5 Common Traditional Medicines That Are Younger That You Think

Most traditional medicine was invented in the last 200 years

Pictured: Lovely. Also, fairly modern
Pictured: Smallpox. Also very traditional


Pictured: Pretty damn modern
Oddly enough, this isn’t proposed as a cure for car accidents. I wonder why?


Beating out a couple of the other treatments on this list by only a few years, naturopathy is usually dated as beginning in the 1880s. It is an umbrella term that usually covers practitioners who embrace a range of alternative methodologies, but until the term was coined in 1895, naturopaths had a wide variety of names, for example “Hygienic Medicine” practitioners.

One early tenet of naturopathy was the avoidance of coffee, which is essentially the most evil thing I can imagine


Chiropractic is another treatment methodology that is often described as traditional despite being much more modern than you’d think. While massage generally has been used for centuries, chiropractic manipulation — the sudden jolting of the spine that is aimed at fixing “subluxations” — was invented by a man called D. D. Palmer in 1895.

Search stock photo sites for “spines” and all you get is cactuses. Weird


Reflexology is the practice of gently pressing on certain external parts of the body to elicit a response elsewhere. Reflexologists will often massage body parts such as the hands or feet to try and heal diseases of the lungs and liver.

Pictured: Unclear


The youngest of the bunch, Reiki was invented in Japan in the 1920s by a man named Mikao Usui. Often called “hands-on-healing” or the “laying on of hands”, Reiki involves the practitioner placing their hands near or on the person receiving the treatment. This supposedly affects their universal energy, which — despite never having been demonstrated to exist — is connected to virtually all health complaints in the mythos of the practice.

It is, as I can personally attest, extremely relaxing. But then, so is a bath

What Does This Mean?

You might well ask: who cares? What does it matter if therapies are presented as 10, 100, or 1,000 years old? What we should really care about is whether or not they work!



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