50 Pioneers in Alternative Medicine and Holistic Health


50 Pioneers in Alternative Medicine and Holistic Health

Once all of these practices were questioned by the masses. These men and women helped revolutionize their respective fields and push forward the idea of alternative medicine and new practices. While these practices were one time considered outrageous they are now readily accepted by most sources of medicine. We celebrate the top 50 pioneers of Alternative Medicine.

 

  1. Dr. Paul Bragg - Year: 1895-1976 - Fields: Exercise, Nutrition - Country: USA - Dr. Bragg helped bring natural health to the nations attention by advocating for deep breathing, water fasts, organic food, juicing and exercising. Often referred to as the Father of the Health Movement in America,Bragg opened a bevy of health centers in Los Angeles during the mid-1920s. A clear pioneer of todays organic movement, Bragg opened some of the first health food stores in the nation. He also opened health inspired restaurants and was one of the first people in California to open a spa. In 1929, Bragg began touring the country on an extended lecture series regarding health. Eventually he formed The Bragg Health Crusade, a ground-breaking televised health show. The hour long show consisted of exercises, health recipes, demonstrations and interviews with famous health experts. Bragg is also considered instrumental in health cuisine. His biggest contribution may have been focus on exercise, something that was not taken seriously before Dr. Paul Bragg walked the earth.

  2. Adele Davis - Year: 1904-1974 - Fields: Nutrition - Country: USA - After graduating from Cal Berkley in 1927, Davis would spend her life drawing attention to nutrition. An educated nutritionist, she began her career working in hospitals and schools in the 1920s. By the 1930s, she relocated to the West Coast, where she worked as a consulting nutritionist. There she advocated for unprocessed foods and spoke out against food additives. Davis was one of the first to publicly criticize the corpitization of food. Davis predicted the increase in food additives, chemicals and GMOs. Warning people far before the mass media publicized the opposition. She was a best selling author, selling over 10 million copies during her life. During her time Davis received a great deal of backlash for her comments regarding nutrition, some of her peers wanted nothing to do with her. While she paid a price for doing the right thing, many of her quotes hang in eternity. A Great deal of sickness is caused by refined foodsshe also stated that We are literally at the mercy of the unethical refined food industry, who take all the vitamins and minerals out of food. She helped popularize the notion that a big breakfast, a medium lunch, and a small dinner were the way to go when it came to daily meals. When it was all over, Davis had a significant impact on the way people think about and understand food.

  3. Daniel David Palmer, Year: 1845-1913 - Fields: Chiropractic - Country: USA- In 1895 Doctor David Palmer met Harvey Lillard, a janitor whose hearing was impaired. Palmer claimed the man's hearing was restored after adjusting his spine. He then developed the theory that misalignment of bones in the body was the basic underlying cause of all dis-ease. Palmer thought that the majority of these mis-alignments were in the spinal column. While not entirely accurate, these two theories would one day launch into a worldwide practice. In 1897 he opened the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport and started teaching his techniques. Lawsuits followed and after a brief time in jail, Palmer sold the school to his son. The son expanded the school and the general knowledge of chiropractic. Palmer moved west, opening several new schools in Oklahoma, California, and Oregon. Although the relationship with his son became strained, the two helped to pioneer the Chiropractic practices for the next century.

  4. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Year: 1888-1989 - Fields: Yoga, Ayurveda - Country: India - Krishnamacharya is considered the father of modern yoga in the west. Often credited as the most influential Yoga teacher in the 20th century. In school, he focused his studies on logic and Sanskrit, Krishnamacharya studied with the yoga master Sri Babu Bhagavan Das. Krishnamacharya sought to further his yoga studies by seeking a master named Yogeshwara Ramamohana Brahmachari, who was rumored to live in the mountains beyond Nepal. After 12 weeks of walking, Krishnamacharya arrived at the school, a remote cave at the foot of Mount Kailash. Under Brahmachari’s tutelage, Krishnamacharya spent seven and a half years studying the therapeutic aspects of yoga. He was the teacher to renown Yoga experts Bks Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, T.K.V. Desikachar, A.G. Mohan and Indra Devi. He held degrees in all the six Indian philosophies. The India native is widely considered as the architect of Vinyāsa, the sense of combining breathing with movement. He possessed thorough knowledge of nutrition, herbal medicine, the use of oils, and other remedies. According to Krishnamacharya the source of a disease is in a particular area of the body, could effect many other systems in the body, both mental and physical. He would work with patients on a number of levels including adjusting their diet; creating herbal medicines; and setting up a series of yoga postures that would be most beneficial. He authored four books on Yoga, Yoga Makaranda 1934, Yogaasanagalu 1941, Yoga Rahasya and Yogavalli 1988. Krishnamacharya particularly stressed the importance of combining breath work with the postures of yoga and meditation to reach the desired goal. His yoga instruction reflected his conviction that yoga could be both a spiritual practice and a mode of physical healing. Krishnamacharya approached every student as “absolutely unique,” in the belief that the most important aspect of teaching yoga was that the student be “taught according to his or her individual capacity at any given time”.

