By James C. Whorton
From reflexology and rolfing to shiatsu and dream paintings, we're faced at the present time by way of a welter of different clinical treatments. yet as James Whorton exhibits in Nature Cures, the hot explosion in substitute drugs really displays centuries of pageant and clash among mainstream medication and various unorthodox platforms.
this can be the 1st accomplished historical past of different drugs in the USA, studying the most important structures that experience emerged from 1800 to the current. Writing with wit and with equity to each side, Whorton bargains a desirable examine replacement wellbeing and fitness platforms akin to homeopathy, water treatments, Mesmerism, Christian technology, osteopathy, chiropractic, naturopathy, and acupuncture. He highlights the delivery and progress of every approach (including eu roots the place acceptable) and vividly describes either the theories and the treatments built inside of each one procedure, together with such doubtful practices as hour-long walks barefoot in snow or Samuel Thompson's "puking and steaming" routine. particularly, Whorton illuminates the philosophy of "natural therapeutic" that has been espoused via replacement practitioners all through historical past and the unique interpretations of "nature healing" built through the various platforms. although he does not hesitate to indicate the issues of those platforms, he additionally indicates that a few "cult drugs" have finally received attractiveness from practitioners of mainstream medicine.
all through, Whorton writes with a mild contact and costs from modern humorists corresponding to Mark Twain. His e-book is an interesting and authoritative heritage that highlights the process replacement drugs within the united states, supplying worthwhile history to the wide variety of cures on hand today.
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Extra info for Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America
But, to make it a medicine to cure the sick is altogether too high a use for water. Something ‘far fetched and dear bought’ meets the ideas of people generally as a medicine; they are not willing to be cured by so simple an article. They had rather be sick and take a potion of delicious calomel . . ’ ” His point was echoed by a naturopath of the early 1900s, who submitted that “one of the reasons why Nature Cure is not more popular with the medical profession and the public is that it is too simple.
The patient recovers after taking a treatment; therefore, it is supposed, he recovers because of the treatment. ” Alternative doctors readily admit that they rarely have the sort of hard evidence associated with the allopathic standard of proof, the controlled clinical trial. ” If a patient quickly improves under their care, after having suffered with the problem for a considerable time and received no beneﬁt from orthodox therapy, then a genuine cure has occurred. 37 This book’s discussion of each alternative system will include reports of numerous cures by practitioners, some of which will border on the miraculoussounding.
Eighteenth-century medicine had gone overboard in its reliance on highly speculative theoretical constructs as the basis for therapeutic decisions, suffering an imbalance that encouraged a search for more empirical approaches. The increasingly heroic therapeutic interventions that the theories encouraged likewise created a backlash, and the resultant desire to place more trust in the body’s natural restorative powers was reinforced by the appeals of Romantic philosophers and poets to return to nature as the source of all truth and beauty.