Offering insightful accounts of everything from aging prevention to voodoo & Santeria, this book situates each popular approach in the history and culture of health and wellness in America. Moreover, the book shows that
orthodox medicine and unconventional approaches may have more in common than many people think, because both are subject to the changing nature of the medical understanding and the strength of their appeal to consumers. While the main focus is on remedies lying outside the medical mainstream, the book also highlights how many widely accepted therapeutic treatments of the past-for example,
the water cure (hydrotherapy) or lobotomy (psychosurgery)-fell out of favor and were quickly forgotten. Besides examining popular healing techniques, the book also explores the changing nature of the medical marketplace and how once-standard treatments (e.g., leeching, psychoanalysis) have had their ups and downs. Comprises chronological sections from pre-1900 to the present.