  5. Joe Weider - Year: 1919-2013 - Fields: Fitness, Nutrition, Weight Lifting - Country: USA - A pioneer of the modern fitness movement, Weider brought strength and fitness to the public’s consciousness. At age twelve, Weider purchased two used bars and built a set of barbells from surplus railroad parts, and began training. Two years later he competed in his first amateur contest and lifted more than any competitor in his weight class earning him a national ranking. His goal was to one day publish a magazine that would provide accurate, complete weight training advice. In August 1940, he published the first issue of Your Physique. The magazine was an immediate success, in his 60-plus years in publishing, Weider oversaw a publishing empire that included, Muscle & Fitness, as well as Muscle & Fitness Hers, Flex, Mens Fitness, Shape, Fit Pregnancy, and Natural Health. In 1946, Weider and his brother Ben formed the International Federation of Bodybuilders to promote a healthy lifestyle and organize competitions. In 1965 Weider created the Mr. Olympia contest, and in 1978 he went on to create the Ms. Olympia contest. His greatest contributions to the sport of bodybuilding are the Weider Training Principles. Compiled in 1950, after twelve years of study, these theories and techniques forever changed the understanding of building a strong body.

  6. Rudolph Steiner - Year: 1861-1925 - Fields: Organic Farming, Spirituality, Education - Country: Austrian Empire - Attempting to find a synthesis between science and spirituality, Steiner went on a life long journey. His early philosophical work which he termed "spiritual science", he began to apply the thinking characteristic of Western philosophy to spiritual questions. In 1907, he began working with artistic media, drama, the movement arts and architecture. Steiner establish various endeavors, including Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture and anthroposophical medicine. He based his epistemology on Johann Wolfgang Goethe's world view, in which "Thinking is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear. Just as the eye perceives colors and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas.” Perhaps his biggest contribution goes to the development of organic farming. His work led to the development of a broad range of complementary medications and supportive artistic and biographic therapies. Homes for children and adults with developmental disabilities based on his work can be found in Africa, Europe, and North America.

  7. David E. Smith - Year: 1939-Present - Fields: Addiction Therapy/Drug Abuse - Country: USA - Smith is a medical doctor that specializes in addiction medicine, the psycho-pharmacology of drugs and proper prescribing practices for physicians. He is the Founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics of San Francisco, a Fellow and Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Past President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, Past Medical Director for the California State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Past Medical Director for the California Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research, and former adviser to the Betty Ford Center. When Smith started his free Haight-Ashbury clinic it was among the first of its kind in the United States. While at the Haight-Ashbury clinic several important figures in the future of alternative medicine would study under Smith. The doctor brought a real personal care for each and every paint that visited the clinic. He would help reshape parts of health care, drug therapy and overall human care. Smith helped provided free health care to people who simply didn’t have any alternatives or means to their own health care.

  8. AmmaMata Amritanandamayi - Year: 1953-Present - Fields: Hinduism, Peace - Country: Indiana - Amma is a Hindu spiritual leader and guru who is revered as a saint by her followers. Growing up, she would bring people of need, food and clothing from her own home. Her family, which was not wealthy, punished her. In 1981, seekers had begun residing at her parents' property in Parayakadavu, in the hopes of becoming her disciples. In 1987, Amma began to conduct programs in countries throughout the world. In 2014, for the first time in history, major Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox Christians, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist leaders, met to sign a shared commitment against modern-day slavery organized by the Global Freedom Network. In July 2015, Amritanandamayi delivered the keynote speech at a United Nations Academic Impact conference on technology and sustainable development. She stresses the importance of meditation, performing actions as karma yoga, selfless service, and cultivating personal qualities like compassion, patience, forgiveness, self-control, etc. Amma's network of charity organizations, provides food, housing, education, and medical services for the poor. This network has built and/or supported schools, orphanages, housing, and hospitals in over 40 countries. In the United States, the organization has provided soup kitchens and hot showers for the homeless. The hospital located in her home country, offers medical care on a sliding scale, allowing people to pay what they can afford. On September 11, 2015, Amritanandamayi donated $15 million dollars to the Government of India's Namami Gange "Clean the Ganges" program for the constructing toilets for poor families living along the Ganges River. On December 9, 2015, Amritanandamayi donated $736,486 to the flood relief fund established by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. At Amritanandmayi's direction, 500 volunteers from her organization, helped to rescue victims and distributed food, clothing and medicine.

  9. Pehr Henrik Ling - Year: 1776-1839 - Fields: Massage, Gymnastics - Country: Sweden - He pioneered the teaching of physical education in Sweden. Ling is also credited as the father of Swedish massage. In 1804 he established a gymnastic institute in Sweden. At that time, Ling began a routine of daily exercise. After discovering his daily exercises had restored his health, Ling decided to apply this experience for other peoples benefit. He saw the potential of adapting techniques to promote better health and thus attended classes in anatomy and physiology. Ling ended up going through the entire curriculum for the training of a medical doctor. He then outlined a system of gymnastics, exercises, and maneuvers divided into four branches: pedagogical, medical, military, and aesthetics. Ling finally obtained government cooperation in 1813, and founded the Royal Gymnastic Central Institute. It was opened for the training of gymnastic instructors in Stockholm, with Ling appointed as principal. Ling invented physical education tools like the box horse, wall bars, and beams. He is also credited with developing calisthenics and free calisthenics. Orthodox medical practitioners were opposed to the claims made by Ling and his disciples. By 1831, Ling was elected a member of the Swedish General Medical Association, which demonstrated that his methods were worthy of professional recognition.

