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Healthful Living

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    Influence of Dress upon the Body

    537. Physical loveliness consists in symmetry—the harmonious proportion of parts.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 94.HL 121.6

    Tight Clothing

    538. Dress reform ... includes every article of dress upon the person. It lifts the weights from the hips by suspending the skirts from the shoulders. It removes the tight corsets, which compress the lungs, the stomach, and other internal organs, and induce curvature of the spine and an almost countless train of diseases. Dress reform proper provides for the protection and development of every part of the body.—Testimonies for the Church 4:635.HL 122.1

    539. Woman's dress should be arranged so loosely upon the person, about the waist, that she can breathe without the least obstruction. Her arms should be left perfectly free, that she may raise them above her head with ease.... The compression of the waist by tight lacing prevents the waste matter from being thrown off through its natural channels. The most important of these is the lungs.... If the lungs are cramped, they cannot develop; but their capacity will be diminished, making it impossible to take a sufficient inspiration of air.... The compression of the waist weakens the muscles of the respiratory organs. It hinders the process of digestion. The heart, liver, lungs, spleen, and stomach are crowded into a small compass, not allowing room for the healthful action of these organs.—The Heath Reformer, November 1, 1871; see also, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 88.HL 122.2

    540. The dress should fit easily, obstructing neither the circulation of the blood, nor a free, full, natural respiration.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 89.HL 122.3

    541. Our Creator made no mistake in fashioning the human body. He gave appropriate space for the free action of every organ, and formed us in such a way that every muscle could come into play without trespassing upon the function of any other muscle.—The Youth's Instructor, September 14, 1893.HL 122.4

    542. Lacing causes displacements, and this form of disease is increasing with each successive generation.—The Health Reformer, November 1, 1871.HL 123.1

    543. Many have become lifelong invalids through their compliance with the demands of fashion. Displacements and deformities, cancers and other terrible diseases, are among the evils resulting from fashionable dress.—Testimonies for the Church 4:635.HL 123.2

    544. Half the diseases of women are caused by unhealthful dress.—The Health Reformer, February 1, 1877 par. 2.HL 123.3

    Heavy Skirts

    545. The hips are not formed to bear heavy weights. The heavy skirts worn by women, their weight dragging down upon the hips, have been the cause of various diseases which are not easily cured, because the sufferers seem to be ignorant of the cause which has produced them, and they continue to violate the laws of their being by girding the waist and wearing heavy skirts, until they are made lifelong invalids.—How to Live 6:64.HL 123.4

    546. This heavy weight pressing upon the bowels, drags them downward, and causes weakness of the stomach, and a feeling of lassitude, which leads the sufferer to incline forward. This tends further to cramp the lungs, and prevents their proper action. The blood becomes impure, the pores of the skin fail in their office, sallowness and disease result, and beauty and health are gone.... Every woman who values health should avoid hanging any weight upon the hips.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 89.HL 123.5

    Clothing of the Extremities

    547. The most of us wear clothing enough, but many fail to give every part of the body its due proportion.... If any part of the body should be favored with extra coverings, it should be the limbs and feet, which are at a distance from the great wheel of life, which sends the blood through the system. The limbs should ever be clothed with a warm covering to protect them from a chill current of air.... If the feet are clothed with good-sized, thick-soled, warm boots or shoes, for comfort rather than for fashion, the blood will be induced to circulate freely in the limbs and feet, as well as other portions of the body.... If we give the lungs and feet ample room to do the work God designed they should, we shall be rewarded with better health and a clearer conscience.—The Health Reformer, April 1, 1871.HL 124.1

    548. There is but one woman in a thousand who clothes her limbs as she should.... Women should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as do men.—How to Live 6:64.HL 124.2

    549. The portions of the body close to the life springs, need less covering than the limbs which are remote from the vital organs. If the limbs and feet could have the extra coverings usually put upon the shoulders, lungs, and heart, and healthy circulation be induced to the extremities, the vital organs would act their part healthfully, with only their share of clothing.—How to Live 5:73.HL 124.3

    550. The extremities are chilled, and the heart has thrown upon it double labor, to force the blood into these chilled extremities; and when the blood has performed its circuit through the body, and returned to the heart, it is not the same vigorous, warm current which left it. It has been chilled in its passage through the limbs. The heart, weakened by too great labor and poor circulation of poor blood, is then compelled to still greater exertion, to throw the blood to the extremities which are never as healthfully warm as other parts of the body. The heart 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.—How to Live 5:72.HL 124.4

    551. It is impossible for women to have, habitually, chilled limbs and cold feet, without some of the internal organs’ being congested.... The many extra coverings over the chest and back and lower part of the body, induce the blood to these parts, and the animal heat, thus retained, weakens and debilitates the delicate organs, and congestion and inflammation result.—The Health Reformer, May 1, 1872.HL 125.1

    552. When the extremities, which are remote from the vital organs, are not properly clad, the blood is driven to the head, causing headache or nosebleed; or there is a sense of fulness about the chest producing cough or palpitation of the heart, on account of too much blood in that locality; or the stomach has too much blood, causing indigestion.—Testimonies for the Church 2:531.HL 125.2

    Length of Dress

    553. The length of the fashionable dress is objectionable for several reasons:—HL 125.3

    1. It is extravagant and unnecessary to have a dress of such length that it will sweep the sidewalk and street.HL 126.1

    2. A dress thus long gathers dew from the grass and mud from the streets, and is therefore uncleanly.HL 126.2

    3. In its bedraggled condition it comes in contact with the sensitive ankles, which are not sufficiently protected, quickly chilling them, and thus endangering health and life. This is one of the greatest causes of catarrh and scrofulous swellings.HL 126.3

    4. The unnecessary length is an additional weight upon the hips and bowels.HL 126.4

    5. It hinders the walking, and is also often in other people's way.—Testimonies for the Church 1:459.HL 126.5

    If women would wear their dresses so as to clear the filth of the street an inch or two, their dresses would be modest, and they could be kept clean much more easily, and would wear longer.—Testimonies for the Church 1:458.HL 126.6

    Too Much Clothing

    554. You have worn too great an amount of clothing, and have debilitated the skin by so doing. You have not given your body a chance to breathe. The pores of the skin, or little mouths through which the body breathes, have become closed, and the system has been filled with impurities.—Testimonies for the Church 3:74.HL 126.7

    555. I advise invalid sisters who have accustomed themselves to too great an amount of clothing, to lay it off gradually.—Testimonies for the Church 2:533.HL 126.8

    556. Disease of every type is brought upon the body through the unhealthful, fashionable style of dress; and the fact should be made prominent that a reform must take place before treatment will effect a cure.—Testimonies for the Church 4:582.HL 126.9

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