Much of the Egyptian knowledge of physiology undoubtedly derived from their practice of embalming the dead, which allowed them to study the structure of the body. They made some accurate observations about which part of the body was responsible for certain tasks and, despite some inaccuracies due to the limitations of their equipment, they were fine physicians and were unrivalled until the Islamic Golden Age. Ancient Egyptian medicine outstripped both the Romans and Greeks in the level of knowledge and sophistication.
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.
Chris Kresser:  Yeah, that’s really exciting to me.  I think another frontier is lab testing.  I mean, that’s one of the, as a practitioner, that’s one of the things that troubles me the most, is how expensive these labs are.  And in a lot of cases, the insurance isn’t covering them because they don’t deem them to be medically necessary, which just makes me want to pull my hair out, because of course, you know, if we do these labs and we identify the underlying problems initially, we’re potentially heading off tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, in medical costs to the insurance company later on down the line.  So I guess it just depends on how you define medically necessary, but that’s a whole different discussion.  Some of these labs can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  So I know there are some pretty exciting, new movements out there to make this lab testing more affordable financially.  And then some of the tech tools that are becoming available, like the Quantified Self Revolution, that could really help in terms of not only gathering the necessary data, but organizing it and then presenting it back to the clinician in a way that makes sense and makes it easy for the clinician to track progress.  So I know this is an area of interest for both us, James.  Maybe you could talk a little bit about some of them, the more exciting technologies that you’ve seen, and that people have talked about in the summit.

As noted in the table below, adaptationist hypotheses regarding the etiology of psychological disorders are often based on analogies with evolutionary perspectives on medicine and physiological dysfunctions (see in particular, Randy Nesse and George C. Williams' book Why We Get Sick).[43] Evolutionary psychiatrists and psychologists suggest that some mental disorders likely have multiple causes.[65]
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.
Another great surgeon was Ambroise Pare. In the 16th century surgeons put oil on wounds. However in 1536 during the siege of Turin Pare ran out of oil. He made a mixture of egg whites, rose oil and turpentine and discovered it worked better than oil. Pare also designed artificial limbs. In 1513 a man named Eucharius Roslin published a book about childbirth called Rosengarten. In 1540 an English translation called The Birth of Mankind was published. It became a standard text although midwives were women.

This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our popular “Success Leaves Clues” series. We feature Dr. Bill Hemmer, a chiropractor from central Illinois who is bringing functional medicine to his small hometown with a population of only 4500. It was an incredible half an hour for any health professional who is in the business of trying to transform the health of their community.

