At Pain and Wellness Center, Pinellas Park, FLorida, besides specialize in Pain Management and Weight Loss, we strive to research on Pain history, why do we have pain, and why some people are so lucky that they have no Pain at all. Is if fair?
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A Brief History of Pain
Did Greek mythology and Ancient Cultures Understand Pain Treatment Better than our culture?
The Greek goddess of vengeance, Poene, was sent to punish the mortal fools who had enraged the divine gods. Poene also gave us our word “pain,” a fact not lost on people who suffer from bodily torment so brutal it feels like divine vengeance.
Many historic cultures believed pain and disease were punishment for human folly. They tried to soothe angry gods with rituals like young girl offerings and scapegoats, sacrificial animals that transported the sins of people out into the wilderness.
Ancient people commonly practice Psychic, ritual and magic acts to discard bodily pain. People understand visible pain in an accidents such as bruises and cuts, but did not reason about internal pain.
In some cultures, rattles, gongs and other devices were believed to frighten painful devils out of a person’s body. Indian healers sucked on pain pipes held against a person’s skin to “pull” out pain or illness.
Like You Need a Hole in the Head
Many ancient doctors apparently figured their patients needed a hole in the head. Hundreds of skulls with small holes that have partially healed over have been found worldwide, but especially in Incan archaeological sites in South America.
“A lot of cultures would cut holes to let the pain out,” Cope said. Even Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician considered the father of Western medicine, wrote about the practice, called trepanation.
Hippocrates also heard about the pain-relieving benefits of willow bark and leaves from earlier cultures, and he prescribed chewing willow leaves to women in childbirth.
His prescription was not without merit — willow trees, members of the plant genus Salix, contain a form of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin.
I Eel Your Pain
Other medical practices from the ancient world have been updated for use by modern physicians.
“The Egyptians used to take electric eels out of the Nile and lay them over the wounds of patients,” said Dr. Carol A. Warfield, professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School.
Though using electric eels to ease pain sounds crude, even dangerous, a similar technique is used today to relieve pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a popular treatment for lower back pain and arthritis aches.
“We do it in a much more controlled fashion,” said Warfield.
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