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Med Secoli. 1999;11(2):415-21.

Byzantine psychosomatic medicine (10th- 15th century).

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Department of Philosophy and History of Medicine, Medical School of Athens University, Athens, Greece.


Original elements of the psychosomatic medicine are examined by the most important byzantine physicians and medico-philosophers during the 10th -15th centuries. These topics concern the psycosomatic unity of the human personality, the psychosomatic disturbances, diseases and interactions, organic diseases, which cause psychical disorders, psychical pathological reactions, which result in somatic diseases, the psychology of the depth of the soul, the psychosomatic pathogenetic reasons of psychiatric and neurological diseases and suicide, the influence of witchcraft on psychosomatic affections, maniac and demoniac patients. The psychosomatic treatment has a holistic preventive and curative character and encloses sanitary and dietary measures, physiotherapy, curative bathing, strong purgation, pharmaceutical preparations proportional to the disease, religious disposition, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy with dialogue and the contribution of the divine factor. The late byzantine medical science contributed mainly to the progress of the psychosomatic medicine and therapeutics. The saint woman physician Hermione (1st -2nd cent.) is considered as the protectress of psychosomatic medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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