medicine has modelled itself after a mechanical physics, deriving from Galileo, Newton, and Descartes.... As a result of assuming this model, medicine is mechanistic, materialistic, reductionistic, linear-causal, and deterministic (capable of precise predictions) in its concepts. It seeks explanations for diseases, or their symptoms, signs, and cause in single, materialistic— i.e., anatomical or structural (e.g., in genes and their products)— changes within the body, wrought directly (linearly), for example, by infectious, toxic, or traumatic agents. p. 510
Chris Kresser: Yeah, that’s pretty amazing. I talked with Mark Hyman a little bit about the Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine Program. And just for the listeners, what this is—and James, you might know a little bit more about it than I do—but just from what Mark said, the Cleveland Clinic, for those who don’t know, is a major institution in the field of medical research and pioneering new treatments and approaches to disease from the more mainstream perspective. They basically invited Mark Hyman to create a functional medicine group within the Cleveland Clinic that is funded and actively looking for strategies. Basically, how to scale functional medicine and make it more viable within the healthcare model that we have. And that is a really much-needed step because, as I’m sure all the listeners know, right now in functional medicine, everything is paid for out of pocket. Insurance doesn’t cover it. That really limits the number of people who will be able to take advantage of it. So getting some mainstream recognition like this for functional medicine is a huge step in terms of making it more accessible and available to the majority of people out there.
The Greek Galen (c. 129–216 CE) was one of the greatest physicians of the ancient world, studying and traveling widely in ancient Rome. He dissected animals to learn about the body, and performed many audacious operations—including brain and eye surgeries—that were not tried again for almost two millennia. In Ars medica ("Arts of Medicine"), he explained mental properties in terms of specific mixtures of the bodily parts.
The practice of medicine changed in the face of rapid advances in science, as well as new approaches by physicians. Hospital doctors began much more systematic analysis of patients' symptoms in diagnosis. Among the more powerful new techniques were anaesthesia, and the development of both antiseptic and aseptic operating theatres. Effective cures were developed for certain endemic infectious diseases. However the decline in many of the most lethal diseases was due more to improvements in public health and nutrition than to advances in medicine.
Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) was one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax. His experiments supported the germ theory of disease. He was best known to the general public for inventing a method to treat milk and wine in order to prevent it from causing sickness, a process that came to be called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch. He worked chiefly in Paris and in 1887 founded the Pasteur Institute there to perpetuate his commitment to basic research and its practical applications. As soon as his institute was created, Pasteur brought together scientists with various specialties. The first five departments were directed by Emile Duclaux (general microbiology research) and Charles Chamberland (microbe research applied to hygiene), as well as a biologist, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (morphological microbe research) and two physicians, Jacques-Joseph Grancher (rabies) and Emile Roux (technical microbe research). One year after the inauguration of the Institut Pasteur, Roux set up the first course of microbiology ever taught in the world, then entitled Cours de Microbie Technique (Course of microbe research techniques). It became the model for numerous research centers around the world named "Pasteur Institutes."
IFNA defines Integrative and Functional Nutrition (IFN) therapy as a leading-edge, evidence-based, and comprehensive approach to patient care that focuses on identifying root causes and system imbalances to significantly improve patient health outcomes. This emerging medical nutrition model combines the very best of modern science, clinical wisdom and critical thinking and is being driven by increasing consumer demand, advancing technology and the changing healthcare landscape.
A number of Greeks speculated that the human body was made up of elements. If they were properly balanced the person was healthy. However if they became unbalanced the person fell ill. Finally Aristotle (384-322 BC) thought the body was made up of four humors or liquids. They were phlegm, blood, yellow bile and black bile. If a person had too much of one humor they fell ill. For instance if a person had a fever he must have too much blood. The treatment was to cut the patient and let him bleed.
This has been a huge acceleration for our organization. James published his book The Evolution of Medicine. We launched the Evolution of Medicine Practice Accelerator and as always, we've had our monthly the Functional Forum episodes. We've recently introduced the "Future of Functional in 5" which allows our community of practitioners to share their stories and gifts with the whole community. Our Functional Forum meetups continue to facilitate collaboration and community building for practitioners on a local level. James and Gabe also discuss what's new for the Evolution of Medicine and share details about a course on building a Functional Membership practice, as well as bringing new doctors into our community consistently.
Modern research has shown that these builders were not slaves but highly respected and well-treated freemen, and the care and treatment given for injuries and afflictions was centuries ahead of its time. Early paid retirement, in case of injury, and sick leave were some of the farsighted policies adopted by Ancient Egyptian medicine, luxuries that would rarely be enjoyed by most workers until well into the 20th Century.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast we welcome the Mark Krasser and Anna Gannon from Expectful. Expectful provides guided meditation for fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood. At the Evolution of Medicine, we often talk about the power of digital health and how it comes together with medicine to solve chronic disease. Mark and Anna join us to explain the science behind how meditation can support mom during pregnancy and labor. They also explain the deeper bond mom and baby feel, as well as, how it supports baby's health.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine Podcast, we welcome, Michael Lubin, Co-Found of Hint Health. We're excited to be partnering with Hint Health on the delivery of our new training program the Membership Practice Builder featuring Tom Blue, Chief Strategy Officer of American Academy of Private Physicians. The Evolution of Medicine is always looking for innovative technology partners that make it easier to deliver Functional Medicine and Hint Health hits the mark. Hint Health is the leading membership management and billing solution for direct pay healthcare. To learn more about Hint Health, visit goevomed.com/hinthealth
^ Shorter, Edward (1997). A history of psychiatry: from the era of the asylum to the age of Prozac. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 46–48. ISBN 978-0471157496.; Bynum, W.F. (2006). "The Rise of Science in Medicine, 1850–1913". The Western Medical Tradition: 1800–2000. Hardy, Anne; Jacyna, Stephen; Lawrence, Christopher; Tansey, E.M. Cambridge University Press. pp. 198–99. ISBN 978-0521475655.
