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Date: April 30th 2009

The Macfadden Monthly
May 2009

"I am fully aware that many people think we are a lot of crazy fanatics, but if fanaticism builds the highest degree of mental and moral health, enables one to secure the best in life, is well worth cultivating." -Bernarr Macfadden


Influenza - Symptoms & Treatment by Bernarr Macfadden
Blood and Vitality (Part 2) by Bernarr Macfadden
Macfadden's Nose Humor by Jim Bennett

Influenza - Symptoms & Treatment
by Bernarr Macfadden

Editor's Note: As this issue "goes to press," the biggest stories in the news are reports of the outbreak and spread of swine flu.  We are being warned that a pandemic is possible. Appropriately, this month's feature article is on the subject of influenza - a reprint of an article from Macfadden's Encyclopedia of Health. To me the most interesting statement in the article is Macfadden's bold assertion that those who live the physical culture life need have no fear of catching the flu. Following the feature article is part 2 of "Blood and Vitality." This article, continued from last month, explains in detail the reasons that Macfadden believed the person who is truly fit will be protected against diseases such as the flu.
(DISCLAIMER: this information is provided for historical interest only and is not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any disease.)

INFLUENZA (Grip; La Grippe).-An acute eliminative crisis which somewhat resembles a severe cold but is supposed to be due to a specific bacillus. It often occurs in epidemics. Isolated cases occur, however, so that the development of epidemics does not depend merely upon the presence of any germ which may be associ­ated with the symptoms. These symptoms merely indicate the eliminative character of the reaction and show that the funda­mental cause is an accumulation of toxins in the body, which can result only from wrong habits of living.

Those who live the physical culture life, therefore, need not fear that they will develop the disease in an epidemic and those who take the natural treatment after having been careless and allowed the disease to develop, need not fear a severe illness nor any of the ordinary complications (pneumonia, nephritis, or chronic bronchitis), which so frequently follow improper treatment.

Symptoms: There is an incubation period of two to five days. The symptoms vary according to the type of the disease, of which there are four recognized varieties. These are (1) The fever type; (2) the respiratory type; (3) the nervous type; and (4) the gastro­intestinal type. In the first type the onset is sudden. There are severe headache, pain on moving the eyes, pain in the back and in the bones, coated tongue, offensive breath, congested eyes, cough, bronchitis, great general weakness, chills, and fever, which may be high and last for three to five days under rational treat­ment. Relapses are common.

In the second type there is severe bronchitis, with large quan­tities of sputum which may appear purulent in character. There may be a complicating pleurisy, which may run on into empyema or a severe and serious form of bronchopneumonia.

In the third type nervous symptoms are markedly developed, often headache, insomnia, great prostration and even delirium.

In the fourth type, which is not very common, there are abdomi­nal pain and diarrhea and there may be nausea and vomiting. There also may be some jaundice, but no respiratory sYmptoms.

In influenza the heart may become affected; if so, it generally is serious, with rapid and irregular pulse and a tendency to dilata­tion. Some epidemics are severe and fatal. Fatal cases are more likely to be those of the second type, the cause of death usually being bronchopneumonia. Cases in any form of the disease may be mild or severe, of short duration or prolonged by complications.

Treatment: The treatment of influenza is not a matter of giving drugs to combat the fever, dull the pain and "support" the heart but simply of assisting the body in the cleansing effort it is making. In the beginning influenza resembles a severe cold; so if prompt treatment of the proper kind is taken it may never amount to more than this, for all diseases, especially the acute eliminative crises, are essentially the same. The first thing to do, of course, is to stop all feeding. When no food is taken the body can devote its entire time to elimination. A Complete Fast should be used, drinking hot or cool water freely and taking full warm, or a series of cool enemas daily. Complete bed rest is advisable when any fever exists. Plenty of fresh air is necessary. It is essential that the patient be kept warm.

On the first day a full hot immersion bath of 98 degrees gradually increased to 105 degrees F. may be taken for fifteen minutes to an hour to induce free perspiration. Several glasses of hot water should be drunk while in this bath. A cold towel should be kept on the head. On the following day the immersion bath may be repeated if fever continues, or a cold wet-sheet pack may be given for one to two hours. Either treatment may be repeated each day until the fever is gone, though if the patient seems weak a cold abdominal pack may be given instead. If the symptoms are most marked in the chest, a cold chest pack instead of the abdominal pack may be given. If there is much pain in the back, hot spinal compresses may- be administered for thirty minutes sometime dur­ing the day, but not within four or five hours of giving the pack. Warm or hot abdominal packs may be used for chilly or anemic patients. Feeble patients should have no water treatments except enemas.

