By James C. Whorton
From reflexology and rolfing to shiatsu and dream paintings, we're faced this day through a welter of different scientific cures. yet as James Whorton exhibits in Nature Cures, the hot explosion in replacement medication truly displays centuries of festival and clash among mainstream medication and diverse unorthodox structures.
this can be the 1st finished heritage of different medication in the USA, analyzing the main platforms that experience emerged from 1800 to the current. Writing with wit and with equity to either side, Whorton bargains a desirable examine replacement well-being platforms equivalent to homeopathy, water therapies, Mesmerism, Christian technology, osteopathy, chiropractic, naturopathy, and acupuncture. He highlights the delivery and development of every approach (including eu roots the place applicable) and vividly describes either the theories and the remedies constructed inside each one process, together with such doubtful practices as hour-long walks barefoot in snow or Samuel Thompson's "puking and steaming" routine. particularly, Whorton illuminates the philosophy of "natural therapeutic" that has been espoused via substitute practitioners all through historical past and the certain interpretations of "nature medication" built via the various structures. even though he does not hesitate to show the issues of those platforms, he additionally exhibits that a few "cult drugs" have ultimately gained reputation from practitioners of mainstream medicine.
all through, Whorton writes with a gentle contact and fees from modern humorists reminiscent of Mark Twain. His publication is a fascinating and authoritative heritage that highlights the process substitute drugs within the united states, delivering important history to the big variety of treatments to be had today.
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Extra info for Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America
From the very beginning, practi- The Hippocratic Heresy: Alternative Medicine’s Worldview 15 tioners of alternative medicine have professed to deal with illness as a disorder affecting the patient as a whole and unique person. In the language of a later day, they have claimed to be holistic and have seen that commitment to holism as one of the chief virtues setting their method above the orthodox approach. To MDs, all that self-congratulation for having a more profound understanding of illness and exercising a more humane handling of patients has come across as an irritating air of “holistic-er than thou” condescension.
Yet while these laws do not seem to have been rigorously enforced, and in many instances imposed no more severe penalty than denial of the right to sue for uncollected fees, irregular practitioners found them intolerable. To begin, licensing legislation gave the stamp of government approval to a single form of medicine, while inhibiting the freedom of those with different beliefs to pursue the calling of their choice. Similarly, it interfered with the rights of patients to select the type of medicine they preferred.
In doing so, the doctor was paying his respects to Hippocrates, who had asserted that there are no diseases, only sick people. During the second half of the eighteenth century, however, medical attention began to focus on the pathological changes that disease brought about in speciﬁc organs, and henceforward medicine would characterize each disease in terms of its localized organic pathology. The emphasis on illness as a condition unique to each individual steadily lost ground to the concept of a number of speciﬁc pathologies, each productive of a distinct disease that affected all its victims essentially the same way.
Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America by James C. Whorton