Physiology, Disease Processes and the Mind body Is illness a purely physical condition? Does a person’s mind play a role in becoming ill and getting well? Disease Processes in the Mind Body Viewpoints from History People have wondered about these questions for thousands of years, Six Dimensions of Wellness and the answers they have arrived at have changed over time.
Although we do not know for certain, it appears that the best educated people thousands of years ago believed physical and mental illness were caused by mystical forces, such as evil spirits (Stone. 1979). Why do we think this? Researchers found ancient skulls in several areas of the world with coin-size circular holes in them that could not have been battle wounds. These holes were probably made with sharp stone tools in a procedure called trepidation. This procedure was done presumably for superstitious reasons for instance, to allow illness-causing demons to leave the head. Unfortunately, we can only speculate about the reasons for these holes because there are no written records from those times.
Ancient Greece and Rome
The philosophers of ancient Greece produced the earliest written ideas about physiology, disease processes, and the mind between 500 and 300 B.C. Hippocrates, often called the Father of Medicine, proposed a humoral theory to explain why people get sick. According to this theory, the body contains four fluids called humors (in biology, the term humor refers to any plant or animal fluid). When the mixture of these humors is harmonious or balanced, we are in a state of health. Disease occurs when the mixture is faulty (Stone, 1979).
Hippocrates recommended eating a good diet and avoiding excesses to help achieve humoral balance. Greek philosophers, especially Plato, were among the first to propose that the mind and the body are separate entities. This view is reflected in the humoral theory: people get sick because of an imbalance in body fluids. The mind was considered to have little or no relationship to the body and its state of health.
This remained the dominant view of writers and philosophers for more than a thousand years. Many people today still speak about the body and the mind as if they were separate. The body refers to our physical being, including our skin, muscles, bones, heart and brain. The mind refers to an abstract process that includes our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings. Although we can distinguish between the mind and the body conceptually, an important Issue is whether they also function independently.
The question of their relationship is called the mind/body problem. Galen was a famous and highly respected physician and writer of the 2nd century A.D. who was born in Greece and practiced in Rome. Although he believed generally in the humoral theory and the mind/body split, he made many innovations. For example, he dissected animals of many species (but probably never a human), and made important discoveries about the brain, circulatory system. pd kidneys’. From this work, he became aware that illnesses can be localized, with pathology in specific parts of the body, and that different diseases have different effects. Galen’s ideas became widely accepted.