Whatever happened to spiritual health?

I begin by worshipping the gods, and try to conduct myself in such a way that in answer to my prayers I may have health and physical strength, esteem in the city, the affection of my friends, safety with honour in war, and wealth increased by honest means – Ischomachus, in the Oikonomikos, 11.8

In the modern western world, when we are faced with health problems that we can’t explain, we simply say it is undiagnosed. If it relates to emotions, or we cannot observe any physical symptoms, we call it mental illness.

However, in the ancient and medieval world, there was a spiritual dimension to health. In many parts of the world, there still is. Yoga, for instance, is not just about stretching, but for many has a spiritual goal.  And the word hygiene comes from Hygieia, who, according to the Open University, was health personified, worshipped in the 4th century BC. Continue reading “Whatever happened to spiritual health?”

Beware of Quacks and Quack schools

A bogus naturopath, Laurence Perry, was convicted of manslaughter back in 2002.  He was only sentenced to 12-15 months in jail.  As early as 2007, there were credible reports that Laurence Perry was practicing again, in Decatur, Alabama.  Then, in 2013, Laurence Perry had been reported to have been practicing “for several years” in North Carolina.

Quackwatch goes on to list his credentials, which it calls diploma mills.  But, what exactly is a “diploma mill” and how do we tell it from a valid medical school? Continue reading “Beware of Quacks and Quack schools”

What did “fit for human habitation” mean?

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 36 flight engineer, conducts an ocular health exam. – Nasa photograph.

Dr Woods Hutchinson, a doctor and health writer, once calmly said that New York should be torn down and rebuilt in a manner “fit for human habitation.”  According to the Columbus journal of Nebraska, he thought  “the money for this purpose should be secured by confiscating the fortunes of millionaires as fast as they die.”

Not that the Columbus journal agreed with Dr Hutchinson, or the people who “know nothing, do nothing, [and] cheer themselves hoarse with his suggestion.”

One wonders if Dr Hutchinson were merely joking, and others merely laughing along with him.  Then again, if you’ve ever been to certain parts of New York City, you might think he was being serious.

However, other stories show that people took the idea of dwellings being “fit for human habitation” very seriously.   When landlord-politicians object to building codes that require homes to be “fit for human habitation,” you wonder whether these landlord-politicians know their history. Continue reading “What did “fit for human habitation” mean?”

Stop promoting so-called “medical” marijuana

We understand that the jails are full in some countries, that drug addiction is a disease that is not always best treated in prisons, and that it often seems that governments are losing the war against drugs.  Some police officers have suggested that there are more effective ways to stop drug abuse than law enforcement.

That said, it’s one thing to decriminalize a self-destructive habit, it’s quite another to promote it. Continue reading “Stop promoting so-called “medical” marijuana”

Homeopathic and “alternative” therapies could lose non-profit status

Earlier this year, Scientific American and others reported US families saying that their children were harmed by homeopathic medicine.  According to Russia Today, Russia’s Academy of Science sees homeopathy as a pseudoscience.

So, when the British charity commission started stripping homeopaths of their charitable status, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Ten days later, the report is the last entry in the Guardian’s Alternative Medicine blog, suggesting that even that newspaper is withdrawing its support for anything other than standard medical treatment.  Continue reading “Homeopathic and “alternative” therapies could lose non-profit status”