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The author of the treatise 'The Sacred Sickness' attempts to explain epilepsy beliefs and the true nature of the disease.
The author of the treatise ""holy sickness"" claims that purification cannot cure the ailment because it has no sacred or divine basis. The prescriptions offered to those affected by these individuals who claim to cure the sickness are simply considered as a means of preventing the condition from occurring, not curing it. He claims, however, that the'sacred sickness' may be treated just like any other ailment. As long as the physician is aware of the causes of this particular disease, then it can be subjected to treatment just like any other disease. "Most diseases can be cured by those things which cause them. There is nothing in any disease which cannot be subjected to treatment. The physician should, therefore, be aware of the causes to treat it" (Hippocrates & Francis 15). In this, the author, therefore, implies that the disease can be cured but not through the ‘divine purification' as others claim. The writer also says that the treatment can come about when the person treating it is aware of how to bring about a dry condition in the body of the affected person since the disease results from the presence of moisture in the brain.
The author, explaining how the disease comes about in the actual sense, accomplishes a lot. Through the explanations, those who believed that the disease is sacred can have a different view of it. They would be able to abandon harmful practices that would, however, worsen the condition of the affected patient. Such bad practices involve the denial of particular food to be eaten by the patient. They did this because they had failed in screening the disease effectively and finding the required treatment. "These are individuals who pretend to be clever. By bringing in the element of divine causes, they proof their failure to give the required treatment" (Hippocrates & Francis 7). Since the malady attacks an individual in different styles, the detailed and logical explanation of the disease by the author enables those with the affected individuals to give a reason why their patient behaves in a certain way. When the ways through the phlegm pass from the brain era blocked then the released fluid enters the blood vessels. This is the reason why the patient's voice is lost, and there is choking, the appearance of foam in the mouth, clenching of the teeth (Hippocrates & Francis 5)’’. Also, it is through the explanations of the author that we can tell the effects of the disease to those who are affected. We are in the position to tell what it causes to the young children affected and also to the aged individuals. "Infants who have the disease usually die if the wind comes from the south. The vessels of their blood are narrow and therefore cannot take in a large amount of inspissated phlegm. It, therefore, causes them to freeze leading to the sudden death of the infants" (Hippocrates & Francis 10). Adults who have the disease do not die or have palsy because their blood levels are full of hot blood which cannot be subjected to freezing as in young children.
The author supports the fact that the knowledge concerning this particular disease is important as it helps in controlling it even if there is no full treatment. An individual who has the knowledge of how it is caused or what causes it can control it as long as the person is aware of the time to apply the remedies. The physician should be aware of these causes to know the right time to increase one thing and destroy the other. A person with the knowledge of how to bring about dryness and moisture could cure the disease (Hippocrates & Francis 15).
Hippocrates and Francis Adams. On the Sacred Disease. Adelaide: The University of Adelaide Library, 2007. Internet resource.
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