Taking Charge of Your Health

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, lecturer in Harvard Medical School, in an address delivered before
the Massachusetts Medical Society at an annual meeting subject: Currents and
Counter Currents in Medical Science, says, “With the exception of Morphine and Sulfuric
Ether, I firmly believe that if the whole Material Medica could be sunk to
the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind,-
and all the worst for the fishes.” Dr. Jacob Bigelow, Professor in Harvard
University, says, in an annual address before the Massachusetts Medical Society,
“The premature death of medical men brings with it the humiliating
conclusion that, while the other sciences have been carried forward, within our own
time and almost under our own eyes, to a degree of unprecedented advancement,
medicine in regard to some of it’s professed an important objects, the cure
of disease, is still an ineffectual speculation.” Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse
Professor in Harvard University, after lecturing before it’s medical students
for more than twenty years retired saying, of all he had been so long and zealously lecturing, “I am sick of learned quackery.” Dr. Chapman, Professor of the Institutes and Practice of Physic in the University of Pennsylvania, in a published essay, says, of Pennsylvania, in a published essay, says, “consulting the records of our science, we
cannot help being disgusted with the multitude of hypotheses obtruded upon us at different times. Nowhere is the imagination displayed to
a greater extent; and perhaps so ample an exhibition of human invention might gratify our vanity if it were not
more than compensated by the humiliating view of so much absurdity, contradiction, and falsehood. To
harmonize the contrarieties of medical doctrines is indeed a task as impracticable
as to arrange the fleeting vapors around us, to reconcile the fixed and repulsive
antipathies of Nature. Dark and perplexed, our devious career resembles
the grouping of Homer’s Cyclops around his cave.” Dr. L. M. Whiting, in a dissertation
delivered at an annual commencement in Pittsfield Massachusetts and recorded in
the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, vol. 14, p. 183, says, ” the very
principles upon which most of what are called the theories involving medical
questions have been based were never established.” They are, and always were,
false; and consequently the superstructures built upon them where the
baseless fabric of a vision transient in their existence passing away upon the
introduction of new doctrines and hypotheses like dew before the morning sun.
Speculation has been the garb in which medicine has been arrayed, from the
remote period when it was rocked in the cradle of it’s infancy by the Egyptian
priesthood, down to the present day; system after system has arisen,
flourished, and fallen and been forgotten in rapid and melancholy sucession, until
the whole field is strewd with the disjointed materials in a perfect chaos,
and amongst the rubbish the philosophic mind may search for ages without being
able to glean from it hardly one solitary well established fact. If this is a true
statement of the case (and let him who doubts it take up the history of
medicine); if that enormous mass of matter which has been, time out of mind, accumulating, and which has been christened
medical science, is in fact nothing but hypothesis piled upon hypothesis, who is
there among us that would not exult in seeing it swept away at once by the besom of
destruction?” Dr. Mason Good, late learned Professor in London says, “the science of
medicine isn’t unintelligible jargon, and the effects of our medicine on the
human system are in the highest degree uncertain, except, indeed, that they have
already destroyed more lives than war, pestilence and famine combined.” Dr.
