Learning is a continuing process and through new discoveries and invention we broaden our horizon of knowledge everyday. Throughout history man has illuminated the world with art, science, and philosophy and has also acquired abilities to invent and discover, various tools for its survival. One of the most powerful discoveries ever made is the knowledge of medicine. Though history of medicine can be traced back to the primitive age, medicine as a specialized field of study did not exit before the middle Ages.
Based on Greek and eastern principles, European medicine embellished with the discoveries of the middle ages and set the foundation for the contemporary medicine. (web) The Heptameron by Marguerite de Navarre is a representation of the French society in the middle ages. She has depicted various social and cultural norms of the time in the stories. Her insight into the science of medical practiced in France in the Middle Ages is quite apparent Even though the importance of medicine as specialty was acknowledged among the intellectuals of Paris; the influence of the church remained a conduit for its advancement. Although the supremacy of supernatural over natural was obvious, a clear implication was established that the natural and supernatural world was separate if not independent. (Medicine, An illustrated history.
Lyons, S. Albert. M. D. , F. A.
C. S and Petrucelli II, R. Joseph. M.
D. ) As a result what we see, is an amalgamation of medical science, mysticism and religion in the middle age France. Treatments were based on the underlying principle of humors. (Four different body fluids) Ancient physiologists believed that the body must always have a balance of these humors, for imbalance will cause ailments. Diagnosis was based on examining sample of blood and also colors of skin, urine and feces. Herbal remedies and bloodletting was quite common.
The Essay on Analyse The European's Changing Attitudes Towards Empire From The Ag Of Discovery To The Scramble For Africa.
The age of discovery and the scramble for africa are two movements involving the major European powers for the exploratiom and the colonization of africa. The age of discovery took place around the 16 century, while the scramble for africa took place in the 19th century. The major difference between these two movements was that the first one, the age of discovery was a movement, as the name ...
(web) Medical treatment by trained physicians rare and very expensive as a result the elite class could only afforded it. The uncertainty and unavailability of academic treatment left no choice for the general population, but to turn towards certain charms, special prayers and specific Christian rituals. Thirteen century Paris had only a half dozen doctors in public employ, with little time to spend on individual patients. (Medicine, An illustrated history. Lyons, S. Albert.
M. D. , F. A. C. S and Petrucelli II, R.
Joseph. M. D) Practice of medicine was not restricted to a certain sect of people rather clergy and laymen, men and women were all able to practice medicine. (web) There was no clear distinction between a physician and an apothecary (pharmacist).
The physician often compounded and dispensed drugs in addition to practicing medicine. And apothecary often engaged in medical practice as well as compounding and dispensing. It is evident from the stories in heptameron that the drugs made by apothecaries could be very lethal at times as they did not have the proper knowledge. Also personal hygiene was not an important factor for an apothecary, live alone the common people. Diet was thought to be extremely important in the treatment of illness and prescriptions would cover the minutest of details for all sorts of conditions. The greatest general reliance was placed on broths, milk and eggs.
(Medicine, An illustrated history. Lyons, S. Albert. M. D. , F.
A. C. S and Petrucelli II, R. Joseph. M. D.
) Today the importance of diet in medical science is felt extensively. Nutrition as a special branch of study has emerged. Dietitians and nutritionist are there to help physicians in treating patients who needs special diets. Drugs were the main form of treatment in the middle ages. Plants and herbs were used in the preparation of digestives, laxatives, emetics, diuretics, diaphoretics, styptics etc. Drugs remain to be the major form of treatments today but with the advanced technology, pharmacology has become one of the leading businesses.
Assignment: Research-Surgery and Technology Throughout the history of surgery, there has been a strong effort to reduce the invasive ness and trauma associated with it. With this in mind, physicians have been able to develop great advancements. This has allowed the surgeons to do critical surgeries with minimal contact. With the help of booming technology, physicians can now use video imaging and ...
(Medicine, An illustrated history. Lyons, S. Albert. M.
D. , F. A. C. S and Petrucelli II, R. Joseph.
M. D. ) Surgery a last resort advised by a physician but also it was only accessible to the wealthy. Surgery was known to be successful in cases of fistula, hemorrhoids, gangrene and cataracts.
Bloodletting was one of the most common forms of surgery and was recommended for fever, inflammation, and a variety of disease condition and ironically for hemorrhages as well. There were three main methods of bloodletting during the middle ages: leeching, venesection and cupping. Among these leeching is still used, though rare as a medical procedure by some physicians. Leeching helps to reduce tissue congestion where arterial input is maintained but venous return is blocked or slowed leeches act as an extra vein to relieve a dangerous build-up of blood.
As a result leech therapy is finding its way into numerous reconstructive surgeries such as digit and limb reattachment, skin graft procedure, scalp avulsions, and breast surgeries and even into effective treatment of peri orbital hematomas. Anesthesia and pain relievers were available but some of the potions used were lethal in itself. For example the hemlock juice was used, and it could easily cause death… (web).
The diseases that were very common in the middle ages were dysentery, jaundices pneumonia, influenza and common cold.
This could be largely attributed to the living condition of that time. Rural people largely lived in a one-room structure with a central fire or hearth and a central roof with a small opening which allowed some of the smoke to escape. Homes were dark damp and cold, with minimum sunlight and poor air circulation, a perfect breeding place for germs and bacteria. The climatic conditions and life style of the time with no proper facilities contributed to the lack of personal hygiene as well.
Speaking about the most common neurological conditions it is believed that headaches are the most common and widely spread. They come in various intensities, lengths and locations. An average American citizen has at least one headache a year. The migraine headache is the most renowned a headache type experienced by about 6 percent of all men and 18 percent of all women. It makes almost 10% of the ...
It further escalated with population growth in the towns and cities. Knowledge of germs and bacteria was unavailable and antibiotics weren, t invented until the 1800 s. quite common. Also due to lack of advanced techniques, patients often died due to excessive blood loss after a surgery. Today personal hygiene is considered to be a key factor to live a disease free life.
With the latest technologies available infant mortality has reduced and longevity of humans has increased tremendously compared to middle ages. As we benefit from the sophisticated technologies of medical science, it is imperative that we acknowledge the contribution of our predecessors. What we are enjoying today is the fruits from the trees whose seeds were planted by our ancestor.