Battle Creek Sanitarium

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Turn of the Century Breathing Exercises

The Battle Creek Sanitarium,[1] in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States, first opened on September 5, 1866 as the Western Health Reform Institute, based on the health principles advocated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1876, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg became the superintendent, and his brother, W. K. Kellogg, worked as the book keeper. In 1878, a new structure was built on the site, but it burned down in 1902. The following year, it was rebuilt and enlarged. In 1942, the United States Army bought the complex and converted the buildings into the Percy Jones Army Hospital for treating soldiers wounded in World War II. The building was renamed the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in honor of three former U.S. Senators treated at the hospital: Philip Hart, Bob Dole, and Daniel Inouye.

The Battle Creek Sanitarium was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[2]

With over 400,000 guests, including 1800 staff members,[citation needed] the Sanitarium became a destination for both prominent and middle class American citizens. Celebrated American figures who visited the sanitarium (including Mary Todd Lincoln and Sojourner Truth) would influence and encourage enthusiasm for health and wellness among the general population. It was nicknamed "The San" by its clients and was a popular place for the rich to go for a health retreat and dieting.[3]

At the sanitarium, Kellogg explored various treatments for his patients, including diet reform and frequent enemas. He encouraged a low fat, low protein diet with an emphasis on whole grains, fiber-rich foods, and most importantly, nuts. Kellogg also recommended a daily intake of fresh air, exercise, and the importance of hygiene. Many of the theories of John Harvey Kellogg were later published in his book, The Road to Wellness.

"The San" and Dr. J.H. Kellogg were lampooned in the 1993 novel The Road to Wellville and the 1994 film of the same name.

See also


  1. "The Battle Creek Sanitarium Years (1903-1942): Wellness for the individual". Retrieved 2006-04-13.
  2. "Battle Creek Sanitarium". Michigan Center for Geographic Information. Retrieved 2006-04-13.
  3. "Sanitarium - Our History". Retrieved 2006-06-15.

External links

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