  10. Wim Hof - Year: 1959-Present - Fields: Body Work, Extreme Conditioning, Breath Work - Country: Netherlands - Known as the “Iceman”, this extreme athlete is noted for his ability to withstand extreme cold. He attributes this to his Wim Hof Method (WHM) breathing techniques. Hof says that the WHM can treat or help alleviate symptoms of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and cancer. He set out to spread the potential health benefits of his breathing techniques, working with scientists around the world to prove that his techniques work. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. stated that by consciously hyperventilating, Hof can increase his heart rate, adrenaline levels, and blood alkalinity. Hof holds 26 world records, including one for longest ice bath. In 2007 he climbed to 22,000 ft altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts and shoes. In 2008 he broke his previous world record by staying immersed in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds. In 2009 Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro within two days, wearing only shorts. Hof completed a half marathon in Finland, with temperatures close to −4 °F. Dressed in nothing but shorts, Hof finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes. In the same year, Hof ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. There are many variations of the Wim Hof Method. Each cycle goes as follows: take a powerful breath in, fully filling the lungs. Breathe out by passively releasing the breath, but not actively exhaling. Repeat this cycle at a steady rapid pace thirty times. Hof says that this form of hyperventilation may lead to tingling sensations or light-headedness. After completion of the 30 cycles of controlled hyperventilation, take another deep breath in, and let it out completely. Hold the breath for as long as possible. These three phases may be repeated for three consecutive rounds. Hof may help unlock some secrets within the mind for years to come.

  11. Samuel Hahnemann - Year: 1755-1843 - Fields: Homeopathy - Country: Germany - Hahnemann was a German physician, best known for creating the system of alternative medicine known as homeopathy. In 1781, Hahnemann was dissatisfied with the state of medicine and objected to practices like bloodletting. He claimed the medicine mostly did the patient more harm than good. After giving up his practice around 1784, Hahnemann researched the causes of medicine's alleged errors. He first used the term homeopathy in his essay Indications of the Homeopathic Employment of Medicines in Ordinary Practice, published in Hufeland's Journal in 1807. His researches led him to realize that the toxic effects of ingested substances are often broadly parallel to certain disease states. His deep research of historical cases of poisoning in the medical literature only strengthened his belief. He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German-language medical journal in 1796. Following a series of further essays, he published Organon of the Rational Art of Healing in 1812, the first systematic treatise and containing all his detailed instructions on the subject.

  12. Carl Rogers - Year: 1902-1987 - Fields: Psychology - Country: USA - The most influential person in the history of psychology. One of the founders of the humanistic approach (client-centered approach) to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association in 1956. His versatility in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling, education, organizations, and other group settings. Rogers believed that for a person to "grow", they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance, and empathy. Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree will not grow without sunlight and water. Rogers believed that every person could achieve their goals, wishes, and desires in life. He professed each person was capable of reaching their potential, however a number of factors must be satisfied.

  13. Linus Pauling - Year: 1901-1994 - Fields: Biochemistry - Country: USA - Pauling was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, educator. He published more than 1,200 papers and books. New Scientist called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time. Pauling was one of the founders of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. His contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the first accurate scale of electro negativities of the elements. Pauling also worked on the structures of biological molecules, and showed the importance of the alpha helix and beta sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building and quantum chemistry. His discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA. In 1946, he joined the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, led by Albert Einstein. Its mission was to warn the public of the dangers associated with nuclear weapons. Later in his career he promoted nuclear disarmament, as well as orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy and dietary supplements. For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. For his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. He is one of four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize.

  14. Vincent Priessnitz - Year: 1799-1851 - Fields: Hydrotherapy - Country: Czech Republic - Priessnitz is generally considered the founder of modern hydrotherapy. He stressed remedies such as suitable food, air, exercise, rest and water, over conventional medicine. Over 1500 patients and 120 doctors arrived to study the new therapy in 1839. A visit by Arch-Duke Franz Carl in October 1845 was greeted with an address extolling the virtues of Priessnitz and his methods, signed by 124 guests. In 1846 Priessnitz was awarded a medal by the Emperor. Preissnitz's practice spread to the U.S. after becoming established in Europe, and several hydropathic medical schools and journals were created in the United States. Some practitioners performed scientific experiments on the effects of known water-cures, and they developed new methods and theories about the field. The usage of extreme temperature was toned down to account for differences in patients' age and condition.

  15. Benedict Lust - Year:1872–1945 - Fields: Naturopathic - Country:Germany - Lust was one of the founders of naturopathic medicine movement of the 20th century. He was an instrumental force in the development of holistic methods. As a youth Lust overcame tuberculosis through natural treatments. He journeyed to New York City in 1896 to create a system of healing methods that included dietetics, herbs, massage, electrotherapy, sun baths and other elements of the German nature cure tradition. He graduated from the New York Homeopathic Medical College in 1901. He obtained his osteopathic degree in 1902 from the Universal College of Osteopathy in New York. By 1901, Lust had decided to name his therapies as “naturopathy”. That year he opened the American School of Naturopathy in New York City, the first naturopathic medical school in the world. He went on to establish health resorts in New Jersey and Florida which acted as the Winter Campus for the American School of Naturopathy until 2001. After opening an early health food store, he began publishing several German and English language magazines advocating hydrotherapy and natural cure. Lust also created the American Naturopathic Association, the first national professional organization of naturopathic physicians. In 1918 he published the Universal Naturopathic Encyclopedia for drugless therapy, and also published Natures Path magazine. Amongst all his accomplishments, he became known as the "Father of Naturopathy" in America.

