A Response to the Video:
by Bob Pickle
Health Counsel, Wigs, and the Reform Dress
#126: This is the so-called cure. Thus hydrotherapy, a very potent treatment for a variety of ailments, is ridiculed.
This treatment isn't even the whole cure. It's only one part of five: "1. Diet and Regimen. . . . 2. Sleeping. . . . 3. Bathing. . . . 4. Exercise. . . . 5. Social Surroundings. . . ."—pp. 270-272.
The section this is found in has the heading, "Hygienic Treatment." What does this term mean? It refers to a particular school of medical thought. Today we have allopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, and other modalities of treatment. Hygienic medicine was yet another one.
Hygienic physicians, such as Dr. E. P. Miller, avoided drug therapy with its side effects. Besides proper diet and exercise, they used simple treatments like hydrotherapy.
So what can hydrotherapy do? When used properly, it can relieve congestion, pain, fever, fatigue, and muscle spasms; increase white blood cell activity, antibody production, and toxin elimination; and either stimulate or sedate (Dail and Thomas, Hydrotherapy, Simple Treatments for Common Ailments 1, 6, 17, 40).
How effective can it be? Mrs. White advised a form of hydrotherapy for a malarial patient from Allegan, Michigan, who promptly recovered (Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 279). Physicians at the General Conference sessions near the turn of the century reported the success they were having using hydrotherapy for a particular form of malaria. Their success was not attended with the side effects of drug therapy. Even in cases when quinine was unsuccessful, the hydrotherapy treatments worked (General Conference Bulletin, June 1, 1909, p. 236; June 6, p. 324; June 7, p. 357).
As drug resistance in microbes becomes more of a problem, it might be wise to research the effectiveness of hydrotherapy on yet other forms of malaria, as well as other diseases.
This writer knows of a physician who periodically has problems with bowel obstructions, due to scar tissue from previous surgery. She has treated herself with a particular form of hydrotherapy, and by so doing has recovered without surgery a number of times. Thus hydrotherapy rightly used is nothing to ridicule.
(Those who are not sure what "rightly used" means should consult a hygienic physician. This book is obviously not intended to diagnose disease or advise a specific medical treatment.)
The documentation package described "Point 66" in the index as "The Battle Creek cure for 'secret vice' used when EGW and Dr. Kellogg ran the sanitorium [sic]." The truth is that neither was running the sanitarium when Solemn Appeal was published in 1870. Kellogg was still a teenager, and didn't come on board the sanitarium staff until five or six years later. Mrs. White never ran any institution in the normal sense of the word. She only sat on one board, and that was of Madison College in Tennessee after the turn of the century.
The sanitarium was founded in 1866. Between its founding and the publication of Solemn Appeal, much of that time James and Ellen were living in northern Michigan, not in Battle Creek. They had moved there to facilitate James's recovery from the paralytic stroke he had had in 1865. During this same time period, attitudes in Battle Creek were such that Mrs. White found it difficult to do far less than run an entire institution (Arthur White, vol. 2, pp. 138, 168-289).
Page 268 of Solemn Appeal makes it clear that the advised course of treatment was being given by physicians who had treated "a large number of cases," the great majority of which must have been dealt with while Mrs. White was nowhere near Battle Creek. But for the video to have criticized the doctors of that time, whether Adventist or not, wouldn't have helped build its case against the ghost "behind the church." [p. 88]