Exploring Foreign Health Beliefs.

Just as grandmother’s remedy to sniffling and coughing, our foreign nations across the globe have some amazing practices and beliefs themselves when it comes to medicine and health. From African medicine men warding off the devil and witchcraft, to acupuncture being used in the Stone Age, you can be sure that throughout the ages humans have been coming up with some interesting ways to heal and protect themselves from harm. Let’s now tour the globe and familiarize ourselves with some foreign medical practices and beliefs.

Ancient Rome – Deriving their methods and knowledge from their conquered counterparts, the Roman’s had the most well developed and advanced medical system of the Ancient World. The Romans unlike today’s nations, believed that viruses and diseases were brought on by the anger of the gods. Today your most common answer to why someone has a health issue is an unhealthy lifestyle and in many cases this is true. The Romans were very sophisticated when it came to their medical practices and incorporated hospitals and many medicines into their society. The use of painkillers during operations and the use of skilled surgeons performing the operations created a much more stable environment for the injured than ever previously seen.

Ancient China – The Chinese have long understood the human body and have for many years been on the cutting edge of medicine. Going all the way back to 2700 BC, Shen Nung is known as the father of Chinese Medicine. Nung is unfortunately best known for his tasting of 365 herbs and dying of a toxic overdose. Shen who lived 5000 years ago and was The Chinese Emperor, was and still is the basis for Chinese pharmacology. The first known writings containing information about herbal medicine were the Oracle Bone Inscriptions. These Inscriptions contained records of medicines, treatment methods, and known illnesses of the time.

Mayan Civilization – The Mayans believed heavily in the forces of nature and the cosmos. They had an understanding that the forces around them controlled their sickness and health and they felt as though this force was above them in terms of their place on earth. Mayans connected the body and soul directly to the function of the heart and organs. They considered problems with well-being to influence ones inner health. They also believed that changes in the earth, including weather and seasons could affect a person’s health and mood. The first written inscription of Maya hieroglyphics is dated to 250bc, the Maya were an old and wise race of humans that were more spiritually involved you could say than many walking the earth today. This Ancient Civilization is highly noted for their spiritual and cosmic medicinal beliefs and will always be remembered for their passion for the unknown.

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