The Egyptians did have some knowledge of anatomy from making mummies. To embalm a dead body they first removed the principal organs, which would otherwise rot. However Egyptian surgery was limited to such things as treating wounds and broken bones and dealing with boils and abscesses. The Egyptians used clamps, sutures and cauterization. They had surgical instruments like probes, saws, forceps, scalpels and scissors. They also knew that honey helped to prevent wounds becoming infected. (It is a natural antiseptic). They also dressed wounds with willow bark, which has the same effect. The Egyptians were clean people. They washed daily and changed their clothes regularly, which must have helped their health.
This week NDNR.com launched its first Online Summit on Cancer Prevention and we couldn't be more excited to partner with them. If we truly want to be successful in cancer prevention, some of the underlying foundations of Naturopathic Medicine, like the "Therapeutic Order" are a key part of an optimal plan. We welcome their founder and publisher Razi Berry for a great discussion relevant to any practitioner in integrative, functional or naturopathic medicine... or what we like to call the "kNEW medicine".
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easy to assume that studying it involves either celebrating the ‘eureka moments’ of well-known heroes or laughing at outdated therapies.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…
Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth - it's become a buzzword in medicine the past few years and Chris has been on the cutting edge of treating it. We'll be discussing the standard diagnosis, why it's problematic, and what we can do about it. There podcast has tons of value for practitioners who are on the front lines of dealing with a range of digestive and other related issues.
1796 Edward Jenner develops a method to protect people from smallpox by exposing them to the cowpox virus. In his famous experiment, he rubs pus from a dairymaid's cowpox postule into scratches on the arm of his gardener's 8-year-old son, and then exposes him to smallpox six weeks later (which he does not develop). The process becomes known as vaccination from the Latin vacca for cow. Vaccination with cowpox is made compulsory in Britain in 1853. Jenner is sometimes called the founding father of immunology.
The operation, Felkin reported, was carried out with the intention of saving both lives. The mother was partially anaesthetised with banana wine. The surgeon also used this wine to wash the surgical site and his own hands, suggesting awareness of the need for infection control measures. He then made a vertical incision, going through the abdominal wall and part of the uterine wall, before further dividing the uterine wall enough to take the baby out. The operation also involved removing the placenta and squeezing the uterus to promote contraction.
James Maskell: Absolutely. Well, the concept with the Evolution of Medicine Summit was that I saw so many ways in which medicine was evolving. You know, medicine is evolving to treat the kind of diseases that we have, the current epidemics. So it’s having to sort of evolve and adapt to deal with that. There are also really cool evolutionary concepts within medicine and health that I know you’re really big on. And that’s why I had to have you come in and speak. You know, obviously, I know you’re big on the microbiome, and our evolution with microbes has certainly been something that people are interested in, obviously evolutionary nutrition and then Paleo concepts. We are really excited to have your talk as the keynote for the Paleo day on the summit. And then there’s also this evolution with regards to technology as well, health technology and the interaction. You’re right there in San Francisco, the Silicon Valley Revolution, which I really feel is a synergistic force to the work that we are all doing in integrative and functional medicine. I just saw all of these things coming together. They’re literally coming together in the first week of September. There’s the iPhone, the new iWatch is going to launch then. We have the Cleveland Clinic announcement with Functional Forum. We have the Brain and Gut Journal coming up. So all of these things are happening in the first week of September. It’s just been really congruent to put together a summit of the finest minds and try and share some of these messages as quickly and as effectively as possible.
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.
Retinal neurons and their axon output have evolved to be inside the layer of retinal pigment cells. This creates a constraint on the evolution of the visual system such that the optic nerve is forced to exit the retina through a point called the optic disc. This, in turn, creates a blind spot. More importantly, it makes vision vulnerable to increased pressure within the eye (glaucoma) since this cups and damages the optic nerve at this point, resulting in impaired vision.
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Dr. Dysinger has implemented many of the things we have suggested during throughout the Functional Forum. He's incorporated a membership program and fully embraces lifestyle medicine. He's implemented group learning and community outreach, and health coaches and tech tools are an integral part of the success of his practice. He talks about these strategies and more.
On losing the 1883 rivalry in Alexandria, Pasteur switched research direction, and introduced his third vaccine—rabies vaccine—the first vaccine for humans since Jenner's for smallpox. From across the globe, donations poured in, funding the founding of Pasteur Institute, the globe's first biomedical institute, which opened in 1888. Along with Koch's bacteriologists, Pasteur's group—which preferred the term microbiology—led medicine into the new era of "scientific medicine" upon bacteriology and germ theory. Accepted from Jakob Henle, Koch's steps to confirm a species' pathogenicity became famed as "Koch's postulates". Although his proposed tuberculosis treatment, tuberculin, seemingly failed, it soon was used to test for infection with the involved species. In 1905, Koch was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and remains renowned as the founder of medical microbiology.