Maintaining a comfortable state of health is a goal shared by much of the world’s population past and present, thus the history of health and medicine weaves a thread connecting us with our ancestors’ human experiences. Yet it’s easy to assume that studying it involves either celebrating the ‘eureka moments’ of well-known heroes or laughing at outdated therapies. But, as I set out to show in my book, The History of Medicine in 100 Facts (Amberley Publishing, 2015), medicine’s past features plenty of lesser-known but equally fascinating episodes…
Medicine made huge advances in the 20th century. The first non-direct blood transfusion was made in 1914. Insulin was first used to treat a patient in 1922. The EEG machine was first used in 1929. Meanwhile many new drugs were developed. In 1910 the discovered salvarsan, a drug used to treat syphilis was discovered. In 1935 prontosil was used to treat blood poisoning. Later it was discovered that the active ingredient of the dye was a chemical called sulphonamide, which was derived from coal tar. As a result in the late 1930s a range of drugs derived from sulphonamide were developed.
The authors also provide examples of how evolutionary principles can direct future research. They reference new research looking into the role of intestinal parasites and autoimmune diseases. The research is based upon the premise that humans co-evolved not only with our intestinal flora, but with certain parasites, such as intestinal worms. Now we live in a largely hygienic environment, and have even taken steps to eliminate parasites. This may have unintentionally deprived our immune systems of needed stimulation, resulting in poor immune regulation, and subsequent increase in auto-immune diseases like asthma and multiple sclerosis.
In spite of early scepticism, theriac took off as a prized (and expensive) cure-all. By the 12th century Venice was the leading exporter and the substance had a high profile in European, Arabic and Chinese medicine alike. Its fortunes waned after 1745, however, when William Heberden debunked its alleged efficacy and suggested that enterprising Romans had exaggerated the Mithradates story for their own gain.
In the 1830s in Italy, Agostino Bassi traced the silkworm disease muscardine to microorganisms. Meanwhile, in Germany, Theodor Schwann led research on alcoholic fermentation by yeast, proposing that living microorganisms were responsible. Leading chemists, such as Justus von Liebig, seeking solely physicochemical explanations, derided this claim and alleged that Schwann was regressing to vitalism.
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.
Humans evolved to live as simple hunter-gatherers in small tribal bands. Contemporary humans now have a very different environment and way of life. This change makes present humans vulnerable to a number of health problems, termed "diseases of civilization" and "diseases of affluence". Stone-age humans evolved to live off the land, taking advantage of the resources that were readily available to them. Evolution is slow, and the rapid change from stone-age environments and practices to the world of today is problematic because we are still adapted to stone-age circumstances that no longer apply. This misfit has serious implications for our health. "Modern environments may cause many diseases such as deficiency syndromes like scurvy and rickets".)
Caroline Rance blogs at www.thequackdoctor.com about the history of medical advertising and health fraud. Her book The History of Medicine in 100 Facts (Amberley Publishing, 2015) explores medicine’s history in bite-sized topics, from prehistoric parasites to the threat of antibiotic resistance. You can follow Caroline on Twitter @quackwriter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/quackdoctor
Across Europe medical schools relied primarily on lectures and readings. The final year student would have limited clinical experience by trailing the professor through the wards. Laboratory work was uncommon, and dissections were rarely done because of legal restrictions on cadavers. Most schools were small, and only Edinburgh, Scotland, with 11,000 alumni, produced large numbers of graduates.
In 1847 in Vienna, Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–1865), dramatically reduced the death rate of new mothers (due to childbed fever) by requiring physicians to clean their hands before attending childbirth, yet his principles were marginalized and attacked by professional peers. At that time most people still believed that infections were caused by foul odors called miasmas.
Paracelsus (1493–1541), was an erratic and abusive innovator who rejected Galen and bookish knowledge, calling for experimental research, with heavy doses of mysticism, alchemy and magic mixed in. He rejected sacred magic (miracles) under Church auspisces and looked for cures in nature. He preached but he also pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine. His hermetical views were that sickness and health in the body relied on the harmony of man (microcosm) and Nature (macrocosm). He took an approach different from those before him, using this analogy not in the manner of soul-purification but in the manner that humans must have certain balances of minerals in their bodies, and that certain illnesses of the body had chemical remedies that could cure them. Most of his influence came after his death. Paracelsus is a highly controversial figure in the history of medicine, with most experts hailing him as a Father of Modern Medicine for shaking off religious orthodoxy and inspiring many researchers; others say he was a mystic more than a scientist and downplay his importance.
I ended up selling the practice to my partner and taking a 20-month sabbatical due to a motor vehicle accident. I had considered retiring after selling the practice, but in the area where I live there are very few people practicing this style of medicine and the need far exceeds the number of people who have the skills or knowledge. During the time I was not working, I had many former patients contacting me and wanting to know when I was going to open a new practice.