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Quotations about Health


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Health and cheerfulness are brothers. ~Proverbs by William Hardcastle Browne, 1900


Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life. ~William Louden, 1929


The scientific truth may be put quite briefly; eat moderately, having an ordinary mixed diet, and don't worry. ~Robert Hutchison, M.D. (1871–1960)


The trouble about always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do it without destroying the health of the mind. ~G. K. Chesterton, 1929


For my own part I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better... To lie there careless of everything, quiet and warm, and with no weight upon the mind... to watch the soft shadows come and go upon the ceiling... not only to be a lotus-eater but to know that it was one's duty to be a lotus-eater. ~Samuel Butler, 1870s


Men usually take better care of their boots than of their stomachs. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson, 1989


The best six doctors anywhere—
      And no one can deny it—
Are Sunshine, Water, Rest and Air,
      Exercise and Diet.
These six will gladly you attend,
      If only you are willing,
      Your mind they'll cheer,
      Your ills they'll mend,
And charge you not one shilling.
~"Doctors Six," c. 1921


A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Leech and His Patient," The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, 1850


Every symptom has a story to tell about your life. A fascinating story, that can reveal the complex links between your body, mind, emotions and spirit. ~Kristina Turner, The Self-Healing Cookbook, 2002, originally published 1987


If you mean to keep as well as possible, the less you think about your health the better. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, in The Atlantic Monthly, July 1890


The deviation of Man from the state in which he was originally placed by Nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of Disease. ~Edward Jenner, M.D., 1800


...it seems as if pain were the prayer of the nerve for healthy blood. ~Moritz Heinrich Romberg, A Manual of the Nervous Diseases of Man, 1840, translated from German by Edward H. Sieveking


May you live as long as you are fit to live, but no longer! or may you rather die, before you cease to be fit to live, than after! ~Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th earl of Chesterfield, letter to his son, 1749


Sickness always brings the soul nearer to God. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ. ~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1962


I have looked through the list of illnesses, and did not find cares or sad thoughts mentioned among them. That is a mistake, surely. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908


Happily we are learning that the mind has to do with the misdeeds of the body, and that there are no more valuable therapeutic agents than cheerfulness, happiness, and hope. ~Olive Thorne Miller, "Pet Lore for Pet Lovers," The Home-Maker, 1889


The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there. ~Molière


My definition of fitness is to be able to carry out all of the activities in life that you desire, plus have a physical reserve at the end of the day to do something besides lie down and flip the remote. If you can do all that, if you're functional, then you're fit. It doesn't matter if you have great abs or can bench-press your body weight. Those things have nothing to do with real life. ~James Glinn, physical therapist, in an interview with Joseph Kita for his 1999 book Wisdom of Our Fathers


For happy health, fuel yourself with dreams and greens. ~Terri Guillemets


Eat right, exercise regularly, die anyway. ~Author unknown


Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. ~Redd Foxx


First need in the reform of hospital management? That's easy! The death of all dietitians, and the resurrection of a French chef. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Half the modern drugs could well be thrown out the window, except that the birds might eat them. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Joy and Temperance and Repose
Slam the door on the doctor's nose.
~Friedrich von Logau (1604–1655), "The Best Medicines," translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1846


      Teacher:  Sterilized Stephen, do you bring with you a disinfected certificate of birth, baptism and successful vaccination? Have you had your arm inoculated with correct cholera serum? Have you had your vermiform appendix removed? Have you a Pasteurized certificate of immunity from croup, cold feet and cholera morbus? Do you promise for yourself, your heirs and assigns, for all ages, to use sterilized milk? Will you abjure every companion that sniffles? Do you promise to use an antiseptic slate sponge?
      Stephen:  Yes, ma'am.
      Teacher:  Then extract that one remaining milk tooth, tie a formaldehyde bag 'round your neck, and make your will. Come to‑morrow and you will be assigned an insulated seat in this Sanitary Schoolhouse. ~"The Schoolboy of 1905," in Life, 1904  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Health is a journal your body keeps about you. ~Terri Guillemets


