Brain and Nervous System

819. Each faculty of the mind and each muscle has its distinctive office, and all require to be exercised in order to become properly developed and retain healthful vigor.

820. Every organ of the body was made to be servant of the mind.

821. The brain is the capital of the body, the seat of all the nervous forces and of mental action. The nerves proceeding from the brain control the body. By the brain nerves, mental impressions are conveyed to all the nerves of the body as by telegraph wires; and they control the vital action of every part of the system. All the organs of motion are governed by the communications they receive from the brain.

822. The senses . . . are the avenues to the soul.

823. The brain nerves which communicate with the entire system are the only medium through which Heaven can communicate with man, and affect his inmost life. Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind.

824. Any part of the body that is not treated with consideration will telegraph its injury to the brain.

825. The nervous system, having been unduly excited, borrowed power for present use from its future resources of strength.

826. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery, affects the brain very directly.

827. A calm, clear brain and steady nerve are dependent upon a well-balanced circulation of the blood.

828. When the minds of ministers, school-teachers, and students are continually excited by study, and the body is allowed to be inactive, the nerves of emotion are taxed, while the nerves of motion are inactive.

829. Immediately after eating there is a strong draught upon the nervous energy. . . . Therefore, when the mind or body is taxed heavily after eating, the process of digestion is hindered. The vitality of the system, which is needed to carry on the work in one direction, is called away and set to work in another.

830. The very food they place before their children is such as to irritate the tender coats of the stomach. This excitement is communicated, through the nerves, to the brain, and the result is that the animal passions are aroused, and control the moral powers. Reason is thus made a servant to the lower qualities of the mind.

831. This drug poison, opium, gives temporary relief from pain, but does not remove the cause of pain. It only stupefies the brain, rendering it incapable of receiving impressions from the nerves. While the brain is thus insensible, the hearing, the taste, and the sight are affected. When the influence of opium wears off, and the mind arouses from its state of paralysis, the nerves, which have been cut off from communication with the brain, shriek out louder than ever... because of the additional outrage the system has sustained in receiving this poison.

832. God himself has formed us with distinctive organs and faculties. These he designs should act together in harmony. If we injure one, all are affected.

833. Every wrong habit which injures the health of the body, reacts in effect upon the mind.

834. The brain is the citadel of the whole man, and wrong habits of eating, dressing, or sleeping affect the brain, and prevent the attaining of that which the student desires,--a good mental discipline. Any part of the body that is not treated with consideration will telegraph its injury to the brain.

835. It is impossible for the brain to do its best work when the digestive powers are abused. Many eat hurriedly of various kinds of food, which set up a war in the stomach, and thus confuse the brain.... At meal-time cast off care and taxing thought. Do not be hurried, but eat slowly and with cheerfulness, your heart filled with gratitude to God for all his blessings; and do not engage in brain labor immediately after a meal. Exercise moderately, and give a little time for the stomach to begin its work.

836. When the mind or body is taxed heavily after eating, the process of digestion is hindered. The vitality of the system, which is needed to carry on the work in one direction, is called away and set to work in another.

837. What the users of these stimulants call strength is only received by exciting the nerves of the stomach, which convey the irritation to the brain, and this in turn is aroused to impart increased action to the heart.

838. Those who are changing from three meals a day to two, will at first be troubled more or less with faintness, especially about the time they have been in the habit of eating the third meal. But if they persevere for a short time, this faintness will disappear.

839. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery affects the brain very directly.

840. It is destructive to the health and life of young children to sit in the schoolroom upon hard, ill-formed benches, from three to five hours a day, inhaling the impure air cause by many breaths. The weak lungs become affected, the brain, from which the nervous energy of the whole system is derived, becomes enfeebled by being called into active exercise before the strength of the mental organs is sufficiently matured to endure fatigue.

841. In the schoolroom the foundation has been too surely laid for diseases of various kinds. But more especially the most delicate of all organs, the brain, had often been permanently injured by too great exercise. This has often caused inflammation, then dropsy of the head, and convulsions with their dreaded results. ... In those children who have survived, the nervous energy of the brain becomes so weakened that after they come to maturity it is impossible for them to endure much mental exercise. The forces of some of the delicate organs of the brain seem to be expended.

