What Is The Purpose Of Disease?Jason Siddall
That’s possibly not a question you might hear every day, but it’s nevertheless important that we ask it. Because the answer lies at the very heart of the Nature Cure philosophy of disease. You’ll find this philosophy in the teachings of Naturopathic colleges worldwide and behind the success of numerous health hydro’s and healing sanitariums. In fact, it’s not actually that far removed from the philosophy of disease held by the very father of medicine himself, Hippocrates, who said, “Nature is the physician of our diseases.”
Before we go any further, it’s important to understand the generally accepted stages of disease. Illness starts with relatively minor, or acute manifestations. These are usually easy to overcome if treated correctly. Then there are the more serious, or degenerative manifestations that are life-threatening and difficult to overcome.
Generally speaking, Nature Cure teaches us that, in the vast majority of cases, we bring our acute illnesses (such as colds, boils, pimples, coughs and fevers, for example) on ourselves. We do this in one of two ways:
- Unwise living and eating habits
- Unwise treatment and/or suppression of past ailments
As Ellen G. White says: “Disease never comes without a cause. The way is prepared, and disease invited, by disregard of the laws of health.”
The Purpose Of Disease – What Is Nature Trying To Tell Us?
Conventional opinion considers our acute ailments to be the result of the random attacks of a “deadly enemy.” Nature Cure, however, recognises them as little more than Nature’s spontaneous response to our unwise living and eating habits. In other words, our colds and coughs and other acute problems are not actually our enemies. They are, instead, the result of Nature’s desperate efforts to cleanse our systems and correct and counteract the imbalances that our unwise choices have created.
Dr Harry Benjamin confirms: “Disease is nothing more or less than Nature’s blind attempt at cure,” he says. “It is the system’s attempt to deal as effectively as it can under given conditions with factors which, through man’s ignorance, folly, and self-indulgence, are causing impediment of function!”
- When we have a cough, Nature is trying to expel unwanted matter from our system.
- When we have a cold, our body is burdened by an accumulation of toxins and is making a desperate effort to cleanse our system.
- When we sneeze, it’s simply Nature trying to eliminate mucus from our sinus passages and nose.
- When we have diarrhoea, it’s usually Nature trying to flush toxic matter from our bowels.
- When we have pimples, boils or blackheads, it’s a sign that Nature is eliminating impurities through our skin.
Obviously, there are exceptions, but in a broad and very general sense, Nature Cure considers our acute ailments as the beneficial efforts of Nature to rid our systems of life-burdening impurities.
The Heal Is Real
This might all be sounding a little strange to you at this point – especially if you’re not already familiar with the age-old understanding of the purpose of disease. And yet, when you think about it, it’s no stranger than the other, perhaps more familiar ways in which our bodies heal themselves almost every day.
Think about this:
- When we cut ourselves, the blood coagulates at the cut, the skin grows together, and Nature heals the injury.
- When we burn ourselves, Nature covers the burn with a protective blister.
- When we break a bone, Nature knits the bone together.
- When a germ or a virus enters our bloodstream, Nature sends a miraculous army of powerful little internal “friends” (antibodies) to fight and overwhelm the intruder.
- When we knock or bump a part of our body, blood rushes to that area to supply healing energy and nutrients, as well as to protect the area, and carry away waste.
- When, after many years of physical abuse, we switch to a healthier way of living, Nature immediately responds by mustering all of her healing energies.
All these protective and restorative mechanisms are part of a brilliant Master design – one that includes self-healing, self-regeneration, and self-protection as vital components in an overall strategy that is aimed at preserving the living organism that is our body.
Once we recognise the many ways in which Nature is constantly working to keep us well, we realise that there isn’t anything strange about a philosophy of disease that views our acute ailments as the beneficial, healing, cleansing efforts of Nature.
“The process of [acute] disease is one which actually saves life. It enables the body to cleanse itself of dangerous excesses of impurities that the depurating organs (lungs, bowels, bladder, skin, kidneys, liver) have been unable to eliminate in the normal way. If the purpose of acute disease were universally understood from this standpoint, it would quickly lose its terrors, and instead be regarded as a friend in disguise.“
Dr Stanley Lief