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Arkiv for kategorien ‘Folkemedicin’

Toothworms [en]

fredag den 11. oktober 2013


An 18th century hand-illustrated page from an Ottoman Turk dental book showing a molar infected with toothworms. As early as Babylonian times and lasting well into the eighteenth century, it was thought that a toothache was caused by worms. (The theory was disproved by Jacob Christian Schaffer in 1757.) These worms were depicted in art as dwelling with the demons of Hell and feeding upon the sinners. In a cavity on one side of the bisected tooth, Lucifer watches as two worms devour and entrap their victims. In the other half of the tooth, demons lord over a collection of human skulls.

Via Moshita

Street dentists in India, China and Pakistan [da]

lørdag den 24. november 2012

Street dentistry is the unlicensed practice of dentistry in the street, usually for people who are unable to afford licensed dental care.

In India, street services are plentiful, with dentists operating alongside other street services, such as apothecaries, repairmen, and barbers. These practitioners charge far less than licensed dentists, often charging as little as 125 rupees for a procedure such as a bridge—which, at a licensed dentist, could be as expensive as 10,000 rupees. Many learn the trade from their parents.

In India, Chapter V, Section 49 of the Dentist Act of 1948 requires dentists, dental mechanics, and dental hygienists to be licensed, making street dentistry illegal, though street dentists continue to practice.

Street Dentists of India [da]

onsdag den 7. november 2012

“I don’t find this job difficult at all because I’ve done a lot of technical work - I even repaired bicycles. I know how to work a file, pliers and all possible tools.”

- Pushkar Sing a.k.a. “Doc-Junior”

Phrenology [da]

onsdag den 19. september 2012

‘Phrenological Illustrations or the Science practically developed’, print, London, England, 1824

This satirical print shows three seated men being assessed for their suitability for the Tenth Hussars (part of the British Army) using phrenology. Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Hung from the ceiling among phrenological heads is a list of the qualities to be looked for. The head of the officer on the right indicates he has the quality of brutality, while the civilian with the normal shaped head is being rejected for being kind and civil. Although practitioners of phrenology took the subject seriously many others, including most of the medical profession, saw the practice as quackery. Certainly, the artist of this print thought so, exaggerating the lumps and bumps of the skulls that phrenologists looked and felt for.

Credits: Science Museum, London

Source: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/objects/display.aspx?id=11141

The Quack Doctor [da]

torsdag den 25. november 2010

Jeg vil gerne gøre lidt reklame for en af mine yndlingsblogs, nemlig The Quack Doctor, hvor man kan læse om de mærkværdigste opfindelser og behandlingsmetoder, som Caroline Rance har fundet frem i gamle aviser. Der er for det meste tale om, hvad man i datiden har regnet for alternative behandlingsformer. I dag vil vi nok snarere bruge ordet kvaksalveri!

Læs for eksempel om hvad man kan gøre ved begyndende skaldethed:

You Needn’t be Bald

by Caroline Rance on November 2nd, 2010

Vacuum Cap from Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1909
Vacuum Cap from Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1909

When a bald fellow had got fed up with rubbing lotions on his scalp or taking bullocks’ blood supplements, it was time to go for something more drastic – a vacuum cap.

An early form of this device was invented in New York in 1898 by Claude O. Rosell. The cap, which he dubbed the ‘Capillary Chalice’, took its inspiration from the ancient surgical practice of cupping. By using suction to draw blood into the scalp, the rubber device was intended to stimulate the circulation of blood and to loosen the scalp from the skull.

1898 'Capillary Chalice'
Rosell's 'Capillary Chalice' (1898)

When the scalp has thus been loosened,’ read the patent, ‘it ceases to impede the normal circulation of the blood among the roots of the hair, and as a consequence there is a proliferation of cells and a new formation of blood vessels.’

It reminds me of one of those hopper popper toys from the 80s, and I imagine it coming unstuck and pinging off into the atmosphere, to the wearer’s disgruntlement. To prevent air getting in around the edges, the cap had to be coated with a suitable substance such as cold cream, petroleum jelly or beeswax, and Rosell also suggested that if desired, the patient could first apply diluted formaldehyde to the scalp as an antiseptic. The invention was versatile and could be used to provide a cupping action to other parts of the body – the biggest size available (6”) was also recommended as a breast enlarger.

A year later, another inventor, Frederick Watkins Evans, had improved upon the idea by incorporating a tube that the user could either connect up to a vacuum pump or simply put in his mouth and suck.