In the Middle Ages the church operated hospitals. In 542 a hospital called the Hotel-Dieu was founded in Lyon, France. Another hospital called the Hotel-Dieu was founded in Paris in 1660. The number of hospitals in western Europe greatly increased from the 12th century. In them monks or nuns cared for the sick as best they could. Meanwhile, during the Middle Ages there were many hospitals in the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.
c.484 – 425 BC Herodotus tells us Egyptian doctors were specialists: Medicine is practiced among them on a plan of separation; each physician treats a single disorder, and no more. Thus the country swarms with medical practitioners, some undertaking to cure diseases of the eye, others of the head, others again of the teeth, others of the intestines,and some those which are not local.
We’ve really enjoyed the process of interviewing some of the doctors from our Practice Accelerator, and this week we introduce Dr. Rick Henriksen of Kestrel Wellness. Dr. Rick Henriksen, M.D., M.P.P. is a Salt Lake City-based, board-certified, family physician. Having returned to the U.S. from a stint in Ecuador, he was determined to do the next iteration of his practice right. Listen in as he shares his model, his progress and key learnings from the journey.
As an alternative form of medicine in India, Unani medicine got deep roots and royal patronage during medieval times. It progressed during Indian sultanate and mughal periods. Unani medicine is very close to Ayurveda. Both are based on theory of the presence of the elements (in Unani, they are considered to be fire, water, earth and air) in the human body. According to followers of Unani medicine, these elements are present in different fluids and their balance leads to health and their imbalance leads to illness.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we welcome Dr. Jean Golden-Tevald. We continue our Success Leaves Clues series with Dr. Tevald where we feature a practitioner who has found the right tools and systems to run a successful practice. Dr. Tevald practices functional medicine at Morning Star Family Health Center in Clinton, New Jersey. We're excited to share how she has set up her membership based family practice.
During the 19th century medicine made rapid progress. In 1816 a man named Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope. At first he used a tube of paper. Later he used a wooden version. In 1822 a trapper named Alexis St Martin was shot in the stomach. The wound healed leaving a hole into his stomach. A doctor named William Beaumont found out how a stomach works by looking through the hole.
Greek historian Herodotus stated that every Babylonian was an amateur physician, since it was the custom to lay the sick in the street so that anyone passing by might offer advice. Divination, from the inspection of the liver of a sacrificed animal, was widely practiced to foretell the course of a disease. Little else is known regarding Babylonian medicine, and the name of not a single physician has survived.
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".)
Tracey and Patricia started their Functional Forum Meetup after we took the Functional Forum on the road. Like any new venture, there were some initial hurdles. With a little tweaking and getting the opinions of their practitioner community, they have been able to set up a very successful meetup every month. Learn more about attending or hosting a meetup here: meetup.functionalforum.com
This week, Dr. Wible joins us to talk about the epidemic of physician suicide. She's filmed a powerful TedMed talk on the epidemic of physician suicide where she read the words of physicians on the edge of taking their own lives. As we lose more brilliant minds and healers to suicide, Dr. Wible has started a project to bring this epidemic to light. Her film called "Do No Harm" will do exactly that and she tells us more about the film and how we can support the movement.
Chris Kresser: Mm-hmm. So let’s talk a little, since we’re on the topic, let’s talk a little bit more about scalability. We’re actually, you mentioned combining higher-cost services with lower-cost services or personnel for implementation. I’m expanding my own clinic now and we’re getting ready. I’ve hired an intern here that I’m training, and we’re going to be hiring, probably in the future, some nurse practitioners and physician assistants that can help to implement some of the treatment protocols that I’m designing and researching. We’re using technology now a lot more efficiently with electronic health records, and handouts and documents that can be delivered through that on specific health conditions that patients have. So rather than spending time clinically to talk them through these things, we can give them a handout or even direct them to a video or webinar to watch, which is a lot more time-efficient for me, and cost-efficient for them, because they’re not paying me to just tell them something that they could learn by watching a video or a webinar. So what’s your take on how functional medicine will scale and become available? And what role does technology play in that?
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. 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. There is little evidence to support the claims but he is, nonetheless, important.