842. The mind which is allowed to be absorbed in story reading is being ruined. The practice results in air-castle building and a sickly sentimentalism. The imagination becomes diseased, and there is a vague unrest, a strange appetite for unwholesome mental food. Thousands are today in insane asylums whose minds became unbalanced by novel reading.

843. The memory is greatly injured by ill-chosen reading, which has a tendency to unbalance the reasoning powers, and to create nervousness, weariness of the brain, and prostration of the entire system.

844. The exercise of the brain in study, without corresponding physical exercise, has a tendency to attract the blood to the brain, and the circulation of the blood through the system becomes unbalanced. The brain has too much blood, and the extremities too little.

845. Minds are often abused, and goaded on to madness by pursuing one line of thought; the excessive employment of the brain power and the neglect of the physical creates diseased conditions of the system.

846. Doubt, perplexity, and excessive grief often sap the vital forces, and induce nervous disease of a most debilitating and distressing character.

847. The mind does not wear out or break down so often on account of diligent employment and hard study, as on account of eating improper food at improper times, and of careless inattention to the laws of health. . . . Diligent study is not the principal cause of the breaking down of the mental powers. The main cause is improper diet, irregular meals, and a lack of physical exercise. Irregular hours for eating and sleeping sap the brain forces.

848. Stomach, liver, lungs, and brain are suffering for the want of deep, full inspirations of air.

849. Artificial hair and pads covering the base of the brain, heat and excite the nerves centering in the brain.... The heat caused by these artificial coverings induces the blood to the brain, producing congestion. In consequence of the brain's being congested its nerves lose their healthy action.

850. Their limbs, as well as their arms, are left almost naked.... The heart, weakened by too great labor, fails in its efforts, and the limbs become habitually cold; and the blood, which is chilled away from the extremities, is thrown back upon the lungs and brain, and inflammation and congestion of the lungs or the brain is the result.

851. The brain is closely connected with the stomach, and its power has so often been called to aid the weakened digestive organs that it is in its turn weakened, depressed, congested.

852. The brain-nerve energy is benumbed and almost paralyzed by overeating.

853. Your health is greatly injured by overeating and eating at improper times. This causes a determination of the blood to the brain. The mind becomes confused, and you have not the proper control of yourself. You appear like a man whose mind is unbalanced. You make strong moves, are easily irritated, and view things in an exaggerated and perverted light.

854. If the stomach is burdened with too much food, even of a simple character, the brain force is called to the aid of the digestive organs. There is a benumbed sensation upon the brain. It is almost impossible to keep the eyes open.... The brain is almost paralyzed in consequence of the amount of food eaten.

855. Nature bears abuse as long as she can without resisting, then she arouses and makes a mighty effort to rid herself of the encumbrance's and evil treatment she has suffered. Then come headache, chills, fever, nervousness, paralysis, and other evils too numerous to mention.

856. Children should not be allowed to eat gross articles of food, such as pork, sausage, spices, rich cakes, and pastry; for by so doing their blood becomes fevered, the nervous system unduly excited, and the morals are in danger of being affected.

857. Some animals that are brought to the slaughter seem to realize what is to take place, and they become furious, and literally mad. They are killed while in this state, and their flesh prepared for market. Their meat is poison, and has produced in those who have eaten it, cramps, convulsions, apoplexy, and sudden death.

858. The appetite for liquor is encouraged by the preparation of food with condiments and spices. These cause a feverish state of the system.... The effect of such food is to cause nervousness.

859. To a certain extent tea produces intoxication.... Tea draws upon the strength of the nerves, and leaves them greatly weakened. . . . When the system is already overtaxed and needs rest, the use of tea spurs up nature by stimulation to unwonted, unnatural action, and thereby lessens her power to perform and her ability to endure; and her powers give out long before Heaven designed they should. Tea is poisonous to the system.... The second effect of tea drinking is headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling of the nerves, and many other evils.

860. The influence of coffee is in a degree the same as tea, but the effect upon the system is still worse. Its influence is exciting, and just in the degree that it elevates above par, it will exhaust and bring prostration below par... . The relief obtained from them [tea and coffee] is sudden, before the stomach has had time to digest them. This shows that what the users of these stimulants call strength is only received by exciting the nerves of the stomach, which convey the irritation to the
brain, and this in turn is aroused to impart increased action to the heart, and short-lived energy to the entire system. All this is false strength, that we are the worse for having.