Evans' Vacuum Cap (1899)
Evans' Vacuum Cap (1899)

The inventions proliferated and within a few years had become solid bell-like structures with a rubber seal around the base.

In 1904, Napoleon W. Dible recognised that there was a problem with the devices then on the market – the patient’s whole head tended to get sucked up into the cap, uncomfortably stretching his neck. To alleviate this objectionable feature, Dible’s invention contained an internal support that pressed on the scalp, keeping the patient down. Dible’s cap had a greater volume inside than the earlier versions, and the tube shown on the left was to be attached to a pump.

Napoleon W. Dible's Vacuum Cap (1904)
Napoleon W. Dible's Vacuum Cap (1904)

As to their efficacy, it is interesting to note that these devices frequently cropped up for sale second-hand in the classified ads of early 20th-century US newspapers. Either they worked so wonderfully that their owners didn’t need them any more, or – perhaps more likely – they simply sucked.

Eller hvad med denne appetitlige annonce for Laffere's Worm Powders fra Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, Or, Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser, onsdag d 21. january 1863:

    LAFFERE’S WORM POWDERS are the best remedy for worms; they effect a certain cure, are tasteless, and at the same time are perfectly harmless. As a proof of their efficacy the following case, out of many hundreds, is inserted:—Emma Knight, aged eight years, daughter of James and Caroline Knight, Black Torrington, voided the extraordinary number of eighty-six large worms, some of them over twelve inches long, after taking one dose of the above Powders.
    Price, under six years of age, 6d.; under twelve, 8d.; under eighteen, 10d.; adults, 1s. Postage, one penny extra. Send stamps and state age, to E. H. LAFFERE, Chemist, Hatherleigh, from whom those Powders are only to be obtained.
    N.B.—No Agents.

Vaccinationskritisk artikel trækkes tilbage [da]

tirsdag den 9. februar 2010

The Lancet tilbagetrækker en kontroversiel artikel som sammenkæder MFR-vaccine og autisme. Der er ikke tale om en hvilken som helst artikel, men Andrew Wakefield og hans forskerteams 12 år gamle "Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children" som igen og igen er blevet fremdraget af vaccinationsmodstanderne som en væsentlig del det videnskabelige belæg for, at vaccinationer gør mere skade end gavn, og at det i sidste instans kun er hensynet til medicinalindustriens profitrate som holder live i de statslige vaccinationsprogrammer.

Den 2. februar kunne man i The Lancet læse følgende:

Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al. are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.

Wakefield omgivet af tilhængere
Wakefield omgivet af tilhængere
Desværre er anti-vaccinationsbevægelsen - som især i USA har gevaldig vind i sejlene - nok ret så ligeglade med udmeldingen fra The Lancet.
For dem er der snarere tale om en religion end om videnskab! Og Wakefield tager næppe heller kritikken til sig og indrømmer, at hans forskningsresultater er tvivlsomme: Han har opbygget hele sin karriere på de gamle forskningsresultater og er derigennem blevet en feteret stjerne - en af anti-vaccinationsbevægelsens frontfigurer sammen med Hollywood-stjernen Jim Carrey og hans partner Jenny McCarthy. Wakefield har desuden arbejdet på at udvikle et alternativ til traditionelle vacciner - noget der ville kunne gøre ham styrtende rig. Hans "forskning" har derfor, i lige så høj grad som den kritiserede medicinalindustri, været styret af økonomiske interesser: drømmen om den store gevinst!


Hvad er op og ned i vaccinationsdebatten? [da]

tirsdag den 17. november 2009

Ved snart ikke hvad jeg skal mene ... Under overskriften "Stærk lobbyisme bag WHO-beslutning om massevaccination" kan man læse at flere af WHO's influenzarådgivere er betalt af medicinalindustrien. Dermed var industrien med til at påvirke beslutningen om, at influenza A er en pandemi - og at vaccine er nødvendig. Siden har de samme virksomheder fået vaccineordrer for op mod 55 milliarder kroner.

Læs hele historien i Information

Selv-trepanering [da]

fredag den 8. august 2008

En ny alternativ behandlingsform?

Heather Perry
Heather Perry
Neurophilosophy har jeg med stor undren læst interviewet med Heather Perry.

