Get Out and Get Tired
ROY L. SMITH: Reprinted From The Christian Advocate, Oct. 28, 1943.
She was a woman 'just a little short of middle age, and she was employed in a business that kept her pretty steadily at a desk. She had little opportunity to exercise her major muscles. Her daily routine was nerve strain and not muscle strain.
She never stopped to think that her strong body was equipped to do hard physical work and stand great physical strain, and she was not able to understand why she came home at night with nerves taut and tingling, unable to sleep, and unable to concentrate on her reading, her correspondence, or her music. "I guess my work is getting on my nerves," she said, and it was very evident that she was developing an irritable spirit about the home. Everyone blamed it on her "nerves." No one thought to blame it on unused muscles.
Then came a bit of wise counsel from an older friend. "Get out and get tired," was the warning. "Your arms, back, and legs are restless and demanding attention. They are entitled to a little attention during the day. Use them until they are quiet."
The business woman took the advice with a degree of caution. It all seemed so silly. Wasn't she just "tired to death already"? But about an hour after dinner the next evening she experimented.
Getting into clothing adapted to walking, she set out for a brisk hike. It was not one of those easy strolls in which one saunters along, stop ping here and there to study a garden or ad mire some show window. It was a determined walk with long strides, shoulders back, deep breaths, and head erect.
All the time she hummed a marching tune an old hymn she sang occasionally at church. She refused to think about the office, in fact, she refused to think at all, so far as that was possible. She was out to run her body down!
At the end of thirty minutes she returned, face flushed, pulse pounding, and blood racing gleefully. What an outing she had given her arms, her back, her legs! And they were like some house pet released for an hour. The sheer joy of the physical exercise expressed itself in an entirely new spirit.
Back in the house, she found it easy to settle down with a book. The major muscles were now singing instead of crying. Her nerves had quieted down. Her mind was calm because it was not tormented by the contradiction between mind and muscle.
Having established a certain balance of powers within her body, she now found it possible to establish a similar balance within her spirit. The irritability was gone. The sharp and caustic comment did not leap to her lips as it had at dinner. She found it easy to be gentle, with those who expected gentleness from her. And just before retiring for the night she turned to her New Testament, and found it genuinely consoling. It was no longer a duty to be grudgingly done, but a source of welcome help.
Sedentary workers need to remember that they are equipped with bodies that were expected to live much of the time out of doors. They have muscles that must be exercised, or they will "go sour" and pour their irritation back into the blood stream. It is impossible to keep an alert mind in a sluggish body, and it is equally impossible to keep a calm and poised spirit alive in a body in which the muscles and the nerves are in conflict.
It is so easy to think we are tired, when we are only suffering from the tension that develops when one area of our being is exercised to the exclusion of all others.
Paul talked about "keeping his body under," and it is highly necessary that our physical life should be brought under control. But it often happens that the best way to bring about such control is by giving it a chance to expend its energy and draining off that surplus.
By: Ben Glanzer
In the March-June, 1952, issue of The National Gardener, bulletin of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc., appears a most interesting item of information on a matter stressed by the Spirit of prophecy many years ago. The journal carries a digest of a talk given by A. Ray Tillman, third vice-president of the Men's Garden Clubs of America, at the annual meeting of the National Council in Biloxi, Mississippi, last March. Mr. Tillman said:
"You have heard much at this convention about your garden therapy program and the fine work that is being done by your clubs and their members. The talks that I was privileged to hear were most interesting and I congratulate you on this splendid work. I should like to tell you something about our garden therapy work.
"At the Veterans Hospital, Northport, Long Island, New York, we have a rather unusual garden club. Its name is 'The Member Patients Garden Club.' The only persons registered with our secretary are the president and the secretary, who are staff members of the hospital. This hospital is an institution for service-connected men who are men tally sick. It is the purpose and program of this garden club to work with patients of the hospital who are all privileged members of the garden club in an effort to provide a type of treatment that will contribute to the restoration of their health.
"Out of this experience our president, Dr. Albert J. Irving of New York City, has carved a new word for Mr. Webster this word is gardotherapy, spelled g-a-r-d-o-t-h-e-r-a-p-y, meaning 'The use of gardening as a means of healing, particularly the healing of sick minds."
"This program has drawn such national interest that just recently several national nurseries donated a rose garden of over 2,000 plants to this club.
"The results of the work among the patients of this hospital can be illustrated with the fact that recently the club won a silver cup for their display of fine dahlias grown by them at the 1951 American Dahlia Show.
"Just last month six members of this club were discharged from the hospital largely through the benefits of gardotherapy, a supervised and planned garden program; some to take jobs in the field of horticulture.
"Here in the South in one of our neighbor states, Louisiana, at the United States Marine Hospital at Carville, established for the treatment of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, we have organized a club among the patients of this hospital. It is hoped that through this program we can contribute something that will hasten their recovery and make their stay a little more pleasant."
Years ago in the book Ministry of Healing God's messenger gave the following counsel regarding the care of patients:
"Exercise in the open air should be prescribed as a life-giving necessity. And for such exercises there is nothing better than the cultivation of the soil. Let patients have flower beds to care for, or work to do in the orchard or vegetable garden. As they are encouraged to leave their rooms and spend time in the open air, cultivating flowers or doing some other light, pleasant work, their attention will be diverted from themselves and their sufferings.
"The more the patient can be kept out of doors, the less care will he require. The more cheerful his surroundings, the more hopeful will he be. Shut up in the house, be it ever so elegantly furnished, he will grow fretful and gloomy. Surround him with the beautiful things of nature; place him where he can see the flowers growing and hear the birds singing, and his heart will break into song in harmony with the songs of the birds. Relief will come to body and mind. The intellect will be awakened, the imagination quickened, and the mind prepared to appreciate the beauty of God's word." Page 265.
In the light of Mr. Tillman's report we might well restudy the above counsel by the Spirit of prophecy on this matter counsel that we have heeded only spasmodically through the years.
LFARETTA CLARA JOHNSON: Food Clinic Nutritionist, White Memorial Hospital
Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered." 2 Kings 20:7.
Enzyme chemists have recently demonstrated that there is in the sap and in the leaves of fig trees a very potent chemical. In countries where the natives have to be dewormed, they drain the sap from the fig tree and drink it. When fig leaves, cut and mashed, are placed in a container with worms, the worms disintegrate in the presence of this enzyme.
Enzymes are present in many systems of foods, plants, and animals. Deranged enzyme systems in plants parallel very closely cancer in human beings. If a plant has a tumor on the stem, it has been observed that leaf tissue will be present; if the leaf is affected, stem tis sue will be present in the abnormal plant growth.
In the Bible God has provided examples of biochemical systems that are only recently be coming understood by man. The present findings in physical and biological sciences are helping us to realize that the Bible is both literal and spiritual in many of its applications; that its conclusions are real and operate in our day as well as in the time of the Bible writers; and that true harmony exists between God's two books the Bible and nature.