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Nature’s Healing Agents and How to Make the Switch

Prior to creating human beings, God provided all of the necessary measures to support endless life. Only when our first ancestors yielded to the deceptive temptations of Satan did things begin to change in ways that altered God’s plan for us. And even though our world has experienced six thousand years of wanton abuse at our hands, enough remains of that original creation to benefit all who will study and wisely apply those life-giving measures.

Sunlight, fresh air, pure water, nutritious plant foods, useful enjoyable exercise, dark nights for sound sleep, sufficient common sense to avoid poisons and extremes with even good things, and a whole day each week (Sabbath) set aside to spend in fellowship with the creator God (whereby to get to know him and learn to trust him)—all of these were ours from the beginning, and are available to us today—though sometimes much different than when first created.

Nature’s agents are designed to heal and sustain life and health. They are not a “quick fix!” They take time, effort, and the blessing of God to accomplish the desired outcome. But often, they can provide benefits to the human body that no medicine or modern technology can do.

In the discussions that follow, you will learn how to apply these healing agents of Nature, both in preventing illness and in seeking healing for your ailments.

Chapter contents

A) Nutrition

B) Exercise

C) Rest

D) Water

E) Fresh air

F) Sunshine

G) Temperance

H) Trust in Divine power

I) Changing lifestyle

J) How to make sudden change

K) How to make gradual change

A) Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential to health, happiness, and length of life. While people can survive for some time without knowing anything about nutrition or without taking any special pains to do more than to satisfy hunger, knowledge of and attention to the principles of good nutrition may often markedly improve one’s health, make life more enjoyable and worth living, and significantly extend the number of years during which one may enjoy good health.

Optimum health depends upon optimal functioning of all of the organ systems and cells of the body. This cannot occur unless optimal quantities of calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are provided in the diet one eats.

In the beginning when God created the world, He provided all of the nutrients necessary for endless life in the plants that He made, and He told our first ancestors to eat and enjoy. Since that day, our world has gone through some very drastic changes. The changes brought on by the flood in the days of Noah altered the distribution of land, water, and the minerals that support life. None were destroyed, but all misplaced. Other changes may be attributed to the choices our ancestors made to kill and use animals for food in addition to or in place of plant foods. Climate changes, alterations in radiation from outer space, and undoubtedly many other factors also effected the quality of food available for optimal nutrition.

In our modern world, we have the added changes produced by all sorts of chemicals used as fertilizers, pesticides, etc., all of which have further effected the quality of nutrients available to us. In balance, much of what has been lost due to mal-distribution and chemicals may be compensated for by the rapid, effective transport of fresh food from all over the world to our dining tables. Unfortunately, not everyone living on earth today has access to such benefits—not only in quality, but in quantity as well. In fact, it is estimated that nearly one sixth of the world population suffers from inadequate calories and other nutrients.

Ample scientific studies now confirm the wisdom of the original diet given by God to man. Those who utilize a diet composed of a wide variety of natural, mostly unrefined plant foods have been demonstrated to suffer from less frequent and severe disease, and to live nearly ten years longer than their contemporaries who use an abundance of refined foods of both plant and animal origin.

Such a diet may not only prevent premature illness, but may often reverse many of the disease processes now afflicting us.

For detailed information regarding optimal nutrition, please refer to the chapter on nutrition prepared by Marcella Lynch (Section VI, chapter 2 A).

To read a fair and honest discussion about GM (genetically modified) foods, please refer to the chapter presented by Kenneth I. Burke, PhD, RD (Section VI, chapter 2 B).

To learn how to make raw foods taste good (Section VI, chapter 2 C).

To read about Organic foods (Section VI, chapter 2 D).

To read about irradiated foods (Section VI, chapter 2 E).

To read about reading labels of food (Section VI chapter 2 F).

To learn some of the dangers of foods of animal origin (Section VI, chapter 2 G).

B) Exercise

Exercise, too, is essential for health and length of life. When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in a garden home where they would have ample opportunity to exercise among the plants and animals with which they shared their home.

We now know from scientific studies that exercise makes our muscles and bones strong, our hearts efficient, our brains calmer, our digestive organs more regular, our glandular systems more balanced, and our excretory systems more effective. Even food is used more efficiently digested when we exercise.

Exercise is one of the natural principles God has given to us to enhance our health and to heal our diseases. Use it! Everyone needs exercise on a daily basis—even the sick—especially the sick and ailing!

To learn more about the benefits of exercise or how to develop your own exercise program for health and healing, please refer to the chapters on exercise.

To learn how to develop your own personalized exercise program, please see Section VI, chapter 3A, by Don Morgan, Ph.D., FACSM.

To learn how to build strength to resist injury and heal disease, see Section VI, chapter 3 B, by Dick Nunez, a physical fitness professional.

To begin experimenting with a garden, please refer to the Section VI, chapter 3 C, “Garden for health.”

Note: Even housework—washing, cooking, and cleaning—reduces the risk of breast cancer in women!

