As a by-product affects pain

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The information that we are aware of may differ markedly from what was originally received in our brain. The brain completes the information received, filling in gaps and eliminating uncertainty. This happens both with visual images, and with the read text, and with the speech perceived by ear, and with the feeling of the position of the body in space. Due to this, the processing is faster and usually gives a more accurate result. To complete the information, we use any available hints and keys. And this process is the more intense, the more uncertain the information received, that is, the more different ways to interpret it. One of the most obvious and studied examples is the processing of information about the taste of food and drinks. It is known…
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The Miracle of Magnetism

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Legend has it that in 1780, while dissecting a frog, Italian Luigi Galvani simultaneously touched its muscles with a steel scalpel and a copper hook-holder. To Galvani's amazement, the dead animal's paw twitched. The reason was the electric current generated in the galvanic pair created by the instruments: it caused the muscles to contract. Galvani called this phenomenon animal electricity. The era of bioelectromagnetism began. The idea of electricity as the driving force of all life quickly captured the minds of Galvani's contemporaries. Time this is favored by the trendy words “electricity” and “magnetism” has opened all doors and wallets. Including patients ' wallets. The most striking manifestation of the General enthusiasm was the experiments with human corpses, which were conducted by the Scot Andrew Yure. He claimed that electrical…
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Placebo Effect

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Millennia of ineffective treatment were possible because every drug found its patients. There are several reasons why we believe in the usefulness of useless means. We have already said that treatment can precede natural recovery, in which case it is not difficult to decide that we have recovered thanks to the drug. Another reason is the amazing ability of the brain to complete the sensations in accordance with our expectations. Thanks to it, patients can experience relief by virtue of the fact of treatment, even if it was a dummy disguised as a medicine. Successful doctors have always known that the expectation of improvement is in itself an important tool of the craft. And, like any tool, it can be used for good and evil. It is used by numerous…
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Birth of Method

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On the fifteenth of June, 1744, the storm-battered 60-gun centurion approached the coast of England. The battleship of his Majesty's Royal Navy was the only surviving vessel of a squadron of eight ships that had set sail four years earlier under Commodore Jorge Anson on a circumnavigation of the world. Of the 1955 sailors who sailed, only about 500 returned home. It was not the attacks of the natives, the fighting with the hostile Spanish fleet, or the fierce storms that were to blame. More than 1,300 sailors were taken by scurvy – a mysterious disease that for centuries killed those who went on a long sea voyage. The surviving members of the expedition wrote: Soon after we passed the Straits of Le Mer, scurvy made itself felt. Our long…
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Experience as a Tool

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Empiricism was not an invention of the Renaissance, but it breathed life into it. The obvious idea of the importance of knowledge derived from experience has been found in the works of ancient philosophers before, but has never been truly influential. Perhaps the reason was that such a philosophy is not compatible with the existence of hidden and unknowable gods-the measure of any truth and the source of any knowledge. It took a later Revival, with its spirit of freedom and the gradual diminution of the role of religion, for empiricism to resound in full force. His voice was sir Francis bacon, a distinguished scholar, philosopher and statesman. Living XVI–XVII century in Britain bacon was one of the most extraordinary people of his time. He received an excellent legal education,…
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Why didn’t the unicorn horn work

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How could a huge industry have offered almost exclusively ineffective drugs and procedures for thousands of years? There were several reasons, but a significant role was played by the selection of treatment by logical reasoning, the starting point for which was a mistaken understanding of the body, the mechanisms of the disease and the principles of action of certain substances. Cognition is a sequential process, it is impossible to jump over a few steps. To understand the causes of fever, you need to at least know about the existence of microorganisms. And this is impossible until the microscope is created. The creation of the microscope should be preceded by the development of optics and the emergence of technologies to create lenses of the desired strength and quality. Then you need…
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“Now, Mr. Billy bones, we’ll see what color your blood is”

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Perhaps none of the methods of treatment was so popular and did not take so many lives as bloodletting. Curiously, it was practiced in different eras, in different parts of the world and cultures, by magicians and secular doctors. Bloodletting for more than three millennia. The first mention in ancient Egyptian papyri refers to the second Millennium BC. Bloodletting was used in Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India, where almost all its varieties were used: dissection of veins, blood banks, leeches and even therapeutic flagellation to the blood. Acupuncture, which originated in China and spread around the world, also probably originates from a bloodier procedure and has only recently been transformed into the now bloodless variant. Bloodletting was done by the Indians of pre-Columbian America, tribes in Africa and Northern Australia,…
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St. Apollonia and the Mandrake root

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With the fall of the Roman Empire, Christianity began to supplant Greco-Roman culture. The new religion destroyed the old temples and took control of all aspects of the life of the flock, from birth to death. The secular medicine of antiquity have faded into the background. Christianity was not only a religion of salvation, but also a religion of healing. Most of the miracles performed by Jesus and Christian saints were of a medical nature. Jesus treated blindness, deafness, paralysis, leprosy, dropsy, and other diseases that are difficult to identify. In all, the New Testament mentions thirty-one cases of cure. Many Christian saints specialized in the treatment of certain diseases. To St. Anthony and asked for deliverance from erysipelas, for St. Vitus – from chorea, St. Roch, from the bubonic…
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The Genius of Self-promotion

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If Hippocrates helped medicine become a profession, and the Alexandrians showed that it can and should do research, then marketing taught her Galen-a man whose talent for PR was at least as much as his talent as a doctor. Galen was born in the II century, now our era, in one of the Greek provinces of the Roman Empire in the family of a wealthy and educated architect. At the insistence of his father, the son began to study the art of medicine and traveled a lot, learning from different teachers. Galen had enough money to put off his practice and spend many years studying – making him one of the most educated doctors of his time. Only in thirty one year he finally arrived in Rome and began work…
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Two Ways

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Although Hippocrates's ideas were one of the first attempts to create a model of health and disease without the involvement of supernatural forces, his contemporaries did not take the step that now seems natural to us – did not hurry to get the knowledge that lay only at a distance of a knife blade, hidden under the skin. Ancient doctors did not dissect corpses; the source of their ideas about the internal structure were the few autopsies of animals and observations of deep cavity wounds. There were several reasons for this. First, in Ancient Greece, and then in Ancient Rome, there was a ban on the opening of the human body. A dead body was considered unclean, and anyone who came into contact with it had to undergo a long…
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