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Health and BodyBuilding.

(By Physical Culturistß

This week I intend to again refer my readers to Dr. Stanford Rea’s book on ■•ilow to Keep Well.” At present time this article ought to excite special interest in view of the act which is now being considered by our Parliament with regard to patent medicines and quackery. If the public wore properly educated in matters appertaining to health, .this Act would not require to be passed. It is with a view to protecting the people of the colony front imposition and fraud that our Government are considering the bill. lx people only knew what certain medicines xtnd drugs contained, they would very quickly abstain from them. Dr Stanford Read says : —"So many people perversely or carelessly lead unhealthy lives, or are forced by circumstances to do so, and so many diseases or tendences to diseases are herediiary, or incidental to the present stage of civilisation, that medicinal treatment cannot yet be dismissed. Every sensible person should seek, however, so to live that the use of medicine is unnecessary, and, when needful, to use it under the best available advice, and to purchase it in the best available market from the best trained person. The public, cannot judge medicine as they can bread and butter, and usually ext remit cheapness means inferior quality, although it does not follow that high prices necessarily mean the reverse. It is not to be .wondered at that in a population where the bulk of all classes is profoundly ignorant, both of the. elementary structure and functions of the human body and most elementary knowledge of the nature of drugs and of diseases, quackery should live and thrive, paid quack medicines gain a great deal of credit to which they have no real claim : while there Is a great deal of inconception as to what 'disordered health really means ; that part which medicines play in the recovery is even more misunderstood. The general idea is that wo can treat our bodies in any sort of way, and that, in order to get well again all that is necessary is to swallow so much medicine—there being medicines for the complete cure of all diseases —and if the. swallowing of the medicine is not followed by prompt recovery, that only indicates that we have swallowed the wrong medicine. Now, in the present state of medical knowledge, all this is mischievous nonsense, and probably, tempts some persons to be careless. Tim power to recover lies, to a great extent, IN THE BODY IT SC LF. Many of my readers may have noticed that in the case'of many a poisoned cut finger that the injury is perfectly repaired if the part simply obtains rest and is kept clean. No doubt many also remember having had illness from which recovery has taken place without any treatment beyond resting quietly in bed. It is because of this power which, the body has to return to -a. state of health, whenever it gets a fair chance, or when the natural course of injuries and ■'diseases is ended, that

the use of quack medicines is as larg-e as it is. The habitual recovery is often put down to the medicines, the real action of which must, in many cases, be rather to hinder re|covery. 1 What, one may ask, is the use of any medicines and doctors if the body has often the power to recover unaided ? Well, a good doctor may be compared to a skilful captain of a ship. The captain knows where the rocks are and knows where the dangerous currents are that bear the ship off her course. So it. is with disease. The skilful doctor knows all the dangers, and how best to treat them. The average medical man is not a juggler or a miracle worker playing with magic cough pills and substances “whose effects are. marvellous,” but someone who spends his lifetime in studying the disordered machine, and the moans and possibilities of repair. I We must also bear in mind that in functional disorders patients are also cured by hypnotic suggestion. Though of late years more sensible i'deas on- health matters are prevalent-, and we see that physical culture has spread widely to all classes of society, paid by its use the bodily condition is so acted upon, that the resisting power to disease is immensely augmented, yet at the same time the love and sale of medicine of all kinds —some harmless, many dangerous, and few of value —seems not to diminish in the slightest degree, and, if anything, is on the increase. I One step in the right direction will be taken when legislation is obtained to protect the public against the fraudulent patent medicine ivendor, who, at present, may style his preparation “'perfectly harmless,” while it really contains a potent poison. Wo can only hope that wide wide circulation of health articles will gradually educate the public to have some idea of what health is, and how it may be lost and gained.” . It is to be hoped that these words of Dr. Read’s, one of the best-known practitioners of London, will have some effect in bringing about a change in public opinion on health mattexvs, and also show the advisability of an act being passed which will rid the country of fraud and imposition.

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Bibliographic details

Health and Body-Building., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 20, 31 August 1907

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Health and Body-Building. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 20, 31 August 1907

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