, 17 tweets, 4 min read
The history of alternative medicines is fascinating

Quite interesting how these weird systems of thought came to be 1/n
For example, we have Daniel David Palmer, inventor of chiropractic

A magnetic healer by background, Palmer believed that all human health was controlled by a mystical vital energy that caused misalignments in the spine 2/n
Palmer argued that essentially all human disease - including infections such as tuberculosis - could be cured by realigning the spine (even in the late 1800s this was known to be factually incorrect) 3/n
While it is impossible to prove definitively, it is widely accepted that Palmer used the ideas of osteopathy, another 'alternative' treatment founded a decade earlier, to invent his pseudoscientific system of thought 4/n
Homeopathy is another interesting one

Founded in the late 1700s by Samuel Hahnemann, who took issue with the barbaric medical practices of the time (fair) and created a system of belief that has no basis whatsoever in fact (less fair)
Hahnemann was impacted by the medical practices of his time, especially bloodletting, which led to him creating a system of medicine that doesn't harm patients

The downside to this is that it also doesn't help them, but you can't win them all I guess?
Naturopathy is another good one. Originally invented by John Scheel in the late 1800s, the term was mostly promoted by Benedict Lust the "father" of naturopathy

Lust had some really odd beliefs
Lust subscribed to a similar school of thought to Palmer of chiropractic fame, arguing that most of human health was controlled by a vital force of some kind that flowed through our bodies, undetectable
The difference is that he thought that the best way to remedy every condition was with "natural" methods

This included, for example, restricting coffee and tea intake and warning against excessive masturbation
Seeing them side-by-side it's always quite striking how many of the major alternative medicines came from the same school of (flawed) thought at the end of the 1800s 10/n
Reiki is another interesting one - much more influenced by the traditional Japanese systems of thought, it was invented by Mikao Usui in the late 1800s
Similar to the above examples, he believed that an unmeasurable force controlled all of human health ("qi" or "chi")

He went a step further and argued that you could influence this force in other people by passing your hands over them
In many ways, this is just a natural progression. Once you've accepted the existence of an invisible, unmeasurable, unknowable force, the idea that you can manipulate this force somehow makes sense
Osteopathy is another great one. As I said, it was invented a bit prior to chiropractic by Andrew Taylor Still

Similar to Palmer, Still posited the existence of a vital force that drove most of human health
The basic beliefs of osteopathy are basically identical to chiropractic, which is why many people believe that Palmer stole Still's ideas
Still believed that the body was controlled by a vital force that transcended physicality, and could be manipulated by correcting problems with the musculoskeletal system

He thought that any illness could be cured through the body's natural defenses, aided by osteopathy
Another common theme through all of these systems of thought is that you can cure all disease using them

Similarly, they are all pretty much entirely wrong
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