Gregory says in his Practice, vol. 1, p. 29 “upon no subject has the wild
spirit and eccentric disposition of the imagination been more wildly displayed
than in the history of medicine.” Dr. J. Abercrombie Fellow of the Royal Society
of England of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh and first
Physician to his Majesty in Scotland, says, “medicine has been called by
philosophers the art of conjecturing,- the science of guessing.” Dr. James Graham,
celebrated in London, says of medicine, “it hath been very rich in theory but poor,
very poor in the practical application of it indeed the tinsel glitter of fine-spun
theory, or favorite hypothesis, which prevails wherever medicine has been taught, so dazzles, flatters and charms human vanity
and folly, that so far from contributing to the certain and speedy
cure of disease, it hath in every age proved the bane and disgrace of the
healing art.” Dr. Brown who studied under the famous W.M. Collen, of Edinburgh, says,
in the preface of his work, “the author of this work has spent more
than twenty years in learning, scrutinizing and teaching others every part of
medicine. The first five years passed away in hearing others, in studying what I
had heard, implicitly believing it, and entering upon the possession as a rich
inheritance. The next five I was employed in explaining, refining the several
particulars, and bestowing on them a higher in nicer polish. During the
succeeding years, nothing having prospered according to my satisfaction, I
grew indifferent to the whole subject, and with many eminent men, and even the very
vulgar, began to deplore the healing art is altogether uncertain and
incomprehensible.” Dr. Benjamin Rush, Professor of the Practice of Medicine in
the University of Pennsylvania, says, “it is impossible to calculate the mischief which Hippcrates has done by first marking Nature with his name,
and afterwards letting her loose upon sick people.” Dr. Jackson Professor, says, ” what is called
experience in medicine, daily observation and reflection confirm me in the
conviction, is a fallacious guide, not more entitled to the explicit confidence
claimed for it, than when it was thus characterized by the father of the
science, fallax experientia. In fact experience cannot exist in
medicine, such as it is in these arts in which experiments can be made under
circumstances invariably the same.” Dr. John Forbes, M.D., F.R.S., Fellow of the Royal
College of Physicians, London, Physician of the Queen’s Household, etc., says,
“that no systematic or theoretical classification of diseases, or
therapeutic agents ever yet promulgated, is true, or anything like the truth, and
that none can be adopted as a safe guidance in practice.” Dr. James Johnson,
of London, surgeon-extraordinaire to the King, says, “I declare my conscientious opinion,
founded on long observation and reflection, that if there was not a
single physician, surgeon, apothecary, midwife, chemist, druggist, or drug on the
face of the earth, there would be less sickness and less mortality than now obtains.” Pliny the Younger says, “that
the cerates in cataplasms, plasters, collyria and antidotes are mere tricks
to make money.” Voltaire says, “the art of Medicine
consists in amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease.” Mr Thomas Carlyle, says,
in his Latter Day Pamphlets No. V, “notwithstanding the
nobleness of the proposed object of medicine, many generous souls are deterred
from entering it. It yields a money result only. It does not much invite the
ardent kinds of ambition. I believe that this profession, this art, this miss named
knowledge of medicine, is none other than a practice of
fundamentally fallacious principles impotent of good, morally wrong, and bodily hurtful.
I have found recorded the following evidence; and it is this evidence, together with my own observations, that has led me to thus believe: it is known that
those men who have been trying to defend an art of human healing will soon see
they have been cultivating a most cruel art of imposture; that those men will
soon see that nature can cure diseases without their so-called assistance; that
those who shall ask, What is to take the place of drugs in sickness? will be
answered, Nature, reason, and truth; that wherever
healing has been done Nature has done it; that whereever
healing is being done Nature is doing it; that wherever healing
is to be done Nature is to do it; that everything
should be used to relieve suffering that is approved of by instinct, sense, and
right reason; that Adam did such things to comfort himself when ill as his
instinct, sense, and reason suggested; that the use of drugs in any case of sickness
is unnecessary, unreasonable and as a rule, highly injurious ; that the healing
of human infirmities has a peculiar interest to all men; that it is
interesting to the sick because they are anxious immediately to recover; that it is
interesting to the well because of the possibility of becoming ill ; that it is
a mark of wisdom in all of us to determine, if we can, the cure of disease;
that the popular reception of a delusion for four thousand years does not change
it into truth; that there are unknowable causes of health as well as unknowable
causes of disease; that we shall come nearer to the cause of health as we
discover what is not the cause of health; that the history of medicine will show
us what is not favorable to health; that accurate observation will show us what
is favorable to health; that the errors, injustices, and delusions arising from
the use of drugs and charms are unfavorable to health; that health should
be contemplated as received from its fountain head; that men of wisdom
consider the art of healing as an evil invention; that history has recorded the
origin of medicine in the mythological deities; that some men believe Apollo to have