As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body. ~Lewis Thomas, The Medusa and the Snail, 1974


Physical ills are the taxes laid upon this wretched life; some are taxed higher, and some lower, but all pay something. ~Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th earl of Chesterfield, 1757


You are as important to your health as it is to you. ~Terri Guillemets


I would make good health catching, instead of disease. ~Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872


Like everybody else, when I don't know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds. I have had some beauties and they have been just as beautiful after doctors got through with them as they were before I was fool enough to telephone. If there ever was a doctor who could actually shut up a cold in less time than it takes a cold to shut itself up, I do not know his address — and I know a lot of doctors' addresses... I have been all right again in a week or nine days, maybe, when the cold has just naturally got tired of me and has gone somewhere else, but not a minute before. ~George Jean Nathan, "On Doctors"


If you have health, you probably will be happy; and if you have health and happiness, you will have all the wealth you need, even if not all you want. ~Elbert Hubbard, "How To Keep Well," The Romance of Business, 1917


The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop. ~Quentin R. Regestein, M.D., quoted in Philip Goldberg & Daniel Kaufman, Natural Sleep, 1978


Every man's disease is his personal property. ~Alonzo Clark, M.D. (1807–1887)


I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired! ~Byllye Y. Avery, Black Women's Health Project, National Conference on Black Women's Health, 1983


My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass. ~Terri Guillemets


Economically, many folks don't feel they can afford organic. While this may be true in some cases, I think more often than not it's a question of priority. ~Woody Harrelson, "Woody's way," NOWToronto.com, 2004


When the head aches, all the body is the worse. ~English proverb


Bacteria keep us from heaven and put us there. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Those obsessed with health are not healthy: the first requisite of good health is a certain calculated carelessness about oneself. ~Sydney J. Harris, 1961


Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own Affairs than we. ~Michel de Montaigne, "Of Experience," translated from French by Charles Cotton


It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions... We are but the veriest, sorriest slaves of our stomach. Reach not after morality and righteousness, my friends; watch vigilantly your stomach, and diet it with care and judgment. Then virtue and contentment will come and reign within your heart, unsought by any effort of your own; and you will be a good citizen, a loving husband, and a tender father — a noble, pious man. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889


Haste breeds indigestion, but happiness lies, first of all, in health. ~George William Curtis, Lotus-Eating: A Summer Book, 1852


A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish proverb


But times of stress and difficulty are inevitable in life. Mental hygiene means preparation to deal with such times. ~Mental Health Bulletin, Illinois Society for Mental Health, 1928


How frail a thing is health, and what a thin envelope protects our life against being swallowed up from without or disorganised from within! A breath, and the boat springs a leak or founders; a nothing, and all is endangered; a passing cloud, and all is darkness! Life is indeed a flower which a morning withers and the beat of a passing wing breaks down; it is the widow's lamp, which the slightest blast of air extinguishes. In order to feel keenly the poetry of a morning's roses, one needs to have just escaped from the claws of that vulture we call illness... Here in all its simplicity is the teaching of sickness! "Do with all diligence what you have to do; reconcile yourself with the law of the universe; think of your duty; prepare yourself for departure." ~Henri Frédéric Amiel, journal, 1860


Know then, whatever cheerful and serene
Supports the mind supports the body too...
~John Armstrong, M.D., The Art of Preserving Health, 1744


If the pain wanders, do not waste your time with doctors.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Sickness — nature's vengeance for violating her laws. ~Charles Simmons, A Laconic Manual and Brief Remarker, 1852


Sickness is injured Nature's revenge. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


There are... two things in life that a sage must preserve at every sacrifice, the coats of his stomach and the enamel of his teeth. Some evils admit of consolations: there are no comforters for dyspepsia and toothache. ~Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, Kenelm Chillingly: His Adventures and Opinions, 1873