  16. Paul Bert - Year: 1833-1886 - Fields: Hyperbaric Chamber, Pressure - Country: France - In the 1800's, hyperbaric chambers became popular throughout Europe. The foundations of hyperbaric medicine were laid in 1872 by Paul Bert, an engineer, physician and scientist. Dr. Bert wrote about the physiological effects of air under increased and decreased atmospheric pressures. His classical work, La Pression barometrique, earned him the biennial prize of 20,000 francs from the Academy of Sciences in 1875. Central nervous system oxygen toxicity was first described in this publication and is sometimes referred to as the "Paul Bert effect”. He showed that oxygen was toxic to insects, arachnids, myriapods, molluscs, earthworms, fungi, germinating seeds, birds, and other animals. He wrote a very successful textbook with Raphael Blanchard Éments de zoologie in 1885. In The Phrenological journal and science of health it was claimed that he held an atheistic belief. Bert’s study would go on to grow into the field of hyperbaric chambers.

  17. JR Worsley - Year: 1923-2003 - Fields: Acupuncture - Country: United Kingdom - Worsley is credited with bringing five element acupuncture, also known as traditional acupuncture to the West. Born in the UK, he opened the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, which trained many of the leading five element practitioners practicing today. Worsley was also responsible for starting the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture (AFEA), currently in Gainesville, Florida. This college was non-profit and was led by Dorit Reznik for several years. In later years, Worsley had ties to the acupuncture training school in Boulder, Colorado. Today, his wife, Judy Worsley, carries on the five element acupuncture tradition, training and certifying practitioners in schools she endorses. J. R. Worsley's influence was widely cited by others within the five element tradition, including Peter Eckman, author of In the Footsteps of the Yellow Emperor.

  18. John Ernest Sarno Jr. - Year: 1923-2017 - Fields: Pain - Country: USA - Sarno's most notable achievement is the development, diagnosis, and treatment of tension myoneural syndrome (TMS), which is currently not accepted by mainstream medicine. According to Sarno, TMS is a psychosomatic illness causing chronic back, neck, and limb pain which is not relieved by standard medical treatments. He includes other ailments, such as gastrointestinal problems, dermatological disorders and repetitive-strain injuries as TMS related. Sarno states that he has successfully treated over ten thousand patients by educating them on his beliefs of a psychological and emotional basis to their pain. Sarno's books describe two follow-up surveys of his TMS patients. The first in 1982 interviewed 177 patients selected randomly from those Sarno treated in the preceding three years. 76 percent stated that they were leading normal and effectively pain-free lives. A second follow-up study in 1987 restricted the population surveyed to those with herniated discs identified on CT-scans, and 88% of the 109 randomly selected patients stated that they were free of pain one to three years after TMS treatment. Notable patients of Sarno include Howard Stern, Tom Scharpling, Larry David, Anne Bancroft, Terry Zwigoff, John Stossel and Janette Barber. All six have praised Sarno and his work highly. In 2012, Sarno appeared before the U. S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Pensions as part of a hearing "Pain in America: Exploring Challenges to Relief".

  19. Swami Vivekananda Year: 1863-1902 - Fields: Yoga - Country: India - Modern Yoga in the West gained traction in the late 1890s, when Indian monks began transmitting their knowledge to the Western world. Specifically, the influential Swami Vivekananda is often credited with introducing Yoga to the West. He first demonstrated Yoga postures at a World Fair in Chicago in the 1890s. This generated much interest and laid the grounds for the welcoming of many other Yogis and Swamis from India in the years that followed. He created a lasting impression of Yogic philosophies (Raja Yoga) in the mind of Western audience and also founded Yoga centers for training.

  20. Robert Trias - Year: 1923-1989 - Fields: Martial Arts - Country: USA - Robert Trias, a U.S Navy veteran began teaching private lessons in Arizona in the mid-1950s. Trias is sometimes heralded as the father of American Karate, who helped spread the concepts behind martial arts. He is one of the first known American black belts, with Trias even developing his Shuri-ryu karate style that stems from Okinawan martial arts. Trias was introduced to martial arts while serving as a United States Naval Reserve during World War II. While stationed on the Solomon Islands in the mid 1940’s, Trias met Tung Gee Hsiang, a Chinese missionary. Hsiang taught Trias Okinawan Shuri-Te Karate. In late 1945, Trias was training in his backyard, eventually opening the first public karate school run by a Caucasian in Arizona 1946. Trias is commonly credited for opening the first martial arts school in the United States. By 1948, Trias opened the United States Karate Association. It was deemed the first martial arts organization on the American mainland. With the help of his organization, Trias was able to host the first national karate tournament in the United States at the University of Chicago in 1963. Many of the rules he used for subsequent tournament competition are still used today, with slight modifications. In the 1950s judo became required training for personnel serving in the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command Division, all thanks to Robert Trias.

