By Lois N. Magner
A non-technical, jargon-free presentation of the heritage of medication from palaeopathology to contemporary theories and practices of contemporary medication. It supplies a wide-ranging evaluation of Western medication and an advent to the wealthy and sundry scientific traditions of the close to and much East.;This textual content stresses the foremost topics within the background of medication - putting the fashionable adventure in the framework of ancient matters - and it provides scientific background as a massive a part of highbrow and social background, delivering scholars with an exam of the sphere that encourages them to question smooth clinical assumptions. parts which are much less time-honored to scholars are highlighted, and case histories signify broader matters and developments.
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Homo sapiens sapiens, the oldest human beings of morphologically modern character, appeared approximately 50,000 years ago. The Paleolithic Era, or Old Stone Age, when the most important steps in cultural evolution occurred, coincides with the geological epoch known as the Pleistocene, or Great Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago with the last retreat of the glaciers. Early humans were hunter-gatherers, that is, opportunistic omnivores, who learned to make tools, build shelters, carry and share food, and create uniquely human social structures.
During an explosive epidemic in a small, isolated population, there may be no healthy adults left to nurse the sick. Those who Page 9 might have survived the disease may die because of the lack of food, water, and simple nursing care. In general, the trait shared by all forms of so-called primitive medicine is a supernatural orientation, a belief in magic. Magic, in this context, is not a trivial concept; it has influenced and shaped human behavior more deeply and extensively than the scientific or rationalist modes of thought, as we are pleased to call our own way of explaining the world.
However, the customs that seem bizarre in other cultures are sometimes similar to our own quaint and charming folk practices. When we analyze traditional and folk medicine, the apparent chaos of specific details can generally be reduced to a few almost universal themes. Indeed, as we survey the history of medicine, the same themes will often reappear in only slightly different forms. Folk medicine, like traditional medicine, generally views disease as a malevolent invader and the body as a battlefield.
A History of Medicine by Lois N. Magner