Health and Fitness

Timeless Medical Wisdom

when we moved into our old house, we found some great treasures up in our attic. Included among the dishes and other items were several books. One of them was a family physician household companion medical textbook published in 1887. I still have it today. Last night, I found myself unable to put it down when I was reading it.

It’s amazing how much timeless wisdom was available 130 years ago. They spoke of the body in much more philosophical tearms back then. They spoke of the “circulation of the blood” by stating that from the earliest of our being to life’s latest hour, this life-giving process must go on. This has many applications with regards to structure and function of the body and is a hallmark of the Osteopathic philosophy.

They spoke of commonsense advice regarding posture and the new style of desks and seats for school, While sitting, the child should have a support for their back and sit with good posture. They further demonstrate simple things such as proper lift techniques or how to lie in bed with your spine in a neutral position to avoid pain issues.

They spoke of how to good enough and high quality sleep. They stressed exercise in the open air with walking as well as some gentle resistant exercises in order to improve sleep at night. They even spoke of the quality of bowel movements improved with fruits and vegetables.

So many times commonsense information needs to be repeated over and over again,. The most dramatic portion the book however was the list of medications to treat common ailments . It was amazing the lack of good medications that were available in the 19th century. Patients were usually better off avoiding medications completely and sticking to the basic common sense treatments.

In the chapter about exercise, I ran across a great quote by Lord Bacon. “It is requisite to long life that the body should never abide long in one posture but every half hour at least, should change it, except during sleep”.

Timeless wisdom!


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