Nursing was greatly improved by two nurses, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) and Mary Seacole (1805-1881) who both nursed soldiers during the Crimean War 1853-56. In the USA Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. Meanwhile in the 19th century several more hospitals were founded in London including Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital (1852). In 1864 Jean Henri Dunant founded the international Red Cross.
The Program in the History of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai explores the body and its cultural contexts from the early modern period to the present. The program’s faculty covers a range of subdisciplines, including visual culture, gender, history of the book and historical epistemology. A commitment to scholarly rigor and interdisciplinary experiment, as well as an ecumenical embrace of a wide variety of historical methods and evidence guide the program’s original scholarship.
Unfortunately in the 17th century medicine was still handicapped by wrong ideas about the human body. Most doctors still thought that there were four fluids or 'humors' in the body, blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Illness resulted when you had too much of one humor. Nevertheless during the 17th century a more scientific approach to medicine emerged and some doctors began to question traditional ideas. Apart from Harvey the most famous English doctor of the 17th century was Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689). He is sometimes called the English Hippocrates because he emphasized the importance of carefully observing patients and their symptoms.
It didn’t work against Roman armies, however, and when Mithradates was defeated by the military leader Pompey in 66 BC, the recipe supposedly arrived in Rome. Emperor Nero’s physician Andromachus developed it into a 64-ingredient composition, which became known as theriac. Most of the ingredients were botanical (including opium), but viper’s flesh was a notable component.
During the 18th century the mentally ill were not regarded as 'truly' human. It was thought that they did not have human feelings. They were therefore confined in chains. People paid to visit asylums and see the insane as if they were animals in a zoo. However in 1793 a doctor called Philippe Pinel argued that the insane should be released and treated humanely. As an experiment he was allowed to release some patients. The experiment worked and attitudes to the insane began to change.
^ Porter, Roy (1999). The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present. London: Fontana. p. 493. ISBN 978-0393319804.; Porter, Roy (1992). "Madness and its Institutions". In Wear, Andrew. Medicine in Society: Historical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 277–302. ISBN 978-0521336390.; Suzuki, A. (1991). "Lunacy in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England: Analysis of Quarter Sessions records Part I". History of Psychiatry. 2 (8): 437–56. doi:10.1177/0957154X9100200807. PMID 11612606.; Suzuki, A. (1992). "Lunacy in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England: Analysis of Quarter Sessions records Part II". History of Psychiatry. 3 (9): 29–44. doi:10.1177/0957154X9200300903. PMID 11612665.
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.
^ Andrews, Jonathan (2004). "The Rise of the Asylum in Britain". In Brunton, Deborah. Medicine Transformed: Health, Disease and Society in Europe 1800–1930. Manchester University Press. pp. 298–330. ISBN 978-0719067358.; Porter, Roy (2003). "Introduction". In Porter, Roy; Wright, David. The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800–1965. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–19. ISBN 978-1139439626.
The earliest known physician is also credited to ancient Egypt: Hesy-Ra, "Chief of Dentists and Physicians" for King Djoser in the 27th century BCE. Also, the earliest known woman physician, Peseshet, practiced in Ancient Egypt at the time of the 4th dynasty. Her title was "Lady Overseer of the Lady Physicians." In addition to her supervisory role, Peseshet trained midwives at an ancient Egyptian medical school in Sais.
Spearheaded by faculty in the HMS Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, a report by The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery reveals that 5 billion people are unable to access safe, timely and affordable surgery, leading to 18.6 million preventable deaths each year worldwide. The report also presents a blueprint for developing properly functioning surgical systems globally.
Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), a Swedish-born chemist and businessman who invented dynamite, left most of his wealth to establish the Nobel Prizes. Since 1901, these awards have been given to men and women from all over the world in recognition of their outstanding achievements in chemistry, medicine or physiology, physics, literature and for work on behalf of peace.
The Ancient Greeks, some 1000 years before the birth of Christ, recognized the importance of physicians, as related in the works of Homer, injured warriors were treated by physicians. They continued to develop the art of medicine and made many advances, although they were not as skilled as the Ancient Egyptians, whom even Homer recognized as the greatest healers in the world. Whilst they imported much of their medical knowledge from the Egyptians, they did develop some skills of their own and certainly influenced the course of the Western history of medicine.
We welcome Dr. Sonza Curtis as part of our Success Leaves Clues. Dr. Curtis graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, with a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. She then went on to complete her Doctorate of Naturopathy for Health Care Professionals. In 2014, Dr. Curtis became one of only three Georgia doctors Certified in Functional Medicine.