  21. María Sabina Year: 1894-1985 - Fields: Shamanism - Country: Mexico - Sabina was a Mazatec curandera who lived in the Sierra Mazateca of southern Mexico. Her practice was based on the use of psilocybin mushrooms, such as Psilocybe Mexico. María Sabina was the first contemporary native shaman to allow Westerners to participate in the Healing Vigil that is known as The Velada. All participants in the ritual ingested psilocybin mushroom as a sacrament to open the gates of the mind. The Velada is seen as a purification and a communion with the sacred. In 1955, the US ethnomycologist and banker R. Gordon Wasson visited María Sabina's hometown and participated in the ceremony with her. He collected spores of the fungus, which he identified as Psilocybe mexicana, and took them to Paris. The fungus was cultivated in Europe and its primary ingredient was psilocybin. Youth from the United States began seeking out María Sabina and the "magic" mushrooms as early as 1962. In the years that followed, thousands of counterculture mushroom seekers, scientists, and others arrived in the Sierra Mazateca. By 1967 more than 70 people from the US, Canada, and Western Europe were renting cabins in neighboring villages. Many 1960s celebrities were rumored to have visited Sabina, including rock stars such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Eventually, Sabina attracted attention from the Mexican police who believed her to be a drug dealer. The unwanted attention completely altered the social dynamics of her community and threatened to terminate the Mazatec custom. The community blamed Sabina, she was ostracized from her community.

  22. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Year: 1918-2008 - Fields: Meditation, Hinduism, Yoga - Country: India - Mahesh was an Indian guru with a vast following, known for developing the Transcendental Meditation technique. He became a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, in the Indian Himalayas. The Maharishi credits Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. In 1955, the Maharishi began to introduce his Transcendental Deep Meditation to the world. In 1959, he began his first world tour, writing: "I had one thing in mind, that I know something which is useful to every man”. The Maharishi is reported to have trained more than 40,000 other teachers and Transcendental Meditation technique to "more than 5,000,000” and founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools. The first world tour began in Rangoon, Burma and included the countries of Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hawaii. He arrived in Hawaii in the spring of 1959 and the Honolulu Star Bulletin reported: "He has no money, he asks for nothing. His worldly possessions can be carried in one hand.” That same year he began the International Meditation Society and other organizations to propagate his teachings, establishing centers in San Francisco and London. In the same year Maharishi trained Henry Nyburg to be the first Transcendental Meditation teacher in Europe. His 1962 world tour included visits to Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organizations and for-profit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to the Beatles, the Beach Boys and other celebrities. In 2000, he created the Global Country of World Peace, a non-profit organization, and appointed its leaders. In 1966, the Maharishi founded the Students' International Meditation Society ("SIMS"), which were established at over 1,000 campuses”, including Harvard University, Yale University, and UCLA. At the end of 1968, the Maharishi said that after ten years of teaching and world tours, he would return to India.

  23. Dr Joseph Pizzorno - Year: 1931-Present - Fields: Natural Medicine - Country: USA - One of the world's leading authorities on science-based natural medicine. A naturopathic physician, educator and researcher, Dr Pizzorno is the founding president of Bastyr University. Under his leadership, Bastyr became the first fully accredited, multidisciplinary university of natural medicine. It is also the first NIH-funded centre for alternative medicine research. Dr Pizzorno has authored many influential books and is the co-author of several landmark publications including the internationally acclaimed Textbook of Natural Medicine and the Handbook of Natural Medicine. He also co-authored Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Natural Medicine for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer and Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.

  24. Mrs Margaret Grieve - Year: 1858-1941 - Field: Herbal Medicines, Horticulture - Country: UK - Margaret Grieve was the principal and founder of The Whin’s Medicinal and Commercial Herb School in Buckinghamshire, England. Grieve possessed a litany of knowledge when it came to medicinal plants. As a member of the Royal Horticultural Society she provided experience in all areas of herb growing, collecting, drying and marketing. During WWI as supplies of conventional medicine dwindled, Mrs Grieve produced numerous pamphlets explaining the use of specific herbs as remedies against common illness. In turn this helped solders to stay healthy without classic medicine, thus greatly aiding the war effort. Her 1931 publication A Modern Herbal is still a fixture today among herbal enthusiast. This timeless book has been recognized to this day as one of the best resources for information on medicinal herbs and plants. A Modern Herbal contains extensive information on the therapeutic, culinary, cosmetic and economic properties of herbal medicines. Margaret Grieve has been credited with re-establishing herbal medicines into Britain during the early 1900s and today her work continues to inspire herbalists and natural therapists across the world.

  25. Samuel Thompson - Year: 1767-1843 - Fields: Herbalist - Country: USA - Thompson was a herbalist and botanist, best known as the founder of the alternative system of medicine known as "Thomsonian Medicine”. The system enjoyed popularity in the United States during the 19th century. It all began when Thompson sustained a serious ankle injury while working on the family farm at the age of 16. Despite consistent attention from medical professionals, Thompson’s ankle remained in critical condition. So Thompson used his extensive study of Roots, to make a root and turpentine plaster which helped heal his ankle. When Samuel became infected with Measles he turned to herbal medicine to cure himself. Thompson developed the Thompson System with the help of two doctors. It was based upon opening the paths of elimination so that toxins could be removed via physiological processes. This was not unique to Thomson, regular physicians used calomel, a toxic mercury-based compound, to induce vomiting and purgation. Thomson's more moderate and less toxic means to medicate attracted large numbers of followers. At that time, licensed doctors and many of their methods such as bloodletting came under intense scrutiny. Thomson's innovative system was presented as an appealing alternative that allowed individuals to administer their own treatment using natural products. Thomson's movement had affected more than a million Americans and started a medical reformation that would not peak for another 50 years. The brightest medical minds of the time were split vehemently both against and for Thomson's right to practice. Because of the success of Thomson and his followers, states began regulating medical practices along party and class lines.