The fast should be continued until a day after the fever is gone, though in the case of young children it would be permissible to add to the drinking water unsweetened grapefruit or orange juice as desired after a day or two of the complete fast. In any case, it is best that the fast be broken with orange or grapefruit juice for a day or two, followed by one day on the entire fruit, that is, the juice and the pulp. After this a Milk Diet should be used until there is full recuperation. Grapefruit may be used instead of or in addition to oranges while on the milk diet. The packs may be discontinued after the fever is gone, but the hot spinal compresses may be continued. Special Manual Treat­ments should be included after starting on the milk diet. At this time also a general vitality-building routine suited to the strength of the patient should be adopted and changed to a more strenuous one as the strength increases. ·When this plan is care­fully followed there will be no relapse or complication and the patient will .be the better for having had the extra elimination. Bedside sunlight therapy has proved useful in this disorder.

By Bernarr Macafadden

The most important of all functional processes begins in the stomach. There is where the blood-making process commences, and, since a man is what the blood makes of him, you can realize the tremendous importance of this particular function. If the digestion is carried on properly, and the blood is made rich in those elements that add to life, health and strength, then the functions of the stomach are being properly performed. Strength of this organ, therefore, is absolutely indispensable in vitality building.
This blood-making work is then continued by the small intestines, where a large part of the elements of nourishment essential to life are assimilated, taken up and carried to the portal circulation, thence to the lungs and heart, and finally throughout the entire body. It is absolutely impossible for one to enjoy the possession of a high degree of vitality, or of the general good health upon which vitality depends, unless the intestinal tract is in a healthy and vigorous condition, so that the functions of this particular part of the body- machine may be performed without a flaw. The entire digestive system may be compared to a boiler supplying the energy by which the engine does its work.

Then consider the heart itself. One cannot underestimate the functional importance of this organ. It is commonly regarded as the most vital spot in the body, the very center of life-indeed the poets have made it the seat of love and the emotions in general. If anything, the brain and nervous system should be regarded as the real center of life, but the function of the heart, the marvelous muscle-pump, is so vital and indispensable that the world is accustomed to thinking of it as the organ of first importance. And so it is. Should it cease its efforts for a few moments even, life becomes extinct, and you are no longer an animate being. A strong heart, therefore, is if anything even more important than a strong stomach. But you must remember that the strength of the heart to a large extent depends upon the cooperation of a strong stomach, or at least upon the proper digestion of food. For the muscles and tissues of the heart, like those of all other organs of the body, are fed by the blood, which depends for its life-giving and life- sustaining qualities upon the food, which is first acted upon by the stomach and thus made available for use by the cell structures in all parts of the body. The heart is truly a wonderful organ, the one set of muscles which apparently never rest, but work on night and day, year after year, throughout our entire life.

Furthermore, the part played by the lungs in the maintenance of life and health cannot be underestimated. Impaired functioning of the lungs has an immediate and vital effect upon every other part of the body. It is through this channel that we secure the oxygen, without which the processes of life would terminate almost instantaneously. It is through this channel also that the elimination of carbonic acid gas is accomplished. Without the continuous and thorough elimination of carbonic acid our tissues would become choked up and poisoned in such a way that all cell activity and bodily function would come to an abrupt end. If the lungs are sound and healthy in every respect the supply of oxygen is abundant, and the elimination of carbonic acid, which may be regarded as the "smoke" of the human system, is carried on perfectly. Breathing is only one of the various functions that must be continuously carried on, but it is of such importance as to require special attention in building vitality.

In the work of eliminating impurities and keeping the system clean the kidneys are to be classed with the lungs, although they have to do with poisonous wastes of a different type. Insufficient functioning of the kidneys is not so immediately fatal as the failure of the lungs to do their work, but proper action of the kidneys is none the less important. If the poisons which are normally eradicated from the system in this way are allowed to remain or to accumulate, they poison the body as truly as any external toxic element that could be introduced. Insufficient activity of the kidneys leads to the accumulation of those poisons, bringing on convulsions of the most serious nature, and unless the condition is relieved there will be fatal results. The requirements of health, therefore, demand that the kidneys should be strong and active, and that their functional capacity should be maintained at the highest degree of efficiency.

In supplementing the work of the kidneys and the lungs, the excretory function of the skin is only secondary in importance. The skin has various functions. It is one of our chief organs of sense, the sense of touch being hardly second to those of sight and hearing. It is likewise a wonderful protective structure, and at the same time is a channel of elimination which cannot be ignored with impunity. To interfere with the eliminative function of the skin by absolutely clogging the pores for a period of several hours means death. One may say that we really breathe through the skin.

