary table.

It would be well also to remember that acid fruits have valuable
antiseptic (cleansing) qualities. They keep the mouth and teeth as well
as  the alimentary canal in a wholesome state. In fact the frequent use
of acid fruit, more especially the orange, is of great  value  in
counteracting the effects of digestive difficulties on the mouth and
teeth. If a small piece of orange is taken whenever there is an
unpleasant taste  in  the mouth it will destroy the germ life that is
being rapidly propagated under such circumstances, though such symptoms
indicate also  the  need  of acid fruit of some sort by the stomach.
Especially is this required if there is a craving for fruit of this
sort. In such cases the rule against eating between meals may be
disregarded. Whenever you have a strong desire for acid fruits between
meals you are usually safe in using them.  In fact they are often sorely
needed under such circumstances to assist in digesting a meal  that  may
have  been  eaten  some  hours  previously. Indigestion which leaves the
mouth with a foul, unpleasant taste is often noticed on awakening at
night after a hearty meal the evening  before. On such occasions a few
swallows of water, or whatever is needed to satisfy thirst, and a small
quantity of acid fruit, like the orange, are  of great value. They
should be well mixed and moved about in the mouth until the acid comes
in contact with every part of the mouth and teeth.

When there is the slightest sign of digestive difficulties I would
advise that each meal be completed with a small quantity  of  fruit.  If
you stop your meal at a time when you can enjoy the taste of acid fruit
it is usually a definite proof that you have not overeaten.

Remember too that the orange, lemon and any fruit with a strong acid
flavor is a splendid tooth or mouth wash, and it need not be ejected as
an ordinary wash. It can be enjoyed and swallowed after mouth and teeth
have been cleansed. Therefore the frequent use of oranges as  a
dentifrice is a habit of great value. Use them on retiring and on rising
and the results will be unusually pleasing.

What foods can be used as substitutes for meat? This is a question that
assumes  considerable  importance  to  those  desirous  of  testing  the
vegetarian diet. I may say that almost any food that is wholesome and
hearty in character and which is craved  by  your  appetite  will  make
a satisfactory meat substitute. Those containing a large percentage of
protein are particularly desirable for this  purpose.  The  following
list will give one a general idea as to the nature of these foods:
Cereals of all kinds, either in the whole grain or in the form  of
flaked  grain, contain a fair percentage of protein and may be
recommended for the purpose, although refined flour or polished grains
are of no value  in  this way. Bread made from the whole wheat or any of
the whole grains may be recommended. The "war bread" used in Europe
since  the  outbreak  of  the great war is of this type. The
pumpernickel and "black breads" used in various parts of Europe are so
valuable from a nutritive standpoint  that one can live on them
entirely. Many of the farming and peasant classes of Europe live almost
exclusively on breads of this type. Nearly all  the prepared foods
ordinarily referred to as breakfast foods, and which are made up of
whole grains of wheat, corn, oats or barley would come  under this
class. No breakfast food made of only a part of the wheat would be
recommended for this purpose.

All kinds of beans are splendid meat substitutes, including navy beans,
lima beans and kidney beans. They are what one may call hearty foods and
as a rule one should lead a fairly active life to enjoy and digest them
satisfactorily. The same may be said of dried peas.  Lentils  belong  in
the same class and are very similar to the bean in its nourishing
elements. Beans, peas and lentils form a  class  known  as  the
legumes,  and contain a high percentage of protein.

Nuts of all kinds make splendid meat substitutes, though they may
sometimes be found rich for a weak stomach. They need  to  be  used  in
small quantities and should be eaten only at meal-time. Peanuts really
belong to the legume family, but are quite as good as any  kind  of
nuts.  The only mistake in their use lies in the habit of eating them
between meals. Peanut butter and nut butters are  of  value.  When  nuts
are  easily digested they are satisfactory in every way.

Perhaps the most popular meat substitute is the egg. Do not, however,
entertain the idea that you are not eating any meat products when eggs
are included in your diet. Eggs must be classed as animal food, but they
are very nourishing. They contain a good supply  of  lime,  sulphur,
iron, phosphorus and other mineral salts in addition to their protein
and fats. It may also be said that milk should be classed as animal
food, though it is of special value from a nutritive standpoint. Milk,
cheese and other milk products naturally make good substitutes for meat.
Butter  is  a practically pure fat and will not take the place of meat
in supplying protein, although it will take the place of  the  fatty
portions  of  the meat. Cheese is often appropriately placed at the last
part of the meal, and the statement that it will to a certain extent
help  to  digest  a hearty meal if but a small quantity is taken has
been proven accurate in numerous cases.

As a milk product buttermilk may be particularly recommended as a meat
substitute  if  one  uses  a  considerable  quantity  of  it.  We
should distinguish, however, between real buttermilk and the fermented
milk or sour milk which is often sold in cities under the  name  of
buttermilk. Fermented milk is highly recommended for all food purposes
and is undoubtedly conducive to health, but from the standpoint of
nutrition  it  has practically the same value as fresh milk. The true
buttermilk, however, from which the fat-forming elements have been
extracted in the  form  of butter, is a more purely protein product. If
you use sufficient buttermilk, that is to say, two quarts or more a day,
you can rest assured  that you will not crave meat.

CHAPTER XIV: Foods in the Cure of Chronic Constipation

Constipation is probably the beginning of nearly all human ailments.
There are a few exceptions  but  not  many.  It  is  a  tremendous  foe
to vitality. Pure blood is absolutely impossible when one is suffering
from  this  complaint.  Active  functioning  of  the  alimentary  canal
is absolutely essential if the blood stream is to contain those elements
essential to superior vital vigor. The regimen which I  suggested  in
the chapter on Cleansing and Stimulating the Alimentary Canal will
undoubtedly be sufficient to overcome any  trouble  of  this  character
provided there are not dietetic causes that are serious in nature. Where
the disorder is chronic, and especially when it has extended over a term
of many years, a comprehensive dietetic regimen may be necessary in
addition to the adoption of measures previously suggested.

The direct cause of constipation is a relaxed and weakened condition of
the muscular walls of the stomach and intestines. A  certain  degree  of
strength of these muscular structures is essential properly to
facilitate digestion, assimilation and elimination. The lack  of  tone
in  these muscles is chiefly due in nearly all cases to what might be
termed a concentrated diet. Our foods have been  too  much  refined.  As
previously stated they are not eaten as they were created, but have been
put through a prolonged milling process or other method of preparation
which  not only eliminates many elements of nourishment but also breaks
up the food into the most minute particles, thus eliminating the rough,
coarse  and fibrous material in the food which ordinarily arouses what
is known as the peristaltic activity of the bowels. Our methods of  food
preparation also materially lessen the necessity for prolonged and
thorough mastication. The habit of hurriedly swallowing our food
undoubtedly lessens  its vitality-building possibilities, besides
materially affecting the strength and general hardiness of the teeth.

Constipation is also caused in numerous instances by a lack of liquids.
Men and women do not use sufficient water.  One  frequently  loses  what
might be termed the water-drinking habit, usually as a result of
sedentary occupations. The method of  remedying  constipation  referred
to  in Chapter VI pointedly illustrates the amazing value of water in
remedying conditions of this kind. It is well, however, to remember the
necessity for using at least a reasonable quantity of water throughout
the entire day. If you do not drink water quite freely between  meals
then  it  is advisable and actually necessary to use a certain quantity
with your meals. Those who drink tea and coffee freely seem to recognize
the need  of this instinctively. The choice of these beverages, however,
is distinctly bad. Tea and coffee are destructive to both  nerves  and
health,  but aside from these stimulating drinks one can use almost any
wholesome beverage at meal-time in order to supply his cravings  in
this  direction. Fruit drinks are excellent. I have referred to this
question in a previous chapter.

Diet naturally has a tremendous influence on alimentary activity. White
bread and white-flour products constitute  the  most  serious  cause  of
constipation. This defective food is lacking in the elements necessary
to give life and vitality to the body, because the valuable  covering
of the grain has been removed in the milling process, while the life
germ of the wheat has also  been  eliminated.  The  bran,  which
consists  of several minute layers covering the wheat berry, has a
distinct value in stimulating peristaltic action, and when it is
removed,  the  resulting white flour must be a defective food. One of
the first dietetic changes required in remedying constipation,
therefore, is  to  eliminate  white-flour products from the diet. Graham
bread, or that made from the whole wheat, or any of the  whole  grains,
rye,  oats,  barley,  corn,  is  a satisfactory article of diet, and
will often remedy constipation without resort to any other dietetic

What might be termed waste products, or fibrous material in food, are
found especially valuable in promoting digestion and active functioning
of the bowels. The woody fiber found in vegetables is most valuable. It
is sometimes suggested that one should simply  consume  the  juice  of
his foods but not the pulp. This pulp or fibrous matter, however, is
especially important. Following this requirement of bulk or waste in our
food, we find such remedies  as  sand,  refined  coal  oil,  a  mineral
product that passes through the alimentary canal without change, and
ordinary black dirt, which is usually taken in its dried form.  When
using sand, it should be sterilized, and the grains should be rounded
and worn smooth by the action of waves or running water.  Do  not  use
that  in which the grains are sharp-edged. One or more of these products
are valuable as  a  laxative  and  the  devitalizing  after-effects  of
a  drug cathartic will be absent. They are, however, not by any means as
pleasant as food laxatives, and remedies of this sort should  not  be
employed except as a temporary expedient.

Whole grains of various kinds, wheat, rye, oats and barley, simmered in
hot water for a long time until properly softened,  not  only  afford  a
high degree of nourishment, but will be found of special value as a
means of remedying constipation. They are best  if  used  in  their
natural state, just as they come from the farm. They are more valuable
when eaten raw with fruit or cream, or in some other palatable  form,
than  when cooked. When flaked or crushed, as in the case of ordinary
oatmeal, they may be used with figs, dates, raisins and a little cream,
or  they  may be eaten with a little honey. One bowl of this class of
food, either raw or cooked, each day, is  very  effective  in
overcoming  constipation. Salads of various kinds not only have great
value by way of supplying food for the nerves, but they are also worth
while for their mild laxative effect. I would recommend all forms of
uncooked green food, chiefly to be used in the form of salads, such as
lettuce, tomatoes, onions, celery, radishes, cucumbers, cold slaw,
water-cress, parsley, and the like. All cooked green vegetables such as
spinach, asparagus, string beans,  fresh green peas, Brussels sprouts,
dandelion leaves, greens, cabbages, mushrooms and other foods of this
sort will likewise be helpful.

Fruits are of even greater value for their laxative qualities. One
should use them freely for ordinary  health  building,  but  especially
when suffering from this complaint. Apples, oranges, grapefruit,
peaches, plums, grapes, and various berries are exceptionally  good  for
increasing alimentary activity, though all kinds of fruit are valuable.
Prunes and figs are particularly recommended. Such acid fruits as
lemons,  oranges and grapefruit are valuable not only for their
stimulating qualities in connection with constipation,  but  also
because  of  their  antiseptic influence.

Cheese is very constipating to those inclined in this direction. All
forms of cheese and food combinations  containing  it  should  be
avoided. Spaghetti and macaroni prepared in this way are especially
inadvisable, though it may be said that even when served without cheese
spaghetti and macaroni are constipating. Rice in the ordinary polished
form, as usually sold, is practically a pure starch and should  be
avoided.  The  same applies to tapioca, sago and foods of this
character. Needless to say white crackers, cookies and cakes are to be
classed with white bread.  One should use brown sugar in place of white
wherever possible, or use the pure New Orleans molasses. It is often
difficult to secure this, however, inasmuch as most of the molasses on
the market is made up chiefly of glucose or corn syrup, and often
contains harmful  chemical  preservatives. It is best to avoid sugar
altogether and to use honey for all purposes of sweetening, as honey is
less inclined to fermentation.

Milk in some cases is inclined to produce constipation when used in
connection with the ordinary diet. An exclusive and full diet  of  milk,
is rarely constipating except during the first few days of the diet, but
when milk is added to the ordinary foods, it frequently has a tendency
in this direction. Buttermilk or fermented milk can often be used to
advantage if sweet milk should prove constipating to the patient.

Muscular weakness and defective circulation are prominent causes of
constipation in many cases. This accounts for this disorder being  found
so frequently among sedentary workers. Inactivity, the cause of many
ills, is particularly prominent in contributing  to  this  trouble.
Therefore muscular exercise is perhaps a most effective means of
permanently remedying constipation. Exercise has a direct mechanical
influence  upon  the entire alimentary canal. The contraction of the
abdominal muscles and the bending or other movements of the trunk of the
body produce a  certain amount of movement in and pressure upon the
digestive organs in a direct mechanical way. Walking, for instance, is
of  extraordinary  value  in remedying this difficulty because of its
stimulating influence upon the entire functional system, and the slight
jar of each step without  doubt has a direct mechanical effect. Walking
furthermore is a tremendous factor in the building of vitality and this
helps  indirectly  in  remedying constipation.

