January 9, 2008

By Sandra K. Ellis, M.H.

In the early 1800s there was an herbalist by the name of Samuel Thompson.  Quite often his teachings are referred to as “Thompsonian medicine.”  He had an enlightening analogy on how the human body works.  He would compare the body to a wood stove.  If you put clean burning fuel into a wood stove, you will get a lot of abundant heat with very little waste.  The human body works in the same way - if you put the right kind of fuel into the body - you will have boundless energy with very little waste.  If, however, you put in the wrong type of fuel - you will have very little heat (or energy) and a lot of waste.

To extend this metaphor, the wood stove has four chimneys on it representing the main four channels of elimination in the human body:

1. respiratory
2. digestive
3. urinary
4. skin

Now, if each of us can agree that the “Creator” knew what He was doing when He created us, that we are not some type of experimental model, then we can all agree that this body was designed to work properly.  If this is the case, then we need to understand that when the body takes in something that does not belong in it - such as bacteria, a virus or any other type of toxin, the body attempts to eliminate it.

If the body chooses one of those four chimneys to eliminate waste and it is plugged up - it has to choose a different chimney for elimination.  Usually, the body will use the digestive system to eliminate.  If, however, it is plugged up, the body will quite often use the respiratory system.

We need to learn to work with [the body] and provide it with what it needs to succeed instead of always trying to treat symptoms.

This is the fundamental law of “cleanse and nourish.”  If we understand that the body is a “whole” entity that is all connected, then we will come to understand that we have to treat the “whole” body, not just the area where we are seeing symptoms.  When we “cleanse and nourish,” we eliminate the body’s toxins and then we give it the tools (nourishment) it needs to rebuild itself.

Consider another analogy to help bring this into perspective.  If you had a fish tank which was filthy and the fish were sick, would you treat or clean up the tank? 

Anyone who has ever even owned a gold fish knows that you have to clean up the tank or the fish will never get better.  It is the same with the human body.  Every cell is bathed in fluid.  If we do not clean up the environment, we can not expect the body to heal itself.  We may be able to clear up a few symptoms temporarily, but if we have not cleaned out what is causing the problem, we will see the symptoms resurface again and again - not only in the same way, but also in other parts of the body.

Getting back to the analogy of the wood stove, if we understand there are important eliminative channels the body uses, then it would be prudent for us to keep these channels in good working order.

How do we do this?  Check back next week when we discuss how to keep the respiratory and digestive systems healthy, then the following week when we discuss how to keep the urinary system and skin healthy.

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