Over the centuries, reports occasionally surfaced of caesarean sections saving the lives of both mother and baby, but even after the introduction of antiseptic methods and anaesthesia, caesareans remained a dangerous last resort. So Edinburgh surgeons were surprised to hear a lecture by Robert Felkin, a missionary doctor, about a successful operation that he had witnessed in the African kingdom of Bunyoro Kitara five years earlier.
Jordan Reasoner:  Hi, and welcome to the Revolution Health Radio show, brought to you by ChrisKresser.com. Steve is out today at a meditation retreat, and I’m your guest host Jordan Reasoner, from SCDlifestyle.com. 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 ChrisKresser.com, 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 ChrisKresser.com. Put your name and email in the box and you’ll get instant access to your free eBook.
Why is this program so special? If you have patients that are preparing for surgery, this is something that you can curate for your community without having to do all the work yourself. We strive to bring you resources that make your practice more efficient and effective and this program offers both. We're so excited to share this with you because this program uses email autoresponder technology. Autoresponders are messages set to go out automatically. They allow you to automate campaigns and manage one-to-one communication with your patients. This is the core technology that we focus on in the Practice Accelerator. Thousands of practitioners have shared with us that automating patient education and setting up systems that work while they are not "on the job" brings convenience and value to their patients - and bonus, it doubles as marketing. As early adopters of this new era of medicine, many practitioners are working with entrepreneurs that have identified problems and have created programs that offer scalable solutions.
Hippocrates and his followers were first to describe many diseases and medical conditions. Though humorism (humoralism) as a medical system predates 5th-century Greek medicine, Hippocrates and his students systemetized the thinking that illness can be explained by an imbalance of blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile.[41] Hippocrates is given credit for the first description of clubbing of the fingers, an important diagnostic sign in chronic suppurative lung disease, lung cancer and cyanotic heart disease. For this reason, clubbed fingers are sometimes referred to as "Hippocratic fingers".[42] Hippocrates was also the first physician to describe the Hippocratic face in Prognosis. Shakespeare famously alludes to this description when writing of Falstaff's death in Act II, Scene iii. of Henry V.[43]
But that is not the whole story. Humans did not at first regard death and disease as natural phenomena. Common maladies, such as colds or constipation, were accepted as part of existence and dealt with by means of such herbal remedies as were available. Serious and disabling diseases, however, were placed in a very different category. These were of supernatural origin. They might be the result of a spell cast upon the victim by some enemy, visitation by a malevolent demon, or the work of an offended god who had either projected some object—a dart, a stone, a worm—into the body of the victim or had abstracted something, usually the soul of the patient. The treatment then applied was to lure the errant soul back to its proper habitat within the body or to extract the evil intruder, be it dart or demon, by counterspells, incantations, potions, suction, or other means.
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.
Contemporary humans in developed countries are mostly free of parasites, particularly intestinal ones. This is largely due to frequent washing of clothing and the body, and improved sanitation. Although such hygiene can be very important when it comes to maintaining good health, it can be problematic for the proper development of the immune system. The hygiene hypothesis is that humans evolved to be dependent on certain microorganisms that help establish the immune system, and modern hygiene practices can prevent necessary exposure to these microorganisms. "Microorganisms and macroorganisms such as helminths from mud, animals, and feces play a critical role in driving immunoregulation" (Rook, 2012[26]). Essential microorganisms play a crucial role in building and training immune functions that fight off and repel some diseases, and protect against excessive inflammation, which has been implicated in several diseases. For instance, recent studies have found evidence supporting inflammation as a contributing factor in Alzheimer's Disease.[27]
In anticipation of our upcoming Interpreting Your Genetics Summit, our co-founder James Maskell has decided to let you listen in on his one hour genetic interpretation session for a very special podcast episode. Delivering the interpretation is Yael Joffe, RD, PhD who keynotes during the Summit itself, leading a day of discussions on nutrigenomics.
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.
Another great surgeon was Ambroise Pare. In the 16th century surgeons put oil on wounds. However in 1536 during the siege of Turin Pare ran out of oil. He made a mixture of egg whites, rose oil and turpentine and discovered it worked better than oil. Pare also designed artificial limbs. In 1513 a man named Eucharius Roslin published a book about childbirth called Rosengarten. In 1540 an English translation called The Birth of Mankind was published. It became a standard text although midwives were women.

Ancient Egypt developed a large, varied and fruitful medical tradition. Herodotus described the Egyptians as "the healthiest of all men, next to the Libyans",[18] because of the dry climate and the notable public health system that they possessed. According to him, "the practice of medicine is so specialized among them that each physician is a healer of one disease and no more." Although Egyptian medicine, to a considerable extent, dealt with the supernatural,[19] it eventually developed a practical use in the fields of anatomy, public health, and clinical diagnostics.


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.
Chris Kresser:  Hey, everybody.  Chris Kresser here.  I’m really excited to have James Maskell from Functional Forum and Revive Primary Care.  He’s also the director of the Evolution of Medicine Summit just coming up that I’m participating in.  I asked James to come on this show so we could chat about functional medicine and the future of medicine in general, because there are some really big and exciting changes happening in the world of medicine and functional medicine in particular, and James has his hands in a lot of different pots in this field.  He runs something called the Functional Forum, which is where functional medicine practitioners meet in New York—I think they’ll be meeting at some other places soon—to talk about these topics.  James will tell us a little bit more about the Evolution of Medicine Summit that’s coming up.  So welcome, James.  Happy to have you.

James Maskell:  Cool.  I’d love to leave your listeners with something just to get them thinking, Chris, before the summit comes up.  Because we did have one talk that I think is going to really change people’s thoughts on a lot of things.  You know, a lot of it is great information, but I know that you’re passionate about the biome, the microbiome, and our understanding of germs.  But if you don’t mind, I’d love to just share one concept that was shared that I think that you’ll really like.  I’d love to get your comment on it.


