CAS PS 332 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Psychosomatic Medicine, Traditional Asian Medicine, Behavioral Medicine

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Published on 22 May 2019
Lecture 2: 1/24/19
Why is it important to understand the etiology of health and disease related
o We need to appreciate multifactorial nature of causality, inform treatment,
inform prevention, and for development of treatments
o Understanding disease processes influences our understanding of
normative processes
Timeline of historical and cultural variations in illness and healing
o Health is so fundamental that people very early on considered health,
wellness, and disease
o Prehistoric:
Body ailments are caused by the invasion of evil spirits,
punishment by God
Evil demons released through trephination
India, Europe, Egypt, Central and South America
Hole in skull burrowed to release demons
o Ancient:
Poor sanitary conditions cause illness
Manufacture soap, build sewage systems, construct aqueducts
Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome
Hippocrates: disease is natural, humoral theory: equilibrium
among four bodily fluids (humors) -> healthy mind and body
Yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood
Different humors were connected to organs, personality,
and characteristics
o Non-Western:
Traditional oriental medicine (TOM): internal harmony is essential
to good health
Qi: vital life force that changes in response to emotional, physical,
and mental wellbeing
Acupuncture, meditation, herbal therapy -> restore health by
correcting imbalances in qi
Alternative and complementary medicine
o Middle ages and Renaissance
Middle ages: Supernatural causes of health and disease (plagues
= sign of god’s wrath)
Renaissance: return of scientific inquiry; Descartes = mind-body
dualism which is mental and physical processes are completely
separate, endured in western thinking until ~50 years ago
Post-renaissance: biological aspects of disease; anatomical
theory of disease (ie. disease caused by problems in your heart)
o Nineteenth century and twentieth centuries
Nineteenth: Cellular theory of disease: cells malfunction and die.
Germ theory: bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms invade
body cells
Freud: unconscious emotional conflicts -> physical disease
(conversion disorders) (generally not accepted at the time)
Later twentieth century: psychosomatic and behavioral medicine
Behavioral Medicine
o The interdisciplinary field concerned with the development and integration
of behavioral and biomedical science knowledge and techniques relevant
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