Heather Perry er en engelsk kvinde som i 2000 trepanerede sig selv for at få "more mental energy and clarity." Er der nogle moderne mennesker, som frivilligt vil lade sig trepanere og er det overhovedet muligt selv at gøre det? Åbenbart ja! Heather Perry giver selv følgende beskrivelse af forløbet:

I used a hand trepan initially, but that wasn't proving to be terribly successful. Then there was a problem with the people who owned the property we were staying in, so we decided we'd have to just leave it. I wrapped my head up in a towel and we got out of there. A couple of days later, we had another go. We abandoned the hand trepan and got an electric drill instead. I injected myself with a local anaesthetic and then slashed a big T-shaped incision in my scalp, right down to the bone. I was sat there in the bathroom feeling quite relaxed and they started with the drill. It didn't take that long at all, probably about 20 minutes. Eventually I could feel a lot of fluid moving around. Apparently, there was a bit too much fluid shifting around, because they'd gone a little bit too far and I was leaking some through the hole, but this wasn't especially dangerous as there are three layer of meninges before you get to the brain.

I min uvidenhed troede jeg, at det eneste moderne eksempel på trepanering (bortset fra når hjernekirurgerne arbejder) var Jeffery Dahmer, som efter sigende skulle have forsøgt at bore huller i sine ofres hoveder og hælde syre i, for at gøre dem til viljeløse zombier - i øvrigt uden held. Nu er jeg imidlertid blevet klogere: Selv-trepanering er en alternativ behandlingsform, som dog endnu ikke har den helt store udbredelse, og heldigvis da for det. At man selv skal foretage indgrebet ser jeg som et klart udtryk for, at man regner det for så risikabelt, at en eventuel behandler ikke skal risikere at komme i fedtefadet, hvis det skulle ende galt.

Bart Huges & Co.

Bart Huges trepanerer sig selv (1965)
Bart Huges trepanerer sig selv (1965)
Forgangsmanden på området er hollænderen Bart Huges, som i 1965 trepanerede sig selv. Han fortalte efterfølgende at selve operationen tog 45 minutter, og at det 4 timer at rense blodet af vægge og loft. Da Huges, som ellers var kendt som en af de første europæiske fortalere for brugen af LSD, efterfølgende ønsket at blive røntgenfotograferet for at få handlingen dokumenteret blev han tilbageholdt i tre uger, hvor han gennemgik diverse psykologiske test, da man mistænkte, at han led af skizofreni. De udførte test viste dog at han var mentalt rask.

Blandt Huges' disciple er folk som Joseph Mellen, Amanda Feilding og Pete Halvorson som alle i årene efter Huges' selv-trepanering fik boret hul i hovedskallen og efterfølgende er stået frem og propaganderet for sagen, bl.a. ved at stifte foreningen International Trepanation Advocacy Group og The Beckley Foundation gennem hvilken man bl.a. støtter den russiske professor Yuri Moskalenkos forskning

Filosofien bag

Formålet med at trepanere sig selv skulle være at man herved reetablere det flow af blod og cerebrospinalvæske som var før lukningen af fontanellen ved kranieknoglernes sammenvoksning. Man ønsker at revitalisere hjernens metabolisme og genskabe barndommens energi og generelt øge hjernens kapacitet. Huges har bl.a. fremlagt tankegangen i artiklen The Mechanism of Brainbloodvolume ('BBV') fra 1964, en artikel, som oftest omtales som Homo Sapiens Correctus. Den etablerede lægevidenskab advarer fornuftigt nok mod selv-trepanering og er desuden generelt afvisende overfor Huges' teori om hjerneblodsvolumen.

Det er da også ganske pudsigt at konstatere at Heather Perry i interviewet med Neurophilosophy ikke taler om trepanering som det eneste saliggørende. Tværtimod er hun lidt tvivlende hvad angår den faktiske effekt af indgrebet. Hun får det afsluttende ord i dette indlæg:

[...] it's not something that I will advocate for everyone [...] It's just something that I decided to try, to see what it was like, so there's no reason why I should be counselling them on whether or not they should have it done too. It's definitely not a miracle cure either. Having said that, I'd be a bad one to ask about the overall long-term effects, because I think my thyroid condition makes it hard to really know. Sometimes when my thyroid meds are working OK, I think I'm feeling the same buzz that I was getting post-trepanation. Maybe for me, whilst the hole was still open, it was enough to kind of boost my brain up to feel that way all the time. My head is a bit of a random one to test it on anyway, particularly as I'd done a bit too much acid to begin with.