But there are also various special exercises that particularly affect
the alimentary canal. Bending forward and backward and from side  to
side and also various twisting movements of the trunk have a special
influence in this direction. They actually massage the internal organs,
and this means a great deal where there is any digestive weakness or
lack of activity in the bowels. What I term inner-strength exercises, or
as they may also be called, pressure movements, are also of considerable
value. An example of this type of exercise will  be  found  in  placing
the  right forearm across the stomach, grasping the right wrist with the
left hand, and then with the strength of both arms pressing vigorously
inward upon the stomach for a moment. Now relax and repeat. Bringing up
the right knee and left knee alternately, with strong pressure, using
vigorously the strength of the arms against the abdominal region, is
also a good example of this type of exercise, which has proven very
effective in  numerous cases. Other exercises of this kind ( see Chapter
XV) can be applied to all parts of the upper body with great advantage
to  the  inner  organs, since such movements are of remarkable value in
stimulating alimentary activity.

In line with exercise of this kind, massage and percussion treatment of
the abdominal region is likewise effective. The massage should  be  deep
and may be administered by the closed fist. A wide circular movement is
advantageous for this purpose, the hand being moved in the direction  of
the hands of a clock, that is to say, up the right side, across, down
the left side and continuing around in that  manner.  Rolling  a
baseball around in the same manner, pressing deeply though without
strain, will afford an excellent form of massage  for  this  particular
purpose.  The percussion treatment that I have suggested consists in
alternate tapping or striking this region  of  the  body  with  both
hands.  A  chopping movement, using the outside edge of the hands, is
very effective, and if you are very vigorous, the closed fist may be
used. Striking repeatedly and alternately with the two fists, go over
the entire region of the stomach and abdomen. This can be done gently or
vigorously,  according  to your condition, and it is an invaluable and
effective means of stimulating peristalsis and functional vigor.
Mechanical vibration  may  also  be suggested.

Cathartics are always to be condemned. The ordinary cathartic or
laxative acts by reason of its irritating qualities. As a rule it
abstracts the water from the intestinal walls, and the adjacent tissues,
and the ultimate effect is to leave one in worse condition  than
before.  Those  who have been accustomed to the drug treatment of
constipation, usually find the condition growing continuously more
stubborn.  Larger  and  larger doses of the cathartic must be taken to
secure results until the function is practically paralyzed. There could
be no greater mistake.  If  some laxative is required and sand cannot be
used, the best remedy is ordinary table salt. Stir up a level
teaspoonful in a glass of water and  drink it. This has a mild laxative
action. Or take daily two to four tablespoonfuls of ordinary bran in a
glass  of  water.  This  bran  may  also  be stirred into soups and
cereals or mixed with whole-wheat flour when making bread. Olive oil
also should be used freely.

As an emergency treatment, however, the enema is most satisfactory, and
when employed it is best to do it thoroughly.  I  do  not  advocate  the
regular and continuous use of this measure. One should not come to
depend upon it. A natural action is desirable, and  this  can
invariably  be brought about by a proper diet, as above suggested, by
exercise and by a sufficient amount of water. The enema or colon-
flushing should be  used only when absolutely necessary, though in case
of acute disease, where rapid purification is essential, the enema is
imperatively demanded,  and no household should be without an outfit for
giving this treatment.

To some the continuous use of the colon-flushing treatment is inclined
to be debilitating and in rare cases complaints have been  made  that
it dilates the colon and weakens its muscular structures. This is
occasionally true in the case of the hot enema.  A  fairly  cool  enema
is  less objectionable, while a cold enema has a decided tonic effect in
contracting and strengthening the peristaltic muscles. The cold  enema
is  less effective as a cleansing agent, as it does not have the
relaxing effect of the hot enema. In most cases an enema of neutral
temperature,  or  at about that of the body, may be suggested, though if
one has been using this treatment very much it would be better to use
either a cool or  cold enema, if strong enough, in order to secure its
contracting and tonic effect. If the cold water causes cramps one should
modify the temperature.

Usually it is best to use plain water for the enema. In a case of
illness where quick and radical results are required, a  hot  soap-suds
enema may be suggested, but you should remember that this always has the
effect of removing the natural oils and is inclined to leave the colon
in  an irritated condition. A saline solution is to be especially
commended where there is a serious catarrhal condition of the
intestines,  or  where there is much inflammation or irritation, such as
might be manifested in extreme cases by bloody stools. For a normal
saline  solution  use  one teaspoonful of ordinary salt to a quart of
water, or four teaspoonfuls to a four-quart enema. Glycerin is
frequently suggested, but it is not to be generally recommended. If one
follows these methods persistently, constipation, even in its most
aggravated forms, can be overcome.  In  some instances almost any one of
the suggestions offered will bring about the results desired, but in a
chronic case one should depend not on one but on a combination of all of
these various remedial measures. The improvement in the condition of
your skin, in the purity of your blood,  and  in the degree of energy
that you will enjoy will more than repay you for your efforts in
following the  various  suggestions  made  for  cleansing,
strengthening, and vitalizing the alimentary canal.

CHAPTER XV: Pressure Movements for Building Inner Strength

Several years ago I discovered a unique and very effective means of
strengthening the  heart,  lungs,  stomach  and  other  internal
organs.  I arranged a system of lessons, consisting of various pressure
movements, which I termed an Inner Strength Course.  As  my  experience
with  this course had been limited, I refrained at the time from
presenting its fundamental theories to the general public. I issued the
course in a series of four lessons, and the strength of each applicant
was ascertained through questions before the course was sent to  him.
The  experience  with several hundred students, however, has so
thoroughly confirmed the value of this method of internal  vitality
building  that  I  am  now  in  a position where I can present the ideas
upon which it is based to the general public. The usual price  of  this
course  was  five  dollars,  and several thousand courses were sold at
this price, each student naturally receiving a certain amount  of
personal  attention.  The  same  ideas, however, are presented in this
chapter, with the warning that those who use the pressure exercises
recommended must take care to avoid  pressing upon the internal organs
beyond their resisting power.

The various forms of pressure movements recommended are clearly
illustrated and those who are not especially strong should  begin  with
a  very mild pressure and with the open hand placed upon the abdomen or
chest, though where ordinary or unusual strength is possessed, the side
of  the open or closed hand could be used. These exercises are
especially valuable for strengthening the heart where the  pressure
movements  are  used very freely near this particular organ. They can be
highly recommended for strengthening the stomach though they should not
be used  immediately after a meal. I referred to their value in the
chapter on constipation in connection with the treatment of this
ailment. After a long trial this system of increasing the internal
strength is highly recommended, and will be found of special value as a
means of varying  the  health-building methods that may be adopted for
securing throbbing vitality. They are not a necessary part of the plan
of body building  especially  recommended in this volume, but are
presented merely as a valuable means of varying your efforts in working
for increased vitality.

It is an interesting fact that in some forms of athletics, the body is
subjected to a certain amount of internal  stimulation  similar  to
that which I have systematized in these movements. This is especially
true in wrestling, where the vital organism is  often  compelled  to
endure  a great deal of pressure of this kind. The same is true of
American football, although this is too violent for those who are not in
an  unusually vigorous condition.

To suit these varying degrees of strength I have arranged these
movements so that the first series (A) is comparatively mild. Those who
are  not already vigorous can probably use the advanced form of
treatment, but in most cases it will be best to take  them  up
gradually.  In  cases  of rupture, or where the abdominal region is
weak, there is a possibility of injury if one makes the movements too

The first series, however, in which the open palm of the hand is used,
is quite safe in all cases, if reasonable care is used. In each of
these pressure movements remember that the pressure should be applied
for one moment only, and then relaxed, repeating the  pressure  and
moving  the position of the hands in accordance with the directions
accompanying each photograph.

When a feeling of pain or great tenderness is noted in pressing upon any
part of the body, this  should  be  regarded  as  a  warning  that  the
pressure is not to be repeated. If there is only a feeling of uneasiness
you can usually continue with the treatment  and  the  discomfort  will
disappear in practically every instance. And while an acute sense of
pain indicates the necessity for avoiding pressure on that particular
part, yet it is sometimes a good plan to exert the pressure upon
adjacent or surrounding parts, thereby influencing the  circulation,
and  continuing the treatment until the inflammation which is the cause
of the pain gradually disappears. One should be careful to exercise
moderation  in  all cases, however.

The second series (B) in which the closed hand is used is somewhat more
vigorous, and this is made still more energetic by  grasping  the  first
hand with the other so that the pressure may be applied with the
strength of both the arms. As the student progresses, the number of
times  that pressure is applied at each part of the body may be
increased, so that at the conclusion of the treatment he may  feel
thoroughly  tired,  thus showing that he is making good progress toward
the goal in view.

The third series (C) includes movements especially intended for
stimulating the functional regions from the back of  the  body,  and
should  be given close attention. They are especially valuable for
strengthening the kidneys. The last and most vigorous of the movements
(series D  )  are especially powerful in their influence upon the organs
lying within the chest as well as upon those beneath the diaphragm. The
heart  and  lungs will be very effectually stimulated and strengthened
in this way. In chronic bronchitis, coughs and colds on the lungs these
movements  applied to the chest will be very helpful, besides directly
strengthening these parts.

You can absolutely depend upon it that when you have reached a condition
in which you can exert the most vigorous pressure  upon  all  of  these
parts, and do it with comfort and pleasurable results, your "department
of the interior" is in a strong and healthy condition. You will  find  a
radical change in the entire internal organism. You will find that the
abdominal organs feel more solid  and  substantial,  while  the
muscular walls of this region are far stronger. You will have a sense of
strength in this region, and this is absolutely  the  case  in  so  far
as  the external muscles of this part of the body are concerned. But the
more valuable gain will be in the strength  of  the  organs  themselves.
These organs are partly muscular in character, and they are firm and
strong, or soft and flaccid, in accordance  with  the  intelligent
consideration that they receive and the amount of exercise given them.

Before long you should be able to use almost your entire strength in
exerting pressure, and feel nothing but beneficial results. But when
doing this it may be well to change the position of the hand slightly
for each application of pressure, rather than to repeat such strenuous
treatment so many times in one spot. The idea is to exert pressure
throughout the entire region of the abdomen, chest, sides and back.

It may occur to the reader that this form of exercise for the vital
organs has  a  certain  distant  similarity  to  some  features  of
massage treatment, known as deep massage. However, this method is much
more vigorous than any form of massage, and is of a character to build
a  degree of real internal strength that cannot be attained through
massage of any  kind.  And  it  has  the  advantage  of  being
convenient  for  self-application.

After a time you may be able to originate pressure movements of your
own. One of my friends writes that he has used a  similar  idea
associated with a vibratory motion. He slightly agitates the hand in
different directions while pressing inwards. This  is  well  worth  a
trial,  and  it partakes very much of the nature of massage. Another
good practice is to inhale a deep breath and then while holding this
breath apply  pressure all along the central portion of the abdominal
region, from the breastbone downwards, from ten to  twenty  times.
Then,  without  exhaling  the breath, draw in all the additional air you
can and repeat the pressure movements six to twelve times, after which
you may be  able  to  take  in still more air. One should be careful not
to carry this holding of the breath too far. At the first signs of
discomfort  the  breath  should  be exhaled quickly.

CHAPTER XVI: Blood Purification

If one could maintain his blood in absolute purity disease would be
virtually impossible. The blood is the life. You are what  you  are
through the influence of the blood that circulates throughout your
entire body.

Now, a proper supply of pure blood, as previously stated, depends first
of all upon proper digestion and assimilation. This involves naturally a
strengthening diet with a supply of foods that contain all of the
elements required by the body and which will permit  of  a  pure  and
perfect condition of the blood. Next in importance are the chemical
changes which take place in this life-giving fluid as it passes through
the  lungs. Following this, the purity of the life stream depends upon
the various organs that have to do with elimination; that is to say, the
throwing off from the blood of the various accumulated wastes and
poisons that are inimical to life. Now you might call this the  blood-
purifying  process. The removal of these various waste elements from the
blood depends entirely upon the proper activity of the depurating

I have already referred to the great importance of an active alimentary
canal. You might say that the lower part of the alimentary canal is  the
sewer of the body. It removes a large amount of the impurities. In some
cases of fasting that I have personally supervised,  there  has  been  a
daily action of the bowels merely from the waste matter that has
accumulated. The debris that is removed from the body in this way does
not  by any means consist entirely of the remains of food that is not
absorbed by the circulatory system. The blood is purified to a large
extent by the various waste elements that seek the alimentary canal for
an outlet. If these waste products were allowed to  remain  in  the
circulation  they would produce seriously injurious results. Therefore,
in the general scheme of blood  purification  an  active  alimentary
canal  is  of  first importance.

I may say that proper breathing, together with the facilitation of this
function through active exercise, is the next feature of  importance  in
blood purification. Following this we can without doubt reasonably
maintain that a certain amount of activity of the kidneys  is  desired.
This will nearly always be accomplished if one drinks the amount of
water which is essential to satisfy a natural  thirst.  Remember,
however,  that modern habits are often inclined partially to eliminate
or entirely to destroy what one might call a natural thirst.  For
instance,  there  are various sedentary occupations in which one becomes
so absorbed in his work that the desire for water will be ignored, and
where this mistake  is made for a long period, one acquires the habit of
going without water, and consequently the natural desire is to a large
extent  lost.  In  such cases, it is even important to bring back the
appetite for water. Have a glass of water at hand and take a few
swallows now and then.  Or,  what would be better yet, carry out the
suggestion which I have given in a former chapter on the drinking of hot
water. That will usually supply  the system with the proper amount of
liquid necessary to insure normal activity of the kidneys.

