Tag Archives: Muslim

Obesity in the Middle Ages: Sancho el Craso

Nicolás Roberto Robles   Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Imaginary portrait. Sancho I El Craso. José María Rodríguez de Losada. between circa 1892 and circa 1894. Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Severe obesity restricts body movements and maneuvers . . . breathing passages become blocked and do not pass good air . . . these patients […]

Intersection of mental illness, the supernatural, and gender in Pakistan

Sualeha Siddiq Shekhani Karachi, Pakistan   Man with the spirit of his deceased second wife. William Hope. c. 1920 Credit: National Science and Media Museum. No known copyright restrictions. Maria sits across from me in a pristine clinic room in a private hospital in Pakistan. At first reluctant to speak about her husband’s illness, her […]

Control of blood

E. C. Spary United Kingdom Figure 1. Blood spurting from the neck of a decapitated human sacrifice in this bas-relief on the wall of this Mayan temple at Chichen Itza (Yucatan, Mexico) transforms into snakes, indicating its connection to power, life and death. Blood, that vivid liquid within our bodies, has an attraction for human […]

The mysterious Red Cross boy

Emeka Chibuikem V. Enugu State, Nigeria   Have You a Red Cross Service Flag? Poster art by Jessie Willcox Smith. 1918. Library Company of Philadelphia. Who is this Red Cross Boy? This is the question to which I could find no answer until this day. I am Alex, from the Igbo tribe in the South-East […]

Muslim women healers of the medieval and early modern Ottoman Empire

Nada Darwish Alan S. Weber Doha, Qatar   Although known only through court documents, legal proceedings, and references in the writings of male practitioners, the tabiba—a female practitioner of folk medicine, midwifery, and gynecology—was an important member of the medical community in the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923). The existing historical record unfortunately obscures the important role that […]

Sunbathing the mind: faith healing in India

Karen De Looze Belgium   Ervadi Dargah Karen De Looze Understanding mental health care in an Indian context involves a long and adventurous exploration of faith healing. In India, people who suffer from mental illness frequently employ faith healing as an alternative to psychiatric treatment (Raguram et al. 2002). Faith healing often takes place in […]