HYGIENE (the Beginning of the introductory article)

Hygiene - the branch of medical knowledge that studies the causes and effects that violate the normal physiological life of man

In the content

In the modern scientific sense, it is medical branch of knowledge, that studies the causes and effects that violate the normal physiological life of man and seeking the means for their elimination or weakening. The person is taken not only as abstract biological type, and as a member of any public groups, and in terms of external influences included not only common factors of nature (heat, cold, water, etc.), but also variables of residence (home, profession, economic relations, etc.).

Other branches of medicine have as its object the person of the patient; hygiene has as its object the healthy person living in a public environment. Pathology, or the doctrine of painful conditions of the body, also studying the causes of diseases; but it stops the processes that occur in human organism under the influence of these causes. Hygiene also examines the nature and modification the causes or influences the occurrence of their harmful actions, and is directly not dealing with the human body, and mostly with external objects and events with a view to the preservation of health and prevention of disease.

The word hygiene is of Greek origin (healthy). Hygea or Hygieia, daughter of Aesculapius, represented among the Greeks the idea of preservation of health, as a gift from the gods. Traces of hygiene we find in ancient Egypt, and even more Jews. Its requirements are in ancient times, or how the demands of religion (the Jews), or as the basis of public welfare (in laws of Sparta), or finally as to the instructions of reason and medical observations (the school of Hippocrates). In ancient times, under the name of hygiene understand very different things.

In the law of Moses find guidance mainly with the character of public hygiene, medical or police. This includes a mandatory circumcision of newborn boys, in which many see the desire to prevent painful local diseases, especially easily advancing in a hot climate, when the slovenliness of the population;further, the religious denial of a certain kind of food (blood, meat of "unclean" animals), regulation of the purity of the body (especially in women) and cleanliness of the camps or encampments of the nomadic people (the burying of sewage into the ground), and in particular the regulations concerning the lepers. The priests are in the law of Moses, the leaders and supervisors of all the measures directed to the protection of public health Advice and guidance for personal protection is almost there, all measures required, as religious prescriptions.

The same binding nature are the laws of Lycurgus, but they are not driven by the dictates of the gods, and the practical purpose of government is to create good health of citizens-soldiers. Find out here killing weak infants, taking away from maternal education of children who have reached 7 years of age, the regulation of the bodily exercises of children and young people, setting up the kind of food and so on. Almost the same character, a little less harsh, wear the Persian order.

Hygiene school of Hippocrates appeals to the mind of a free man, in the name of the extracted knowledge, or rather recognized by the school doctrines, gives him advice, following which he may hope to avoid disease, maintain physical fortress and achieve long life. Hence there was a natural linkage of hygiene with medical knowledge. In the state system of Rome concerns about public health were not separated, but was along with other landscaping requirements. These are the water pipes and drains, supervise the sale of bread in the other. Roman baths and physical exercises there was no hygienic nature of institutions but rather were means of enjoyment. More >>


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In writing this article uses material from
Encyclopedic dictionary of F. A. Brockhaus and I. A. Efron (1890-1907).


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