The next means of blood purification is one which rarely receives a
great amount of attention. I refer to the eliminative function of the
skin. We have more definite control over and can more easily influence
this particular channel of elimination than any other. The skin
unquestionably throws off a tremendous amount of impurities. Where but
little attention is given it, where one bathes at infrequent intervals
and  to  a  large extent smothers the skin with a surplus amount of
clothing, the activity of the eliminative function of the skin is
greatly reduced.  There  are various means at hand for stimulating the
activity of the skin which are of unusual value in connection with blood

One of the simplest methods both of improvising the texture of the skin
and accelerating its functional processes is found in dry friction. This
friction can be applied with the palm of the hand, with a rough towel,
or with friction brushes. In order to secure the greatest advantages of
a friction bath it is advisable to brush or rub the surface of every
part of the  body  until  it  assumes  a  pinkish  glow  from  the
increased peripheral circulation induced by the friction. Where the skin
is rough or covered with pimples this suggestion is of especial value.
When using friction brushes for this purpose one should not attempt to
use very stiff brushes in the beginning, for they will scratch too much.
Soft,  fair skins usually cannot stand such rough treatment as well as
can a thicker skin, or one which is oily in character. In many cases  a
dry  Turkish bath towel will answer the purpose splendidly. If the skin
is rather tender it  suffices  to  use  the  palms  of  both  hands.
After  becoming accustomed to the friction, however, you will find that
you will be able to enjoy stiffer brushes and I would suggest using a
fairly stiff brush so long as it is not too uncomfortable. You will find
that as you become accustomed to the treatment the skin will become
softer and smoother as a result. Also it will become more active. This
dry friction bath may be taken each morning following your exercises. If
you take a cold bath it should follow the friction. First exercise, then
employ the friction rub, and then bathe. I would suggest that from five
to ten minutes at least be devoted to this friction. It will furnish
some exercise in connection with the rubbing, will quicken the general
circulation, and  will  give you that warmth of body which makes the
cold bath desirable and delightful.

Air baths are likewise valuable as a means of promoting activity in the
eliminative function of the skin. Primitive man, living in  a  state  of
Nature, was not burdened with clothing. There was nothing to interfere
with the healthy activity of his epidermis. There can be no question
that the smothering of the skin by our clothing has much to do with
defective elimination of wastes, and the more nearly we can  avoid
clothing,  or the less clothing we can wear, the better. When possible,
therefore, and especially in warm weather, it is advisable to remove all
clothing  and let the air come in contact with the surface of the body.
This not only has a pronounced effect upon  the  purification  of  the
blood  but  it likewise has a tonic effect upon the nervous system. In
the same way the friction rub has a stimulating effect upon the nerves.
This is  due  to the fact that in the skin are located a million or more
of tiny nerve endings or so-called "end organs" of the nerves.  These
peripheral  nerve endings are naturally influenced by all conditions
that affect the skin, whether in the form of friction, air baths, cold
baths,  or  baths  of other temperatures. The air bath, therefore, has a
splendid tonic effect and may be particularly recommended for those
suffering with "nerves."

Sun baths are especially effective as a means of stimulating activity of
the skin, and promoting elimination. Sun baths  likewise  have  a  very
powerful influence upon the entire organism inasmuch as they stimulate
metabolism or cell-activity. They directly  affect  the  circulation
and promote the formation of red corpuscles. The sun is the centre of
all energy and life upon this earth. It is  our  great  vitalizing  and
life-giving principle, both in the realms of animal life and plant life.
It is only natural,  therefore,  that  sun  baths  should  have  a
profound influence upon the body.

A word of caution, however, is required because of the tremendous power
of the sun and its powerful chemical effect when sun bathing is  carried
too far. Those of very fair skins particularly need to be careful.
Brunettes, with considerable pigment of the skin can stand a  great
deal  of sunlight without harm, but light-skinned persons, while needing
a certain amount of sunlight, should not expose themselves for too long
a  time to the midday sun in summer, or at least not until they have
gradually become sufficiently tanned to do so. Everyone knows the
painful character of a sunburn. This only illustrates the powerful
chemical effect of the sun's rays. In taking sun  baths  one  should
very  gradually  accustom himself to the sunshine until he is so tanned
that the pigment in his skin will protect him. The short or chemical
rays of the sun are  actually destructive to white men in the tropics.
In May, June and July they have a pronounced chemical  effect  even  in
our  own  latitude.  They  are stimulating up to a certain point, but
beyond that point one should be careful. I may say, therefore, that
brunettes  in  summer  may  take  sun baths even at noon, but blondes
should take them preferably before nine or ten o'clock in the morning or
after three o'clock in  the  afternoon. In winter, however, when the
sun's rays are more slanting, the sun baths can be taken even by the
blondes at any time. And because of  the  more limited amount of
sunlight in winter, special attention should be given to sun bathing
during that season.

Everyone needs a certain amount of sunlight, and if you cannot take a
sun bath regularly every day you  should  at  least  wear  clothing  of
a character that will permit the light-rays of the sun to penetrate. I
will refer to this again,  however,  in  the  chapter  on  the  subject
of clothing.

After all that we can say in regard to these various methods of
stimulating the skin there is really nothing so effective as active
exercise for those who are strong enough to take a sufficient amount of
it. Exercise, so far as function of the skin is concerned, is valuable
because of the copious perspiration which is induced when one gets
enough of it. In these days great numbers of people no longer "earn
their bread by the sweat of their brow," and their health suffers in
consequence. If you do not have to perform such an amount of physical
labor  as  will  promote  free perspiration, then for the sake of
acquiring the very purest quality of blood your special exercise should
be sufficiently active and continuous to bring about free perspiration.
There is really nothing so effective as a good old-fashioned "sweat" for
rapidly purifying the  blood.  Anyone who perspires each and every day
as a result of physical activity, and whose habits are fairly
satisfactory in other respects, can  depend  upon enjoying absolutely
pure blood, or a condition which is not far from it.

It does not matter what form of physical activity is employed to bring
about this result. It may take the  form  of  work  that  is  useful
and productive in character, or it may be play that is sufficiently
active to cause deep, free breathing and bring out the perspiration.
For  those who are vigorous enough, cross-country running, wrestling,
boxing, tennis and other games which involve real muscular effort
continued for  some time, will all prove satisfactory for this purpose.
If you are anxious to purify your blood in cold weather it might be
well  to  wear  a  good heavy sweater while taking such exercise in
order to maintain a marked degree of warmth  and  thus  bring  out  the
perspiration  in  plentiful quantities. It is always well to avoid
becoming chilled too quickly after exercise of this kind.

It is not alone in stimulating the eliminative function of the skin that
exercise has a blood-purifying effect; it accelerates all the functions
of the body, it stimulates greater activity of the lungs and of the
kidneys. It promotes such an  active  circulation  through  all  the
minute structures of the body that accumulations of waste and dead
matter are taken up and swept on to be thrown out through the  natural
channels  of elimination. Under conditions of physical stagnation, when
the circulation is less active, much of this waste matter  tends  to
remain  in  the tissues of the body, accumulating and interfering with
cell activity and normal functioning in general. The vigorous
circulation  of  the  blood induced by exercise gradually has the effect
of flushing out all of the bodily tissues, and in that way has an
internal  cleansing  effect  that cannot be attained by any other means.
In another chapter I have referred to the powerful influence of the
drinking of hot water  in  connection with exercise as a means of
promoting a more free circulation, but exercise under any circumstances
tends to  the  same  result,  and  for  this reason as well as because
of the perspiration brought about, exercise must be regarded as perhaps
the most important of all measures  for  blood purification. No man can
be continuously healthy without exercise. No man or woman can be
internally clean, in the strictist  sense,  without  a proper amount of
daily exercise.

However, for those who are not strong enough to take a large amount of
exercise, and who cannot in this way bring about free perspiration,
other methods of accelerating the activity of the pores of the skin may
be employed. I have already referred to the influence of air  baths,
friction baths and sun baths. Remember that through these agencies the
pores may be made very active without any apparent result in the  form
of  liquid perspiration, for under ordinary conditions perspiration
evaporates and the body may not become wet. It is only when one
perspires very  rapidly that perspiration is manifested in the
moistening of the skin. When taking your air baths there may be marked
activity of the skin  without  any appearance of "sweat."

Various forms of bathing have the effect of inducing rapid elimination.
Russian and Turkish baths are commonly used for this purpose, and  every
"man about town" knows the value of Russian and Turkish baths as a means
of clearing his system and even of  "clearing  his  head"  through  the
profuse perspiration induced by the treatment. There is no question that
these baths are effective in this direction, though it may be said that
they are only a poor substitute for daily exercise as a blood-purifying
measure. The man who neglects his requirements in the  way  of  physical
activity may strive to make up for it by a Turkish bath, but cannot get
the same results, although it is true he can accomplish a great deal  in
this way. The great objection to Turkish and Russian bath establishments
is to be found in the unsatisfactory ventilation usual in such  places.
As a rule the Russian or vapor bath is to be preferred to the Turkish,
or dry, hot air. Especially if one is not very strong the steam  bath
is preferable. If one is vigorous, however, and has a strong heart, the
dry hot air room will be very effective. Naturally the "rubbing" and
other adjunctive treatment in the Turkish bath establishment are all

The influence of these measures (the Russian and Turkish baths) in
purifying the blood may be secured at home through the agency of other
baths. A cabinet bath in the home will be equally effective in providing
either a steam bath or a dry, hot-air bath. Naturally, a shower, or at
least a quick sponging with cold water, should follow all such baths. If
there is no bath cabinet in the home beneficial results can be secured
by means of a hot-water bath. Hot water has a profound influence upon
the elimination of wastes and impurities through  the  skin.  In  cases
of  kidney disease, where the kidneys are unable to perform their work,
it is often possible to keep one alive by making  the  skin  do  the
work  of  the kidneys through frequent hot baths. The tub should be
filled with hot water at a temperature of from 105 up to 112 or  115
degrees  Fahrenheit, that is to say, as hot as it can be endured, and
one should remain in this bath from ten to twenty minutes, or as long as
one's  condition  will permit. It may be a good plan to get into the
water at a lower temperature, for instance, starting with  water  at
102  to  104  degrees,  then afterwards adding hot water so as to raise
the temperature to 108 or 112 degrees, or  even  higher.  It  is  really
necessary  to  use  a  bath thermometer (they can be obtained at a cost
of ten or fifteen cents in any drug store) to regulate the temperature
of the water. Sufferers  from any derangement of the heart or those
handicapped by serious vital depletion should not use the water too hot.
In such cases it may be  well  to limit the temperature to 103 to 105
degrees and to limit the duration of the bath to five or ten minutes. In
such cases it will be necessary  to take the bath more frequently,
perhaps each evening, in order to secure results in the way of active
elimination.  If  one  is  strong  enough, however, and merely wishes to
purify the blood one may be able to stay in the water from twenty to
thirty minutes and to raise  the  temperature of the bath to 115 degrees
or more. The hot bath is much used in Japan and the natives  there
almost  parboil  themselves,  using  water  at  a temperature as high as
120 degrees. But it is not necessary to go to such extremes. It  is
most  important  that  one  should  leave  the  bath immediately upon
feeling any sense of weakness, dizziness or discomfort of any sort. If
you feel oppressed by a sense  of  overheating,  do  not linger in the
water but get out of it immediately. You will usually find that your
face will perspire freely within a few minutes after being in the bath.
This indicates its rapid eliminative effect. Such a bath will not
accomplish exactly the same work as a cabinet or Turkish  bath,  but
good results can be secured therefrom. The hot bath when used for
perspiration purposes should be followed by a quick sponging with  cold
water or by a cold shower. An excellent plan is to have conveniently at
hand what is called a hand spray, attached to a long rubber tube. By
attaching this to the faucet and turning on the cold water one may
quickly spray all parts of the body while standing in the tub of  hot
water.  Finally, the feet may be sprayed with cold water on getting out
of the tub. Rub dry quickly and thoroughly with a rough towel, after
which wrap up warmly so that you may continue to perspire. It is most
essential that one should not cool off too quickly and certainly that
one  should  not  become chilled after a bath of this sort. This hot
bath is rather strenuous treatment, but it is effective, if one
is strong vitally, for rapidly purifying the blood and eliminating the
poisons in the body in any toxemic condition. It will be  found
valuable in the case of grippe or of a bad cold, in syphilis, or in any
other disease characterized by a poisoned condition of the system  and
in  which there is no fever present. In the case of fever, which also
invariably involves a toxemic condition of the body, the elimination of
the  poisons through the skin should be accomplished by methods which do
not involve the external use of heat in this manner.

Wet-sheet packs, both of the entire body and of parts of the body, are
among the most effective of rapid  blood-purifying  measures.
Frequently where one is confined to bed a hot-blanket pack will answer
the same purpose as the hot bath just described. Where there is high
fever  a  cold wet-sheet pack may be employed. This will relieve the
high temperature to a marked extent, and will also eliminate the poisons
of the body in  a most remarkable way. The sheet pack is applied by
first wringing one or two sheets out of cold water and then wrapping
them  completely  around the naked patient, with the exception of the
head. If a single sheet is used the flap on one side may be wrapped
around the body under the  arms and the flap from the other side passed
over the outside of the arms. The patient should then be  wrapped  up
thoroughly  with  warm  blankets, fastened with safety pins.

