Monday, September 17, 2007

Germ Theory

One of the more controversial tenets of Natural Hygiene is the belief that germs do not cause illness.

The argument is the following... All disease is caused by toxemia. Toxemia is caused by toxins building up in the body. Toxin buildup results from consuming foods inappropriate for our species (meat, milk, grain, cooked food...) or from other practices that thwart the body's ability to cleanse metabolic toxins. So basically, if you are emotionally unhealthy, if you don't exercise, if you don't get the rest and sunshine you need, toxins can build up.

Your body then produces a response to remove the toxins. Throwing up, sneezing, runny nose, for example, are all ways for the body to rid itself of toxic matter. Symptoms are the healing itself. Symptoms also alert your conscious mind to perform actions that assist healing, such as fasting or resting.

What about those bacteria that we can see on a microscope? Well, according to NH, the germs are opportunistic organisms that actually are assisting in the healing process. Bacteria are consuming toxins or performing other functions, not attacking us and causing illness.

Without delving deeply into all of the convincing evidence that NH teachers use to support their theory, let me just state that I generally am convinced.

But I am challenged by a couple of unanswered questions:

1) Why do I have the same cold symptoms that my kids had a couple of days ago, and that some of their daycare compatriots had last week? The usual argument would be that we have similar poor habits that build up toxins and so our bodies simply are cleansing simultaneously.

But I'm the only committed raw fooder in the bunch. Why should I have similar symtoms as my kids who ate tons of sugary baked goods this Saturday and a bunch of meat and milk consuming daycare kids?

2) What about stuff like rabies?

So a long drawn-out way to say... Waaah, my nose is running. LOL!


Raw Vegan Family said...

Marjorie, I have grappled with that concept for years. Maybe we are not eating the same foods, but suffering the same stress? I don't know. I do know after I take Christopher to the playground at the mall, he gets a runny nose and often a fever, within 48 hours. The same does not happen when he plays with children outside in the park. I noticed the same with my kids. I used to own a day care center and I know things appeared to be "passed" around.

Still pondering!

Jennifer C. said...

Marjorie, I've been struggling lately with so many of these types of questions and unfortunately I don't know where to go for answers. But for what it's worth, I've read it can take years of commitment to a NH lifestyle before our bodies are completely healed. I figure I mistreated myself nutritionally for 40 years, so it will take a while to undo all that damage.

Glad you were able to stop by Tommie's forum for a bit! We miss you over there!

Greenmama said...

Hi Connie and Jen,

Nice to see you both here. Thanks for your thoughts...


Sarah said...

Hi Marjorie...I've had the same thoughts myself...

One of the things I've come to more fully comprehend is that it's not just the food that makes a difference. There are so many other factors to health - the sunshine, weather, enough rest, emotional stress (or lack thereof), etc, etc, etc...I mean, I knew this stuff as you do, but now it is really starting to sink in.

I think that emotional stress is one of the BIGGEST things that can affect your body, even bigger than diet sometimes, and I was wondering if that could be a reason for whole families coming down with the same symptoms.

I just don't know! I'm sorry you have a runny nose though, that always stinks...and hope you feel better soon!

Raw Vegan Mama said...

Great questions! I am wondering about them, too! My kids have runny noses -- what a pain & discomfort for everyone in the house!

Hope you are feeling better soon!


Greenmama said...

Hi Sarah and RVM!

Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!

I am sure I am nowhere near "optimal" in my lifestyle yet, particularly in the emotional stress department. :) I guess I didn't explain myself well in the post...

My question is not WHY I'm sick, but why I'm coincidentally sick at the same time as my children and the daycare children, who have all have much "worse" lifestyles. If it's not "contagious" and our lifestyle behaviors are very different, then why are we all sick around the same time?


Sarah said...

I knew what you meant - I was thinking along the lines that families have very similar emotional stress patterns and that perhaps that was something that happened that stressed your family out that trickled down to the kids too? Maybe I'm over thinking it.

As far as having different lifestyles - it's only been a few months so your body is still cleaning out and adjusting...

I got a stomach virus around the end of May...DH and I both got it, and the kids got extremely mild versions of it. I'd been 811 since Jan, DH was yo-yoing between fruit and junk and the kids were same as me. My DH got it worse - took him a week to recover, I bounced back in one day and the kids hardly seemed to notice it.

My FIL passed away a couple of weeks before that. I connected it to that. I think that the "virus" or whatever it was would have not bothered us if we were in the pink of health. I was living quite healthfully at the time, but FIL's passing away was a big emotional stresser, not to mention a lot of lost sleep.

I think what I'm trying to say is that I think there are micro organisms out there that can make a human feel sick, but they don't like to live in clean environments. So as far as contagion, the stomach thing might not have bothered me at all, or at least only a little, if not for the big emotional upheaval we had just experienced? I dunno.

le said...

hey, i've been wondering about those questions for about 5 months now since i read NH. my son and i just both had the sniffles, im high raw and he loves to eat ,my stuff, though i still feed him cooked grains and veggies.. my hubby on the other hand eats more of SAD and he didnt catch anything. and i know we got this cold from our friends, whose whole family just had it.. lol. so i dont fully understand. you would think that it would be mentioned somewhere, lol.. for us "dummies" to understand.
i hope someone comes across ur blog that actually knows the answer, it would be sooo helpful.
feel good :)

le said...

oh ye, and if we get some crazy disease like rabies, or lyme disease, what do we do? water fast? lol. i wouldnt wanna die..!