The importance of all these functions of elimination is vital. Pure blood depends upon the perfect and continuous excretion of the wastes formed in the body through the processes of life, and without keeping the blood pure in this manner the body rapidly becomes poisoned by its own waste products, with the result that health, vitality and even life are lost. Health is entirely a question of pure blood, and, while the blood depends first upon the building material supplied through the digestive system, it also depends equally as much upon functional activity in the matter of elimination.

The liver, which enjoys the distinction of being the largest organ in the body, is designed for the performance of a multiplicity of functions. It not only produces the bile, which has such an important part to play in the work of digestion, but it has a very important work in the changing of foods absorbed into such material as may be assimilated or used by the cells of the various tissues throughout the body. For instance, it is part of the function of the liver to bring about chemical changes in albuminous foods which make it possible for the tissues to assimilate these. It also has much to do with bringing about certain chemical changes in sugar or dextrose. Furthermore, the liver has an important function in connection with the excretion of broken-down bodily tissue, converting this dead matter into a form in which it can be filtered out of the blood by the kidneys. Failure of the liver to perform its work satisfactorily will upset the digestive and functional system, or may lead to an accumulation of uric acid in the body, possibly resulting in rheumatism, gout, neuralgia, disturbances of circulation and other evils. When your liver "goes on strike" you may expect trouble in general. A normal condition of the entire body depends upon perfect and continuous functioning of the liver in cooperation with all the other vital organs. The same may be said of the pancreas, spleen, the thyroid gland and other organs which have a special function to perform. The body is really a combination of all these various parts and functions, and without strength and activity in all of them, simultaneous and harmonious, not one of these interdependent parts could do its work, and the body as a whole would be thrown into a state of disease. Strength of the internal organs is infinitely more important than mere muscular strength, if one could properly make a comparison.

How, therefore, shall we build this internal, functional strength? Can our organs be made to function more satisfactorily? How may we promote their greater activity?
The vital organs can be strengthened and the sum total of one's vitality thereby increased. It is true that internal strength is more important than external muscular strength, but the fact is that they go together. As a general thing, by building muscular strength one is able at the same time to develop internal strength. The influence of exercise in purifying the blood and in promoting activity in all the internal organs really strengthens the "department of the interior" at the same time that it develops the muscles concerned. Muscular stagnation means organic stagnation, to a very large degree. To be thoroughly alive and to enjoy the possession of unlimited vitality it is necessary to be both muscularly and functionally active. The requirements of Nature, or what are more commonly termed the "laws of Nature," in reference to all these bodily functions must be strictly observed, for it is only under such conditions that life and health can be maintained at their best.

The body may be regarded as a machine. Why not make it a strong machine, and as perfect as possible? Its efficiency means everything. If you had an engine, a motorcycle, a sewing machine or a printing press that was a very poor machine, you would like to exchange it for a better one, would you not? You would even spend large sums of money to secure a better machine to take the place of the poor one. But if your body is imperfect, inefficient, weak, rusty and clogged up with grit, dirt and all the waste products due to the "wear" in the bodily structures, you seem nevertheless entirely satisfied. You go on from day to day and from year to year without thinking of the possibility of getting a better physical equipment. But why not consider the body in the same light as any other machine that is of value to you. Your body is the thing that keeps you alive. If it is a poor instrument, then it is more important that you should get a better one than that you should buy a new engine or new printing-press or new sewing-machine. The only difference is, that it is within your power to get a better body machine by building up the one that you have. You can repair it, you can add to its vitality, you can strengthen the functional system, you can make it more perfect and efficient. You can make it a high-power machine that will be of real value in any undertaking that you may wish to carry out. You can make it strong instead of weak, and you can thus enjoy that superabundant vitality without which life is hardly worth the living.

(Excerpts from �Building Vital Power� and �Vitality Supreme�)

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Macfadden's Nose
Humor by Jim Bennett

Macfadden had a rather prominent, hooked nose  -a fact which apparently bothered him enough that he had his nose magically straightened in pictures. There was a problem - the "doctoring" of photographs was just a tad inconsistent over the years. Below is a selection of photos taken of Macfadden at different ages. I find it funny that his nose seems to shrink (image 2) and grow (4 & 5) and then shrink again (6).

Pictures of Macfadden's Nose

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Jim's Bennett's FREE monthly newsletter brings you more historical photos and more detailed biographical information about the amazing life of Bernarr Macfadden. Together with thought-provoking reprints from his writings, there are also timely reports on recent discoveries and how they validate many of Macfadden's teachings. The contents include information about Macfadden's life and work, including the subjects of nutrition, exercise, weight control, aging, bodybuilding, and natural treatments. There are also interviews, humor, and recipes.
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