He will quickly react with warmth, although if the vitality is low it
may be well to place hot irons at the feet to  insure  quick
recuperation with warmth. One may remain in such a pack for two or three
hours, or if it is applied in the evening one may remain in it all
night,  provided sleep follows and no discomfort is noticed.

Where the recuperative powers are weak a wet-sheet pack which covers the
entire body, may tax the vitality too much and under such circumstances
a chest and abdominal pack may be used. This is really a partial sheet
pack covering the trunk of the body from the hips and abdomen to the
line running round the chest just under the arms. A hot pack of this
kind is in itself very effective, although where there is fever the pack
should be applied cold. In all such packs it is well to lay several
blankets on your couch first, then quickly place the wet  sheet  upon
it  so  that after the sheet has been wrapped around the body the sides
of the blanket can be pulled over so as completely to envelop the

These methods are all suggested because of their effectiveness in
stimulating the activity of the skin where one is not able to bring this
about through exercise and perspiration. In all chronic conditions,
however, in which it is essential to purify the blood, the daily
practice  of  dry friction or air baths is particularly advised. Do not
overlook the value of the hot-water-drinking regimen in combination with
exercise, which I offered in the chapter on Cleansing and Stimulating
the Alimentary Canal. It is especially important to guard against
constipation if  there  is any tendency in that direction, and above all
things, daily muscular activity is absolutely essential. Inasmuch as
many foods have  great  value in the purification of the blood, I have
referred to this particular aspect of the question in the chapter on
What to Eat.

Before leaving this subject it should be said that where there is any
necessity for a rapid, thorough and  effective  cleansing  of  the
entire system there is nothing that will accomplish this result as
effectually as fasting. Fasting is the greatest  of  all  methods  of
purification. Where there is any derangement of the system, with
temporary loss of appetite, it is usually advisable to fast until the
appetite returns and  a short fast of from one to three days is usually
sufficient. Where there is any serious disorder and it is  necessary  to
undergo  an  extensive course of blood purification a prolonged fast of
many days or even several weeks may be required. Fasting is such an
important subject in itself that I can-. not give any detailed
suggestions in regard to it in this volume. Before fasting one should
make  a  comprehensive  study  of  its physical effects and especially
should one be informed on proper methods of breaking a fast.

During a fast all of the eliminative functions of the body are
exceedingly active. If there is any surplus material the body consumes
it  during the fast. Owing to the complete rest of the digestive system
the energy which ordinarily is required in the digestion of  food  is
free  to  be diverted to the work of elimination. It would seem that
under these circumstances all of the functions of the body are
especially active in  the blood-purifying processes.

You should remember, however, that even a fast will naturally be made
much more effective by the general blood-purifying methods  which  I
have given in this chapter. The measures suggested for increasing the
activity of the skin will all be especially valuable if employed as
adjuncts to the fast. The free drinking of water and especially the hot-
water-drinking plan, together with the colon-flushing treatment, will
likewise  help to facilitate the cleansing and blood-purifying action of
the fast.

Pure blood is the all-important factor in health. If the blood is not
pure it can be made pure by the methods which I have  suggested.
Remember that this purity depends first upon pure food and functional
strength, in order that a good quality of blood may be produced; and
secondly, upon active elimination of wastes, poisons and impurities in

CHAPTER XVII: Hints on Bathing

I have already referred to the value of accelerating the activity of the
functions of the skin. The ordinary practice of  bathing  is  of  great
importance in this connection. Many diseases would be prevented if the
skin were thoroughly cleansed with due regularity.

Probably a weekly soap-and-water bath is all that is absolutely
essential for cleanliness if one follows a daily regimen which will
maintain  a condition of internal cleanliness. In fact, the cleansing of
the external body is not required with such frequency  if  one  secures
sufficient muscular exercise and follows a dietetic and general regimen
that will guarantee sufficient activity of all the eliminative
functions;  but  if one neglects to employ other measures that help to
maintain the purity of the blood and the activity of the skin, then more
frequent  baths  are required to insure cleanliness. It has been my
custom to recommend a hot soap-and-water bath once or twice a week,
depending upon the individual requirements, and a daily cold bath. The
hot bath is to be used as a cleansing agent while the cold bath is a
tonic exclusively.  A  regimen  of this sort will usually be
satisfactory where one is taking a general system of exercise nearly
every day which will insure a certain  amount  of internal functional
activity. Note, however, that the cold bath, though of some value, is
not necessary, when following  the  hot-water-drinking regimen.

There has been much controversy as to whether or not cold baths are
really beneficial, since in some cases they have proved harmful. Under
such circumstances the failure to secure good results may have been due
to ignorance of the principles involved and to the lack of vitality
essential to reaction from the shock of the cold water. A great deal
depends upon the manner in which the cold bath is taken and the physical
condition of the individual taking it.

A cold bath is a strong stimulant to the entire circulatory system,
provided one can recuperate with a feeling of warmth immediately
thereafter. If this feeling of warmth does not follow, if you feel cold,
uncomfortable, nervous and trembling for some time after the bath,  the
shock  has been too severe and is not of advantage. Under such
circumstances it is better either to avoid the bath altogether or else
take more exercise in order more thoroughly to warm the body before
taking the bath. Usually if one is warm before bathing and if the cold
bath is  taken  in  a  warm room it is easy to recuperate from it.
Another good suggestion in a case of this kind is to decrease the
duration of the bath. Do  not  stay  in the water too long. In some
cases what is sometimes called a hand bath may be advantageous. This
bath is  taken  by  merely  wetting  the  hands several times in the
water and applying the moist palms to all parts of the body. The
familiar sponge bath, so-called, using either a sponge  or a washcloth,
is often advised, although the hand bath just mentioned is even easier
to take.

I have also frequently recommended the use of the dry friction bath,
following exercise, as a means of preparing the body for  a  cold  bath.
I have already referred to these dry friction rubbings as a means of
accelerating the activity of the skin. This friction bath will, in
nearly all cases, warm the skin sufficiently to enable one thoroughly to
enjoy the cold water. In fact, this friction is to a cold bath what
appetite is to eating. You should enjoy your meals and you should enjoy
your cold bath. It is only when the cold bath is a pleasure that it is
a  benefit.  If you dread it, if the mere thought of taking a cold bath
brings a shudder, it will not be  of  benefit  to  you.  You  should
feel  sufficiently vigorous and vital really to enjoy it. A friction
bath will put your skin in a condition where the cold water will "feel
good."  Exercise  that thoroughly warms the body will naturally have the
same effect.

The statement has often been made that to take a cold bath when
overheated is dangerous just as it would be to drink a large amount of
very cold water when overheated. It is said that one should wait until
he cools off before taking the cold drink or cold plunge. To a limited
extent there is wisdom in this advice, especially as it applies to
getting into cold water when overheated and then remaining there  until
you  have  cooled off. Such quick cooling is certainly dangerous, just
as drinking too much very cold water is dangerous. On the other hand, a
short  quick  cold bath under such circumstances is not dangerous but
highly advisable. The danger in such cases lies in remaining in the
water until chilled. As a matter of fact, when one is overheated he can
thoroughly enjoy the cold water. You will recuperate quickly under such
conditions  and  you  can better afford to take a cold bath when very
hot than when chilled. Do not attempt cold bathing when you have "goose
flesh" or  when  your  hands and feet are cold. Under such circumstances
the hand bath is preferable. It is always best when overheated to cool
off gradually, and after  the bath taken under such circumstances to use
a sweater or bath robe or other covering to insure the desired result.
When one is overheated, it  is best to drink water lukewarm or hot or
only moderately cool. If you drink lukewarm water when overheated you
can take any quantity desired.

As previously stated, however, I would like to point out that if you are
carrying out the regimen of hot-water-drinking and exercise  previously
referred to, a daily cold bath is not at all necessary. It might be
taken with benefit if you are vigorous, but by  flushing  the  body
with  a large amount of liquid according to the plan I have suggested
virtually all functions of the body,  including  that  of  the  skin
itself,  are accelerated in their activities. Under such circumstances
less bathing is required, at least for the purpose of maintaining
proper  circulation and functional activity. Therefore the question may
be left open for each individual to determine. One may take a cold bath
or not, just  as  he may desire, while following the regimen referred

Many who enjoy a cold bath are inclined to stay in the water too long.
In this way one may deprive himself of some of the benefits that might
be derived therefrom. It is safer to limit the cold bath to a short
period. The chief value lies in the reaction. If this is secured  then
all  is well. The first effect of the cold water is to contract the
tissues at the surface of the body, including the blood vessels,  thus
forcing  the blood away from the skin. In the reaction the blood is
brought back to the surface in large quantities, producing the glow that
is noticed after a successful cold bath. After a short plunge or quick
shower this reaction should be secured. By staying in the water too long
one  may  overtax his vitality and become chilled. When taking a plunge
simply allow the water to come in contact with all parts of the body;
then immediately get out.

If the recuperative powers are defective you should not use cold water,
though the hand bath as described should be satisfactory. In such cases,
however, by maintaining the warmth of the feet you can recuperate
quickly and easily. If you will stand with your feet in hot water while
taking the hand bath, or sponge bath, or when using a hand spray in the
bathtub, recuperation will be easier. When the feet are warm the
circulation is more easily maintained. Following a hot bath, the hand
spray can be used for the shower, applying the water quickly to all
parts  of  the  body before getting out of the tub. One should always
use a cold sponge, spray, or shower, after a hot bath to close the
pores. Then rub dry  quickly and vigorously with a Turkish towel.

A sitz bath is recommended instead of a full tub bath, as it is a tonic
of great  value  through  its  effect  upon  certain  sympathetic  nerve
centers. This bath consists in immersing only the central part of the
body, namely, the hips and abdomen. Special sitz  tubs  are
manufactured, but one can use an ordinary wash tub. An ordinary bathtub
will serve if filled with water about six to ten inches deep. Put the
feet on the edge of the tub and lower the hips down into the water. This
bath is especially valuable as a means of stimulating functional
activity.  The  colder the water for the sitz bath the better, although
if one is lacking in vitality, it should not be below 70 degrees
Fahrenheit. A  hot  sitz  bath may sometimes be suggested for
inflammatory and painful conditions in the pelvic region. In
inflammation of the bladder,  for  instance,  it  is valuable.

When taking hot baths for cleansing purposes the soap used is of some
importance; especially so if the skin is thin or too dry.  In  such
cases strong soaps are injurious, although their effect may be overcome
to some extent by rubbing the body after the bath with a very  little
bit  of olive oil. I would suggest, however, the use of a pure vegetable
oil soap, such as castile, which is one of the best  examples  of  a
vegetable soap. This soap may be suggested in all cases, but it is
particularly important when the skin is thin or dry. Very frequently
dryness of skin is noticed in those of very light complexion. In the
preceding chapter on Blood Purification I referred to a hot bath for the
purpose  of  rapidly eliminating poisons and wastes in the body. An
ordinary warm bath for cleansing purposes need not be taken at such a
high temperature. In  other words a soap-and-water bath will be
perfectly satisfactory at a temperature of 103 to 105 degrees F. and need
not occupy more than a very few minutes, whereas the hot bath referred to
for the special purpose of blood purification may be of longer duration
and  of  a  much  higher  temperature, running up to 110 or 115 degrees

There is another type of warm bath, however, which is of special value
in many cases. This is what I  have  sometimes  termed  a  neutral
bath, inasmuch as it is neither hot nor cold. This is a bath at about
the temperature of the body, that is to say, 95 to 98  degrees
Fahrenheit.  One should use a bath thermometer to be sure of the right
temperature. This neutral bath has a sedative or quieting effect upon
the  nerves  through its effect upon the innumerable nerve endings in
the skin. It is neither hot nor cold, neither stimulating nor weakening,
and one  could  remain in such a bath for hours without harm. It has a
quieting effect upon the nerves and reference has been made to it in the
chapter on Sleep  as  a means of overcoming excitement or nervousness.
In attacks of mania it is especially valuable, and is now extensively
used in all insane  asylums because of its wonderful effect in quieting
the nerves. This bath at 98 degrees is also  especially  commended  in
the  case  of  severe  burns covering a large surface. It is about the
only way in which a person suffering from such an extensive burn can be
made comfortable. It  is  also one of the most perfect forms of
treatment in a case of that kind. The serious character of the burn
depends not so much upon  the  severity  as upon the extent of the
surface involved. Therefore, one who has been seriously burned could
remain immersed in a bath at 98 degrees F. for  many days continuously,
or until the skin has had a chance to heal. Immersion in water is a
natural condition, for there was a time  away  back  when all the animal
life of the earth was found in the water. It was only through special
variation in the character of evolution that certain  forms of life
finally became adapted to a life outside of the water. Therefore,
immersion in water, except for the head, is not entirely an  unnatural

CHAPTER XVIII: Some Facts About Clothing

The statement is often heard that a man is made or marred by the clothes
he wears. This is frequently  said  with  a  view  to  emphasizing  the
importance of being presentably appareled, but it has a meaning beyond
this. To a certain extent we are really made, or we may more properly
say marred, by the clothes we wear. Civilized costumes have become what
they are through the dictation  of  the  creators  of  style,  the
clothing manufacturers. Every year the styles change through the
commands of those whose profits  are  increased  by  this  continual
variation  in  the fashions. It is said that a woman would rather be out
of the world than out of style. Therefore, each year she discards her
old-style  costumes and buys the latest modes.

