This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we are excited to welcome Qigong master Mingtong Gu, recorded live from his center in New Mexico with Evolution of Medicine co-founder Gabe Hoffman. Gabe has been studying Wisdom Healing Qigong with Mingtong since finding his high-quality content on YouTube two years ago. Since then Gabe learned of the extremely successful Medicineless Qigong Hospital in China, where Wisdom Healing Qigong is the only tool used. Gabe recently returned from a month-long retreat, led by Mingtong, where people with all types of chronic disease used the same protocols as the hospital in China with great success.
James Maskell:  Yeah, absolutely.  And it’s cool as well.  So in this summit, we have a doctor track as well as a patient track.  And in the doctor track, we’re actually talking about some of the ways that this is actually being delivered.  And there are ways to deliver functional medicine on insurance.  We’re featuring the group visit model in one of the doctor-specific tracks.  That’s been very successful at bringing people together, developing a community around groups of people with the same disease.  They want accountability.  They want support.  They want to hear from other people that have the same issues as them.  So that’s working and that’s going to be included in the functional center at Cleveland Clinic.  And then also health coaches.  They’re looking at using different providers together, so you can have higher-cost and lower-cost providers working together.  So it’s really exciting.  I feel like once we get more and more organizations doing it that are credible, people will work out how to get this done on insurance and how to do this at a bigger scale.  The first thing is just the clinical acceptance that’s been a long time coming.
Being a king in ancient times was exhaustingly dangerous; there was always someone plotting to get rid of you. So, according to legend, Mithradates (aka Mithridates) VI of Pontus (on the shores of the Black Sea in Turkey) attempted to become resistant to poisons by taking gradually increasing doses. He was also reputed to have conducted toxicological experiments on condemned prisoners, culminating in the creation of mithridate – a medicine that combined all known antidotes in one potent formula.
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.
Apart from the treatment of wounds and broken bones, the folklore of medicine is probably the most ancient aspect of the art of healing, for primitive physicians showed their wisdom by treating the whole person, soul as well as body. Treatments and medicines that produced no physical effects on the body could nevertheless make a patient feel better when both healer and patient believed in their efficacy. This so-called placebo effect is applicable even in modern clinical medicine.
Since its founding in 1967, the Medical School’s Program in the History of Medicine has been dedicated to research and teaching in the intellectual, political, cultural, and social history of disease, health care, and medical science. The history of medicine provides students with a historical perspective on the role health, medicine, and disease play in society today. It prepares students to think critically about historical and contemporary health issues.
all biological traits need two kinds of explanation, both proximate and evolutionary. The proximate explanation for a disease describes what is wrong in the bodily mechanism of individuals affected by it. An evolutionary explanation is completely different. Instead of explaining why people are different, it explains why we are all the same in ways that leave us vulnerable to disease. Why do we all have wisdom teeth, an appendix, and cells that can divide out of control?[78]
During the Renaissance, understanding of anatomy improved, and the microscope was invented. Prior to the 19th century, humorism (also known as humoralism) was thought to explain the cause of disease but it was gradually replaced by the germ theory of disease, leading to effective treatments and even cures for many infectious diseases. Military doctors advanced the methods of trauma treatment and surgery. Public health measures were developed especially in the 19th century as the rapid growth of cities required systematic sanitary measures. Advanced research centers opened in the early 20th century, often connected with major hospitals. The mid-20th century was characterized by new biological treatments, such as antibiotics. These advancements, along with developments in chemistry, genetics, and radiography led to modern medicine. Medicine was heavily professionalized in the 20th century, and new careers opened to women as nurses (from the 1870s) and as physicians (especially after 1970).
Two great Alexandrians laid the foundations for the scientific study of anatomy and physiology, Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos.[48] Other Alexandrian surgeons gave us ligature (hemostasis), lithotomy, hernia operations, ophthalmic surgery, plastic surgery, methods of reduction of dislocations and fractures, tracheotomy, and mandrake as an anaesthetic. Some of what we know of them comes from Celsus and Galen of Pergamum.[49]

A nearby tomb reveals the image of Merit Ptah, the first female doctor known by name. She lived in approximately 2,700 BC and hieroglyphs on the tomb describe her as ‘the Chief Physician’. That’s pretty much all that’s known about her career, but the inscription reveals that it was possible for women to hold high-status medical roles in Ancient Egypt.