  26. Brian Hanley -Year: 1957-Present - Fields: Gene Therapy - Country: USA - Hanley is an American microbiologist known for using an experimental gene therapy to improve health span. Hanley holds a PhD in Microbiology from University of California, Davis. In 2009 he founded Butterfly Sciences in Davis, to develop a gene therapy to treat HIV using a combination of GHRH and an intracellular vaccine. He has numerous articles and academic publications in epidemiology, biotechnology, and economics. He said that he corresponded with the FDA prior to starting his self-experimentation, and the FDA told him he needed to file and get approval for an Investigational New Drug (IND) application before he tested the plasmid on a person; not having obtained an IND, he proceeded without it.The plasmids were administered twice: once in summer 2015 and a second larger dose in July 2016.

  27. Andrew Taylor Still - Year: 1828-1917 - Fields: Osteopathy - Country: USA - Still was the founder of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine. He was also a physician and surgeon, inventor and Kansas state legislator. He was one of the founders of Baker University, the oldest four-year college in the state of Kansas. At the time Still practiced as a physician, medications, surgery and other traditional therapeutic regimens often caused more harm than good. Some of the medicines commonly given to patients during this time were arsenic, castor oil, whiskey and opium. Additionally, unsanitary surgical practices often resulted in more deaths than cures. Still founded the first school of osteopathy based on this new approach to medicine, the school was called the American School of Osteopathy (now A.T. Still University) in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892. Osteopathy set standards in sterilization, surgical practices and other client based procedures.

  28. Sophia Delza - Year: 1903-1966 - Fields: Tai Chi - Country: USA - Delza was a modern dancer, choreographer, author, and practitioner of Tai Chi, which she taught at her school in New York City. She authored the first English language book on tai chi, T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Body and Mind in Harmony. Through her books, articles, lectures, and television appearances, Delza promoted the practice of Tai Chi for health and fitness. Delza was one of the earliest popularizers of Chinese martial arts in the United States. In 1954, she gave the first documented public demonstration of Tai Chi in America, at the Museum of Modern Art. That same year, she founded the Delza School of Tai Chi Chuan at Carnegie Hall. She subsequently began teaching Tai Chi as a form of exercise at the United Nations and the Actors Studio. Tai Chi often looks more like slow yoga than judo or karate-two martial arts that involve kicking and grappling. Many people practice Tai Chi as a gentle exercise, without any interest in its martial component. Yet the practice has been translated as “supreme ultimate fist” and “great extremes boxing.” As practitioners like Sophia Delza understood, Tai Chi’s slow pace represents control. Mastering the movements allows practitioners to develop strength, balance, and a unity between mind and action.

  29. Sebastian Kneipp - Year: 1821-1897 - Fields: Hydrotherapy, Natural Medicine - Country: Germany - A Bavarian priest who began the Nature Cure movement in 1890s. Chiefly known for his contributions to hydrotherapy. Initially Kneiff was inspired by Vincent Priessnitz, a peasant farmer of the Austrian Empire. While serving as the confessor to the monastery, he began offering treatments of hydrotherapy, botanical treatments, exercise and diet to the people who lived in the village. Kneipp began developing his healing methods in 1849 after contracting tuberculosis and experimenting with the water treatments developed by Sigmund Hahn. After being ordained in 1852, he continued to experiment with water treatments in his parish. Kneipps theory asserts that an imbalance in the blood is the root of disease. Kneipp also dabbled in other fields like botanical medicines, exercise, nutrition and balance. His suffering early in life caused Kneipp to develop a deep sympathy for those less fortunate than him. Kneipp expanded the definition of health to include a more holistic view which included mental, social, and spiritual aspects. In 1891, he founded Kneipp Bund, an organization that promotes water healing. In America, Kneipp Societies were founded, which, under the influence of Benedict Lust and changed their name to Naturopathic Society of America. Today there are 600 organizations that are a part of Kneipp Worldwide.

  30. PK Warrier - Year: 1921-Present - Fields: Ayurveda. Nutrition - Country: India - Warrier is a renown Ayurvedic physician. He is the chief Physician and Managing trustee of Arya Vaidya Sala. It’s objective is for Ayurveda to be internationally recognized as a scientific system of healthcare. Since Warrier’s time there, Arya Vaidya Sala has become a premier destination for scholars, students and patients. Over 800,000 people a year benefit from free consultations at the hospitals. While practicing Ayurveda as a scientific system of healthcare, he also acknowledges the validity of systems in other fields. He has guided the growth of the Vaidyaratnam P.S. Warrier Ayurveda College for over two decades. He has served as Dean of Ayurveda Faculty, Calicut University and Chairman of its Board of Studies. He was twice elected as president of the All India Ayurveda Congress, once in 1981 and again in 2003. Warrier has helped establish an efficient quality control laboratory to test and certify both raw materials and finished products. A serious advocate of medical ethics, he strongly disapproves all tendencies for medical practitioners to exploit people’s ignorance. He has opposed all trends to commercialize Ayurveda, never compromising his principles.