We have to recognize, however, that clothing is a necessary evil at this
period of human progress, so-called. There was a time when clothing was
worn entirely as a matter of protection or as a means of adding warmth
to the body. There was no thought given to the necessity for covering
the body, for every part of the human anatomy was as commonplace as
nose, fingers and toes. But now clothing is commanded as a means of
hiding  our bodily contour. Prudery has come in and branded the human
anatomy as indecent and consequently it must be covered.

Now in considering what we should wear we are compelled to adhere, at
least to a reasonable extent, to what we call style, but beyond  this
our first thought must be for bodily comfort. And in speaking of comfort
we mean not only the warmth essential to this but also the ability  to
use every part of our bodily structure with as little restraint as
possible. If we could wear a costume which would permit us to feel just
as  free and untrammeled in our movements as we do when without clothing
such a form of dress would be ideal. Our movements should not be
restricted  by our clothing any more than is absolutely unavoidable. The
ordinary skirt, supposed to be a necessary part of feminine apparel, Is
in its  nature an evil of first importance. Every step taken by a woman
wearing such a garment is hampered; she is continuously handicapped by
her skirt. If  a man were compelled to walk through tall, heavy grass
all his life he would get some idea of the extent to which the  feminine
skirt  interferes with the freedom of woman.

Numerous other defects of our costumes interfere with bodily freedom.
Take our tight and ungainly shoes. Here is an abominable instance  of
our slavery to style. In most instances the foot is made to fit the
shoe, and the suffering that is endured by many so-called stylish people
for the purpose of making the foot fit the shoe would be difficult to
describe. A shoe should fit the foot. The more nearly  you  approximate
the  same freedom when walking in a shoe as you do when barefooted the
more perfect the shoe. The toes should not be squeezed out of shape. The
great  toe should follow the straight line of the inside of the foot
instead of being bent over to the position normally occupied by the
middle  toe.  All the toes should be allowed to spread out in the shoe,
at least to a reasonable  extent.  Furthermore,  a  shoe  that  really
fits  should  feel comfortable the first time it is put on. There should
be no necessity for "breaking in" a shoe.

The artificial heel added to the ordinary shoe is another curious freak
of fashion. If the Almighty in perfecting the human  foot  had  found  a
high heel necessary it would have been provided. The artificial heel,
especially the very high heel commonly used on shoes worn by women, is
an insult to Nature, to the Creator. Some day, when we are really
civilized, high heels will be unknown. I am convinced that the
Omnipotent Creator knew his business thoroughly when he created the
human foot, that the sole of the human foot, heel included, was made for
locomotion,  and  that it is impossible for human ingenuity to improve
upon the foot. In other words, if you can secure footwear that will
enable you to walk with  the same freedom that you can enjoy when
barefooted, you will then have attained perfection in foot covering.
Sandals and moccasins allow  the  feet the same freedom as one enjoys
when barefooted. The sole of these forms of footwear has the same
freedom in gripping  the  ground  and  adapting itself to the
requirements of every step as the bare foot, and it is a curious and yet
significant fact that whereas more or less  foot  trouble is the rule
rather than the exception among civilized peoples, yet those races who
wear moccasins or  sandals,  or  go  barefooted,  never  have flatfoot,
broken arches, bunions or other defects of this type.

Passing to the other extreme of the body, our tight hats should be
condemned. Hats should be as light as possible and should not be so
tight  as to interfere with the circulation of the scalp. Many bald
headed men owe their loss of hair to tight hats. The stiff collars worn
everywhere  at the present time mar the natural contour of the neck,
make an erect position more difficult, and are one cause of the round
shoulders  that  are so common everywhere to-day. The suspenders worn by
men have also an influence of this sort. They are inclined to pull the
shoulders forward and make it more difficult to maintain an erect
position. The flat-chested man will not feel his suspenders, but the man
with a  full  round  chest, properly carried, is under continuous
pressure from his suspenders.

If I were to select an ideal costume for men I am inclined to think that
I would go back to the Roman  toga,  to  the  flowing  drapery  of  the
Greeks, or to the Scottish kilt. The kilt is undoubtedly better suited
than the robe to the colder weather of Northern Europe and America.
These costumes not only allow a reasonable amount of freedom for all
bodily movements, encouraging rather than discouraging the  correct
position  of the body, but they also allow free circulation of air to
the central portions of the body. As a hygienic feature this is  of
tremendous  value. The air coming in contact with the skin is of value
at all times, but it is especially required in these important parts of
the bodily organism. Many weaknesses are brought about through the
unhealthful covering and restriction of these parts. Trousers  are  not
by  any  means  an  ideal garment. To be sure, they are a vast
improvement over the long skirt, but they are not by any means equal in
healthfulness to the costume of the Scottish Highlanders.

In feminine apparel corsets are perhaps productive of more injury than
any other part of the costume. The injury wrought by tight lacing is
now everywhere understood, and in recent years large waists have become
stylish. This tendency of the times will ultimately mean the elimination
of the corset.

When fully clothed we should have the same freedom of movement as when
unclothed. The most perfect  costume  is  our  "birthday  clothing,"
the clothing with which we came into the world, the human skin. To be
sure, in cold climates bodily covering is necessary for warmth a part
of  the year, though in warm climates, or warm seasons, the more nearly
we avoid restrictive apparel, the more happy and more healthy we are.
The  ideal costume in warm weather, therefore, would be no costume, but
conventions demand that we cover our nakedness, and this command should
be followed in a manner that will restrain our movements as little as

The question of color is an important factor in clothing. This is
especially true in summer  when  exposure  to  the  sun  makes  it
especially necessary to consider our comfort. All dark-colored clothing
absorbs the heat and the sun becomes very oppressive  to  the  wearer.
Then,  too, black and dark-colored coverings shut out the light, another
objectionable feature. In my reference to sun baths in  the  preceding
chapter  on Blood Purification I placed special emphasis upon the value
of light as a vitalizing and stimulating factor in life and  health.
Ordinarily  we not only smother our skins so far as the air is
concerned, but we also shut out the light, hiding our bodies in  a
cellar,  so  to  speak.  Our bodies need light as well as air and for
this reason dark colored clothing cannot be recommended. For warmth when
in  the  sunshine  during  the winter, black is very effective. When out
of the sunshine black is cooler in winter than light-colored fabrics
because it quickly  radiates  the body heat. It is well known that a
black stove radiates the heat much faster than a nickel-plated or
brightly polished stove.

White or light-colored garments are advised in summer, both because they
are cooler and because they permit the light to  reach  the  skin.  The
Arabs, Bedouins and others who live in unforested countries where they
are much exposed to the tropical sun use turbans  and  flowing  robes
of white as a means of keeping cool. Pure white is often unserviceable,
because it quickly becomes  soiled,  and  therefore  gray  and  tan-
colored garments are recommended.

It is easily possible to absorb too much sunshine, especially in the
lower latitudes.  The  various  races  of  the  earth  enjoy  a  degree
of pigmentation of the skin corresponding to the intensity of the
sunlight in the latitude to which they have become accustomed through
the  course of evolution. Equatorial races are black, far-northern races
are blonde with very fair skin, and those occupying mean latitudes are
either brown or olive-hued. Brunettes or fairly dark-complexioned white
men can stand more sunshine than  the  blue-eyed,  fair-skinned  types
of  Scotland, Norway and Sweden. Where the latter are exposed to
intensely strong sunshine in latitudes further south than their natural
home, and  especially when visiting the tropics, where the sun's rays
are nearly vertical, some special protection from the excessive light
is  necessary.  Then  the upper or outer clothing should be white or
light-colored, but an undergarment of some opaque or dark-colored
material should be used to shut out the light. In the case of tropical
animals Nature provides a light-colored or tawny  growth  of  hair,
with  an  underlying  black  or  heavily pigmented skin. The white man
when in the tropics or when subject to the chemical rays of the sun in
midsummer would do well to follow  Nature's example, wearing light
clothing outside with black- or orange-colored or other opaque
underwear. The hat should be white or tan or light-colored on top, but
with a dark-colored lining extending under the brim. Blonde types
spending the summer in a latitude like that  of  Texas  or  Mexico would
do well to consider these suggestions. Sunlight is essential to life.
Sun baths are invaluable and ordinarily our clothing should be  such as
to permit the light to reach the skin. But when the sun's rays are
nearly vertical fair-skinned persons may  easily  protect  themselves
and maintain comfort by following this suggestion.

As a general thing, during both winter and summer, one should wear no
more clothing than necessary, and that should be of a type to permit
easy access of air to the skin. For this reason the character of one's
underwear is important. Wool is undoubtedly warmer and more or  less
suitable for exceptionally cold weather; yet for most purposes linen is
to be preferred because of its more porous  character.  Linen  permits
of  free circulation of the air, and when the underwear is woven with an
open mesh it  is  especially  satisfactory.  Next  to  linen  cotton  is
to  be preferred, being likewise porous. The question of underwear is
one to be determined largely by individual taste and requirements, but
always  it should be understood that one should wear underwear as light
as is consistent with warmth and as porous as possible. This principle
should  also apply in the matter of shoes. Air-tight foot coverings are
highly detrimental as well as uncomfortable. Leather in its natural
state  is  porous and therefore a healthful foot covering. Patent-
leather shoes, however, have been made air-tight  by  a  special
process,  and  are  very  hot, uncomfortable and unsanitary. The sole of
the shoe should consist of nothing but plain leather. So-called
waterproofing  processes,  making  the shoe air-tight as well as
waterproof, should be avoided. Patented, waterproof soles are highly
objectionable. If you can have your shoes made to order see to it that
the sole consists of nothing but leather-indeed a single layer of good
sole leather is  most  satisfactory.  Although  such shoes will absorb
water they will dry readily, and the disadvantage of wet feet on
occasions is more than offset by the benefits gained  from  a porous
foot covering the rest of the time. Anyway, wet feet are unimportant if
the feet are warm.

A word about winter clothing. Heavy underclothing is entirely unsuited
to the temperatures maintained inside our houses during  the  winter.
We usually have a summer temperature indoors in winter and should wear
summer clothing. It is true that we require warmer clothing out-of-doors
in winter, but this should be used only when out-of-doors; we should not
wear heavy, warm garments both  indoors  and  out.  Therefore,  while
the farmer who spends the day in the open would probably need heavy warm
underwear, the city man should dress approximately the same  as  in
summer when indoors, and add the garments necessary for additional
warmth when going out. Sweaters, gaiters and overcoats should be
depended  on  when going out-of-doors instead of heavy undergarments.

Clothing, as I have said, is a necessary evil. So far as possible it
should not hamper our movements and should not deprive our bodies of
light and air. Since it is necessary to wear clothing, I would strongly
emphasize the importance of taking  air  baths  at  frequent  intervals.
When spending the evening in the privacy of your own room, studying or
writing letters, you have a good opportunity to enjoy an air bath
during  the entire evening. And furthermore, when at home you should lay
aside your coat and use no more bodily covering than is necessary.  If
you  cannot take sun baths at a special hour each day, then I would
advise that when taking your walk out-of-doors in the sunshine you wear
clothing of such a character as to admit the rays of the sun, thus
enabling you to enjoy a sun bath during your walk. A special suit of
clothes, made of natural-colored linen, with a thin light shirt, light-
colored socks and no underwear, would answer all purposes admirably.

CHAPTER XIX: Suggestions About Sleep

Sleep is one of the first essentials in maintaining or in building
vitality. There are differences of opinion  as  to  how  much  sleep
may  be necessary to health, but that sufficient sleep is required if
one wishes to maintain the maximum of energy no one can question.

Sleep is far more necessary than food. One can fast for many days, or
many weeks if necessary, and without any special  disadvantage  if  he
is well nourished before beginning the fast and has a satisfactory food
supply after ifs conclusion, but no one can "fast" from sleep for more
than a few days at a time without experiencing ill effects. One can
scarcely endure an entire week of absolute sleeplessness. It has been
found  that dogs kept awake even though sufficiently fed, suffer more
than when deprived of food and permitted to sleep. When kept awake
continuously  they die in four or five days. Man can endure the strain a
little longer than the dogs, but five or six days usually marks the
limit  of  human  life under such conditions. In early English history
condemned criminals were put to death by being deprived of sleep, and
the same method  has  been employed in China. Enforced sleeplessness, in
fact, has been used as a form of torture by the Chinese, being more
feared than any other. The men subjected to this frightful ordeal always
die raving maniacs.

These facts illustrate only too well the imperative necessity for sleep.
Unfortunately  "late  hours"  prevail,  especially  in  large  cities.
Manifestly, if complete lack of sleep is fatal, late hours and partial
lack of sleep is at least devitalizing and  detrimental  to  health.
The late hours kept by large numbers of people in civilized countries
undoubtedly contribute very  largely  to  neurasthenia  and  allied
diseases. Improvements in artificial lights have contributed largely
toward the increase of the evil of late hours, injurious not only
through the loss of sleep entailed, but also because of the eye-strain
incidental to strong artificial lights and the drain on the nervous
system. If civilized  man would follow the example of primitive man and
of many of the birds and animals in retiring to bed with the coming of
darkness and  arising  with the appearance of daylight, this one change
would revolutionize the health of the whole human race.