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.
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.[115] At that time most people still believed that infections were caused by foul odors called miasmas.
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.
c.130 CE Birth of Galen, considered by many to be the most important contributor to medicine following Hippocrates. Born of Greek parents, Galen resides primarily in Rome where he is physician to the gladiators and personal physician to several emperors. He publishes some 500 treatises and is still respected for his contributions to anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our series featuring innovators in the Health Coach field. We welcome, Carey Peters with Health Coach Institute(formerly Holistic MBA). Carey and her business partner, Stacey,  have been in the field of health coaching for over a decade. They have dedicated themselves to the education and success of health coaches all over the country. 
2016 The success of an first-time experimental surgery will determine future availability for U.S. cancer patients and veterans with injuries to the pelvic region. On May 8, 2016, a man named Thomas Manning is the first man to receive a penis transplant at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Manning's recovery from the surgery is going well; John Hopkins University School of Medicine is also hoping to start providing the surgery soon.

As noted in the table below, adaptationist hypotheses regarding the etiology of psychological disorders are often based on analogies with evolutionary perspectives on medicine and physiological dysfunctions (see in particular, Randy Nesse and George C. Williams' book Why We Get Sick).[43] Evolutionary psychiatrists and psychologists suggest that some mental disorders likely have multiple causes.[65]
Evolutionary medicine or Darwinian medicine is the application of modern evolutionary theory to understanding health and disease. Modern medical research and practice have focused on the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying health and disease, while evolutionary medicine focuses on the question of why evolution has shaped these mechanisms in ways that may leave us susceptible to disease. The evolutionary approach has driven important advances in our understanding of cancer,[1] autoimmune disease,[2] and anatomy.[3] Medical schools have been slower to integrate evolutionary approaches because of limitations on what can be added to existing medical curricula.[4]
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]
When the Roman Empire split into the Western and Eastern Empires, the Western Empire, centered on Rome, went into a deep decline and the art of medicine slowly slipped away, with the physicians becoming pale shadows of their illustrious predecessors and generally causing more harm than good. Western Europe would not appear again in the history of medicine until long after the decline of Islam.
^ Bynum, W.F. (1974). "Rationales for therapy in British psychiatry: 1780–1835". Medical History. 18 (4): 317–34. doi:10.1017/s0025727300019761. PMC 1081592. PMID 4618306.; Digby, Anne (1988). "Moral Treatment at the Retreat 1796–1846". In Porter, Roy; Bynum, W.F.; Shepherd, Michael. The Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry. 2. London & New York: Tavistock. pp. 52–71. ISBN 978-0415008594.
Chris Kresser:  It keeps directing our attention back to the simple things.  So in the example that you used, you know, we can bend over backwards trying to figure out how to address a certain pathogen or what combination of factors led to something happening.  But really, we know that taking care of our immune system means eating good food, managing our stress, getting plenty of sleep, and then the body really takes care of the rest.  But it’s when we go off the rails and stray from those fundamental factors that things really go haywire.  It’s like we have the capacity for health in our bodies at all times, and we have the capacity for disease in our bodies at all times.  Our role is how we create circumstances for health or disease to emerge from that incredibly complex interaction of factors that’s happening in our body at all times.  And I don’t mean that we’re not going to find out, you know, develop new, incredible, advanced therapies that can be helpful in more complex situations.  But even that won’t detract from the simplicity of it when it comes right down to it.
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.
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.
The Romans were also skilled engineers and they created a system of public health. The Romans noticed that people who lived near swamps often died of malaria. They did not know that mosquitoes in the swamps carried disease but they drained the swamps anyway. The Romans also knew that dirt encourages disease and they appreciated the importance of cleanliness. They built aqueducts to bring clean water into towns. They also knew that sewage encourages disease. The Romans built public lavatories in their towns. Streams running underneath them carried away sewage.
Established by Congress in 1959 as the nation's highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science is a presidential award given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sciences." In 1980, Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences.
The paper of Paul Ewald in 1980, “Evolutionary Biology and the Treatment of Signs and Symptoms of Infectious Disease”,[79] and that of Williams and Nesse in 1991, “The Dawn of Darwinian Medicine”[15] were key developments. The latter paper “draw a favorable reception”,[43]page x and led to a book, Why We Get Sick (published as Evolution and healing in the UK). In 2008, an online journal started: Evolution and Medicine Review.

