While I was researching for this article, I realized that what people believed and did for staying healthy thousands of years ago was not that different from what we do today. Ancient Romans, famous for their many inventions, can give you helpful advice on staying healthy too.
Be careful when it comes to choosing your physician
The Romans were hesitant to put too much trust in physicians. A doctor was roughly referred to people who carried this title and applied treatments for certain fees. In the Roman world, there were no exams, no diplomas, no admissions, and no professional licensing procedures for doctors. The circumstances under which a physician’s treatment should be sought were somewhat unclear. It was not uncommon to attend public exhibitions of anatomical skills or watch medical competitions to gain an insight into the doctor’s abilities.
You must eat healthy food
Food and fresh air were the keys to healthy living. The foods the Romans ate were particularly high in protein from seafood and vegetables. Gardens were also extremely popular with the Romans, and they played a much larger role in growing well-being as well as growing plants and vegetables.
Take good care of your eyes
Eye-related problems were a major concern for the Romans. For the Romans, the eyes were a privileged part of their body and constituted a crossing point between the soul and the outside world. Poor hygiene and dusty roads had caused illness in many people with eye problems. Ancient Roman texts provide a very clear description of cataract surgery.
Focus on general well-being of the soul
For the Romans, there was a close relationship between physical and mental health. The main purpose of the Stoic philosophy followed by many Romans was to replace negative emotions such as grief, anger, and anxiety with positive emotions such as joy. Romans used to go especially to hot springs to rest and relax. Water also had special importance in many temples. This water was used for bathing, hydrotherapy, and purification rituals as well as for drinking.
Wound care has to be done carefully
The survival rates of Roman soldiers after the battles were higher than their rivals, thanks to their superior treatment methods. For some Roman soldiers, combat could result in fractures and head and eye injuries, in addition to abdominal and chest damage. All those cuts and scratches needed cleaning and bandaging, while some others needed stitching. Injuries were particularly at risk of infection, and the Romans often used honey dressings for them. Sewing operations with needle and thread were no different from the methods used today in our modern medical techniques.