been justly crowned with this honor ; men say it was either Osaris, Chiron, or Mercury ; that Hermes, king of Egypt in the era before Moses is thought
by many men to have been the inventor of it; that the chinese believe medicine to
have been invented by their first Emperor, by special permission from heaven, two
thousand six hundred and eighty-seven years before Christ, and thirteen hundred
and sixty-one years before Apollo; that this Emperor wrote a book called Nuy’ Kun’, which still serves as a guide in the treatment of diseases ;
that men even in those times could not through ignorance only, persist in
attributing to their own conduct, what was in reality the work of Nature; that
those men who at that time claimed the most authority could no longer attribute
the restoral of health to the sick man’s conduct without fear of being
discredited proposed certain gods whose duty it
should be to preside over health and to whom for which purposes petitions must be made ; that it was in
this way the fabled god’s became reputed with the power of healing; that these
gods were invented for the occasion for the purpose of aiding them in their self-
given authority; that to thus trifle with human instinct was as unjust as it
was infamous and barbaric ; that the god Apollo was among the first in human form
that was thought to heal disease ; that he was a fabled god and gave forth music,
medicine, and song,- was an archer, and his arrows gave forth pestilence,- was a
beauty and his presence gave forth pleasure ; that it was supposed also that
he could destroy diseases ; that Apollo received this power direct from Jupiter ;
that he received this power because of his uncommon influence over the gods in
other shapes ; that the god Aesculapius was among the second in human form that
was thought to heal disease ; that Aesculapius received his power as a healer from
the fabled god Apollo ; that Aesculapius was a son of his fabled father, Apollo
and his fabled mother, nymph Coranis, his education was received from the
fabled Chiron, the Centuar ; that he was killed by Jupiter’s thunderbolt for
restoring to life , Hippolytus, who was torn to pieces by his own horse; that his
daughter, Panacea, was called the goddess of health and is honored to this
day by physicians, who name their universal cure-alls, “panaceas”; that he was
the first who practice healing as an art that it had previously been practice as
a joy and duty only ; that he who held a change in diet to be curative in any
other sense than that it is a life sustenance was neither free from art nor
imposture ; that the rudest instinct and reason teaches men the difference
between the powers that are human and those that are divine ; that Aesculapius performed his then remarkable cures by a peculiar handling of a snake ; that
it was through his success in leading the people to believe that his snake had
the power of removing pestilence together with his magic tricks that he
has by tradition been styled the father of this so-called art ; that one of the
most illustrious philosophers of all time says that the first elements
of the healing art are the result of degeneration of human nature ; that he
who looks into history to see what were the grounds in which Aesculapius founded
his art, will find everything connected with its so indefensible that he will be
astonished to see men pretend to practice it ; that the conduct of Aesculapius in connection with this art bears, the most distinctive marks of imposture ;
that such a conduct as history records of him was not the natural outcome of goodness
justice or humanity that rather it was from an inordinate love of power, fame, and
money that his conduct was born and has received it’s sustenance ; that he was not even a
faithful director of diet ; that his chief care was to delude the people ; that he
most zealously strove to imbue the people with a belief that he could
remove disease from even remote countries by simply sending forth his snake ; that he is properly
class among those impostors who were the most degrading to humanity ; that it is
proper to say he was the inventor and in enactor of a species of imposture that has
been imitated to this day ; that it is improper to say that he was the inventor
of an art of healing ; that the art of human healing is in its very essence
antagonistic to Nature ; that it is antagonistic to Nature because injustice
and imposture are antagonistic to Nature that injustice and imposter are the very
essence of human healing ; that there is in the teachings of all the schools of
medicine of today, and in the present conduct of
all pretenders of human healing that same essence, that same likeness that has its
origin in that barbaric and impostural conduct so evident in every page of
history ; that the pretence of the physician is that he assists Nature
in curing disease, or assist Almighty power in doing it’s most vital work ; that
the physician does not and cannot do any such thing ; that in all the types of
nature’s creatures there cannot be found an imposter ; that men are taught that a
creature may widely vary from its type in its minor members and still not be
called a monster ; that when a creature shall be found widely varying from its type in its major members it is
then to be called a monster ; that if the type of man is called perfection, and
includes therein goodness, justice and all the virtues as being the major
members of the mind, it is proper to say that he who deviates somewhat in point
of justice from this type, may, in the strictest and most tenable sense be
called a monster ; that the quantity of justice in Aesculapius was very
small and the quality of it was as that of a madman’s ; that if we are to credit a single
page of history concerning him, he deviated from the