  31. Martin Seligman - Year: 1942-Present - Fields: Positive Psychology - Country: USA- Seligman is a strong promoter of positive psychology and well-being. His theory of learned helplessness is popular among scientific and clinical psychologists. A Review published in 2002, ranked Seligman as the 31st most cited psychologist of the 20th century. Seligman is currently, Family Professor of Psychology in the University of Pennsylvania’s department of Psychology. He was elected President of the American Psychological Association in 1998. Seligman's foundational experiments and theory of "learned helplessness" began at University of Pennsylvania in 1967. Seligman argued that clinical depression and related mental illnesses result in part from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation. Eventually he worked with Christopher Peterson to create what they describe as a "positive" counterpart to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). While the DSM focuses on what can go wrong, Character Strengths and Virtues is designed to look at what can go right. Their list includes six character strengths: wisdom/knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each of these has three to five sub-entries; for instance, temperance includes forgiveness, humility, prudence, and self-regulation.

  32. C. A. Ansar - Year: 1970-Present - Fields: Reflexology, Yoga, Ayurveda - Country: India - Ansar is a visually impaired practitioner of alternative medicine and the chief consultant at Dr. Ansar's Healing Touch, a healthcare center based in Kochi. He is known for his alternative medical practice which combines the therapeutic techniques of reflexology, yoga, naturopathy and Ayurveda. Ansar did his post-graduate studies in Ayurveda at Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Ayurveda College and Hospital. It was during this period, he was diagnosed with Glaucoma, a disease which affects the optic nerve, eventually leading to blindness. He completed his studies but, he lost his vision completely in 2007. Ansar continued his studies and underwent training in Swedish massage, Sujok therapy, Yoga and Reflexology. After obtaining a practitioner's license from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, he started his own private practice, Dr. Ansar's Healing Touch Health Centre. Here, he has trained and employed visually impaired people as therapists. He also delivers motivational speeches at various seminars. The Chavara International Institute for Visually Challenged awarded him the Chavara Excellence Award in 2014.

  33. Albert Ellis - Year: 1913-2007 - Fields: Psychology - Country: USA - In 1955 Ellis developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). He held MA and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University. He is considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive paradigm shift in psychotherapy and one of the founders of cognitive-behavioral therapies. Based on a 1982 professional survey of US and Canadian psychologists, he was considered the second most influential psychotherapist in history. Psychology Today noted, "No individual, has had a greater impact on modern psychotherapy." Ellis was advocating a new more active and directive type of psychotherapy. In 1955, he presented rational therapy (RT). In RT, the therapist sought to help the client understand, that his personal philosophy contained beliefs that contributed to his own emotional pain. This new approach stressed to change a client's self-defeating beliefs and behaviors by demonstrating their irrationality, self-defeatism and rigidity. Ellis believed that through rational analysis and cognitive reconstruction, people could understand their core irrational beliefs and then develop rational constructs. By 1957, he formally set forth the first cognitive behavior therapy by proposing that therapists help people adjust their thinking and behavior as a treatment for emotional and behavioral problems. Ellis published his first major book on REBT in 1962. REBT is an active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy, the aim of which is to resolve emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and to help people to lead more fulfilling lives. REBT is seen as the first form of cognitive behavioral therapy.

  34. Thich Nhat Hahn - Year: 1926-Present - Fields: Zen - Country: Vietnam - Hahn was a Buddhist monk and peace activist. Nht Hnh published more than 100 books. He is active in the peace movement, promoting nonviolent solutions to conflict. He also refrains from animal product consumption as a means of non-violence towards animals. At the age of 16 he entered the monastery at nearby THiếu Temple. Thích Nht Hnh received training in Vietnamese traditions of Mahayana Buddhism, as well as Vietnamese Thin, and received full ordination as a Bhikkhu in 1951. In 1956 Nht Hnh was named editor-in-chief of Vietnamese Buddhism periodical. In the following years he founded Lá Bi Press, the Vn Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon, and the School of Youth for Social Service. Buddhist peace workers went into rural areas to establish schools, build healthcare clinics, and help rebuild villages. He established two monasteries in Vietnam. Hahn has helped establish monasteries and Dharma centers in California, Vermont, Mississippi, and New York. The masters approach has combined a variety of teachings of Early Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhist traditions of Yogācāra and Zen, and Western psychology to teach Mindfulness of Breathing and the Four Establishments of Mindfulness. Nht Hnh has been a trailblazer in the Buddhism movement, promoting the individual's active role in creating change.

  35. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - Year: 1956-Present - Fields: Breathing, Ayurveda, Meditation - Country: India - Shankar is a renowned Indian spiritual leader. He founded the Art of Living Foundation in 1981, a volunteer-based NGO providing social support to the people. In 1997, he established a Geneva-based charity, the International Association for Human Values, an NGO that engages in relief work and rural development and aims to foster shared global values. Ravi Shankar's first teacher was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, an Indian Vedic Scholar and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the St Joseph's College of Bangalore University. After graduation, Shankar travelled with his second teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, giving talks and arranging conferences on Vedic science, and setting up Transcendental Meditation and Ayurveda centers. In the 1980s, Shankar initiated a series of courses in spirituality around the globe. He says that his rhythmic breathing practice, Sudarshan Kriya, came to him in 1982 after a ten-day period of silence on the banks of the Bhadra River in Shimoga. In 1983, Shankar held the first Art of Living course in Switzerland. In 1986, he travelled to Apple Valley, California in the US to conduct the first course held in North America. A number of medical studies on its preparatory practices have been published in international peer-reviewed journals. A range of mental and physical benefits are reported in these studies, including reduced levels of stress, improved immune system, relief from anxiety and depression, increased antioxidant protection, and enhanced brain function (increased mental focus, calmness, and recovery from stressful stimuli), among other findings.