In preparation for next Monday's Functional Forum, The Evolution of Primary Care, we are thrilled to welcome IFM certified practitioner, Dr. Kara Parker to the Evolution of Medicine podcast this week.  Dr. Parker has been practicing integrative and functional medicine for almost two decades, and practices in Minnesota at the Whittier Clinic. If you are interested in functional or integrative medicine, particularly how to work with the undeserved, this podcast is not one to miss.
The term ‘technology’ is based on the ancient Greek techné (‘art’, ‘skill’, ‘craft’) (logos means ‘study’). Greek medical texts describe medicine as a techné, suggesting that it was a skill to know why and how to treat a condition. For us, ‘medicine’ is “the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease” (Oxford English Dictionary).
This week on the Evolution ​of Medicine podcast, we are back with the fifth installment of the "State of the Evolution" with co-founders of the Evolution of Medicine, James Maskell and Gabe Hoffman.  Twice a year we look back at ground take-in the last six months and look forward to the next six. We're excited to share with you what's happened and what to expect during the first half of 2017.
Like all biological systems, both disease-causing organisms and their victims evolve. Understanding evolution can make a big difference in how we treat disease. The evolution of disease-causing organisms may outpace our ability to invent new treatments, but studying the evolution of drug resistance can help us slow it. Learning about the evolutionary origins of diseases may provide clues about how to treat them. And considering the basic processes of evolution can help us understand the roots of genetic diseases.
Jordan Reasoner:  Hi, and welcome to the Revolution Health Radio show, brought to you by Steve is out today at a meditation retreat, and I’m your guest host Jordan Reasoner, from With me is integrative medical practitioner, healthy skeptic, and New York Times bestselling author, Chris Kresser.  But before we dive into this week’s show, I wanted to let you know, if you haven’t been over to, you’ll notice on the front page, Chris is again giving away his 9-Steps to Perfect Health eBook.  This eBook was taken off the market for a while and Chris has re-released it.  It’s a 63-page eBook, and in it you’ll find the nine steps that Chris has been talking about for perfect health for quite a bit of time.  Now, Steve and Chris have recorded a number of podcasts on these steps, but if you want to get the greater detail—including specific steps to take back your health, right now—head over to Put your name and email in the box and you’ll get instant access to your free eBook.
510-430 BC - Alcmaeon of Croton scientific anatomic dissections. He studied the optic nerves and the brain, arguing that the brain was the seat of the senses and intelligence. He distinguished veins from the arteries and had at least vague understanding of the circulation of the blood.[2] Variously described by modern scholars as Father of Anatomy; Father of Physiology; Father of Embryology; Father of Psychology; Creator of Psychiatry; Founder of Gynecology; and as the Father of Medicine itself.[6] There is little evidence to support the claims but he is, nonetheless, important.[5][7]
Medical information in the Edwin Smith Papyrus may date to a time as early as 3000 BC.[20] Imhotep in the 3rd dynasty is sometimes credited with being the founder of ancient Egyptian medicine and with being the original author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus, detailing cures, ailments and anatomical observations. The Edwin Smith Papyrus is regarded as a copy of several earlier works and was written c. 1600 BC. It is an ancient textbook on surgery almost completely devoid of magical thinking and describes in exquisite detail the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of numerous ailments.[21]
Ayurveda, meaning the "complete knowledge for long life" is another medical system of India. Its two most famous texts belong to the schools of Charaka and Sushruta. The earliest foundations of Ayurveda were built on a synthesis of traditional herbal practices together with a massive addition of theoretical conceptualizations, new nosologies and new therapies dating from about 600 BCE onwards, and coming out of the communities of thinkers who included the Buddha and others.[27]

Around 800 BCE Homer in The Iliad gives descriptions of wound treatment by the two sons of Asklepios, the admirable physicians Podaleirius and Machaon and one acting doctor, Patroclus. Because Machaon is wounded and Podaleirius is in combat Eurypylus asks Patroclus to cut out this arrow from my thigh, wash off the blood with warm water and spread soothing ointment on the wound.[35] Asklepios like Imhotep becomes god of healing over time.

In the 17th century medicine was helped by the microscope (invented at the end of the 16th century). Then in 1665 Robert Hooke was the first person to describe cells in his book Micrographia. Finally in 1683 Antonie van Leeuwenhoek observed microorganisms. However he did not realise they caused disease. Meanwhile in 1661 Robert Boyle published the Skeptical Chemist, which laid the foundations of modern chemistry. In the early 17th century doctors also discovered how to treat malaria with bark from the cinchona tree (it contains quinine).

Bodies from the Stone Age show signs of medical treatment: broken limbs that have been set and healed, dislocations replaced and wounds treated successfully. Bone needles from the Upper Palaeolithic (c.30,000 years ago) may indicate that wounds were stitched (sutured) at this time. A widespread practice from the late Palaeolithic, which flourished in Neolithic Europe (c.7,000 years ago), was trepanation (making a hole through the frontal or parietal bones of the skull). Whilst the reasons for this practice are unknown, the high survival rate of patients, indicated by the healing and remodelling of bone, proves great technical skill. Major blood vessels in the skull had to be avoided, haemorrhage was minimised by turning back the flaps of skull created by the incision and the operation site had to be kept free from infection.

As infectious diseases have become less lethal, and the most common causes of death in developed countries are now tumors and cardiovascular diseases, these conditions have received increased attention in medical research. Tobacco smoking as a cause of lung cancer was first researched in the 1920s, but was not widely supported by publications until the 1950s. Cancer treatment has been developed with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgical oncology.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we take a look back at an interview with birthing and environmental health advocate, Latham Thomas along with film maker and author, Penelope Jagessar Chaffer. Both have been guests on the Functional Forum and we circle back to their talk: Toxic Babies: Threat to Our Evolution? from the first Evolution of Medicine Summit.

Wes starts by sharing his own story of abuse and his journey to starting A Human Project. As he started to understand his own gut-brain connection and effects of the medications that were supposed to be helping him, he decided to take his life into his own hands. Now he focuses on helping children through things like stress, bullying and suicidal thoughts. We hope that this podcast inspires you as much as it has inspired us. Please consider supporting this very worthy cause at A Human Project.
As a physician board certified in OBGYN and Integrative Medicine and I was not very savvy to the ways of functional medicine. Then I had problems of my own and I wasn't getting the attention I needed from the allopathic establishment so I went to a functional medicine practitioner and my eyes were opened as a patient and doctor. This book is that wake up call to the rest of the medical establishment that lifestyle and functional medicine is the way that we should be practicing. Maskell is saying what we as physicians need to hear, and it is my hope that we are ready to listen. The book is full of reasons why the new paradigm is not coming, but already here, and in my opinion will eventually be the standard of care. It is also my hope that insurance companies will pick up this book and take heed in the information that we are currently worrying about the end result of disease and need to focus on the power of prevention and gut health. Please read this book and wake up to the call of preventive functional health and be a part of the Evolution of Medicine