The Father of Modern Medicine

Historians agree that Hippocrates was born around the year 460 BC on the Greek island of Kos. He is renowned as the “Father of Modern Medicine” – in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. It was Hippocrates who finally freed medicine from the shackles of magic, superstition, and the supernatural. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. Hippocrates was the first to collect data and conduct experiments to demonstrate that disease was a natural process; that the signs and symptoms of a disease were caused by the natural reactions of the body to the disease process; and that the chief role of the physician was to aid the natural resistance of the body to overcome the metabolic imbalance and restore health and harmony to the organism.


Influences on RED HOUSE

Hippocrates was the personification of the ideal physician - wise, caring, compassionate and honest. His exemplary life has been a constant and enduring source of inspiration for doctors, health professionals and healers down through the ages. Hippocrates is most remembered today for his famous Oath, which sets high ethical standards for the practice of medicine. Medical practitioners have since been sworn into the profession through Hippocrates Oath. Unfortunately compliance, particularly in the arena of mental health care, has been far from perfect.

One key ethical principle of Hippocrates is Primum non nocere, or, "First, do no harm."  But many pharmaceutical drugs used for commmon ailments today have harmful negative side effects which traditional, natural medicines and treatments do not have.  Hippocrates was reluctant to administer drugs and engage in specialized treatment that might prove to be wrongly chosen

Another of his most famous creeds, reflected in the Oath was to: “Let Food Be Thy Medicine, and Medicine Be Thy Food”. One little-known provision of the Oath is that the doctor should offer to teach any male offspring or relatives of his teacher the art of medicine, free of charge.  But seriously - in today's high-pressured medical marketplace, where time is money, how many doctors can actually do that, when they don't even have the time to talk to their own patients? 


Hippocrates was the first to hypothesise that 'All disease begins in the gut".


Hippocratic medicine and its philosophy are far removed from that of modern medicine. Now, the physician focuses on specific diagnosis and specialized treatment, both of which were espoused by the Knidian school. This shift in medical thought since Hippocrates' day has caused serious criticism over the past two millennia, with the passivity of Hippocratic treatment being the subject of particularly strong criticisms.


When Hippocrates began to practice medicine, the established school of medicine was the Cnidian school.  But this school's approach to medicine had several serious flaws, which were already becoming apparent and starting to cause a general dissatisfaction with the art of medicine. The Cnidian school considered the body to be merely a collection of isolated parts, and saw diseases manifesting in a particular organ or body part as affecting that part only, which alone was treated.  Their system of diagnosis was also faulty, relying exclusively on the subjective symptoms related by the patient, while totally ignoring the objective signs of the disease. Hippocrates radically disagreed with the Cnidian school, countering that the human body functioned as one unified organism, or physis, and must be treated, in health and disease, as one coherent, integrated whole. As a holistic healing system, Hippocratic medicine treated the patient, and not just the disease.

While the influence of Hippocrates is at the forefront of RED HOUSE we have also drawn from the research and works of other past and contemporary scientists and public health experts, including:



Florence Nightingale

Louis Pasture

Dr Andrew Weil

Henry Ozenski

Professor Michael Merzenich

Dr. James Wilson – Adrenal Fatigue

Dr. James Greenblatt – Answers to Anorexia

©  Website created by Mary Jane Lawson. Updated 2019.