This section is from the book "Mental Therapeutics Or Just How To Heal Oneself And Others", by Theron Q. Dumont. Also available from Amazon: Mental Therapeutics or Just How to Heal Oneself and Others.
Second in importance only to the nutritive processes of the body are its eliminative processes. And some would deny even this relegation of the latter to second place, for they plausibly maintain that no matter how well the body may be nourished it will not remain in a state of health if it is unable to eliminate properly its waste products, its debris, its garbage.
The word "eliminate" means "to put out, to expel, to discharge." The body eliminates its waste matter and products in four ways, viz.: (1) Through the breath; (2) through the skin, in the perspiration; (3) through the kidneys, in the urine; and (4) through the bowels, in the faeces or excrement.
In a later lesson I shall describe the process of elimination through the breath, in which the waste products of the system, carried in the blood to the lungs, are there consumed by the oxygen in the air brejithed into the lungs, and expelled in the form of carbonic acid gas.
Elimination through the skin, by means of the perspiration, is a far more important process than is realized by the average person. There are over three million sweat glands in the human body, the combined length of the secreting tubes being about two or three miles. The normal adult human being excretes about one and one-half pint to two pints of perspiration every twenty-four hours, that amount of course being greatly exceeded by men doing manual work in hot places, such as rolling mills, engine rooms, etc. Sweat or perspiration is seen by chemical analysis to be loaded with the refuse matter of the system, it being in fact but little different from the urine in its chemical composition. The excretory glands of the skin are really supplementary organs to the kidneys, and in case of kidney troubles they perform a great deal of the work that ordinarily falls to the lot of the kidneys.
The kidneys are two organs located in the loins, behind the intestines, one on each side of the spinal column. They are shaped like a bean, and are about four inches long, two inches wide, and one inch thick. Their office is to purify the blood by extracting from it a poisonous substance called urea, and certain other waste products of the system, which would cause blood poisoning if not eliminated from the system. The watery fluid secreted by the kidneys is called urine, and is carried from the kidneys to the bladder, in which organ it is stored up to be afterwards voided from the body in the process of urination.
"The bowels" is a term commonly employed to indicate the Large Intestine, or Colon, into which the undigested food, and discarded material of food, is passed from the Small Intestine; and through which it passes in the process of elimination or excretion which ends in its discharge from the body in the act of evacuation, "stool," or "movement." The Colon (large intestine, or "large bowel") is a large tubular gut or intestine nearly five feet in length, which passes up from the lower right-hand side of the abdomen, then across the abdomen to the upper left-hand side, then down along the left-hand side to its lower portion; at the last mentioned point it makes a twist or curve, and then grows smaller, and finally ends in the rectum or exit from the system, its termination being the anus or posterior opening through which the excrement is expelled in the "movement" or stool.
The Small Intestine empties its discarded matter into the Colon by a curious little trapdoor arrangement on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen-the Vermiform Appendix being-situated just below this entrance. The waste matter or faeces then rises slowly up the right-hand side of the Colon; then along its horizontal length, which extends across the abdomen; then down the left-hand side of the Colon, into the curve or twist called the Sigmoid Flexure, and then into the rectum, and finally out through the anus. Its movement along the length of the Colon is caused by certain muscular movements provided for that purpose.
The Colon is the great sewer of the system, which Nature has provided for the carrying off of the waste products resulting from undigested or undigestible portions of food, and other waste products of the system. Nature intended that this sewerage should be removed speedily, and in the case of animals and young children it is so removed. But the artificial habits and customs of adult human beings has sadly interfered with this natural and normal custom, and bad results have ensued for the race. But Nature accommodates herself to circumstances, as we have seen elsewhere in the lessons; and if man would only cany out a settled plan of preparing for a movement of the bowels each day, and adhering to his resolve to give Nature a chance to do this work for him, he would manage to get along with practically no trouble on this score. But he will not even do this. He refuses to heed Nature's calls, until at last Nature (and by Nature here is meant the Bowel-Mind) becomes discouraged and does as little as she can help- and the result is chronic constipation with all of its attendant evils.
Let me point out to you the results of this unnatural state of affairs. In the first place the inner walls of the Colon become incrusted with impacted faecal matter, some of it remaining there for many days, its fluids becoming absorbed until the remaining mass becomes quite hard and tightly packed together. A small hole is worked through this hardened mass, through which a small quantity of excrement is passed. The Colon so impacted and incrusted becomes a source of danger to the general system-it is like a choked up sewer flowing through a city. The fluid portion is absorbed into the blood through the walls of the intestine, and thus tends to poison the blood and all the parts of the body.
