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.
Many of the principles of this natural science of human health can be traced far back into history, but modern thinking, theorizing and codification into a wholistic, grand paradigm began in the United States of America in 1822 through the work of Dr. Isaac Jennings, M.D. The work was greatly expounded upon by Dr. R.T.Trall, M.D. around 1862, and still further by Dr. J.H.Tilden, M.D. at the turn of the century.
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: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.
These statements by the late Dr. Shelton reflect his search for truth and his understanding that humanity is born to be free and autonomous; that the power and intelligence that created a fully mature human from a microscopic fertilized ovum is the same power that will maintain us in excellent health and well-being. All it takes is some basic education in the natural laws that govern us, the Earth, the Universe.
All it takes is some basic education in the natural laws that govern us, the Earth, the Universe.
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