How much sleep do we need? This is a question that cannot be answered
arbitrarily as applying in all cases. Individuals differ.  Without
doubt, some require more sleep than others.

Thomas A. Edison, who is an extraordinary man, not only in respect to
his vitality but in every other characteristic  as  well,  has
frequently been quoted as saying that most men and women sleep too much.
Mr. Edison himself claims to maintain the best of health with from three
to  five hours' sleep out of every twenty-four. We have heard of other
cases too, of men and women with exceptional vitality, who have seemed
to  thrive on four or five hours' sleep. It is possible that this small
allowance of sleep may be sufficient in such cases, but if so,  it  is
undoubtedly due to the exceptionally powerful organism which these
particular persons have inherited.

No definite rule can be laid down as to the amount of sleep required by
different individuals, for  those  possessing  the  greatest  amount  of
vitality and the strongest organisms will require less sleep than those
of limited vitality and  weak  functional  powers.  Those  possessing  a
strong functional system and great vitality are able to build up energy
during sleep and recuperate from the exertions of the preceding day more
rapidly than can those less favored in this respect. In other words, a
very strong man can be quickly rested. His system can more  rapidly
than that of a weak man repair the wear and tear of his daily work. The
man or woman with limited strength and  a  less  vigorous  functional
system would require a longer time in which to recuperate. Therefore,
what would hold good in the case of such  an  extraordinary  man  as
Mr.  Edison cannot be depended upon in the case of the average man or
woman, and certainly will not meet the needs of those who are
debilitated and striving to build vitality.

Generally speaking, therefore, I maintain that most people at the
present day sleep too little rather than too much. I would not
stipulate  any special number of hours for sleeping but I would advise
everyone to secure as much sleep as he requires. It has often  been
said  that  if  you sleep too much you will be stupid as a result. Such
results are usually brought about by sleeping in unsatisfactory
environment, particularly in stuffy rooms in which the air is vitiated
and really unfit to breathe. I cannot imagine one feeling stupid as  a
result  of  oversleeping  when sleeping out-of-doors, or when the supply
of air is absolutely fresh. Excessive heat would probably be conducive
to restlessness,  but  this  is purely a detail which I shall take up
later. Under natural and healthful conditions one will rarely sleep too
much. If you sleep until you  wake up naturally there is little danger
of your sleeping too much. Without doubt most people need from seven to
eight hours' sleep; some  of  them need more, particularly women and
children, who in many cases require from nine to ten hours' sleep or
even more. These are general  statements. Individual exceptions will be
many, but, as I have said, it will be found that those who need less
sleep are  men  and  women  of  extraordinary vitality.

The quality of sleep is really more important than the duration of
sleep. It is quality or depth of sleep that is really  what  counts,
and  to secure this it is necessary that certain healthful conditions be
observed. The first of these is a normal  condition  of  physical  or
muscular fatigue. This is easily distinguished from nervous fatigue or
exhaustion in which the entire system is more or less upset.  Abnormal
states  of this sort arise from excitement, excessive mental work, or
other conditions involving severe nerve strain. This nervous fatigue is
not  usually conducive to sleep, but a tired condition of the muscles of
the body generally, as a result of natural physical activity, is always
favorable to sleep. Many who complain of insomnia, therefore, would
often be able to remedy their trouble by the simple expedient of a  long
walk,  covering sufficient distance to bring about the physical fatigue
which makes sleep possible. Conditions of air, temperature and  bed
covering  are  also important factors in connection with the quality of

If you are a sound sleeper it may be possible for you to secure more
benefit from three to four hours' sleep than a shallow sleeper  may
secure in eight hours of a lighter degree of sleep. This extreme depth
of sleep means complete rest for the brain, absolute loss of
consciousness, and, to a certain extent, loss of sensibility in respect
to our senses. In the lighter degree of sleep certain parts of the brain
may  be  at  rest, while others are more or less active. Dreaming
represents a state of partial consciousness rather than a condition of
complete rest, inasmuch as various parts of the brain are active. One
may thus be conscious of his dreams. There is no doubt, however, that in
other cases various parts of the brain may be active though we may not
be conscious of their activity. We have all heard of instances where
mathematical problems  appear  to have been worked out during sleep, and
we have heard of musical compositions  and  poems  being  produced
during  sleep.  All  these  phenomena represent a condition in which one
is partly asleep and partly awake; in other words, some parts of the
brain are active and others are  asleep. In extreme depth of sleep when
all the mental faculties are at rest, the energies are relaxed, and the
activities of the body are at a low  ebb; it is such sound sleep that
makes for rapid recuperation. The deepest sleep generally occurs within
the first few hours after falling to  sleep, and it gradually becomes
lighter and lighter in degree until consciousness is reached. Dreams,
therefore, represent  partial  consciousness  and usually appear in the
earlier hours of the morning. When one states that he dreams all night
he is invariably mistaken. One  may  seem  to  live over periods of days
and even years in a dream, the actual duration of which may be measured
in  minutes.  The  chances  are  that  the  dreamer enjoyed a sound
sleep before his dreaming commenced.

Although I have said that depth of sleep is more important than the
duration of sleep, yet it is true that  when  one  sleeps  very  soundly
he usually sleeps longer. In other words, when one reaches great depth
of sleep the transition to the period of wakefulness is only gradual,
and it requires a longer time to complete the sleep and wake up than it
would if one did not sleep so deeply, or, as we would say, so soundly.
It  will be found that healthy children, who unquestionably sleep very
soundly, also sleep for many hours at a time. They may have dreams but
these occur in the later hours of sleep, as every mother has observed.
The man or woman well advanced in years who can secure the same depth of
sleep that a vigorous child en joys will undoubtedly spend the bigger
part of the night in sleep and will acquire exceptional vitality as a

Bodily rest, even without sleep, is undoubtedly of great value for
purposes of recuperation. To  a  certain  extent  such  rest,
especially  if associated with a state of very complete relaxation of
the muscles, will make it possible  to  take  less  sleep  without
serious  devitalizing results. The man or woman who suffers from
insomnia should learn that he can  recuperate  to  a  considerable
extent  through  simple  physical relaxation without the unconsciousness
of sleep. Undoubtedly the physical inactivity common among civilized
races has  much  to  do  with  their ability to keep late hours. But of
course this involves more or less nerve strain. The brain does not get
sufficient rest, and the loss of sleep involves such an expenditure of
energy through the brain as to constitute a serious drain upon the
nervous system. Even though rest for the body during consciousness is of
certain value, it cannot go very far in taking the place of true sleep.
To  the  higher  centers  of  the  brain  and nervous system an
opportunity must be given for the complete relaxation that comes only
with the entire loss of consciousness.

As I have already said, those who are lacking in vitality and who are
trying to build strength need  more  sleep  than  those  who  are
already strong. Especially those who find it difficult to sleep need
additional nervous strength and should carefully observes rules that
will  promote sleep. One will often hear sufferers from insomnia
complain that they never sleep! They are convinced that night after
night and week after week passes without their being able to close their
eyes in slumber. They are deluded in every case, because they could not
maintain  life  for  more than five or six days if this were true. The
fact is that they drop off to sleep and then awaken without being
conscious  that  they  have  been asleep. At the same time, in all such
conditions, it is necessary to improve the quality of sleep so that it
will be truly  refreshing.  I  have already referred to the influence of
good healthy muscular fatigue as a means of enabling one to sleep.
Walking and  out-of-door  life  will  in almost every case make the
nervous man or woman sleep like a child. One should not be too fatigued,
but sufficiently so to thoroughly enjoy  the sensation of lying down.
One cannot truly enjoy sleep except when he has reached this condition
of bodily  fatigue.  To  induce  this,  I  would recommend a walk in the
evening before going to bed, covering several miles. Although walking
for health should ordinarily be  brisk  enough  to stimulate breathing
and arouse an active circulation, thus strengthening the internal
organs, for the purpose of promoting drowsiness  the  last mile or two
of the evening walk should preferably be very slow. Fast movements are
stimulating  to  mind  and  nerves.  Slow  movements  have  a sedative
effect. By walking very slowly as if one were tired the desired effect
of fatigue is more satisfactorily secured. One imagines the need of rest
under such conditions.

The quality of the air is another important factor, though I need not
dwell upon  that  here.  The  air  you  breathe  during  sleep  should
be especially fresh and pure, particularly so because of the more
shallow character of the breathing. If you are in a room, all the
windows  should be open as wide as possible. If you have a covered
balcony or porch, or if you can avail yourself of a flat roof,  it  is
always  advisable  to sleep out-of-doors. The increased vitality will
more than repay you for your  trouble.  There  is  something  about
out-of-door  sleeping  that vitalizes, energizes, and refreshes one to
an unusual extent.

Circulation is another important factor in sound sleep, especially for
nervous persons. Many of those who complain  of  an  inability  to
sleep suffer more or less from congestion of blood in the brain; also
they complain of cold feet or cold hands and feet. In such instances,
warm feet will often bring a solution of the problem. In some instances
drinking a half cup of hot milk or hot water before going to  bed  will
draw  the blood from the brain and enable one to sleep. A hot foot bath
before going to bed will do the same thing, or one may use a hot-water
bag or  hot flatiron wrapped up in flannels, or even a hot brick treated
in the same way, to keep the feet warm when in bed. In extreme cases  it
might  be advisable to apply cold packs to the head while applying heat
to the feet or when taking the hot foot bath.

Another measure of special value for nervous persons is a bath at the
temperature of the body, to be taken  for  a  half-hour  before  going
to sleep. In cases of extreme excitement, anger or nervousness this bath
is invaluable. Fill the tub with water at  96  degrees  Fahrenheit  or
98 degrees Fahrenheit. You can remain in this bath for several hours
without harm, for it is neither weakening nor stimulating. It has  a
soothing effect upon the nerves and is even valuable in preventing
attacks of hysteria  or  other  nervous  difficulties.  This  particular
bath  is  so effective in hospitals for the insane that it has
frequently obviated the use of padded cells and straight jackets. It is
just as effective  for the nervous person who wishes to overcome the
excitement that is preventing sleep. A half-hour bath should be
sufficient for ordinary  purposes. Another remedy of great value for
soothing the nerves is the air bath. I have referred to this in another
part  of  this  volume,  but  it  is extremely valuable for quieting the
nerves in cases of insomnia. If the room is comfortably warm, an air
bath can be  advantageously  taken  for half an hour before going to

One of the most valuable remedies for those suffering from sleeplessness
is to lie in an air bath during the entire  night.  This  idea  can  be
carried out very easily by raising the bed covering in such a way as to
remove its weight from the body, thus providing what  we  might  call  a
chamber of air in which to sleep. With the aid of a large safety-pin or
a horse-blanket safety-pin, the bed clothing may be kept thus suspended.
The safety-pin is pinned through all the coverings in the centre of the
bed and then by means of a string passing  through  the  safety-pin  and
running from the top of the head of the bed to the top of the foot of
the bed the bed covering can easily be raised to the desired  height.
The appearance of the bed is then somewhat like that of a small tent.
One may not feel warm immediately after entering, if the weather is
cold,  but if the covering is thick enough and the air is entirely
excluded, a perfect air bath, warm and comfortable, can be  enjoyed
during  the  entire night. The head, of course, will keep its usual
position outside of the  covers.  No  underclothing  or  night  clothing
should  be  worn  when attempting to carry out this idea.

The problems associated with covering are of considerable importance.
Many people are unable  to  sleep  because  of  cold  feet  and  many
are overheated by an excess of covering. It should not be necessary to
bury one's self underneath a heavy load of covers in order to keep  the
feet warm. Use as little covering as possible and still maintain the
bodily warmth. Eider-down bed covers are very valuable because  of
their  light weight and great warmth-retaining qualities. Overheating
during sleep produces restlessness  and  robs  one  of  the  sense  of
refreshment  on awakening. The question of cold feet I have already
dealt with. The difficulty, in most cases, is one of defective
circulation before  going  to bed. If one will be sure that his feet are
warm and his circulation good before retiring to bed he will invariably
have no trouble of this kind, even during winter time. I do not mean
that one should be chilled by insufficient bedding, but I certainly
would advise as little covering as is compatible with a comfortable
degree of warmth.

The feather beds, much used in Europe, are undesirable, as they are
unsanitary and are too warm for nearly all seasons of the year. It is
always best to sleep between clean linen sheets. For purposes of warmth,
however, bear in mind that cotton is  of  very  little  value,  whereas
animal-product covers such as wool and down, or feathers, are
exceptionally warm. Cotton comforters in cold weather are very  heavy,
but  cold, whereas woolen blankets, wool-filled comforters or down-
filled comforters are warm, but light. "A warmth without weight"  should
be  the  chief consideration in cold weather. And in using woolen
coverings you can get sufficient warmth without much weight and with the
very least  quantity of covering. In summer use only a single woolen
blanket or a light cotton coverlet over the sheet. When the nights are
hot and sultry  it  would be well to use no covering of any kind.

For warmth in winter special attention should be given to warm fabrics
underneath the lower sheet as well  as  the  coverings.  One  may
become chilled from underneath if lying upon a thin mattress or an
uncovered mattress. A wool-filled comforter, or double woolen blanket,
placed  over the mattress and under the sheet will contribute greatly to
one's warmth. If the mattress is of proper thickness one  can  be
comfortable  with less covering and therefore less weight. However, I
would suggest as a better plan the one that I have presented of sleeping
in  a  virtual  air bath the whole night through.