This state of affairs is manifested by foul breath, strong perspiration, and strong urine-these resulting from Nature's efforts to get rid of the foul matter by some other route. Dyspepsia, billiousness, liver troubles, kidney troubles, rheumatism, nervousness and many other ailments arise from this state of affairs. Many cases of female trouble are caused by the pressure of the impacted Colon upon the generative organs, and by the poisoning of the latter by reason of their nearness to the foul sewer of the Colon.
The practitioner will discover that when he removes the causes of constipation, and thus takes away the original cause of the troubles above alluded to, the symptoms of many of these diseases will disappear. In fact, many of the best practitioners now proceed to first treat all their patients for imperfect elimination, and by so doing they remove the original causes of the particular diseases for which they have sought treatment. The patient may easily determine whether or not his or her Colon is in this abnormal condition by an examination of the color of the stool or movement. The waste matter or faeces when first passed into the Colon from the small intestine is of a pasty consistency, and a light color; if the bowels operate naturally the faeces is discharged from the rectum in a soft state and of a light yellow color. The longer it remains in the Colon the darker it gets in color, and the harder in consistency. Faeces in a Colon which is very much incrusted often appears as a hard lump of a dark green color. These facts make the diagnosis easy.
The practitioner will find that the Colon, as well as the Kidneys, are quite receptive and amenable to suggestion, either given verbally or mentally, either in present treatment or distant treatment. The Kidneys may be instructed to work more freely, or else to refrain from excessive work as the case may be. The normal condition should always be the pattern held in mind, and upon which the treatment is modelled. The Colon will respond quite readily to mental treatment having for its purpose the removal of Constipation. It will be found that the Colon actually seems to be fully aware of the existing state of affairs, and is anxious to have normal activity restored. But it has been so long neglected, and its calls and requests so persistently refused and denied, that it has lost interest, courage and activity, and has relapsed into a state of apathy. It has acquired bad habits, and its cells and muscles have been weakened by disuse.
In treating for Constipation, there are two things to be remembered, as follows: (1) The treatment of the Colon itself, in the direction of bidding it "brace up" and regain its normal natural energy; and also to at once start in to acquire the habit of manifesting one movement a day, regularly and invariably. It must be thoroughly drilled and impressed with this idea, over and over again, until you have awakened in it its original activities, and have set into motion in it the vibrations which will raise it up to normal functioning. And (2) you must impress upon your patient (by word or by letter) the importance of this condition being removed-the common sense of most patients will grasp the underlying theory of this matter if it is presented to them properly. The patient should be instructed to fix in mind a certain hour of the day when it will be most convenient to go to the closet, and then to keep in mind that hour, and to regard it as a positive engagement. When the hour arrives the patient should retire to the closet, in order to keep the engagement, even though he have not the slightest call of Nature in that direction. This should be faithfully carried out each day, until the new habit has been fixed. This course will result in establishing the normal and natural habit of bowel-evacuation. Your treatments should, of course, be along the same lines-that of normal, natural, regular habits of bowel-evacuation. If you observe the above stated general principles and practice you should be able to cure cases of chronic constipation which have defied the efforts of the best drug practitioners.
In addition to the above methods of treating constipation, it will be well for you to encourage the patient to drink more water each day. The normal amount of water called for by the system is about two quarts in twenty-four hours on an average. But very few persons ever keep up to this standard-some fall far below it. Now, this is not advising your patient to take water as a remedy or medicine, any more than the use of food can be considered a remedy for malnutrition. The facts of the case are that unless the system is given sufficient fluids td work with, it cannot carry on its processes naturally and normally, no matter how efficient its organs may be. Water is needed to absorb and carry off the waste products of the system in the blood, in the breath, in the perspiration, in the urine, and in the faeces carried off by the bowels. The mental healer should not attempt to ignore the plain facts of physiology in his enthusiasm regarding the Power of the Mind; instead he should adapt his treatment to existing facts of physiology. He should fall in with Nature's ways, instead of trying to run contrary to them. For in the end Nature performs the cures-and Nature is the Corporeal Mind and its subordinate phases and forms.