Herophilus of Chalcedon, working at the medical school of Alexandria placed intelligence in the brain, and connected the nervous system to motion and sensation. Herophilus also distinguished between veins and arteries, noting that the latter pulse while the former do not. He and his contemporary, Erasistratus of Chios, researched the role of veins and nerves, mapping their courses across the body. Erasistratus connected the increased complexity of the surface of the human brain compared to other animals to its superior intelligence. He sometimes employed experiments to further his research, at one time repeatedly weighing a caged bird, and noting its weight loss between feeding times. In Erasistratus' physiology, air enters the body, is then drawn by the lungs into the heart, where it is transformed into vital spirit, and is then pumped by the arteries throughout the body. Some of this vital spirit reaches the brain, where it is transformed into animal spirit, which is then distributed by the nerves.[50]

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.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our series featuring innovators in the Health Coach field. We welcome, Carey Peters with Health Coach Institute(formerly Holistic MBA). Carey and her business partner, Stacey,  have been in the field of health coaching for over a decade. They have dedicated themselves to the education and success of health coaches all over the country. 
The Romans were also skilled engineers and they created a system of public health. The Romans noticed that people who lived near swamps often died of malaria. They did not know that mosquitoes in the swamps carried disease but they drained the swamps anyway. The Romans also knew that dirt encourages disease and they appreciated the importance of cleanliness. They built aqueducts to bring clean water into towns. They also knew that sewage encourages disease. The Romans built public lavatories in their towns. Streams running underneath them carried away sewage.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our series called The Future of Patient Compliance with Mac Gambill from Nudge Coach. Nudge Coach is lifestyle coaching software that aims to better connect practitioners with their patients.  It allows practitioners to empower patients through online lifestyle coaching through technology  in between visits.
Robert is not a doctor, and what he does is not strictly medicine, but he has created something called the Xpill.  It's not a supplement or a prescription, but it seems to have incredible powers to create transformational change.  It encompasses looking at placebo response, coaching, group structures, intention setting for patients - you'll find out why this is so interesting to the future of medicine in one of the most fascinating half hours of this podcast we've ever had!  
However surgery did become a little more advanced in the 16th century. Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) dissected some human bodies and made accurate drawings of what he saw. However the greatest surgeon of the age was Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564). He did many dissections and realized that many of Galen's ideas were wrong. In 1543 he published a book called The Fabric of the Human Body. It contained accurate diagrams of a human body. Vesalius's great contribution was to base anatomy on observation not on the authority of writers like Galen.
When mentioning the Roman influence on the history of medicine, the physician Galen is the most illustrious name. This Greek, granted an expensive education by his merchant father, studied in the medical school at Pergamum and frequented the Aesclepions. In AD161, Galen moved to Rome, where he acted as physician to the gladiators, which allowed him to study physiology and the human body.
Japanese physicians immediately recognized the values of X-Rays. They were able to purchase the equipment locally from the Shimadzu Company, which developed, manufactured, marketed, and distributed X-Ray machines after 1900.[149] Japan not only adopted German methods of public health in the home islands, but implemented them in its colonies, especially Korea and Taiwan, and after 1931 in Manchuria.[150] A heavy investment in sanitation resulted in a dramatic increase of life expectancy.[151]
Mental illnesses were well known in ancient Mesopotamia,[17] where diseases and mental disorders were believed to be caused by specific deities.[6] Because hands symbolized control over a person, mental illnesses were known as "hands" of certain deities.[6] One psychological illness was known as Qāt Ištar, meaning "Hand of Ishtar".[6] Others were known as "Hand of Shamash", "Hand of the Ghost", and "Hand of the God".[6] Descriptions of these illnesses, however, are so vague that it is usually impossible to determine which illnesses they correspond to in modern terminology.[6] Mesopotamian doctors kept detailed record of their patients' hallucinations and assigned spiritual meanings to them.[17] A patient who hallucinated that he was seeing a dog was predicted to die;[17] whereas, if he saw a gazelle, he would recover.[17] The royal family of Elam was notorious for its members frequently suffering from insanity.[17] Erectile dysfunction was recognized as being rooted in psychological problems.[17]
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."[126][127]
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?

This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we are thrilled to welcome back one of the speakers from the first Evolution of Medicine Summit. She is the publisher of What Doctors Don’t Tell You in the UK. She has been a writer, journalist, and activist for a few decades. Lynne McTaggart is the author of The Intention Experiment and The Field. Her latest book, The Power of Eight, looks at the power of small groups to heal. In Functional Medicine, we’ve seen the power of small groups with things like group visits and the work with the Saddleback Church. This book takes the idea even further, explaining how groups of people can support each other’s healing and transformation.

×