Black History: Special Delivery!!
Egyptian healer Imhotep is credited with discovering a scientific approach to diagnosis and treatment of mental health. His approach blended spirituality with mental health. Imhotep was born in the 27th century BC in Memphis, Egypt. He was second in command to Pharaoh Djoser. Imhotep was an architect, scribe, religious leader, astrologer and healer. He was so revered that after he was death, he was worshipped as a God.
Imhotep employed “temple sleep” to help people experiencing mental health distress. Sleep therapy was a combination of exploring spiritual meaning of dreams. Many of his approaches to health and medicine were documented in the Ebers Papyrus document. The document was written around 1500 BC and contained a chapter on mental health called the “Book Hearts”. However it it includes sources that date back as far as 3400 BC. The document also identifies depression as a condition of the The Ebers Papyrus foreshadowed today’s focus exploring the multiple ways that mental health is influenced/impacted by things such as gut health and the body’s other regulatory systems.
Ancient Egypt was also the place where the brain was given its name and its composition was studied. Imhotep’s findings existed over 2,000 years before those of Hippocrates who is credited with being the “father of medicine”. However, Hippocrates recognized the influence and accomplishments of Imhotep. Hippocrates described himself as a “child of Imhotep” meaning that Imhotep was a pioneer and trailblazer long him.