Health and Wellness in Antiquity through the Middle Ages

By William H. York | Go to book overview

Glossary

acupuncture—the therapeutic practice common in traditional Chinese medicine in which needles are applied at specific sites on the body to redirect the flow of qi and restore health.

ashiputhe exorcist, or priest, who treated the sick in ancient Mesopotamia with charms, drugs, and magical cures.

asuthe physician in ancient Mesopotamia, who treated the sick with charms, drugs, and magical cures.

Ayurvedic medicine—Ayurveda literally means “knowledge for longevity.”

This is the medical tradition in India based on the oral traditions passed on by practicing healers from the Vedic period (ca. 1500–500 B.C.E). Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes rational or naturalistic medical knowledge but also incorporates magical healing traditions.

bloodlett ing—the therapeutic practice used in several premodern cultures, but most common in the humoral tradition practiced in Greece, Rome, the Islamic world, and medieval Europe. Small amounts of blood would be let from various parts of the body (typically by cutting open veins, but also through applying leeches) in order to remove unhealthy humors from the body and thus restore a healthy humoral balance.

chirurgicusthe surgeon in medieval Europe.

cupping—the therapeutic practice in which the doctor would put a piece of burning material into a little metal or glass cup so that when applied to the skin, the flame would be extinguished and create a vacuum, holding the

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