March 10, 2019 • 1 min
Medicine has been practiced in various ways throughout history. In primitive societies, the art of healing was an experimental process, largely guided by trial and error. Many diseases were believed to be brought upon humans by demons or other supernatural phenomena. Thus, much of the early art of healing dealt with intangible elements of human culture. Over time, however, as more became known about human disease and as the practice of medicine was gradually refined, systems of medicine embedded in folklore were surmounted by systems grounded in the scientific study of basic human anatomy and physiology. This shift marked a major turning point in the history of medicine. Western medicine has since become the standard against which all other forms of medicine are measured for their ability to diagnose and treat human disease. Despite its dominance in the West, however, modern medicine is not the most widely practiced form of medicine in the world today. Rather, various forms of traditional medicine, with origins in places such as Asia and Latin America, are the primary means of healing for the majority of the modern world’s population.