I am at this moment deaf in the ears, hoarse in the throat, red in the nose, green in the gills, damp in the eyes, twitchy in the joints, and fractious in temper from a most intolerable and oppressive cold... but I will make prodigious efforts to get the better of it to-night by resorting to all conceivable remedies, and if I succeed so as to be only negatively disgusting tomorrow, I will joyfully present myself at six, and bring my womankind along with me. ~Charles Dickens, letter to Mr. William Harrison Ainsworth, 1843, Devonshire Terrace


Though there may be some opposition to sneezing as a pastime, I am pretty sure that, if you will be quite honest, you will admit that a good rousing sneeze, one that tears open your collar and throws your hair into your eyes, is really one of life's sensational pleasures. You may say, "Oh, darn it!" in between sneezes and try to act as if you weren't enjoying it, but as an old hay-fever sufferer, I know the kick that can lie in a good sneezing spell, provided you have the time to give to it and aren't trying to thread a needle. ~Robert Benchley, "Hiccoughing Makes Us Fat," 1932


Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey. ~Marcel Proust


Fresh air impoverishes the doctor. ~Danish proverb


If one's bowels move, one is happy, and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it. ~Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937


Would you succeed in anything? — ambitious projects, business, love? Then cultivate this personal force, by persistent regard to the laws of health and vigor. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858


If a man reflects upon his physical or moral condition, he usually finds himself to be ill. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "Proverbs in Prose," translated by Norbert Guterman


Health is the first muse, comprising the magical benefits of air, landscape, and bodily exercise on the mind. The Arabs say that "Allah does not count from life the days spent in the chase," that is, those are thrown in. Plato thought "exercise would almost cure a guilty conscience." Sydney Smith said: "You will never break down in a speech on the day when you have walked twelve miles." I honor health as the first muse, and sleep as the condition of health. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Inspiration," Letters and Social Aims


Manly health! Is there not a kind of charm — a fascinating magic in the words? We fancy we see the look with which the phrase is met by many a young man, strong, alert, vigorous, whose mind has always felt, but never formed in words, the ambition to attain to the perfection of his bodily powers — has realized to himself that all other goods of existence would hardly be goods, in comparison with a perfect body, perfect blood — no morbid humors, no weakness, no impotency or deficiency or bad stuff in him; but all running over with animation and ardor, all marked by herculean strength, suppleness, a clear complexion, and the rich results (which follow such causes) of a laughing voice, a merry song morn and night, a sparkling eye, and an ever-happy soul! ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training, with Off-Hand Hints Toward Their Conditions," New York Atlas, 1858  [Thanks, Zachary Turpin! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Diseases come a horsebacke, and returne on foot. ~French proverb


The appearance of a disease is swift as an arrow; its disappearance slow, like a thread.  ~Chinese proverb


I think you might dispense with half your doctors, if you would only consult Doctor Sun more, and be more under the treatment of these great hydropathic doctors, the clouds! ~Henry Ward Beecher, Royal Truths


We drink one another's healths, and spoil our own. ~Jerome K. Jerome, "On Eating and Drinking"


The glow of good health can be yours for the price of hard work, wise choices, and respect for your body. ~Terri Guillemets


Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyze it by encumbering it with remedies. ~Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1867, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude, 1931


He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors. ~Chinese proverb


Adam and Eve ate the first vitamins, including the package. ~E. R. Squibb & Sons, 1950s


Anybody's soap is superior to somebody else's stink killer. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Health is a relationship between you and your body. ~Terri Guillemets


Disease is somatic; the suffering from it, psychic. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


...your own individual case doubtless has points and circumstances which more or less modify all the general laws, and perhaps call for special ones, for yourself. This is an important consideration in all theories and statements of health. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858


There is nothing like a taste of illness to bring out the full flavour of health. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885


An illness of the mind is an illness of the body, and vice versa. ~Terri Guillemets


...the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not. ~Mark Twain


What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. ~George D. Prentice, Prenticeana, 1860


Spiritual and metaphysical health is inextricably linked to physical health. ~Morris Hyman, M.D. (b.1908)


Some day when you have time, look into the business of prayer, amulets, baths and poultices and discover for yourself how much valuable therapy the profession has cast out of the window. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


