Folklore in Medicine.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Folklore in Medicine. Folklore refers to the traditional beliefs, legends, sayings etc of a people i.e. of England. It is often said that folklore medicine is now going 'out' but in my opinion this is wrong as I work in a chemist and the amount of so called "folk," "natural," "alternative," "traditional," "home" "organic" "holistic" and "other" medicines and therapies sold is astounding. Admittedly the whole 'magical' element behind it all is gone for most people as it was believed that diseases and ailments were caused by evil spirits or angry gods but most of these opinions are still held by the supposed 'uneducated' tribes people. But yet again some people who still hold 'pagan' beliefs do believe that it is the planets that cause some diseases.

Middle

The usual method of treatment amongst tribes are almost always kill or cure they literally believe that if the 'gods' don't intervene and save the ill then they were destined to die at that time. The belief of some people in these shamans is so strong that they take part in extremely dangerous and complex rituals to 'heal' the entire tribe. Rituals often include things like fire walking and snake handling. One ritual carried out by the Navajo Indians, The village prepares themselves for purification by building a great big fire in their Hogan or ritualistic hut. They then all strip naked and led by their shaman they enter a circle of fire while the shaman makes offerings of incense to the four quarters.

Conclusion

Many scientific experiments have been carried out around the mystery of fire walking and handling and as it has been found that no protective substances are used science is left baffled. It is possibly explained best by the idea that it may be auto-suggestion (self hypnosis) and is in fact just a 'placebo' effect. This is believed to be a possible explanation as in a study of hypnosis it has been shown that if a subject is told to hold their finger over a flame in a hypnotic state and told that it will not hurt or leave a mark then no pain will be experienced and no blister will form! This still however does not explain how shamans can stand in the It is now shown that the placebo effect is a very powerful thing as it seems to have the ability to 'heal' sick people with out any scientific basis.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Behavioural Science essays

  1. Chinese medical theory.

    Lungs Large Intestine Shortness of breath, cough, asthma, chest congestion, diseases of the skin, excessive sweating, poor immune system.

  2. Complementary Therapies.

    carry them for best results close all doors and windows leading into your bathroom. Steaming offers a more direct inhalation to make a vaporizer fill a basin half full with boiling water add a few drops of oil and inhale with a towel over your head for as long as possible.

  1. Alternative Medicine, also called unconventional medicine, therapeutic practices, techniques, and beliefs that are outside ...

    At the height of its popularity, there were more than 20 naturopathic medical schools (today there are only three) in the United States and naturopathic physicians were licensed in most states. The practice of naturopathic medicine declined as the use of pharmaceutical drugs increased.

  2. Critically discuss the theoretical explanations put forward to explain alcohol dependence and discuss the ...

    (Brady and Sonne, 1999) Motivational interviewing encourages the treatment participant to go through a process of change. Prochaska and Diclemente (1986) identified a "stages of change model"; the first step on this change process involves pre-contemplation. This identifies the situation before any change process occurs.

  1. Case Study 3: Strategic Action Plan to Encourage the Positive Behaviour of Ruby.

    Bouton in his paper "Behaviourism, Thoughts and Actions". However, Bouton goes on to write "Behaviourists who followed Watson, especially Edward Tolman, went on to suggest that even unobservable processes (intervening variables or theoretical constructs) can be used to explain behaviour scientifically if they are anchored to empirical observables; with operational definitions that make them falsifiable (2009, p.182)".

  2. The Renaissance was a time of good medical progress but very few practical advantages

    * Ambroise Paré (1510-1590) trained as a barber-surgeon, later joining the French army as a surgeon. France was involved in many wars during the 16th century, allowing Paré to gain much practical experience. In an attempt to stop soldiers' wounds from bleeding, they were usually scorched with burning oil or a hot iron in order to seal them.

  1. Does alternative medicine present a challenge to biomedicine?

    A more recent research study conducted by the BBC has shown that complimentary and alternative medicines are becoming increasingly popular.

  2. History and development of Western medicine.

    served to put the role of healing and midwifery firmly in the hands of 'trained' physicians who were predominantly men. This brought about struggles by some women for equality within the medical profession, and their traditional roles gradually disappeared along with the relative status that being a midwife or healer had brought.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.