Natural Hygiene (Living Foods) Diet
 
 
Natural Hygiene Hygiene may be defined as being the science and art of preserving and restoring health by those substances, agencies, and influences that have a normal relation to life, which are: pure food, pure water, sunlight, rest sleep, relaxation, exercise, play, warmth, family relationship, and all mental influences. Hygiene is not a system of medicine nor one of the healing arts or a system of therapeutics. It offers the client no cures, has no cures, denies all cures, does not pretend to; but, it permits nature or the body to heal itself. Hygiene is a grand plan of rational, wholesome living and the way to physical, mental and moral sanity. It is a plan of total living and not a plan of treatment. It is a comprehensive approach to the whole problem of living in terms of a valid standard. It covers the total needs of man (and woman) and not merely a few of his requirements. Viewed this way, Hygiene is not fasting, dieting, vegetarianism, food combining, or any one life element of living.
Note: Natural hygienists disagree sharply among themselves regarding the details of natural hygiene. A diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds. The diet is usually vegan, but Tilden (co-founder of natural hygiene in modern times) encouraged use of non-vegetarian foods. Following high (%) fruit diets is discouraged by most hygienists. However, some who consider themselves to be hygienists, do advocate high fruit diets. There is very wide variation in diet and health practices among hygienists; e.g. disagreements on the use of sprouts, seaweeds, dried fruit, etc. Some otherwise "orthodox" hygienists make occasional use of raw milk/cheese/eggs in their diet (this is discussed by Ward Nicholson in the January 1997 issue of the "Health & Beyond" newsletter). The American Natural Hygiene Society reportedly promotes a predominantly raw diet, but advocates a place for cooked grains and steamed vegetables in the diet. 
Dr. Herbert Shelton (1895-1985)
was an iconoclast and rebel health pioneer. Standing on the shoulders of prior progressive and independent thinkers, Shelton relentlessly taught and promoted a practical, sensible and extremely effective system of achieving overall human health and happiness - Natural Hygiene. The name comes from two words: Natural - in harmony with Nature, and Hygiene - the science of good health. The diet he promoted was a raw food diet consisting of a wide variety of organically-grown fruits, vegetables, nuts, sprouts, and clean water (i.e., unchlorinated). He was also an entusiastic promoter of cleansing diets and fasts (like Paavo Airola). His version of a cleansing fast was a "distilled water fast" and lots of rest and relaxation. He believed that the body could eliminate old toxic material faster by using distilled water as opposed to juices. He also was a strong believer in moderate aerobic exercise and sunbathing (in the nude). Finally, he was one of the biggest promoters of proper food combining to improve digestion and thereby have a more complete assimulation of nutrients. Shelton was by far the most prolific thinker and writer on the subject, and he was steadfast in promoting self-reliance. Examining a few philosophical tidbits from his article "Principles of Natural Hygiene"(1) allows us to cut right to the chase:
"Natural Hygiene is that branch of biology which investigates and applies the conditions upon which life and health depend, and the means by which all health is sustained in all its virtue and purity, and restored when it has been lost...
Natural Hygiene is not a system of therapeutics. It professes to build health in all forms of diseased states by the employment of hygienic agents alone and without the employment of poisons or resort to enervating palliatives or therapies of any nature. In the class of hygienic agencies can be included only the actual necessities of life - food, air, water, sunlight, rest, sleep, relaxation, exercise, play, warmth, cleanliness, hope, faith, courage - and the means of securing these. Constructive surgery forms the only non-hygienic measure endorsed by the Natural Hygienist." 