And thus the literary man has two fires in his body: the strain of his mental work and the overmuch of blood in his head... Man, so rich in knowledge, has also become rich in diseases, but poor in health and physical strength. ~Sebastian Kneipp, Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, 1889


A body well cared for glows in happy health. ~Terri Guillemets


Sickness... No mortal nature is exempted from this complaint. ~Joseph Hall (1574–1656), "Lazarus Dead," Contemplations on the New Testament, 1614


Once there was a man
Who had a little too much
Time on his hands
He never stopped to think
That he was getting older.
When his night came to an end
He tried to grasp for his last friend
And pretend
That he could wish himself health
On a four-leaf clover...
~Jason Sellards & Scott Hoffman, "Return to Oz," 2004 ♫


There are more ghosts in an unwell body than in an entire haunted mansion. ~Terri Guillemets


Gold that buys health can never be ill spent,
Nor hours laid out in harmless merriment.
~Thomas Dekker & John Webster, Westward Ho, 1604


A maltreated body will cry out in symptoms. ~Terri Guillemets, "Crowded out," 2006


In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else. ~Alison Rose Levy, "An Ancient Cure for Modern Life," in Yoga Journal, 2002


Sometimes I get the feeling the aspirin companies are sponsoring my headaches. ~Terri Guillemets


It has often been remarked, that persons destitute of ambition and avarice are peculiarly likely to enjoy long life. They feel no regret for the past, nor anxiety about the future. Enjoying that tranquility of soul, on which the happiness of our early years so much depends, they are strangers to those torments of the mind, which usually accompany more advanced years, and by which the body is wasted and consumed. Hence a calm, contented, and cheerful disposition, may be justly considered the great source of health, in regard both of body and mind; and ought to be accounted the most important of all our possessions. ~John Sinclair, The Code of Health and Longevity, 1807


An ill man is worst when he appeareth good. ~Proverb


We are usually the best men when in the worst health. ~Proverb


When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease. ~Terri Guillemets


How sickness enlarges the dimensions of a man's self to himself! he is his own exclusive object. ~Charles Lamb, "The Convalescent"


Life has been reduced to getting food out of cans. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Sometimes I think our ancestors would laugh through their tears if they could see how we eat. We eat mostly from colorful boxes and cans. We spray our vegetables and fruits with deadly chemicals, then ship them half-way around the world before we eat them. It's been a grand experiment in the wonders of technology, but what a price we're paying in our health! Many scientific experiments have now demonstrated that if we simply return to eating more traditional, natural foods, the body often begins to heal itself. And, it's becoming impossible to heal personal symptoms, unless they are understood in relationship to the need to heal the planet. ~Kristina Turner, The Self-Healing Cookbook, 2002, originally published 1987  [a little altered —tg]


Good health, yes, is partly genes
Really though it's more about greens
And other types of healthful things
~Terri Guillemets


The majority of people of this country, are ever studying the best means of preserving health, and at the same time pursue a course that must have results precisely contrary to their wishes. They will seek for medicines with the utmost avidity, and will fill their carcases with patent medicines and the nostrums of the regular quack, in order to cure some disorder having existence only in their weak imaginations; and when by dint of perseverance, they have travelled through the pharmacopæia, purged, blistered, and bled profusely from the pocket, they find the disease, or rather the imaginary disease, just as it was previous to their course of medicine. ~"Physic; Or, I Die," The Medical Adviser, and Guide to Health and Long Life, edited by Alex. Burnett, M.D., 1824


Preserving the health by too strict a regimen is a wearisome malady. ~François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld


Stretching oneself too thin is the disease of modern life — letting oneself get too thick, the other. ~Terri Guillemets


Friends can be good medicine. ~Charles Roppel, c. 1981


If you take the 'I' out of illness and add 'we' you end up with wellness. ~Charles Roppel, c. 1984


The I in illness is isolation, and the crucial letters in wellness are we.  ~Author unknown, as quoted in Mimi Guarneri, The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing, 2006


Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.
~A. Cornelius Celsus


...no maxim is more true, than that cheerfulness of mind and serenity of spirit, is highly essential to the vigorous enjoyment of health... a fretful and irritable disposition... tends to weaken the body, induce a train of nervous complaints, and finally, loads the body with disorders, which possibly it may be beyond the power of medicine to restore to its native vigour. This is no imaginary or improbable result, for so united and dependant is the body, on the state of the mind, that when the one is under any excitement, the other is as assuredly likely to be affected... ~T.N., "On Cheerfulness as Conducive to Health," in The Medical Adviser, and Guide to Health and Long Life, 1824


Sickness and suffering are not meant for man,
      For Spirit is perfect and right;
      But we transgress God's laws in many a way
      And, so, turn away from the light.
There is not any need to suffer such pain,
      For God did not make all these ills;
      He wanted us happy and free to enjoy
      The valleys, the ocean, the hills!
Thinking correctly can help keep us all well!
      Right thinking can keep us immune
      From much that is wrong, and can help every one
      Keep, harmoniously, in tune!
And so that, dearest friends, is the reason why
      Man suffers from all kinds of ills:
      Some day he may learn the correct laws of God;
      And, then, he can give up his pills!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "How to Keep Well," 1940s


And I knew that once they identified her disease for her, once everyone around her accepted her diagnosis and reinforced it and repeated it back to her time and again, there was no way she could stop it. The visible becomes inevitable. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008


if we never stretch we snap like a brittle twig
and that's true both physically and mentally
~Terri Guillemets


To be always considering "what we should eat, and what we should drink, and wherewithal we should be clothed," in order to avoid the approach of disease, is the most likely means of provoking its attack. A man who is continually feeling his pulse, is never likely to have a good one. If he swallow his food from the same motive as he does his physic, it will neither be enjoyed nor digested so well as if he ate in obedience to the dictates of an uncalculating appetite. The hypochondriac who is in the habit of weighing his meals, will generally find that they lay heavy on his stomach. If he take a walk or ride, with no other view than to pick up health, he will seldom meet it on the road. ~John Reid, M.D., "Occupation," c.1818


Sometimes a headache is all in your head. Relax. ~Terri Guillemets


A great many sick persons are allowed to drift into a critical condition when ill — from which many never rally, because they are not fed — not furnished with such nutritive material as their enfeebled powers can digest. ~King Chambers, quoted in John Milner Fothergill, A Manual of Dietetics, 1886


Did you ever stop to think that maybe the weed killers and the pest killers and the germ killers are trying to kill you? ~Terri Guillemets, "Omnicide," 2005


The medicine of the future will know but few drugs... It will concern itself with the production and preparation of food, rather than the production and preparation of drugs, because it knows that its only permanent results in the direction of improving health will be won by the former instead of by the latter. The kitchen is the best laboratory, and the doctor of the future may even take rank with the cook as a public benefactor. The medical colleges of 2014 will teach the botany, geographical source, and methods of production and preparation of foods as carefully as they now do those of drugs. ~Woods Hutchinson, M.D. (1862–1930), "The Dawn of the New Doctor," Civilization and Health, 1914  [Fail. —tg]


The doctor of the year 2014 will work shoulder to shoulder with the teacher. He will see to it that education shall train and develop the whole child, instead of just the expanded bulb at the top of him, leaving the rest of him to shift for itself in the intervals that remain. The new medicine will make schooling a thing of the open air instead of stuffy rooms, of fields and gardens instead of printed pages, of deeds instead of words... Perhaps by 2014 teachers may recognize that it is as important for a child to correctly bound and describe his liver as the countries of Europe, or the States of the Union, and to know at least as much of his own interior as he does of that of Hindustan. Education for life will include a sound, working knowledge of the body machine that he has to live and work with; of what food fuels will best and most economically supply it with energy; how its bearings are to be watched and its gears regulated; and how to make roadside repairs. ~Woods Hutchinson, M.D. (1862–1930), "The Dawn of the New Doctor," Civilization and Health, 1914  [Fail. —tg]


