The Six Tissue States: The Energetics of Physiomedicalism

The Six Tissue States: The Energetics of Physiomedicalism

by Matthew Wood, RH (AHG)

After the demise of Greek medicine in the late seven­teenth century, European professional doctors aban­doned the humoral model of medicine based on the four qualities (hot, cold, damp, and dry). However, they continued to practice along similar lines, using words like inflammation or excitation to express the idea of excess heat. These descriptive terms go back in the lit­erature to the classical Greek writers.

In the eighteenth century there was an informal twofold differentiation in the medical literature between an overexcited condition requiring sedation (for which the usual method was blood-letting or opium) and understimulation (requiring stimulants, blistering, and food). At the end of the century John Brown, a leading allopath, formally taught a doctrine of two basic patterns of disease and two basic thera­peutic methods: sedation and stimulation.

The Brownian model continued to influence practical therapeutics throughout the nineteenth century. Dr. John Scudder (1829-1893), the leader of the eclectic school, practiced "according to the classification of excess, defect and perversion." (Scudder JM, 1874, 242). He also used a wide array of different terms to describe different energetic patterns, as did other doc­tors, including: irritation, congestion, hyperemia, exci­tation, contraction, enfeeblement, depression, atony, activity, want of activity etc. (Scudder J1874, 61-73).

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