Hippocrates was a Greek physician born in 460 BC on the island of Cos, Greece. He became known as the founder of medicine and was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. He based his medical practice on observations and on the study of the human body. He held the belief that illness had a physical and a rational explanation. He rejected the views of his time that considered illness to be caused by superstitions and by possession of evil spirits and disfavor of the gods.
Hippocrates held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. He accurately described disease symptoms and was the first physician to accurately describe the symptoms of pneumonia, as well as epilepsy in children. He believed in the natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness. He noted that there were individual differences in the severity of disease symptoms and that some individuals were better able to cope with their disease and illness than others. He was also the first physician that held the belief that thoughts, ideas, and feelings come from the brain and not the heart as others of him time believed
Hippocrates taught that diseases came from natural causes. He had observed many patients and carefully recorded their symptoms and the way their illnesses developed. He would look at the color of the skin, and how the eyes looked. He would look for fevers and chills. He described many illnesses including
pneumonia, * tetanus, *tuberculosis, * arthritis,* mumps, *
and malaria * .
He told his students to carefully observe their patients and to learn from the things they had observed. He said the human body could heal itself and could return itself to good health. The patient was given something to relieve pain, but nothing else was done.
He told his patients they should eat a moderate amount of food; not too much and not too little. A moderate amount of exercise was recommended. Patients were encouraged to walk for exercise.
Doctors were told to make sure their hands were clean before they treated patients. He said the operating room should be well lighted and look cheerful. His thought patients in good spirits would heal faster.
Physicians should be men of honor, according to Hippocrates. He encouraged them to work as hard as possible for the good of the sick.
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