This week on the Evolution we welcome an internationally renowned authority on health, human potential development, and Self-Leadership, Dr. Mark Atkinson. As a functional medicine physician, author, and speaker, Dr. Atkinson has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to become healthier, more effective, human beings. He’s been on the cutting edge of neuro-performance for many years and has now taken his passion to the Bulletproof organization.
^ England and Wales had nine county and borough asylums in 1827 with an average capacity of a little over 100 patients, but by 1890 there were 66 such asylums containing on average 800 patients each; the total number of patients so confined increased from 1,027 in 1827 to 74,004 in 1900. Similarly, in Germany, between 1852 and 1898 the asylum population increased seven-fold from 11,622 to 74,087 patients during a period when the total population had only grown by ten per cent. In America the asylum population had risen to almost 250,000 on the eve of the First World War.
In 1953 Jonas Salk announced he had a vaccine for poliomyelitis. A vaccine for measles was discovered in 1963. Meanwhile surgery made great advances. The most difficult surgery was on the brain and the heart. Both of these developed rapidly in the 20th century. A Swede named Rune Elmqvist invented the first implantable pacemaker in 1958. The first heart transplant was performed in 1967 by Christiaan Barnard. The first artificial heart was installed in 1982. The first heart and lung transplant was performed in 1987.
One curious method of providing the disease with means of escape from the body was by making a hole, 2.5 to 5 cm across, in the skull of the victim—the practice of trepanning, or trephining. Trepanned skulls of prehistoric date have been found in Britain, France, and other parts of Europe and in Peru. Many of them show evidence of healing and, presumably, of the patient’s survival. The practice still exists among some tribal people in parts of Algeria, in Melanesia, and perhaps elsewhere, though it is fast becoming extinct.
Abby shares her personal journey to functional medicine. Her journey included starting the functional forum meetup and connecting with the fellow practitioners in her area. To her surprise, most were on board and ready to engage. She started with humble beginnings in her office two years ago and from there with support from her community, it's grown into something spectacular.
According to the compendium of Charaka, the Charakasamhitā, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort. The compendium of Suśruta, the Suśrutasamhitā defines the purpose of medicine to cure the diseases of the sick, protect the healthy, and to prolong life. Both these ancient compendia include details of the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of numerous ailments. The Suśrutasamhitā is notable for describing procedures on various forms of surgery, including rhinoplasty, the repair of torn ear lobes, perineal lithotomy, cataract surgery, and several other excisions and other surgical procedures. Most remarkable is Sushruta's penchant for scientific classification: His medical treatise consists of 184 chapters, 1,120 conditions are listed, including injuries and illnesses relating to aging and mental illness.
The means of dressing the incision was also highly developed: the surgeon used seven polished iron spikes to bring the edges of the wound together, tying them in place with bark-cloth string. He then applied a thick layer of herbal paste and covered this with a warm banana leaf held in place with a bandage. According to Felkin’s account, the mother and her baby were still doing well when he left the village 11 days later.
In 1880 Pasteur and a team of coworkers searched for a cure for chicken cholera. Pasteur and his team grew germs in a sterile broth. Pasteur told a coworker to inject chickens with the germ culture. However the man forgot and went on holiday. The germs were left exposed to the air. Finally, when he returned the man injected chickens with the broth. However they did not die. So they were injected with a fresh culture. Still they did not die.
Galen's medical works were regarded as authoritative until well into the Middle Ages. Galen left a physiological model of the human body that became the mainstay of the medieval physician's university anatomy curriculum, but it suffered greatly from stasis and intellectual stagnation because some of Galen's ideas were incorrect; he did not dissect a human body. Greek and Roman taboos had meant that dissection was usually banned in ancient times, but in the Middle Ages it changed.
The three branches of Egyptian medicine included use of internal and external medicines, using ingredients like onions, hippopotamus fat and fried mice. The Ebers Papyrus and others list treatments of the eye, skin and abdomen, also 21 cough treatments. Egyptian surgeons never opened the abdomen, but performed external operations such as lancing boils, cutting out cysts and circumcision, as well as dealing with wounds and fractures. Their surgical equipment included scalpels, knives, forceps and probes, as well as red-hot irons to cauterize wounds. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (1600 BCE) makes detailed observations of the head, nose, face, ears, neck, chest and spine, describing 42 examinations leading to surgery. Sorcerers used incantations and amulets to combat evil spirits.
Late 1800s: The expectation in the United States that hospitals for the mentally ill and humane treatment will cure the sick does not prove true. State mental hospitals become over-crowded, and custodial care supersedes humane treatment. New York World reporter Nellie Bly poses as a mentally ill person to become an inmate at an asylum. Her reports from inside result in more funding to improve conditions.