861. Tobacco is a poison of the most deceitful and malignant kind, having an exciting, then a paralyzing, influence upon the nerves.

862. Tobacco-using is a habit which frequently affects the nervous system in a more powerful manner than does the use of alcohol.

863. While it [tobacco] acts upon some [infants who are compelled to inhale its fumes] as a slow poison, and affects the brain, heart, liver, and lungs, and they waste away and fade gradually, upon others it has a more direct influence, causing spasms, paralysis, and sudden death.

864. A tendency to disease of various kinds, as dropsy, liver complaint, trembling nerves, and a determination of blood to the head, results from the habitual use of sour cider.... Some die of consumption or fall under the power of apoplexy from this cause alone.

865. The drugs given to stupefy, whatever they may be, derange the nervous system.

866. The liver, heart, and brain are frequently affected by drugs, and often all these organs are burdened with disease, and the unfortunate subjects, if they live, are invalids for life, wearily dragging out a miserable existence.

867. Witness the mildest protracted influence of nux vomica upon the human system. As its introduction, the nervous energy was excited to extraordinary action to meet this drug poison. This extra excitement was followed by prostration, and the final result has been paralysis of the nerves.

868. Poisonous medicines, or something called a soothing cordial... is poured down the throat of the abused infant.... If it recovers, it must bear about more or less in its system he effects of that poisonous drug, and it is liable to spasms, heart disease, dropsy of the brain, or consumption. Some infants are not strong enough to bear even a trifle of drug poisons; and as nature rallies to meet the intruder, the vital forces of the tender infant are too severely taxed, and death ends the scene.

869. Impure thoughts lead to impure actions.... Some... are in danger of paralysis of the brain. Already the moral and intellectual powers are weakened and benumbed.

870. Many sink into an early grave, while others have a sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal.... Nature will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws.... by numerous pains in the system,... neuralgia,... affection of the spine.

871. The mind and body are intimately connected. If the former is to be firm and well balanced, the latter should be in the best possible condition. Conscience and right principles of life should be sustained by firm, quiet nerves, a healthy circulation, and the activity and strength of general health.

872. Air, air, the precious boon of heaven, which all may have, will bless you with its invigorating influence if you will not refuse it entrance. Welcome it, cultivate a love for it, and it will prove a precious soother of the nerves.... It refreshes the body,... while at the same time its influence is decidedly felt upon the mind, imparting a degree of composure and serenity.... It induces sound, sweet sleep.

873. You were in danger of being stricken down by paralysis, one half of you becoming dead. A denial of appetite is salvation to you.

874. All these brethren need to adhere more strictly and perseveringly to a healthful, spare diet, for all are in danger of congested brains, and paralysis may fell one or more or all of them, if they continue living carelessly or recklessly.

875. You should use the most simple food, prepared in the most simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not weakened, benumbed, or paralyzed.

876. Healthy, active exercise is what you need. This will invigorate the mind. Neither study nor violent exercise should be engage in immediately after a full meal.

877. Physical labor, a diversion from mental, will draw the blood from the brain.

878. Morning exercise, in walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven,... is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestions of the brain and lungs,... and a hundred other diseases.

879. The proper exercise of mind and body will develop and strengthen all the powers. Both mind and body will be preserved, and will be capable of doing a variety of work.... The proper use of the physical strength as well as the mental powers will equalize the circulation of the blood, and keep every organ of the living machinery in running order.... Every faculty of the mind may be exercised with comparative safety if the physical powers are equally taxed, and the subject of thought varied. We need a change of employment, and nature is a living, healthful teacher.

880. The bath is a soother of the nerves.

881. Some.... have a powerful will, which, exercised in the right direction, would be a potent means of controlling the imagination and thus resisting disease.

882. You are capable of controlling your imagination and overcoming these nervous attacks. You have will power, and you should bring it to your aid.

883. Bring to your aid the power of the will, which will resist cold and will give energy to the nervous system.

884. The consciousness of right-doing is the best medicine for diseased bodies and minds.

885. The Bible is a soother of the nerves, and imparts solidity of mind and firm principles.


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