The use of a pillow is necessary in nearly all cases. When one is
sleeping on his back a pillow is certainly an objectionable feature.  It
tips the head forward and is conducive to round shoulders. A pillow is
of value when sleeping on the side or in the partial  face-downward
position, as indicated in the illustration.

The accompanying illustration shows a special position that I can
recommend for securing restful sleep and for insuring deeper
respiration.  In this position you sleep with the body tipped forward
partly upon the chest, and on the forearm, with one elbow just back of
the  body  and  hand under the waist. The knee of the upper leg will be
drawn up somewhat. While this is a very comfortable position its chief
advantage lies in  the effect upon the respiration. It will be noted
that in this position the organs lying below the diaphragm are placed in
a suspended position,  so to speak. The stomach and other organs by
their own weight pull downward from the diaphragm, thus naturally
allowing more space  in  the  lungs, and particularly in the lower part
of the lungs. Through the simple effect of gravitation, therefore, this
position  allows  one  to  breathe  a larger amount of air through the
entire night. One may turn from one side to the other in order to change
the position, as it  will  be  equally comfortable on right or left
sides. In cases where there is weakness of the heart the left-side
position can not be recommended if discomfort of any sort is noticed.

One often hears a reference to beauty sleep and is often asked: "Is it
really true that an hour of sleep before midnight is equal to  two
hours after midnight?" There are many writers who claim that the time
when you sleep matters but little if you secure a sufficient amount of
sleep. It is doubtful, however, if this view is absolutely correct. I am
inclined to lean towards the old-fashioned view as to the good  effect
of  early retiring on beauty development that is based on health

In one sense, it is reasonable to conclude that an hour of sleep before
midnight is worth more than an hour  thereafter.  I  am  satisfied  that
there is greater exhaustion of the body from late than from normal
hours, and it is difficult to get the full benefit from sleep when
going  to bed after midnight. At least the nerve strain of artificial
light tends to produce a certain degree  of  vital  depletion  that  one
would  not experience if his waking hours included only the daylight.
Then again, there is  probably  some  mysterious  influence  that  we
do  not  fully comprehend which makes sleep at night more restful than
sleep during the daylight. Those who go to bed at midnight  or
thereafter  use  several hours of daylight in the early morning for
sleeping. I realize that there are nocturnal animals and that the human
race has developed  nocturnal habits to a certain extent, but the human
race and the animal life of the world generally have followed the habit
through the ages  of  sleeping at night. Without doubt a revolutionary
change in this habit has more or less effect upon the restful character
of our sleep. Perhaps  the  mere question of light has much to do with
it. Daylight is stimulating. Light has a  chemical  action  and  tends
to  stimulate  animal  metabolism. Darkness, or the lack of light, tends
to a restful condition. Without doubt this question of light has much to
do with the supposed benefits  of sleep before midnight. The old saying
that "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and
wise"  may  not  hold  true  in  the matter of wisdom and wealth in all
cases, but there is no doubt it has much to do with the development of
health and vitality.

CHAPTER XX: Mind-The Master-force for Health or Disease

We hear of many miraculous achievements in the building of health and
the cure of disease through mental influence. The mind is unquestionably
a master-force. I will not go so far as to say it is limitless, for
certainly a hungry man cannot imagine he is eating a  dinner  and
secure  the same benefits that he would from the meal itself. Nor can a
man who is passing away into the other world, through a definite vital
defect, bring back life through mental force.

But we should remember that many diseases are to a great extent
imaginary. And some of those not actually imaginary  may  at  least  be
brought about through fears that are the results of abnormal delusions.
And where such diseases are combated by mental forces of the right sort,
a  cure can be effected in many instances. In numerous cases, also, it
is well to remember that the mental state is the actual  cause  of
disease.  You become blue, hopeless and to a certain extent helpless.
You see nothing in the future. Life is dull. Ambition, enthusiasm, have
all disappeared. It would not be at all difficult for this state of mind
to bring about disease in some form.

Health, strength, vitality of the right sort, should radiate all the
elements and forces  associated  with  life's  most  valuable
possessions. Happiness and health are close friends. It is very
difficult to be gloomy and miserable if you are healthy. It is perhaps
even more difficult to be healthy if you are gloomy and mentally ugly.

Therefore it is a wise precaution to cultivate a hopeful spirit. If the
day is gloomy, if the sun  is  obscured  by  clouds,  then  develop  the
sunshine in your own spirit. Try to radiate good cheer. By seeking to
cheer up others you will cheer  yourself  up,  for  always  when  we
help others, we inevitably help ourselves, though this should not be our
main purpose in the action. When we try to build up the characters,
improve the morals and add to the mental and physical stability of
others our efforts develop our own powers. Therefore, the best way to
help  yourself is to help others.

We have a remarkable exemplification of the value of mental influence in
what is known as Christian Science. Even the most prejudiced  enemy  of
this cult will admit that many remarkable cures have been accomplished
through the principles it advocates. These cures alone  indicate
clearly that the mind is a dominating force that works for good or for
evil. They prove that your thoughts are building up or tearing  down
your  vital forces; that to a certain extent "Thoughts are things," that
good thoughts are a real tangible  influence  for  developing  mental
or  physical force, and-that bad thoughts have an opposite influence. It
is well for each one of us to determine clearly whether the thoughts
that  fill  our minds each day are constructive or destructive in

Your thoughts can actually destroy you. They can kill you as unerringly
as a bullet fired from a rifle. Keep this fact  very  definitely  before
you, and try to make your thoughts each day the means of adding to your
life forces. There are many emotions that  are  harbored  on  occasions,
which are devitalizing and destructive.

We are all, to a certain extent, slaves of habit, whether good or bad.
For instance, there is the worrying habit, for worry is really  a
habit. Therefore, it is a splendid plan to become slaves of good habits.
One who has acquired the chronic habit of worrying needs a mental
antiseptic. Worry never benefited anyone; it has brought thousands to an
untimely grave. To give prolonged and grave thought to a problem that
may come into your life, with the view of forming an intelligent
conclusion, should not be called worry, but anxiety. There is a very
great difference between worry and concentrated study of a vexing
problem. The characteristic of worry is a tendency  to  brood  anxiously
over  fancied  troubles.  The typical worrying mind will take mere
trifles and magnify them until they become monumental difficulties. Many
acquire the habit  of  going  over and over again, and still again, the
various unpleasant experiences which they have passed through during
life. This inclination is  baneful  in its influence, To such persons I
would say, eliminate the past. Try the forgetting habit, cultivate
health and along with it  good  cheer.  Make your mind a blank so far as
the past is concerned, and fill it with uplifting thoughts for the
present and the future. Worry is a mental poison, the toxic element
produced in the mind by retention of waste matter, thoughts of the dead
past that should have been eliminated with the passing of out-worn
periods of existence.

Self-pity is another evil. It is closely allied to worry. There are many
who cultivate a mental attitude of this sort  because  of  the  sorrows
through which they have passed. Such individuals find their chief
delight in portraying, in vivid details, the terrific  sufferings  which
they have had to endure. No one has suffered quite so much as they have.
They harrow their friends by going  over  frequently  and  persistently
the long, gruesome details of their "awful" past. This habit is
destructive to an extreme degree.  Why  harbor  past  experiences  that
only  bring sorrows to mind? Why add to the bitterness of your daily
life by  dragging  up  the  lamentable  past?  Why  pass  along  to
your  friends  and acquaintances pain, sorrow and gloom? Each human
entity is a radiating power. You have the capacity of passing around
pain or  happiness.  As  a rule, when you ask a friend to "have
something with you" your offer is supposed to bring good cheer. You
surely would not ask a friend  to  have pain with you, or share with you
the gall of bitter, experiences through which you have lived. Therefore,
if you are the victim of self-pity and if your own past sufferings
discolor your every pleasant thought, at least do not taint the minds of
your friends. At least  keep  your  direful broodings to yourself if you
are determined to retain them. It is, however, far wiser and manlier to
avoid such thoughts,  in  which  case  your memory of these torturing
experiences will gradually fade away. Live in the future and forget the
past. The  man  or  woman  who  lives  in  the future, and for the
future, will invariably be optimistic and cheerful. It is a good habit
to cultivate.

Then there is a mental poison called anger. Avoid it as you would a
venomous snake. It has indeed been said by scientists that the venom of
the snake is developed through anger, induced by impure circulation, for
in reptiles the pure arterial blood mixes in the imperfectly  formed
heart with the impure venous blood. Scientists have also stated that
anger produces a poison in the perspiration that emanates from  the
human  body. This may or may not be true, but there is no question,
however, about anger being a mental poison. It represents a tremendous
waste  of  nervous energy. To be sure, there may be occasions when anger
is justified, when it is actually desirable, but such occasions are
rare. Learn to  master such emotions. Get control of your feelings and
mental states. Avoid useless anger definitely and finally. It usually
indicates a lack of mental control, and should be recognized as a
destructive force to be carefully avoided.

Hate is, to a certain extent, synonymous with anger. One may call it
anger in a chronic form. Hate and the personal enmities associated with
it develop emotions and characteristics that unquestionably have a
destructive influence. Why hate anybody? Why  waste  your  nervous
energies  by trying to "get even" with a fancied enemy? A tremendous
amount of human energy is wasted in this manner. You may be impressed
with the idea that someone has wronged you. You lie awake at night
forming plans for "getting even." Every mental effort  spent  in  this
direction  is  not  only destructive to body, mind and character, but it
represents a waste of nervous energy. One's life should be so filled
with useful activities that no time will be left for a waste of this
sort. Show me a man who spends his time and efforts trying to "get even"
with his supposed enemies, and I will show you a shining example of
failure. No man can succeed who wastes his nervous forces in this

Then there is the poison of avarice. Financial gain seems to be the one
end and aim of many ambitious men. They struggle day after day and  year
after year in the whirlpool of perverted enthusiasm, looking
continuously for wealth and still more wealth. But there is something
more in  life than money. Health, for instance, is worth a thousand
times, and self-respect should be rated a million times, more than
money. Do not  allow  a struggle of this sort to enslave you. Do not
allow pursuits of any sort to interfere with the development and
maintenance of those  powers  that indicate superior manhood and
womanhood. It is also well to avoid the complaining and critical spirit.
You will find frequent references in  the Good Book to what might be
termed the thankful spirit. It commands us to be thankful for what we
have received. And whether or not the tenets of theology appeal to you,
the thought presented is of the greatest value. If you can be thrilled
each day with gladness because of the remembrance of pleasures that you
have enjoyed the previous day the mental influence will be invaluable.
Being thankful for what you have received does  not necessarily indicate
that you should not strive for more and better things. Dissatisfaction
or discontent is not always necessary to spur one on to added powers and
responsibilities. Avoid the complaining spirit, which will add gloom and
despair to your life, no matter what  may  be  your environment. Be
thankful for the favors and opportunities that may have come to you, be
they large or small, and your mental  attitude  in  this respect will
represent a potent health-building influence.

Envy is another evil it will be well to avoid, largely because it is
inspired by selfish attributes. Do not envy others the joy  of
possessions that may be theirs. Happiness, after all, is worth but
little if  it  comes  unearned.  Life's  greatest  pleasures  are
secured  only  through intelligent and diligent efforts. They come as
the results of hard work. A man who inherits great wealth secures little
or no benefit  from  it. It adds but little to his pleasure in life, for
the greatest possible happiness comes from the pursuit rather than the
attainment of an  object. More happiness comes from the pursuit of
wealth or pleasure than from its actual attainment. Let the attainment
of truth be your aim.  Truth  is magnificent. It is tremendously
weighted with power. Whatever your ambitions or hopes in life may be,
seek for the truth. In some cases the road that leads to this goal may
be devious and hard to follow. Dangers of all sorts may beset you, as
you struggle along  the  rugged  pathway  that leads to truth, but the
rewards will amply repay you for every effort.

Don't be a leaner. Try to stand alone. Be yourself. Bring out your own
personal characteristics, do not be a stereotype, a parrot, a  copy.
Let others live their own lives, but you see to it that you live yours.
Many of our public schools are turning out factory-made human  beings;
each pupil, as far as possible, a duplicate of every other. They are
educational brick factories tuning out their  products  stamped  exactly
alike. Individuality is crushed out. Now the child is not so much like
clay to be molded into any form, as it is like a precious crystal, that
must  be shaped with regard to its original nature. Each human soul is
an uncut diamond.  It  often  has  within  it  capacities  and  powers
which,  if developed, might achieve results which we now expect only
from exceptional human beings. Therefore; be yourself. Hold up your
head,  throw  back your shoulders; remember that the earth and all that
is thereon belongs to you. Anyway, it is well to be inspired by such a
thought. It  is  the proper mental attitude. Life is a hard battle, and
the rewards are to the strong and courageous. Be inspired by the
dominating determination to get all there is in your life. Develop all
your capacities and powers to their utmost limit, and then you can rest
assured, that  every  thought that stirs your soul will be upbuilding
rather than destructive in nature.

