Actually, early in the twentieth century, there were similar “natural hygiene” movements or health culture societies advocating exercise, the consumption of healthy foods, and massage. The American Natural Hygiene Society was founded in 1948, and as such is the oldest and largest natural hygiene organization in the world. The Society publishes the Health Science magazine.
The British Natural Hygiene Society was founded in 1959 by Keki Sidhwa and two other natural hygienists. Their magazine, Hygienist, which is published quarterly, was started in 1959, making it the oldest natural hygiene publication. Both organizations aim to educate and inform, and they can also recommend practitioners and clinics.
This regime is designed to cleanse the body of all toxic matter, so that it is free to work, instead of being hampered by stored wastes that reduce the efficiency of the human organism.
Together with improved nutrition, this should bring about a complete transformation for most people. Less sleep may be needed, and there should be a general feeling of increased well being and energy, which will almost certainly help the individual to make better and more productive use of his or her time.
It is possible that an improvement may be noticed in powers of recall; many people complain of loss of memory in our time, and this may be due to a combination of stress and a toxic body system.
Proponents say improvement in symptoms of conditions such as arthritis, migraine, hypoglycemia, diabetes, and more can be expected. In addition, the principles of natural hygiene often lead to unexpected benefits, such as improvements in the appearance and texture of skin, and the condition of hair and fingernails, the disappearance of eye bags, and less body odor.
The term “natural hygiene” refers more to a way of life than merely to a diet. For some time, proponents have asserted that their recommendations can provide the foundation for a healthy, fulfilling life that is disease-free and emotional ennui that have become common place in so-called modern society.
These, and many other diseases of modern life, are due to the multi-faceted pollution of ourselves and our planet, and a denatured diet. Together, it is considered that they cause poisoning and the stifling of the body’s natural strength and vitality.
Natural hygienists reason that since the body “constructs itself” after the fertilization of the ovum, it must also have powers of repair and renewal in order to maintain the organism, if given the right conditions.
Natural hygiene concerns every aspect of a human being’s life, because everything—the physical, the spiritual, and the moral—affects the well being of the individual and society. The theory is that people should obey their natural instincts, and that only when they have achieved perfect health, will they be able to achieve their full potential as human beings.
Natural hygienists believe that mankind is naturally good and virtuous, but will not display these traits unless they are following all the principles of healthy lifestyle. The theories of natural hygiene, they claim, if properly adhered to will allow mankind to achieve supreme heights of achievement at all levels of his being.
If given the right circumstances and facilities, the human body, believed to be perfect in its creation, will be able to preserve itself in an optimum state, and efficiently perform repairs when needed, quickly returning to a state of total well being.
The prerequisites for total well being are pure air, pure water, sufficient rest and sleep, and uncontaminated food of a high quality that will provide all the necessary nutrients in a readily available form.
In addition to these, satisfactory human companionship should be sought, as well as protection from extreme cold and extreme heat, sunshine, sufficient exercise, a purpose in life, and in general, an atmosphere conducive to all that is good concerning human life.
An essential concept of natural hygiene is that to be healthy is normal, and healing is a biological process that cannot be bought. The same natural laws apply whether one is sick or well, and that which makes a well person sick can never make a sick person well. Allopathic medicine, in treating merely the symptoms of disease, in many instances actually worsens the condition in the long run.
A simple example of this would be the administering of laxatives to a patient suffering from constipation, as opposed to finding the underlying cause of the constipation. With time, laxatives cause the bowels to become even more sluggish, and so the cycle continues. Natural hygiene aims to correct the cause.
The first step, when embarking on a regime of natural hygiene, is to rid the body of accumulated toxins. There are many aspects to be taken into account for this procedure. Usually, the first to be considered is the gastrointestinal tract, but in addition, the skin, liver, gallbladder, lymphatic system, lungs, kidneys, and bladder all need to be detoxified in order to facilitate perfect functioning of the human organism.
Although cleansing is of major concern, natural hygiene therapists caution that it is also very important to ensure that the body has access to fresh, clean air, clean water, and good food while the detoxification is in process, so that the body can rebuild itself. They warn that cleansing without rebuilding will weaken a body and its immune system.
There are many variations on this, but basically this consists of fasting the body at some time, and feeding it mainly fruits and vegetables that will have a dual effect of cleansing and rebuilding. Usually, food combining is an important aspect of the nutrition of natural hygiene, and requires that a protein food is never eaten with a starch food.
They should be taken at different meals with a minimum of four hours between each meal. Fruit is recommended to be eaten by itself, but since it digests quickly only half an hour need pass before other food can be consumed.
To follow the natural hygiene way of living at home, the only expenses that will be incurred are the cost of organic food, which can be more expensive than ordinary food. However, if patients feel that they would benefit from a trip to a natural hygiene clinic, information can be obtained from some natural hygiene organizations.
Those wishing to treat themselves in accordance with natural hygiene principles are required to follow a mainly raw diet that includes all the nutrients and enzymes that will help to flush toxins from the body, while at the same time building health. However, it is wise to consult a natural hygienist before beginning treatment.
There are special formulas for speeding the elimination of toxins, which can be obtained from practitioners who specialize in natural hygiene. Information regarding these treatments can be obtained from various national organizations.
When undertaking a cleansing diet, it is important not to impose anything too harsh on the body. If an individual is suffering from acute toxicity, it may be better advised to proceed slowly and cautiously with the process of detoxification, particularly if the patient is continuing as normal with his/her everyday life.
There are few side affects associated with the practice of natural hygiene. Some may experience what is known as a “healing crisis” while the body is throwing off toxins. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, or sensitivity. These symptoms are transient, and may normally be relieved with herbal teas, a walk in the fresh air, or by simply lying in a darkened room for a while.
Under very rare circumstances, an individual may have such a toxic condition that it would be dangerous for him/her to undertake cleansing without assistance. When the body is subjected to poisons, whether in their food, in the air, or from the water they drink, the body attempts to deal with them in such a way that they will cause the least harm to the body. Thus, they may be stored in the liver, or in fatty deposits under the skin.
When a person who has poisons stored in such a way undergoes a fast, or undertakes some other method to flush poisons from the body, sometimes the flushing causes large amounts of toxins to enter the blood system at the same time. Without proper supervision or consultation, and without the correct step being taken, the results could possibly be fatal.
Research and general acceptance
There is a large body of research to support the theories of natural hygienists, although most of it is not accepted by allopathic practitioners. General belief exists that detoxification can improve the effectiveness of many healing therapies.
Though many nutritionists see numerous health benefits in eating natural foods and greater amounts of fruits and vegetables, they may warn against eating large amounts of any particular kind of food.
For example, eating too many fruits and vegetables at one time can cause diarrhea. Fasting may be dangerous for some individuals—those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, or pregnant women. It may also cause muscle weakness and dizziness in healthy individuals.
However, many people continue to seek assistance from clinics dispensing some form of natural hygiene and are satisfied with the results. Keki Sidhwa, the president of the British Natural Hygiene Society, has records covering many years of successful treatment of his patients, where many leave from his clinic days or weeks later in a better state of health.