A single, dancing thread ties the people of the world together in a cohesive fabric. This is our humanness and mortality. We are all born with a similar challenge, borne from the blessing of ownership of this complex physical body... With this ownership... comes the sometimes immense responsibility of health maintenance. ~Garri Garripoli, Qigong: Essence of the Healing Dance


Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948, who.int


If you let go of the things you're addicted to, your pains will let go of you. ~Terri Guillemets


Wellbeing starves addiction. ~Terri Guillemets, "Better," 2007


Dissonance and disharmony arise only when we limit our capacity to resonate totally and completely with the rhythms of life. ~Michael Drake, "The Role of the Drum," The Shamanic Drum: A Guide to Sacred Drumming, ShamanicDrumming.com


In the condition of perfect health, your whole body and consequently your spirits too, will be elevated to a state by other persons unknown — made clear and light, inwardly and outwardly elastic — made solid, strong, and yet of rapid movement. A singular charm, better than what is called beauty, flickers out of and over your face; a transparency beams in the eyes, both in the iris and the white; you exhibit a new grace in walk, and indeed in all your movements — in the voice, which rings clearer, and has melody. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


In the condition of perfect health not only the looks and movement, but the feelings, undergo a transformation. It may almost be said that sorrows and disappointments cease: there is no more borrowing trouble. With perfect health and regular agreeable occupation, there are no low spirits, and cannot be. A man realizes the old myth of the poets; he is a god walking the earth. He not only feels new powers in himself — he sees new beauties everywhere. His faculties, his eyesight, his hearing, all acquire superior capacity to give him pleasure. Indeed, merely to move is a pleasure; the play of the limbs in motion is enough. To breathe, to eat and drink the simplest food, outvie the most costly of previous enjoyments. How happily pass the days! The whole system seems to laugh with glee. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


If you don't take care of yourself, the undertaker will overtake that responsibility for you. ~Terri Guillemets


      But with this it is as in other things: what is simple, rational, consonent with nature, is abandoned, and a cure is sought where it cannot be found, in means injurious, because contrary to nature. It may be said without much exaggeration: the greater the absurdity of a new-fangled mode of healing is, the more swells the number of its friends and adherents until the over-credulous crowds come to realise the fact that they have been deceived by unscrupulous, money-making quacks...
      The same may be said, and with more reason still, of the modern way of living. When we consider the habits of certain people and the blunders they make in the physical training of their children, it would almost seem as if they had lost all common sense and the power of logical thinking. ~Sebastian Kneipp, 1889, translated from German


In later times wise men were never wanting who endeavoured to restore among their contemporaries primitive habits and ways of living, to bring mankind back to the observance of those simple and rational rules of life to which the ancients owed their health and strength. ~Sebastian Kneipp, 1889, translated from German


I've shackled myself with the prison bars of ill health. ~Terri Guillemets


      A fine lesson may be learned from the observance and history of the operation of putting a man in perfect condition for any great feat of strength and agility. The trainers will sometimes take such a man, every way in a bad state, and will establish such changes in his habits as will turn that man out in a few weeks a completely renovated being, feeling well, looking well, with his muscular development carried to its ultimate degree of perfection, and all the bad humors drenched from his body. This wonderful change lies in the reach of every man — mechanic, farmer, or any workingman.
      Rise at day-break, rapidly wash the whole body in cold water, rub dry with coarse towels, and use a flesh-brush to put the skin in a red glow all over. Open the window and door so that the room may become filled with good fresh air — for the play of the respiratory organs will be increased, and good air tells best. Take a half-hour's brisk walk, or dumb-bells, or some gymnastic exercises, in the open air. Take breakfast of fresh rare lean meat, a chunk of bread, and afterwards a cup of tea.
      Go about your employment, then spend an hour in the forenoon (say from 10 to 11 o'clock) in some good exercises for the arms, hands, breast, spine, shoulders, and waist; the dumb-bells, rowing, sparring, or a vigorous attack punching suspended sand-bags, then take a long walk. Dinner should consist of a good plate of fresh meat with as few condiments as possible, and a small slice of bread. Do not bloat yourself with quantities of trash — pastry, gravy, pie, pudding, coffee, ale, &c. — which will distend the stomach and worry the digestion. Do no toilsome work immediately after dinner.
      In the afternoon a long walk may be taken — or a good game at leaping, or any of the games that tax the legs. After a moderate supper, of some fruit, cold meat, or stale bread, perhaps with a cup of tea, the evenings ought to be devoted to friendly and social recreation. Ten o'clock ought to find a man in bed. It is important that the system should be clarified, through the inspiration and respiration, with a plentiful supply of good air, during the six, seven, or eight hours that are spent in sleep. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858  [A little altered. Thanks, Zachary Turpin, for the great find! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Every living thing depends for its existence upon some other form of life — or death. Were it not for the pale, underground flowers of the soil, the bacteria, the grass could not live. If it were not for the grass, the browsing beasts of the field could not live. If it were not for the beasts of the field and the ripened seeds or roots of the grass, man could not live. ~Woods Hutchinson, M.D. (1862–1930), Civilization and Health, 1914  #paleo  ["Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm." ~Ambrose Bierce —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


