Medicine

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Medicine is a branch of medical science, and can also refer to a substance intended to be used for the treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormality. Strong spiritual values, as well as closeness to nature are proven aids to good health. Some form of medical care has existed for thousands of year, and important early advances in care were made in ancient Egypt, China, and India.

Mind and body

A "Mind/body" approach in health care is an important matter. Mind / Body medicine tries to use the power of thoughts and emotions to positively influence physical health. As Hippocrates wrote, "The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well". [1] Spiritual values, including prayer and meditation can be of great help in dealing with disease, as can also contact with the natural world (See: Atheism in medicine and Atheism and health.

History

Ancient world

Some of the earliest medical practices were found in ancient China, Egypt, and India. The Bible[2] also offers advice.[3]

Traditional Chinese medicine "is thousands of years old and has changed little over the centuries. Its basic concept is that a vital force of life, called Qi, surges through the body. Any imbalance to Qi can cause disease and illness. This imbalance is most commonly thought to be caused by an alteration in the opposite and complementary forces that make up the Qi. These are called yin and yang.". Treatment involves: Acupuncture; Moxibustion (the burning of herbal leaves on or near the body); Cupping (the use of warmed glass jars to create suction on certain points of the body); Massage; Herbal remedies; Movement and concentration exercises (such as tai chi).[4]

Some of the earliest records of medical care come from ancient Egypt; who " believed that the gods controlled life and health". They "believed that spirits blocked channels in the body and that this caused disease. The Egyptians " used a combination of prayer and ... non-spiritual — remedies. Healers were also priests, though later "the profession of a “doctor of medicine” emerged" [5].

The Bible provides an early example of a reference to quarantine (relating to leprosy), in Leviticus 13:4

But if the bright spot is white on the skin of his body, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the hair on it has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate him who has the infection for seven days.

See also Leviticus 13:46; 14:8; Numbers 5:2

Sushruta was an Indian physician from the 6th century BC, who has been described "as the 'Father of Indian Medicine' and 'Father of Plastic Surgery' He "wrote one of the world's earliest works on medicine and surgery".

Hippocrates (460-377) B.C isthe “father of medicine". The Hippocratic Oath, that is required of graduating medical students, was created by him. Galen (129–c. 200 AD) was another important medical author from the Roman world.[6]

Modern period

Some important figures in more recent centuries, include Michael Servetus, who was "one of the first men to give a nearly accurate description of the human circulatory system was, during the early sixteenth century, A.D". Another major breakthrough came with Edward Jenner's ( 1749 – 1823) discovery that milkmaids developed an immunity to smallpox, because they had earlier contacted cowpox,, mild disease of animals. This led to the invention of a smallpox vaccine, which Jenner first tested in May 14, 1796, by inoculating eight-year-old James Phipps, the son of his gardener.

Other significant early pioneers were Alexander Fleming, who discovered the value of penicillin, and Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Bubonic plague

The “Justinianic Plague” is the popular name for a pandemic of bubonic plague in the Late Roman or Byzantine Empire, which first appears in 541 AD. It reoccurred in different regions over the next two hundred years.[7]

The Black Death, as it was known, killed millions in Europe and many parts of Asia between 1347 and 1352. The plague was spread and transmitted by rodents, and their infected fleas , but this was not known at the time. About 20 million of the 60 million people in Europe at the time died. In all of recorded history, this epidemic has only two rivals: the plague of 541 AD and the flu epidemic of 1918.

Modern methods of disease control originated in response to the Bubonic plague. Cities such as Venice created public health boards to use sanitation, quarantine, and isolation to slow the spread of the plague.

References

  1. About Mind/Body Medicine
  2. Open Bible
  3. Tomorrows World
  4. John Hopkins
  5. Medical News Today
  6. Stanford University
  7. Kristina Sessa, "The Justinianic Plague"

See also

External links