CHAPTER XXI: The Laugh Cure

The physiological effects of the mechanical and mental processes
involved in laughing are not generally understood and appreciated.  The
"laugh cure" is a reality, for it is a remedy of very great value. Many
a man, placed in a trying  situation,  would  have  been  saved  from
tragical consequences if he could have found some means of arousing the
emotions expressed in a good hearty laugh.

Naturally there may be times in life when a laugh is utterly impossible,
or may seem so. Nevertheless the inclination to stimulate the  emotions
associated with laughter and good humor should be encouraged at every
opportunity. There is no question that laughter  has  valuable
vitalizing qualities. It undoubtedly adds to one's stamina. It gives one
a hopeful spirit. It leads one to look upon the bright side of life.
When you  can laugh, the sun is shining regardless of how many clouds
obscure the sky. No matter what other efforts you may be making to
build  strength  and vitality, do not allow the serious aide of life to
occupy you continuously.

Each day should have its laughing time, or its many laughing times. It
is barely possible, of course, that laughing, like  any  other
emotional expression, would become tiresome if overdone, but I am
inclined to doubt the possibility of harmful effect under any
circumstances.  "All  work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," and the
relaxation and recuperation that go with  laughing  should  be  sought
with  a  certain  amount  of regularity. If you cannot find recreation
of this kind through any other source, then attend a "funny show." Go to
a theatre where merriment  is supreme. On such occasions at least I
would avoid tragedies or dramas that are inclined too much toward the
sorrowful side of life.  Personally, I have never had much use for plays
of this sort. There are slough serious experiences in life without
searching for recreation in  the  sorrows of others, which are, after
all, only the expression of the imagination of some brooding dramatist.
Some abnormal characters  find  pleasure  in misery. I have heard some
women say that "they enjoyed a good cry so much," and that "crying
dramas were just grand." But I have been unable  to discover anything
rational in such sentiments.

I may say, however, that in a sense there is a certain basis for this
sentiment under certain circumstances. For crying, like laughter, has
the physiological effect of producing a relaxation of tense nerves.
There is a fundamental basis for crying, but this applies  only  to
exceptional instances in which there is too much nervous tension. When
nerves are strained to the "breaking point," crying  will  bring  about
a  state  of relaxation, and one will feel better. If there are times of
strain when laughter is utterly impossible, then crying might  even  be
beneficial. The effect on the breathing is very much the same in both
cases, and there is a curious similarity in  the  action  of  the
diaphragm  and  the mechanical character of the expulsion of the breath.
Looking tat a person from behind, one cannot tell whether he is laughing
or  crying.  Both produce relaxation of the nerves, both increase the
activity of the lungs, and both involve a form of gymnastics for the
diaphragm  and  entire breathing apparatus.

But, while crying offers relief from extreme tension or grief, it does
not justify crying for the so-called pleasure derived from  it.
Laughter is a pleasure, in itself, as well as a symptom of merriment. It
is the expression of keen, bounding joy. It is  an  emotive
manifestation  that stirs one's whole nature and vitalizes every part of
the body. There is a sound, physiological basis for amusements that make
us  laugh.  Taking the world over, incalculable sums of money are spent
for amusements that make us laugh, and it is money well spent. It is a
sound  and  healthy instinct that leads the tired business man or the
tired laborer to seek for mirth-provoking recreations.  Professional
"funny  men"  like  John Bunny and Charles Chaplin undoubtedly add to
the health of the human race, and they add  to  the  vitality  of  those
in  whom  they  stimulate laughter. I feel sorry for anyone who has lost
the power to laugh freely and heartily. When a man has brooded  so  much
over  the  sorrows  and miseries of life that he can no longer laugh,
his condition is indeed serious.

"Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone," is one
of the truest things that Ella Wheeler Wilcox ever said. For a laugh
that is spontaneous and heartfelt is truly contagious, and in your
little world, the circle of  your  friends,  laughing  brings  a  rich
reward  in increasing your own happiness as well as theirs.

The bodily expression and mechanical efforts that go with happiness will
often induce the feelings and emotions associated therewith.  To  prove
the accuracy of this statement, some morning when you are feeling
especially gloomy and unpleasant, look into your mirror  and  go
through  the process of trying to make yourself smile. Screw up your
features in such a manner as to force the required contractions of the
facial  muscles. If you continue your efforts long enough you will
surely be rewarded by a real smile, and with the sense of good cheer
that a smile will  bring. You will make the surprising discovery at it
is no longer an effort, for you will smile spontaneously.

To go even further try the laugh cure in the following manner. First of
all assume a laughing position, in order to laugh properly and to secure
the best results. Stand with feet far apart, and with the knees slightly
bent. Now bring the palms of both hands down and "slap" them vigorously
on the legs just above the knees, and then swing your bent arms
overhead, making a noise as nearly as possible like laughing. Yes, you
are quite right, it will sound very much like a cold stage laugh at
first, and you will have to force it, but as you go on with  the
experiment  it  will gradually become more natural. Continue this long
enough and I defy anyone to differentiate the emotions aroused from
those  associated  with  a real, spontaneous laugh.

In fact, if you have company while you are going through this process, I
will guarantee that they will soon be "guffawing" loudly and violently.
This experiment is an excellent one to thy on a company that is
especially dull and in need of something unusual to awaken the  spirit
of  good cheer.

CHAPTER XXII: Singing-The Great Tonic

Singing was designed by the Creator as a means of giving vent to joyous
emotions. When one is overflowing with happiness it is entirely  natural
for him to break forth into song. Therefore when you sing the bodily
mechanical efforts associated therewith are naturally  inclined  to
arouse the mental attitude of joy, delight and allied emotions. I have
already  explained  the  tremendous  value  of  certain  bodily
positions  and mechanical efforts as a means of influencing the mental
attitude. If singing is naturally the expression of joy, then by forcing
oneself to sing when mentally downcast one encourages, and at times
actually produces, happiness and good cheer.

But it is not only for its influence upon the mind that singing is
valuable. It is a physical exercise requiring considerable effort.  It
wakes up the diaphragm. It promotes active circulation. It improves
digestion. Therefore it has a double value for stimulating the physical
as well as the mental functions. I would by all means encourage every
inclination towards physical efforts of this sort.

Remember that the cultivation of the singing voice especially requires
the expansion of the lungs. It means that breathing exercises of
unusual value will be practiced diligently and persistently on every
occasion that you exercise your vocal powers. It not only affects the
lungs but the action of the diaphragm involved, and serves to massage,
stimulate and invigorate the internal organs lying underneath.  There
is  no  need  to dilate upon the value of exercise of this sort, for I
have referred to this aspect of the question in a previous chapter.

If you have no special knowledge or training in the use of the singing
voice, then simply do your best. Sing at every opportunity. If  there
is no music in your voice do not allow this to discourage you. Follow
out the idea that singing is an exercise pure and simple.  Let  your
friends understand that you are not impressed with your vocal ability,
but that it is simply a form of exercise  you  take  with  religious
regularity. Naturally if you can secure the opportunities associated
with a musical education you are to be  congratulated,  and  musical
training  largely devoted to vocal culture is far more valuable in its
influence upon physical and mental powers than when limited to
instrumental work.

Even apart from singing a good voice represents capital of great value.
Any efforts that you make with a view to developing  the  singing  voice
will improve the speaking voice to a similar degree. Effective speakers
do not always have musical voices, but all  good  singers  possess  good
speaking voices. Therefore the work that you may do with a view to
improving your singing voice will surely add to your vocal capital.

Furthermore, all the time spent in the development of your voice should
be looked upon as a recreation. If you can make voice culture  a  hobby,
so much the better. There is really no better means of taking one "away
from oneself." You will find no more effective means of  diversion  from
exhausting mental responsibilities, since you cannot think of something
else while devoting your entire attention to singing.

Your mental attitude makes considerable difference in the results.
Singing, as I have previously explained, is an expression  of  joy.  To
sing properly you should really be influenced by joyous emotions, and,
though your musical efforts may be forced and mechanical in the
beginning, you will usually find that the delight ordinarily associated
with vocal expression will soon appear as a  result  of  the  physical
and  mechanical efforts involved in the training of the voice.

Naturally it is advisable to use the singing voice in the most
advantageous manner, if possible, and it would therefore be well  to
secure  the advice of competent instructors if you can, or at least to
gain what helpful information there is in books on the subject.  It  is,
of  course, impossible to give any detailed advice in this short
chapter, but I may say that I am engaged in the preparation of  a  book
on  vocal  culture which will deal with the subject in an unusually
practical manner. Voice culture, in many instances, is a mysterious and
intricate  study  that even many of its teachers do not seem to
understand in every detail. It is a notorious fact that many  so-called
vocal  instructors,  including some of the highest-priced members of the
profession, frequently ruin magnificent voices by wrong methods of
instruction. It is a simple  matter to build up a good voice, but it is
also a simple matter to ruin one by unnatural methods of training.

It is therefore well to learn to use the voice in a strictly natural
manner, and without any straining or forcing of the tone. For instance,
it is advisable to avoid any constriction of the muscles of the throat;
that is to say, there should be no tension in the throat when singing.
One should learn how to "place" the voice. Resonance is all-important.

Many really good teachers differ as to the proper methods of using the
voice. Although there may be a reasonable excuse for a difference on
some of the minor details of voice culture, yet there are certain
fundamental principles upon which there should be a definite agreement,
and  it  is these basic principles which will be presented in the book
to which I have just referred.

At all events, whether or not you desire to take up vocal culture in a
serious way, at least you should  make  it  a  point  to  sing  at
every opportunity. Break forth into song whenever the slightest excuse
appears. If your voice is harsh, unpleasant  and  reminds  your  friends
of  a carpenter filing a saw, do not be discouraged. Every vocal artist
had to make a beginning. No matter  how  bad  your  efforts  may  be
you  can probably recall voices that are still worse. Remember also that
all voices improve with training. It is  a  matter  of  common
agreement  among instructors that anyone who possesses a speaking voice
can also learn to sing. Anyway, at the worst, your hours of practice can
be  so  arranged as to avoid annoying other people, or you can adopt a
method that I have often used. For instance, when you are on a train, or
in a busy  centre of the city in which there is a combination of noises
which will drown your own voice, you can then sing or hum to your
heart's content  without annoying others. Remember that humming, if you
carry it out with sufficient breath to produce real resonance, is
practically as good as  singing for the training of the voice.

There is one particular point of special value, and that is the
advantage of singing when the stomach is empty. Vocal artists commonly
refuse to sing immediately after eating. Your voice is free and full and
clear when the stomach is empty. A few minutes of singing before each
meal  would enable one to digest his food far more satisfactorily. It
would also establish the mental attitude best suited to perfect

Whenever you find responsibilities crowding upon you beyond your power
to bear them, or when you realize that  your  mental  attitude  is
sour, crabbed and pessimistic, then is the time to break forth into
song. Nothing will bring about a pleasing change more quickly. Hum  a
tune.  Sing some popular song. Put your soul into your efforts as much
as possible, and you will literally be amazed at the value of this

CHAPTER XXIII: The Daily Regimen

Following is a brief summary of the suggestions in this volume which may
be incorporated in the daily regimen:

Rise from six to eight o'clock. Drink a cup of hot or cold water
immediately upon arising.

Take the thyroid-stimulating exercises. Follow by spine-strengthening
movements in combination with the hot-water-drinking.

Following these exercises a dry friction bath may be taken, if desired;
also a cold bath. The latter is not necessary to the same  extent  while
following the hot-water-drinking regimen as under ordinary
circumstances. The bath may be varied from time to time by taking a
cold  sitz  bath instead of a complete bath.

Before breakfast indulge in a good laugh or a little singing.

Eat a light breakfast-preferably consisting chiefly of acid fruits, such
as oranges, apples, pears, grapefruit, grapes, etc.

Throughout the day while following your daily duties remember the
suggestions in reference to proper position.  Make  a  continuous  and
never-ending fight to keep a straight spine. Hold the chin in, down and
backward, with spine erect as nearly as possible, whether sitting or

Be hopeful, be cheerful, but cultivate the fighting spirit. You cannot
have too much will power, determination.

Eat your first hearty meal between twelve and two o'clock, depending
upon the time at which you had breakfast. From five  to  six  hours
should elapse between meals to insure perfect digestion. Masticate
thoroughly. Enjoy your food as much as possible. Do not eat without a
keen appetite.

Try to take a walk some time during the day. Remember during this walk
to practice the thyroid-stimulating exercise-chin  inward,  downward
and backward while holding a deep full breath, with the abdomen

Do not forget the necessity of using liquids freely. Have water close at
hand so that your thirst can easily be satisfied.

Some time during the day, if possible, take some form of outdoor
exercise which will compel deep full  breathing  similar  to  that
induced  by running.

Try to get a good laugh or do a little singing before your evening meal.

Your evening meal should be taken between six and eight o'clock,
depending upon the time of breakfast and lunch. Do not forget my
suggestion for closing the meal with a little acid fruit. A few spinal
exercises, a walk or a short run before retiring can be highly

During the evening, if convenient, take an air bath.

Take a combination sun bath and air bath in the morning or at any time
during the day that is convenient. If you cannot take a regular sun
bath wear light-colored clothing and walk on the sunny side of the
street when outdoors to get the sun's rays through your clothing.

Take a hot soap-and-water bath once or twice a week.

Retire early enough to awake thoroughly refreshed at proper rising time
without the warning of an alarm clock.


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