C) Rest

Nothing is quite as satisfying as a comfortable bed after a long day of hard labor—or a swim in the lake after a tough day at the office. God gave us the opportunity to exercise, but He also saw the need for rest. In fact, to assure that we obtained sufficient R and R, He made the nights dark so we could sleep, and established the Sabbath and made it hallowed time just so we would have time to spend in fellowship with Him on one special day out of every seven.

Exercise makes us strong, but only if it is balanced with adequate quality rest.

To learn more about the benefits of rest as it relates to health and a sense of well being, please refer to Section VI, chapter 4.

D) Water

Water is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Water quenches our thirst on a hot day. It keeps our bodies healthy and well-hydrated so all systems can function efficiently. Water washes away our dirt (inside and out), cleans our cloths, and calms our tensed up nerves.

An interesting study done at Loma Linda University demonstrated that the benefits to a man obtained by drinking an average of 5 glasses of pure water daily were about equal to the benefits experienced by one who had never smoked tobacco. Pure, clean water is one of God’s best medicines.

To learn how to assure yourself an ample supply of safe, drinkable water, please refer to the chapter prepared by Dawna Sawatzky (Section VI, chapter 5 A).

To learn how to use water for effective therapy for injuries and illness, please refer to the chapter on hydrotherapy prepared by Don Miller (Section VII, chapter 7).

To learn more about the administration of water during times of illness, please refer to chapter on fluid Administration (Section VII, chapter 4).

To see a comparison of various kinds of drinks, please refer to Section VI, chapter 5 B.

E) Fresh Air

Fresh air is a precious commodity provided by a loving God for our health and happiness. It is only in recent years since the popularization of the combustion engine and the expansion of modern industry that we have even been aware of how precious it is. Only since the air we breathe blurs our eyes, burns our noses, and chokes our breath have we begun to really appreciate the benefits of clean, fresh air.

If we would enjoy optimal health, we will seek on every occasion to breathe only the cleanest and purest air. If this requires air filters, air conditioners, facemasks, or a move to a rural location, these may be worth serious consideration. And certainly we will avoid all possible contact with the smoke of tobacco products.

To learn more about the air we breathe, please refer to Section VI, chapter 7.

F) Sunshine

If you have ever had opportunity to lay on your back on the grass on an early summer day, and enjoy the warm rays of the sun as they shined down on your prostrate form, you know a little bit of the benefit of sunshine. But it is so much more.

Scary rhetoric about a hole in the earth’s Ozone layer together with an increasing incidence of melanoma and other skin cancers have nearly driven the sun behind a permanent cloud for the dwellers on earth during this generation, but the sun continues to have value for those who will venture out into its healing rays.

Sunshine elevates the mood, enhances our endocrine (glandular) functions, boosts our immune systems, and kills microorganisms all around. In fact, we are just now beginning to realize how beneficial sunlight is to normal human physiology.

Certain precautions to overexposure to sunlight and burning are in order, but daily exposure to the joyful beams of the sun ought to be cherished by all—and especially the sick.

To learn more about the healing qualities of sunlight, please refer to Section VI, chapter 6.

G) Temperance

Most of us make a concentrated effort to avoid cyanide for fear of sudden death, but how often we take in poisons of a zillion other forms, that though perhaps a bit slower in effecting their results, are none the less just as lethal.

Wise people who enjoy life—or want to do so at least—will avoid all toxic substances and will use good things in moderation. Even good food, or cool, fresh water, can kill if taken in excessive amounts.

For hints about how to practice temperance, please refer to the chapter entitled Temperance in all things (Section VI, chapter 8).

To obtain help in your determination to quit smoking, please refer to the suggestions described by Dr. Arthur Weaver. You will be glad you did (Section VI, chapter 9).

H) Trust in divine power

Nearly everyone is familiar with the potential benefits that may be experienced by those that will apply the principles recommended throughout this book, yet how few ever get to enjoy those benefits! We humans have become so thoroughly programmed by a noxious spirit that we will do almost anything rather than do what we know we ought to do—and often really want to do, but lack the power to make the change.

It was just for this that God sent his Son in the person of Jesus to live among us as our example, and to die at our collective hands in order to restore us to the joy and happiness lost so long ago back in Eden.

He is real today, and as Captain of the entire forces of heaven, is available to all that will let Him have full control of their lives—to save us, not in our sins, but from our sins. He alone possesses the power to give us victory over all of our “weaknesses.”

To learn how to trust God, please refer to Section VI, chapter 10.

To learn how to connect with this power, and to live a victorious life, please refer to the chapter on connecting with the Power (Section XII, chapter 5).

For suggestions for managing the stress of life, please refer to the chapter on stress management (Section V, chapter 12).

To learn how to apply spiritual principles in dealing with mental illness, please refer to the chapter prepared by David and Beverly Sedlachek (Section V, chapter 10).