human type to such a depth of sin as would mark him the hugest monster then
in being ; that that essence, that same likeness is as much apparent and pernicious
in history as in deed to-day ; that the art of human healing has been from this
monster’s day to this, nothing else than a successful attempt at deception ; that
deception is the essence which underlines the very foundation of what
in this age is unhappily termed medicine ; that this evil essence ought to be exposed in
every detail wherever it can be found ; that Aesculapius became famous as a
healer of disease from his success in mysteriously manipulating a snake; that
all his cures were done by bringing his snake in the presence of the sick or in
the midst of a pestilential city, or by sign, ceremony, sacrifice,
divination, or incantation ; that in the time of Aesculapius men were found anatomically as
now ; that the species of serpent employed by him is still extant ; that
snakes and magical tricks to them were the only molds of cure; that it was the
custom to delude and keep the people ignorant ; that neither snakes nor magic
have the power to heal diseases ; that his to them successful cures begot him
fame ; that Nature is the “god of unerring bow,” ; that these several facts accuse
and convict him of having been a most impious fraud ; that these several facts are proof that Nature cured diseases then just as it does now ; that the
snake in the time of Aesculapius served in a two-fold capacity ; that it was figured
by a single coil in the sun, and worshipped as the universal god ; that it
was figured spirally on a caduceus, and worshipped as the God of
health ; that this worship was barbaric and unjust ; that this worship was devised by barbaric imposters ; that was the priest who said what and when
and how to worship ; that a pagan priest a learned man and magician were looked
upon as synonymous ; that the people were led to believe that the knowledge their
priests possessed was supernatural ; that the supernatural has been the element in
medicine that has deluded the world ; that the sun-snake god represented a
combination of divine and human powers ; that the sun was held to represent the
most generous of divine qualities and the snake was held to represent the
most subtle and damnatory of human qualities ; that the caduceus snake god
represented also a kind of human and divine powers ; that the snake was held to
represent the divine power of healing and the caduceus was held to represent
an assistance to healing, a staff to support the sick ; that those pagan priests
combined what they thought to be the most generous of divine qualities with
what they thought to be the most damnatory of human qualities because they
wished to do something to delude the people ; that those pagan priests combined
what they knew was not the divine power healing with what they knew was not
truly and aptly an assistance to the sick because they were accomplished
impostures and wished to do something to delude the people; that the snake in
casting off its skin was by the pagans significant of perpetual youth ; that this
is the only excuse those heathens for symbolizing health with the snake ;
that the allopathic theory teaches that opposite cures opposite ; that Almighty
power teaches that Almighty power cures diseases ; that the pagan priests taught
their people that disease was direct from the gods ; that the pagan priests knew
disease was the opposite of health, hot the opposite of cold, light the
opposite of darkness, in everything in Nature the opposite of something else in
Nature ; that they therefore said since opposites agree with opposites, the snake
agrees with health ; that in other words they said the snake influences
Almighty power to heal disease ; that this short sentence “opposites
agree with opposites,” was the origin of the expression “opposites cure opposites” ; that this
short sentence, the snake agrees with health was the origin of the expression
the snake causes health ; that such a theory of cure is as absurd as it was base and
impostural in practice ; that the homeopathic theory teaches that like
cures like ; that the biblical theory teaches that the snake was the origin of
sin ; that oral tradition teaches that sin is the cause of disease ; that the
pagan priests represented the most damnatory of human qualities by the
snake ; that the pagan priest knew that health is like health and disease like
disease and Nature like Nature and that everything in Nature is like something
else in Nature ; that they therefore said, since like agrees with like, the snake
agrees with disease ; that this short sentence “like agrees with like,” was the
origin of the expression “like cures like” ; that this short sentence, the snake
agrees with disease ; was the origin of the expression the snake cures
disease ; that since like does not cure like, and Nature alone can cure disease, and
the snake is not the cause of sin, and even sin is not the cause of disease, it
is evident that such an art as is theorized in “like cures like” cannot be
sufficient to assist Nature in its most vital work ; that the two great schools, the
allopathic and the homeopathic, comprise nearly the whole scope of human healing ; that there is a determined spirit of
antagonism existing between them ; that each has his own library in creed ; that
each has a distinct system of cure; that each has stamped upon its students a
characteristic conduct ; that these three facts show there is a radical error in the
one or the other ; that the Almighty did not give us disease in at the same time
give us several hundred ways to cure it; that the Almighty does not give us
disease as a conundrum; that these two schools have respectively received the
distinctive appellations of “like cures like” and “opposite cures opposite”

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