Shelton's Hygienic System on FASTING
The Hygienic System
Fasting and Sunbathing (Vol lll)
This revealing book covers THEREPUTIC fasting, within the framework of the Hygienic System. The author is Herbert Shelton who also wrote many books on Natural Hygiene several generations ago, such as:
HUMAN LIFE, ITS PHILOSOPHY AND LAWS
NATURAL DIET OF MAN
HYGIENIC CARE OF CHILDREN
NATURAL CURE OF SYPHILIS
NATURAL CURE OF CANCER
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL HYGIENE
Herbert Shelton defines the Hygienic System
It is not a system of treating and curing "disease" and "disorder." It does not recognize the existence of hundreds, or thousands, of "diseases," but regards all of these many so-called "diseases" as varying expressions of the SAME thing. Hygienic methods are methods of caring for the body. By these we seek to place the body under the most favorable conditions for the prosecution of its own healing activities.
In more than thirty years of conducting fasts, I have conducted over 25,000 fasts, ranging in duration from three days to more than two months. I have conducted about six fasts that have gone sixty or more days, the longest being sixty-eight days. I have had literally hundreds of fasts that have lasted from forty to fifty and more days.
This book reads like a Whoâ€™s Who of natural health and specifically of fasting. He refers to numerous experienced fasting practitioners for establishing the truths of natural hygiene. What would our modern-day medical professionals say if they could read these works from an era before the modern medical industry took its grip on our culture?
Herbert Shelton was a leader in the technology of fasting in the early 1900. Books like his have been lost to lay people like you and I for too long. You will find that his experience with fasting for the purpose of healing disease is unequalled. I see that his approach to the hygienic system and fasting is logical, scientific and proven. No, Dr. Shelton doesnâ€™t write from theory but from direct observation. Itâ€™s a treat to read of all his cases and experience and feel assured that fasting is indeed the path to health and healing, just as our creator intended.
Here are some excerpts from the book:
In this volume we offer you real wisdom and true science--we offer you the accumulated wisdom of many thousands of years, wisdom that will still be good when the mass of weakening, poisoning and mischief-inflicting methods of regular medicine are forgotten. A brief history of fasting will help to prove the truth of this.
As will be shown later, fasting for the many purposes for which it has been employed, has been in use since before the dawn of history. Indeed, it may be said that it is as old as life. As a procedure in the care of the sick, it fell almost wholly into disuse during the Dark Ages and was revived only a little over a hundred years ago.
There is an excellent chapter on how animals fast instinctively when they are sick
Irwin Liek, noted German physician and surgeon, tells of instinctive fasting in three of his dogs. One of these had been run over by a truck which had broken several bones and injured it internally. The other had "devoured a considerable quantity of rat poison. It became very, very ill, suffered from diarrhea containing blood and pus" and "collapsed completely." The third lost an eye while "mixing it" with a cat. All three of these dogs fasted and recovered.
Physiologists have persistently ignored cases where dogs have voluntarily fasted for ten or twenty or more days when suffering from broken bones or internal injuries. Here is an action invariably pursued by nature which they persist in refusing to investigate.
Fasting and the Bible
We may very properly assume that some great good was the object of the many fasts mentioned in the Bible even though we may be sure that they were not always intended for the "cure" of "disease." We may also be sure that the ancients had no fear of starving to death by missing a few meals.
For two thousand years the Christian religion has recommended "prayer and fasting" and the story of the forty days' fast in the wilderness has been told from thousands of pulpits. Religious fasts were frequently practised in the early days of Christianity and during the Middle Ages. Thomas Campanella tells us that frail nuns often sought relief from attacks of hysteria by fasting "seven times seventy hours,"--or twenty and one half days. John Calvin and John Wesley both strongly urged fasting as a beneficial measure for both ministers and people.
In â€œMy Debut As A Literary Personâ€, Mark Twain, seriously in this instance, records some of his experiences with and observations of fasting: He says: "A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best of medicines and the best of doctors. I do not mean a restricted diet, I mean total abstinence from food for one or two days. I speak from experience; starvation has been my cold and fever doctor for fifteen years, and has accomplished a cure in all instances.
The third mate told me in Honolulu that the 'por-tyghee' had lain in his hammock for months, raising his family of abscesses and feeding like a cannibal. We have seen that in spite of dreadful weather, deprivation of sleep, scorching, drenching, and all manner of miseries, thirteen days of starvation 'wonderfully recovered' him. There were four sailors down sick when the ship was burned. Twenty-five days of pitiless starvation have followed, and now we have this curious record: 'all men are hearty and strong, even the ones that were down sick are well, except poor Peter.'
When I wrote an article some months ago urging temporary abstinence from food, as a remedy for an inactive appetite and for disease, I was accused of jesting, but I was in earnest. 'We are all wonderfully well and strong, comparatively speaking.' On this day the starvation regimen drew its belt a couple of buckle-holes tighter; the bread ration was reduced from the usual piece of cracker the size of a silver dollar to the half of that, and one meal was abolished from the daily three. This will weaken the men physically, but if there are any diseases of the ordinary sort left in them they will disappear."
Fasting by the Insane
The insane commonly manifest a strong aversion to food and, unless forcibly fed, will often go for extended periods without eating. It is customary in institutions devoted to the care of the mentally ill, to force-feed such patients, often by very cruel means. This aversion to food by the insane is undoubtedly an instinctive move in the right direction. In his Natural Cure, pp. 140-143, Dr. Page presents a very interesting account of a patient that recovered normal mental health by fasting forty-one days, after other treatment had miserably failed. One case of insanity in a young man who came under my care refused food for thirty-nine days, resuming eating on the morning of the fortieth day of fasting, greatly improved in mental condition.
I have used fasting in other cases of mental disease and have no doubt that fasting is distinctly beneficial and, I am convinced that when the insane patient refuses food, this is an instinctive measure designed to assist the body in its reconstructive work.
Case after case of fasting, then health. These cases are stories of what can happen in a fast. These stories are not just for entertainment, but for confidence that fasting works
When we consider that fasting is not employed to cure disease, as are the various therapeutic measures, its wide use loses its appearance of indiscriminate use. More than this, when we consider that Hygienists do not recognize the existence of a great number of diseases, it will be realized that they cannot apply it indiscriminately. Take the following so-cal