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Oxygen: The Air You Breathe

The year was 1875; the place, Paris, France. For more than two years, three scientists had worked toward this day; and now they were ready. Carefully, they climbed into the gondola of the balloon, “Zenith,” while thousands around them watched.

Determined to set a new altitude record, they wanted to go higher than man had ever risen above the earth. And they did just that, — but at what a cost.

Slowly the large balloon rose into the air, with its human cargo of three men in a basket-shaped gondola swinging just beneath it. All seemed well; they were well on their way toward the goal: to climb higher than any man had ever gone.

Then at 24,430 feet it happened. Tissandier, one of the three, later described it: “Croce is gasping for breath, Sivel is dazed, but can still cut three sandbags loose in order to reach 26,240 feet.”

At that point, Tissandier himself was overcome and slumped to the floor, losing consciousness. Some time afterward, as the balloon — freed from the sandbags continued its ascent — he awoke. They had attained a height of 8,600 meters (approximately 28,000 feet) — but two of the scientists lay dead in the gondola of the balloon. Yes, they had conquered the heights. There was not enough air, with its precious life-giving oxygen, to sustain life at great altitude.

Without air, man dies. Air is the most vital element for man and animals. One may live for weeks without food, or for days without water, but deprived of air he will perish within a few minutes.

Millions of people suffer from a wide variety of ailments that are partly caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen. The problem is that most people do not breathe correctly, and this continually weakens their health, their happiness, and their hold on life itself. One of the finest statements written on the importance of air are these words penned by an understanding health educator:

“In order to have good blood, we must breathe well. Full, deep inspirations of pure air, which fill the lungs with oxygen, purify the blood. They impart to it a bright color and send it — a life-giving current — to every part of the body.

“A good respiration soothes the nerves: it stimulates the appetite and renders digestion more perfect: and it induces sound, refreshing sleep…[If] an insufficient supply of oxygen is received , the blood moves sluggishly. The waste, poisonous matter, which should be thrown off in the exhalations from the lungs, is retained, and the blood becomes impure. Not only the lungs, but the stomach, liver, and brain are affected. The skin becomes sallow, digestion is retarded: the heart is depressed: the brain clouded: the thoughts are confused: gloom settles upon the spirits: the whole system become depressed and inactive, and peculiarly susceptible to disease.” Ministry of Healing, pp. 272-273

Every cell of your body must receive a constant supply of oxygen — or they will weaken and die. But that air must be fresh in order to help you the most. When you breathe stale or polluted air, the supply of oxygen is insufficient to keep the cells strong and healthy. Apart from oxygen from the air  you breathe, they die within a few minutes.

“Air is the free blessing of Heaven, calculated to electrify the whole system. Without it the system will be filled with disease, and become dormant, languid, feeble.” — 1 Testimonies, p. 701

The life-giving air around us is a most precious blessing from Heaven. On the last day of Creation Week, God created man. Having formed him from the dust of the ground, Adam lay before his Maker inert and lifeless — until he was vitalized by the breath of life. And moment by moment, you and I must have fresh air also.

“Fresh air will prove far more beneficial to sick persons than medicine, and it is far more essential to them than their food. Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived.” — Counsels on Health, p. 55.

It is of the highest consequence to your life, health, and happiness, that you keep fresh air in every room in your home, and especially in your sleeping rooms. If you are not able to have windows open in very cold weather, then leave a door open into another room where a window is open. By day and by night, always keep a current of air flowing through the house. You do not want to sit or sleep in a draft, but some air circulating throughout your home — a lot in the summer, less in the winter — is a necessity to good health.

“The effects produced by living in close, ill-ventilated rooms are these: The system becomes weak and unhealthy, the circulation is depressed, the blood moves sluggishly through the system because it is not purified and vitalized by the pure, invigorating air of heaven. The mind becomes depressed and gloomy, while the whole system is enervated; and fevers and other acute diseases are liable to be generated.

“Your careful exclusion of external air, and fear of free ventilation leaves you to breathe corrupt, unwholesome air which is exhaled from the lungs of those staying in these rooms, and which is poisonous, unfit for the support of life. The body becomes relaxed; the skin becomes sallow; digestion is retarded, and the system is peculiarly sensitive to the influence of cold. A slight exposure produces serious disease. Great care should be exercised not to sit in a draft or in a cold room when weary, or when in a perspiration. You should so accustom yourself to the air that you will not be under the necessity of having the mercury higher than sixty-five degrees.” — 1 Testimonies, pp. 702-703.

Fresh air should be inhaled as freely indoors as outdoors in warmer weather. In cold weather, your home will need to be heated. But beware of too much heat, for the burning of the fuel itself takes away precious oxygen from the air. If necessary, dress more warmly, so that, as much as possible, you can breathe purer air at all times. Students of body health tell us that it requires an abundance of oxygen in the body surrounding it in order to keep the physical organism in top condition. Why it this so? It is the oxygen in the air that purifies the blood, contributes to the production of body heat, and energy, and conveys electrical energy with which to vitalize every organ and tissue.

Natural Remedies Encyclopedia, 4th Edition, pp. 31,32, Harvestime Books, Vance Ferrell, 2004

Tips on Pure Fresh Air – Oxygen

  1. Exercise is much better in open air than in a closed room.
  2. Do not sit or lie very long in a room that is completely closed off from fresh air.
  3. Bedrooms should always have a window open for fresh air — it will cut down on colds and respiratory problems as well as infections of the throat and lungs.
  4. When an insufficient supply of oxygen is received:
    1. The blood moves sluggishly
    2. Waste collects in the lungs, toxins are retained and the blood becomes impure
    3. The stomach, liver and brain are affected
    4. The skin becomes sallow
    5. The digestion is retarded
    6. The heart is depressed
    7. The brain is clouded and thoughts are confused
    8. Gloom settles upon the spirits
    9. The whole system becomes inactive and depressed
    10. You become more susceptible to disease
    11. It is one of the causes of fever (concentrations of toxins in the body)
  5. In the building of houses make sure there is proper ventilation and plenty of sunlight in every room, especially sleeping rooms.

Shorter’s Health Manual, Gwen Shorter, p. 183, Homeward Publishing Ministries, 4th Edition, 2017

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