I've got health by garden,
A life of meaning and light
~Terri Guillemets, "Health by garden," 2019, blackout poetry created from Alice Walker, The Temple of My Familiar, 1989, page 179


Disappointment, love, business troubles, and a long list of dark possibilities, are always waiting around every man; these interact, when they happen (and none can go through life without them), in many ways upon the health. When they do happen, it is no excuse for "giving up"; if one will only persevere in the wholesome observances, and patiently wait a few days, the mind will be again at ease, and spring up with cheerful vigor again. This is one of the greatest recommendations of the training system, which, if our advice could be followed by young men, we would have never intermitted through life. It would be their best armor for all the ills that would be likely to beset them; to others baffling and overcoming, but to them obstacles easily turned aside and traveled away from. ~Mose Velsor (Walt Whitman), "Manly Health and Training," New York Atlas, 1858  [Thanks, Zachary Turpin! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


When an illness kicks you down, stay and relax a while before trying to get back up. ~Terri Guillemets


      Having passed the threshold of my subject, I shall remark that, however partial I may be to simplicity of treatment, I am decidedly opposed to the common notion of following nature as a general rule. Many persons, seriously determined to preserve their health at any sacrifice of enjoyment, have failed in their efforts by ill-judged attempts in that way. "Nature is the best guide." — "Follow Nature, and you cannot err." — "Nature always directs the best." — These are the leading maxims, but when pursued too far, without discrimination, they are extremely fallacious and injudicious. We should recollect that a civilised and a savage state are materially different; and that, what will answer in one may not in another. Successive generations, in improved society, alter, not only our constitutions, but our very features and persons. By carrying this crude notion of natural living too far, we find ourselves involved in the most ludicrous absurdities...
      This zealous desire to follow Nature can never be pursued with consistency, in as much as we do not know what a state of Nature is. Man has seldom, if ever, been found in what we might call a truly primitive state... The indigenous productions of his country... generally regulate or point out his diet. Thus, climate makes a great difference in the important article of food, and the customs of each savage nation differ materially one from another. Where then are those favourite rules of Nature to be found? Are we to eat human flesh, to go naked, tattoo our faces, sleep in caverns?...
      In short an attempt to shape our living to that which is designated a natural state, is equally absurd as not to eat any thing requiring chewing, in order to save the teeth. But, perhaps, the best argument of all is, that notwithstanding our numerous temptations to injure the health, and the many maladies we have created, unknown to savage nations, the duration of life seems pretty nearly balanced in one state and the other — indeed I think we have generally the advantage in point of longevity. ~Hortator, "Precautions in Following 'Nature's Dictates,'" Simplicity of Health, 1829


Illness is a puzzle scattered in pieces. Find a way to make whole all the parts, and you can find wellness. ~Terri Guillemets


