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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 December 4th - Alternative Medicine.docx

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Department
History of Science
Course
History of Science 2220
Professor
Prof
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 11 Dec 4, 2013 Alternative Medicine Still 19th Century - Anyone who practiced medicine outside of doctrine, realized the traditional way of medicine wasn’t working. Embrace different or alternative forms of medicine Age of Modernity (spelling) 1850-1920 -- North America • "break from the past" - introduction of new transportation, political organization, communication technology • in science in medicine is an even further break from religion, not just in the medical community but everyone starting to view body in different scientific terms • Life sciences and interest in plants and humans • rapid industrialization and urbanization, remapping of human body functioning as a machine • everyday people are now starting to define their bodies as machines not just medical • Pluralistic Nature - "pluralistic medical society" - different options available to people not just "regular" medicine. You can go to see anybody right now, not uncommon to see doctors practicing in a variety of fields • formal medical training took a while to catch on, takes a while to be established as a norm • those who studied at schools started wanting legislation • In the US by 1830 an inspiring doctor needed to go to a medical school to fully call themselves a doctor, Canada is relatively the same. (reglitory body - college of physicians and surgeons, still around today) • In late 19th and early 20th century, we have a line between what is a doctor and what is a "quack" - a powe rplay by using this term • orthodox medical community not successful at this time still Thomsonianism (Samuel Thomson 1769 to 1843) • born and raised on farm, no medical school • fascinated by botany(study of plants) • had a skepticism of medicine practice Lecture 11 Dec 4, 2013 o first event came when he was 19yrs, chopping wood injured ankle with axe. Physician treated it but it kept getting worse. Physician thought he should amputate it. Thomson said no: § wanted to make plaster from the Comfrey Root, applied the knowledge of the root (saw it had healing properties) got better, what lead him to more understanding o when he was 21 his mother died, she got a cough that was treated with opium and mercury - she dies, unlikely that she died from the cough. He developed same cough and physician offered same treatment, he denied it and used a variety of syrup he made up - worked, he lived • was the embodiment of the alternative medicine movement because he was an "unlettered man" (didnt have a degree) approached medicine with common sense that told him physicians were incompetant, he thought they way to figure it out was observation. • Gained a reputation as a healer, tested on self and family • 5 dozen plants he highlights as being ideal for healing • Problem (as many do) - Post Half-Hob (half hock?)- patient is sick, gets better, plant must work • Thomsonian Theory of Disease (picture: colonel beats people down, thomsonian helps) o found most efficient herbs had a spice to them o felt that human body was energized by heat, predominant principle for his theory o body needs an adequate amount of heat, eating spicy foods would heal the body (raise your temp.) o Stomach seen as body's fireplace - too much then it burns, can clog with ash, need the right amount of fire to keep it going o cold leads to putrefaction - can lead to death, lack of nutrition = cold o for him and his followers - fever was the body’s way of sustaining itself from the cold, fever is the ideal state it should be in as it heals itself. (Everyone else thought fever meant sick, he thinks fever as getting well) • System of Treatment (6 categories) o 1,2,3: fought against cold via evacuation, cleansing, heat retention and purifying Lecture 11 Dec 4, 2013 o 4,5,6: restore digestion, strengthen stomach, remove pain o Used herbs to do this, also steaming (sauna) to introduce heat, if stuck in bed then heat brought to them so warm rocks etc like heating pads we have today • Greatest success was in marketing - exploited the public disapproval toward Calomel o Calomel (Mercury chloride) § frequently used to treat colera(cholera? sp.) - it doesnt work § portrays it not as a cure all and more as a "kill all" - people start listening to his message § seeing for the first time a division of medicine, orthodox - that use calomel and the alternative who base their theories on vegetables and herbs § as he does this he does ignore that orthodox did use herbs too § argued that the vegetable was safe and keeping with nature’s way of keeping the body, orthodox was anti-natural and dangerous • (also during this time)Jacksonian Age (Named after Andrew Jackson - known for being the first president who wasnt educated) o known as the peoples president, for the americans that are rejecting authority he creates a spirit of authority, speaking to an audience that would find this message (distrusting medical) important • ties in that you dont have to go to school to learn about medicine and apply it to own life, had expression "every man his own physician" - selling to americans and theyre buying • Dr John Corr o not an actual doctor, arrested many times, admitted to insane assylum - practiced thomsonian • decline of thomsonianism - 1840s o regular physicians are trying to discredit him as well o they point to patients dying as evidence of his failure. o EX- Mr Sherburn - Vermont gentleman who underwent to many courses of steam therapy. According to the 1841 autopsy report: Lecture 11 Dec 4, 2013 § head swelled double size - black, tongue out, eyes stand out of sockets, blood running from nose, blistered in various places, thighs blisters, one leg seemed parboiled, no feature of the face or body would be recognized, Inside of stomach appears to be ironed over as with a hot iron... • He died in 1843 - couldnt cure himself and died of his own remedies which was the final blow to him but some still practice it. Followers question: should we start a school? does this go against his belief that you dont have to go to school? Eclectics ("clectics") - botanical movement. - Group • called this because they’re borrowing freely from a variety of ways of medicine, if they thought it was safe they would practice it • often turned to Native American traditions, embraced these • guided by one general principle: to sustain the patients vital forces o means they reject the idea that the body should sweat, spit, throw up etc want to keep everything in. Reject : blood-letting, steaming, enemas • the movement originated with Wooster Beach o was a doctor, grad. in 1825 o rejected the medical practice and opened a school in NY in 1927 where he taught botanical medicines in addition to what he felt worked with regular medicine o widely sought after medical care o pragmatic approach - didnt try to rationalize things, no theoretical structure to how the body works, use anything that works Homeopathy - Samuel Hahnemann 1755 to 1853 • started as a doctor but lost faith in the methods • also a medical translator - trans. into German (native tongue) • One particular translation - Cinchona o used to treat malaria o found that the doctors description was different than his knowledge of this plant o orig. argued that the plant counter fever because it had a tonic effect on the digestive system but with his experience it made him nauseous Lecture 11 Dec 4, 2013 o tested it and took for number of days and found it actually induced a fever in him § my feet finger tips etc at first became cold; i became languid and drowsy, then my heart began to palpitate, my pulse became hard in quick and intolerable anxiety and tembling followed then pulsation in the head.. o lead to pri
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