Hippocrates (A single man? or a family?) was or were the first ancient Greek Physician(s) who began the Hippocratic school of Medicine and is fondly referred to as ‘The Father(s) of Medicine’ by the Medical profession.
Hippocrates is generally credited with turning away from divine notions of medicine and using observation of the body as a basis for medical knowledge. Prayers and sacrifices to the gods did not hold a central place in his theories, but changes in diet, beneficial drugs, and keeping the body “in balance” were the key.
Hippocrates developed a set of principals known as the Hippocratic Oath and a version of these principals is still sworn upon by modern doctors today, although alot of Hippocrates teachings about food and nutrition has been lost over time to most allopathic practitioners, Holistic practitioners still follow his original principals, including:
- Primum non nocere – First, do no harm
Non-maleficence, which is derived from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of bioethics that all healthcare students are taught in school and is a fundamental principle throughout the world. Another way to state it is that, “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.” It reminds the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit.
- Vis medicatrix naturae – The Healing power of nature
Hippocrates believed that an organism is not passive to injuries or disease, but rebalances itself to counteract them. The state of illness, therefore, is not a malady but an effort of the body to overcome a disturbed equilibrium.
- Docere – Doctor as teacher
The concept of Doctor as Teacher is really about shifting the balance of power back to the patient. Personal empowerment is the only prescription that can create permanent change leading to better health.
Holistic practitioners educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also acknowledge the therapeutic value inherent in the doctor-patient relationship.
We teach skills so patients can reclaim authority over their own bodies. Educated patients also tend to have more success in completing treatments, and feel more confident in their health.
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”