And so medicine, steeped in the conviction of its own wisdom, knows nothing of that spiritual affirmative, nutritional health, upon which all proper therapeutic measure must be based. Thus, we are as likely to drive away the shadows of disease without a prior elevation of nutritional health within the cell, as we are to disperse those of the night, without the previous elevation of the sun. ~Morris Hyman, M.D. (b. 1908), "General Considerations of Disease," Congenital Alterable Transmissible Asymmetry: The Spiritual Meaning of Disease and Science, 1970


Take charge of your health — be your own guardian angel. ~Terri Guillemets


...longevity in itself is not a basis for evolutionary selection — natural selection is not interested in us after we have finished child-bearing. ~Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman, Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms that Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive, 2009


Addiction is a monster, and it's a really difficult monster to fight. ~Stephanie Beatriz


Addiction is an anchor that won't break out. ~Terri Guillemets


One thing is certain: the time will come when the opinions of priests and doctors must give way to the science of life; for their opinions lead to death and misery, and the science of life is health and happiness. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


Human misery universally arises from some error that man admits as true. We confound our fears with the idea feared, and place the evil in the thing seen or believed. Here is a great error, for we never see what we are afraid of. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


Now, I stand alone on this rock, fighting the errors of this world, and establish the science of life by my works. What is my mode of warfare? With the axe of truth I strike at the root of every tree of error and hew it down, so that there shall not be one error in man showing itself in the form of disease. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


Every one is made of matter, and matter is continually going through a chemical change. This change is life, not wisdom, but life, like vegetable or mineral life. Every idea is matter, so of course it contains life in the name of something that can be changed. Motion, or change, is life. Ideas have life. A belief has life, or matter; for it can be changed. Now, all the aforesaid make up man; and all this can be changed. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


After I found that mind was matter, I found that ideas were matter condensed into a solid called disease, and that this, like a book, contained all the wisdom of its author. Seeing the book,—for sight with Wisdom embraces all the senses,—I open it, and see through it. To the patient it is a sealed book; but to Wisdom there is nothing hid which cannot be revealed or seen, nor so far off that it cannot be reached. So I read the contents of the book to the patient, and show that it is false. Then, as the truth changes his mind, light takes the place of the darkness, till he sees through the error of disease. The light of Wisdom dissipates the matter, or disease, the patient once more finds himself freed of opinions, and happiness is restored. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


Disease is the misery of our belief, happiness is the health of our wisdom, so that man's happiness or misery depends on himself. Now, as our misery comes from our belief, and not from the thing believed, it is necessary to be on the watch, so as not to be deceived by false guides. Sensation contains no intelligence or belief, but is a mere disturbance of the matter, called agitation, which produces mind, and is ready to receive the seed of error. Ever since man was created, there has been an element called error which has been busy inventing answers for every sensation. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


Man is made of opinions,—of truth and error; and his life is a warfare like all other lives before him... Man goes on developing error upon error till he is buried in his own belief... It is the office of wisdom to explain the phenomena in man called disease, to show how it is made, and how it can be unmade. This is as much a science as it is to know how to decompose a piece of metal. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1861


It may seem strange to those in health that our beliefs affect us. The fact is, there is nothing of us but belief. It is the whole capital and stock in trade of man. It is all that can be changed, and embraces everything man has made or ever will make. ~Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, 1865


What linguistic genius
set up the sneeze and wheeze
To rhyme so very perfectly
with the word "allergies"?
~Terri Guillemets


The healthiest among us is not exempt from hereditary disease. The most symmetrical, athletic, and long-lived is a being inexpressibly inferior to what he would have been had not the unnatural habits of his ancestors accumulated for him a certain portion of malady and deformity. In the most perfect specimen of civilized man, something is still found wanting by the physiological critic. Can a return to nature, then, instantaneously eradicate predispositions that have been slowly taking root in the silence of innumerable ages? — Indubitably not. All that I contend for is, that from the moment of relinquishing all unnatural habits, no new disease is generated; and that the predisposition to hereditary maladies gradually perishes for want of its accustomed supply. ~William Andrus Alcott (1798–1859), Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages, 1838


Hear your heart. Heart your health. ~Terri Guillemets



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