Medicine throughout the ages

Western Medicine has been great, right? Thanks to the great great granddaddy of modern doctoring, Hippocrates, we’ve come a long way; inventing some really amazing stuff like antibiotics, penicillin and CAT scans. And while you wouldn’t want to be without those nifty inventions, there have been many other ways of looking at the health and healing of the body through time and across cultures.

Let’s take a look at a few interesting ways of taking care of ourselves from other perspectives!

Aboriginal healing

The First Australians have a rich history of traditional healing. Embedded in the practice is ‘deep listening’, where the interconnectedness of one’s life with those of other living things is considered essential to treating ailments and illnesses. Traditional healing is alive to the spiritual aspect of ill health and seeks to address problems holistically.

Chinese medicine

Chinese medicine is an ancient system of healing. Developed by Taoist Physicians who made careful observations of the body, Chinese medicine treats ill health with a combination of herbs, acupuncture and massage. Unlike Western Medicine, where ill health is often viewed in isolation and seen as manifestly ‘individual’, Chinese Medicine sees illness as the result of inter-connectivity between the sufferer and any number of mystical, material or environmental factors.


Ayurveda is a system of medicine that had its origins in the Indian subcontinent. The system is believed to have been received as a gift from the Gods. These Gods passed their healing knowledge to sages, who then communicated their medicinal understanding to humans on earth. Ayurvedic therapies have had a long time to develop, with treatments and ideas dating back over two millennia. A lot of the practises involve complex herbal mixtures, minerals and metal substances. Most interestingly, Ayurveda also taught surgical techniques, with kidney stone removal and rhinoplasty amongst some of its practiced procedures!


This super soothing (and old!) Japanese treatment is all about using the power of touch to stimulate and heal the body. Working with the concept that the body has a ‘life force’ that can become blocked or misdirected, Reiki aims to ‘clear’ the body’s channels so that energy can flow freely. Used to treat stress, fatigue and pain, Reiki is a gentle treatment that remains popular today.

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