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The Eight Necessities of Health

Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

Proper diet alone is not the only factor in obtaining and maintaining good health. Fresh air, pure water, exercise, rest, temperance, sunshine and trust in God are needed also. Here is a brief discussion of each:


Air is the most necessary ingredient of life. We can live only minutes without air.

Many people do not breathe properly and thus hinder good health. It is wise to take several very deep breaths of fresh air every day. Breathe in deeply then exhale. Continue exhaling the remaining air in the lungs. Then take another deep breath. Do this cautiously and build up the amount of times you do this daily, as many people feel lightheaded when they first try deep breathing. Deep breathing helps purify the blood and increases oxygen to various parts of the body.

Erect posture is important as the lungs can not properly fill with air if the back is hunched over. Standing erect, sitting erect, and working erect are simple habits each of us can develop.

Proper clothing is important also. If clothing is tight or binding, it will restrict the flow of air into the lungs and slow the blood, carrying the oxygen, to various parts of the body. This is also true if the limbs are not properly covered.

The best air for invigorating the body comes from the ocean, waterfalls, or streams. Though most of us cannot live beside the ocean or even by a waterfall or stream, we can open the windows and allow the fresh air into our homes. We should sleep with the windows open. In fact, our homes should be well-ventilated night and day, summer and winter.


Man can not live many days without water.

Water is needed to cleanse us of impurities, internally as well as externally. For this reason, we need plenty of it at all times. We would not think of washing a sink full of dishes in a cup or two of water, but that is essentially what we do to our bodies when we limit our water intake. The body needs six to eight glasses of pure water daily, and even more if a person is very large-framed or overweight.

When we do not drink enough water and the body is in need of more to function properly, it does not cease to function but rather conserves the water it does have by changing functions.

It takes water from the colon, where the waste products are stored, and purifies and recirculates that water. The fecal material becomes dry and sticky as a result of this lack of water and constipation is the result.

We should drink water half an hour before or one hour or more after a meal, not at meal time. Water, taken with a meal, dilutes the digestive juices and must be absorbed from the stomach before proper digestion of the food can proceed.

The temperature of water, and of foods, should not be too hot or too cold so the body will not be debilitated.

Pure water is soft water. This can be obtained from distilled water, rain water, or reverse osmosis water.

Water is important on the outside of the body as well. It is essential for cleansing the skin, the largest organ of elimination. Many impurities are expelled from the body through the skin and soil the clothing. If these impurities are left on the skin or clothing, they can and will be reabsorbed into the body, and will thus place a burden on the internal organs to eliminate them again. A daily bath and clean clothing are safeguards against this excessive burden to the body. A daily cleansing of the skin is beneficial always, but in tropical climates and in hot or humid weather it is even more important.


Exercise is important to keep the body machinery functioning properly. A muscle not used soon weakens. Walking is one of the best exercises. Exercise gives us the following benefits:

  • aids digestion
  • helps circulation
  • relieves nervousness
  • tones muscles
  • helps the body expel impurities
  • prevents diseases - improves the immune system
  • improves the function of kidneys, heart, liver, and lungs
  • vitalizes the blood

In short, a daily exercise program improves your health.


Rest is very important in many ways. It gives our nerves and muscles a chance to relax. When we are rested, we are stronger to resist temptations to eat improperly, as well as temptations in other areas of our lives.

Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Children and teenagers usually require more because of growth taking place in their bodies.Insomnia is a problem with many people. Some of the following suggestions might help:

  • working out of doors in contact with the soil in a garden or flower bed
  • eliminating the third meal or just eating lightly of fruit and toast
  • a tepid bath or shower just before retiring
  • a cup of hot herb tea, such as hops, red clover, or catnip
  • most importantly, turning your cares over to the Lord and letting your mind be at peace


An intemperate person can not expect to have optimum health. It does not matter if the intemperance is in eating, sleeping, exercise, or any other area. The Bible says, "Let your moderation be known to all men." Philippians 4:5. True temperance teaches us to give up hurtful practices and use healthful ones in moderation.


The sun is necessary for life and growth, light and warmth. The sun provides energy for growth of plants; then this energy is stored as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates for the nourishment of man and animals. Sunshine aids digestion and helps relax the nerves. It is a very effective germ killer and is one of God's gifts to keep us healthy. Sunlight benefits the body in the following ways:

  • lowers blood pressure
  • lowers blood sugar
  • lowers resting heart rate
  • lowers blood cholesterol
  • raises cardiac output
  • raises glycogen stores in the liver
  • raises energy, muscular strength, and endurance
  • strengthens the immune system to fight infection
  • raises the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood
  • increases the stress-tolerance level
  • balances the production of hormones
  • helps heal diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, and cancer


Health is a gift from God. Only as we follow His laws can we expect to have the health He desires us to have. God gave us moral laws for our well-being (10 commandment laws) and health laws for our physical health and peace of mind. We are following these laws when we love the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.

Proverbs 17:22 says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones." When our minds are at peace with God and man, and we have dropped our load of guilt at Jesus' feet, we can have the perfect peace that restores body, mind and soul.

Since nine-tenths of all illness start in the mind, the proverb is very true. A merry heart (pure mind) doeth good like a medicine; a broken spirit (guilt, evil thoughts, remorse, and revenge) drieth up the bones. Science is now telling us what God told us centuries ago. The body produces endorphins when we are happy. These help restore our physical health. The body also produces negative hormones when the mind dwells on self, guilt, hatred, envy, and jealousy. God would have us choose health by choosing carefully what we allow our minds to dwell upon. Thinking of the goodness of God and the love of Jesus not only gives us peace of mind - it improves our total health!

God's words are for us. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 2.

For more information, contact:

Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875

Tel. 334-855-4764