To learn about demon possession and victory over the devil, please refer to the chapter on Demon possession by Josiah Rambally M.D. (Section V, chapter 13).

To read the interesting tribute to Ellen White, the one through whom divine revelation provided many of the principles presented in this book, please refer to the chapter describing this tribute (Section XII, chapter 3).

I) Changing lifestyle

Change is always difficult. Changing lifestyle is often super-difficult! But for those who wish to enjoy the benefits, it is well worth the cost to do so.

Change must be rapid and complete for those facing life-threatening health problems, but is often more successfully accomplished somewhat gradually for those not under such threats.

Many of the things we do in life are done by habit. Habits are difficult to change, but are often more easily replaced by something more appealing. When changing lifestyle, it is well to concentrate more on developing new habits than pining over the loss of old ones.

But mere habit is not the only thing that makes change difficult. Physiological processes must also change when our practices change. For a person to switch from a high protein meat diet to a high complex carbohydrate diet requires actual adjustment in the body’s biochemical and physiological processes. This takes time, and accounts for much of the bloating, the gassiness, and other symptoms many people experience when they change diet.

Sometimes even more difficult are the social adjustments one must make when making lifestyle changes. Life-long friendships are sometimes challenged when one party suddenly becomes “anti-social,” refusing the offer of a cigarette, a glass of fine wine or a thick, juicy steak. These “fanatical” changes may be accepted when there is a direct threat to life, but much more difficult to accept when done for long-term, preventive reasons.

Some people have strong will-power and are able to do nearly anything they set their mind to. Others are not so well endowed, and succeed only by trying and failing over and over again. Mary was one of these. I first saw Mary with a gangrenous foot in need of amputation. She had reached the end of modern, hi-tech capability. Mary smoked cigarettes. She was overweight. She enjoyed her typical American fast-food diet. Exercise was, of course limited by the pain in her foot. Water was for washing dishes, but certainly not a beverage worthy of drinking. But after hearing her options, Mary chose to change her lifestyle practices in a desperate attempt to save her foot. A year later, her “rotten” toe had healed, though admittedly somewhat shrunken. The huge ulcer on her shin was nearly closed, and Mary’s foot was again warm and functioning. Unfortunately, Mary hated every minute of her treatment.

There is only one force powerful enough to help people make these kinds of changes without duress. It is the power of godly love—love for ourselves that gives us incentive for life, love for God that wants to express gratitude for His gifts and love for our fellow men that inspires us with the desire to make a difference in their lives too. And there is only one source for this kind of love. That is God.

Love comes from God—but like all other communication, it comes to us through our brains. Recent brain research reveals that lifestyle has a major effect upon how well this communication system works. We now know that the brain is capable of changing, both in function and in structure. Thoughts, concepts, ideas, habits, addictions, and even inherited, genetic traits can be changed by the power God will provide for the asking. But—effective communication from God—effective reception of power from above—requires that we also reach out to Him. We may enhance our brain receptiveness to God’s loving power by placing into practice the principles for health described in this book. In other words, God gives us the power to apply the principles when we ask, but in order to receive them physiologically, we must already begin applying them by faith.

J) How to make sudden change

Factors necessitating sudden change of lifestyle practices generally involve one’s whole family or social structure. Everyone directly involved in the family, and certainly those who will bear the bulk of responsibility, will need to understand the risks and benefits as well as the commitments necessary to make it work. Without this, success will be very tenuous.

“Sudden” does not necessarily mean instantly complete. If wise, transition will start where a person is at, and build on strengths already present. For example, nearly everyone has a few foods that they like that are compatible with the new lifestyle. Begin with these foods and add other health promoting foods as rapidly as tolerated. In addition, highly nutritious freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juices may help in the transitioning process—even if used more as “medicine” than as food.

Likewise, one who has not walked for ten years cannot go out and walk ten miles the first day. Rather, the patient is encouraged to walk a few steps or a few blocks farther each day as tolerated. So it must be with all of the health modalities of HEALTH SMART.

Patience and frequent encouragement by the family and healthcare giver will help to make this successful. And do not forget to invite the power of God to help (Section XII, chapter 5).

K) How to make gradual change

There are some things one can never do gradually. One cannot stop the use of alcohol, tobacco or other addicting drugs gradually. It just does not happen!

Likewise, one either exercises, or one does not. What may be gradual is the discovery of the most enjoyable form of exercise and the amount of time and energy devoted to it.

In making dietary changes, people often get discouraged and give up unless they become educated, learning how to prepare a totally different kind of menu so that it is attractive, tasty, satisfying, and nutritious. On the other hand, those who are committed to making the change and are willing to learn will often soon begin to enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to do things and new tastes and textures to enjoy.

Even here, change will not come without a battle—with self, with family or with friends. And success will only be guaranteed as one depends upon divine power to make it happen (Section XII, chapter 5).

Once successfully made, the new lifestyle changes will bring with them great rewards.

 
© Copyright 2010 by A Place of Healing.