Health matters a great deal. It has always mattered but for the past year and a half, it has become the topic of conversation in all circles of society and the subject of health remains at the center of every decision we make on a daily basis, where the medicals, the politicians, the economists, the lawmakers, and law enforcement people take their turn to opine, legislate and execute decisions that affect us all on a daily basis on based on our health. Health is at the center of everything we do today. This blog article is based on some extracts from Chapter 22 of my book “This Is Your Quest“.
Native American Theory of Existence “Everything on the Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it and every person a mission.”
From the beginning of time, health mattered a great deal
Life in the Ancient World was a dangerous endeavor. For most of history, living was a dangerous occupation with most people at risk of dying from war, famine, disease, epidemic, or childbirth with the average lifespan much lower than it is today. In those days, people relied heavily on the good graces that their favorite Gods were willing to dispense over them in order to maneuver all those perils. People prayed and made offerings to their favorite Gods in order to keep them healthy. A healthy person was recognized as being in the “goods books” of the Gods; being sick on the other hand, meant that you were being punished by the Gods for some bad deed you did. In Greek society, the most favored God for healing was Asklepios. Sick people traveled for days to seek healing in “Asklepion” or sanitariums. These sanitariums were similar in some ways to the modern spa. Asklepions were located in remote and beautiful areas and provided baths, healthy food, and sanctuary rooms intended specifically for sleep and meditation.
By the 5th century BC, physicians started to develop and exercise a more scientific medical profession. Hippocrates, the most famous physician of antiquity, started writing medical textbooks. From such writings, we see that ancient physicians knew that draining and cleaning infected wounds promoted healing and they knew of certain herbs that had healing and disinfecting properties. Wild ginger for example and a particular clay found on the Greek Island of Lemnos was believed to be helpful for ailments such as dysentery. The clay contained elements such as kaolin and bentonite, which are used in modern medicines to treat diarrhea. During those times, healing was very much focused on the idea of a body-mind relationship. Hippocrates believed that the body and mind are in unity, and to affect one is to affect the other.
Health mattered a great deal for Hippocrates of Kos the father of Modern Medicine
Hippocrates of Kos also known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, and not because of superstition and Gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the Gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. Hippocrates conducted the first clinical studies by observing people and comparing their health habits. He noticed that bodies grow relaxed and sluggish through sedentary lives which led to various illnesses. Those who walked more stayed well longer. So, he often prescribed exercise. This was a very forward way of thinking coming from someone who lived in the Ancient World.
Fast-forward to today, this concept of walking every day to make you healthier has been vindicated through many studies; a recent National Cancer Institute study conducted on more than 650,000 people found that those who walk briskly for just 150 minutes a week, or 22 minutes a day, gained an average of 3.4 years of life expectancy. No drugs required and so simple!
Hippocratic medicine was humble and passive. The therapeutic approach was based on the healing power of nature. According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself. Hippocrates was reluctant to administer drugs, the medicine he prescribed was very kind to the patient, treatment was gentle, and emphasized keeping the patient clean and sterile. His favorite treatment included fasting and the consumption of apple cider vinegar. He also used potent drugs but only when absolutely necessary.
Hippocrates meticulously examined his patients’ urine, stools, pus, and sweat; but he also observed their personalities, home environment, relationships, diet and even their facial expressions before diagnosing and treating them. He believed that it was impossible to understand illness without understanding the whole person.
Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food. The strength that is in each of us is our greatest doctor. Man must harmonize mind and body. It is nature that heals the sick.Hippocrates
He recognized that when people ate mainly a fresh, plant-based diet, they developed fewer diseases. Hundreds of years later, this concept has now been proven clinically; a new study has shown that an intensive weight management program can reverse type 2 diabetes. Hippocrates’ primary form of treatment was usually improving a patient’s diet.
Everything in excess is opposed to nature. The same remedy could heal in one dose but could cause harm in greater doses. Unless you have real evidence that a medical treatment was helpful, you shouldn’t use it. To do nothing could also be a good remedy, depending on the case.Hippocrates
 Hippocrates of Kos (460 – 370 BC – Greece) – Physician. Best known for being the father of modern medicine. The “Hippocratic Oath” that newly qualified doctors take, bears his name.
 National Institutes of Health – Increased physical activity associated with lower risk of 13 types of cancer – 13 May 2016 – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/increased-physical-activity-associated-lower-risk-13-types-cancer
 A new study – the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) suggests that remission of type 2 diabetes may be achievable through intense weight management programs supported by routine primary care – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320274.php
And this, my dear friend, is your Quest.
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