"The truth should be self-evident that any method or system that destroys the independence and autonomy of the individual and makes one forever dependent upon another person or class of people is not natural. Any system that of itself creates a privileged class who can, by law or otherwise, lord it over their fellow people destroys true freedom and personal autonomy. Any system that teaches the sick that they can get well only through the exercise of the skill of someone else, or through the operation of something else, and that they remain alive only through the tender mercies of the privileged class, has no place in Nature's scheme of things, and the sooner it is abolished, the better will humankind be. It was no more a part of the original scheme of things that people should be a supplicate at the feet of the healers than that lions or cod-fish should be. It matters not whether a person is dependent on the physician, the osteopath, the chiropractor or the psychoanalyst, that person is a slave to that class upon which one depends. Therapeutics makes slaves of men and women. This is an evil and cannot endure. Natural Hygiene uses no treatments... none. A hygienist is a guide, a teacher. I'm not a treatment peddler. I do not treat symptoms. We always first look for the cause. The hygienist does not use the word cure."

"The healing principle is always in the living system itself. All living organisms are self-constructing, self-defending and self-repairing. Teach men and women to prevent disease by avoiding its causes rather than attempt to cure it by administering the causes of other diseases [drugs] - then health and happiness will abound everywhere. We are convinced that mankind can be educated in correct principles and trained in right practices so that sickness will cease to trouble us. It is our business to teach people how to prevent disease and not merely how to take care of themselves when ill. I am well aware of the revolutionary character of the principles I have presented... but I am convinced that the physical salvation of the human race depends upon their acceptance." 

Dr. Thomas Hanna (1928-1990)
A philosopher, writer and researcher, spent much of his time studying and teaching in the area of somatic education. He, like Shelton, stood on the shoulders of great visionaries that came before him: F. Matthias Alexander (creator of the Alexander Method), Moshe Feldenkrais and others. Likewise, he synthesized and improved upon the works of these predecessors. Combining insights gathered from neurology, physiology and sensory education, Hanna created a body awareness and movement improvement technique he called "Somatics". Hanna's love of freedom permeated all his work; he understood that much of the misery of humanity stemmed from a lack of self-responsibility, which was mostly due to a lack of education. To chip away at this wall of ignorance was his primary mission. 
In an interview entitled Mind Over Movement, Hanna put it like this:
"My own interest, first of all, for myself, and second of all for any person
I deal with, is to do anything I can to inculcate freedom. Freedom, independence and autonomy is what human life is all about. This is what we grow up to become - totally autonomous, self-determining, self-balancing, self-healing, self-regulating, self-correcting. We're magnificent creatures for becoming just that. Usually we don't come off being so. In various ways - emotionally, psychologically, physically - we get enslaved. And we don't have either the confidence or the ability to choose and truly conduct our own affairs and take care of ourselves. The truly burning and major issue of the 20th century - how can we become more autonomous human beings - rather than depending on authoritarian experts who give advice on everything."

"The whole thing is to let people get a taste of freedom; for self-reliance. You've got to be competent and confident enough to be independent and autonomous because freedom means that you're capable of being self-responsible. The human life has no other aim, as far as I can see than for human beings to become self-regulating and self-directing. Human freedom is at the heart of all issues. It's the only issue there is of human and moral philosophy: how can you help people become more free?"

"What I do is education... not therapy. My main concern is in knowledge that frees. We do things in one or two sessions and the problem is gone. And they (the clients) are utterly in command and aware of what went on. Thoughtful medical people know the limitations of medicine. Arrogant ones are dangerous... the excruciating unhappiness is to know what I know and realize it's going to take years to get these ideas across to the establishment of traditional thinking that has a hard time absorbing them. The impatience that I feel is with physicians who damage and hurt people and are arrogant about it. Underneath I have enormous anger because I see so many people abused... I've got certain talents, certain understandings; it's in some sense my personal obligation to myself and other human beings to help them in any way I can. It has nothing to do with power. It has to do with loving people; being concerned about the human condition."

Articles:
Rethinking Natural Hygiene
Natural Hygiene Diets

Websites:
Karen Fierro's Garden of Health!
Dr. Sniadach - Strategies for True Health
Living Nutrition
American Natural Hygiene Society (Dr. Herbert Shelton)
Dr. Bass
Dr. Fielder
Dr. John H. Tilden
 

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