  36. Roger John Williams - Year: 1893-1998 - Fields: Biochemistry, Nutrition - Country: USA - Williams as an American biochemist who spent his academic career at the University of Texas at Austin. He is known for isolating and naming folic acid and for his roles in discovering pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, lipoic acid, and avidin. He served as the founding director of the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute from 1941 to 1963. Williams was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1946, and served as the president of the American Chemical Society in 1957. In his later career he spent time writing about the importance of nutrition. Williams is credited for emphasizing the "Biochemical Individuality" of each person with respect to their metabolic makeup and micronutrient needs. His book Biochemical Individuality emphasizes the uniqueness of nutritional requirements from person to person based on their genetic makeup, lifestyle, medical history and diet. Dr. Williams help us all to understand our immune systems much better.

  37. Dr Mark Houston - Year: 1929-Present - Fields: Cardiovascular, Hypertension - Country: USA - As a world renowned cardiologist, Dr. Houston’s most remarkable contribution may well be his outstanding systems biology approach to cardiovascular disease, dyslipidaemia and hypertension. With an exhaustive knowledge of human nutrition and metabolic medicine, Dr Houston has successfully pointed the way for the integrative and cardiovascular medicine of the future. His research has allowed him to develop a functional approach that addresses the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease, identifying inflammation, oxidative stress and autoimmune dysfunction as the principal factors. Dr Houston’s clinical success, as well as his ability to convey his unconventional findings, has seen him selected as one of the Top Physicians in Hypertension in the world. USA Today cited him as one of the most influential doctors in the US in both Hypertension and Hyperlipidemia. He was selected for The Patient’s Choice Award in 2010-2011 by Consumer Reports USA.

  38. Dr John Cunningham Lilly - Year: 1915-2001 - Fields: Deprivation Tank - Country: USA - Lilly’s greatest contribution was that of his deprivation tank. He was a researcher of the nature of consciousness using mainly isolation tanks and psychedelic drugs. During World War II, Lilly researched the physiology of high-altitude flying and invented instruments for measuring gas pressure. After the war, he trained in psychoanalysis at the University of Pennsylvania, where he began researching the physical structures of the brain and consciousness. In 1951 he published a paper showing he could display patterns of brain electrical activity on a cathode ray display screen using electrodes he devised specially for insertion into a living brain. Lilly's work on electrical stimulation of the nervous system gave rise to biphasic charge balanced electrical stimulation pulses, now an established approach to design stimulation in neuroprosthetics. He devised the first isolation tank in 1954, a dark soundproof tank of warm salt water in which subjects could float for long periods in sensory isolation. Lilly and a research colleague were the first subjects of this research. After 10 years of experimentation without taking any psychoactive substances, he tried floating in combination with a psychedelic agent, mostly LSD. According to Lilly, electronics engineered by humans will eventually develop into an autonomous bioform (also known as artificial intelligence). Since the optimal survival conditions for artificial intelligence are drastically different from those humans need, Lilly predicted (based on his ketamine-induced visions) a dramatic conflict between the two forms of intelligence. Today, Deprivation Tanks have seen a serious rise in popularity.

  39. Fritz Perls - Gestalt therapy Year: 1893-1970 - Fields: Gesalt Therapy - Country: USA - Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman came up with Gesalt therapy during the 1950’s. It was first described in the 1951 book Gestalt Therapy. Perls became associated with the Esalen Institute in 1964, and he lived there until 1969. The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment. Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and others. In 1933, Fritz Perls, Laura, and their eldest child emigrated to South Africa, where Perls started a psychoanalytic training institute. During the early 1940’s Fritz Perls wrote his first book, Ego, Hunger, and Aggression. After writing Gestalt Therapy in 1951, Fritz and Laura Perls started the first Gestalt Institute in their Manhattan apartment. Fritz Perls began traveling throughout the United States in order to conduct Gestalt workshops and training. In 1960 Fritz Perls left Laura Perls behind in Manhattan and moved to Los Angeles, where he practiced in conjunction with Jim Simkin. In 1963, he started to offer workshops in Big Sur, California. He also traveled to Japan, where he stayed in a Zen monastery. Eventually, he settled at Esalen, and even built a house on the grounds. One of his students at Esalen was Dick Price, who developed Gestalt Practice, based in large part upon what he learned from Perls. At Esalen, Perls collaborated with Ida Rolf, founder of Rolfing Structural Integration, to address the relationship between the mind and the body.

  40. Michael Harner - Year: 1929-2018 - Fields: Shamanism - Country: USA - He founded the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and the New Age practice of "Core Shamanism." His 1980 book, The Way of the Shaman: a Guide to Power and Healing, has been significant in the development and popularization of "core shamanism" as a path of personal development. In 1961 he experimented with the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca, which he wrote about in the articles "The Sound of Rushing Water" (1968) and "The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft" (1973). In 1966, Harner became a professor at Yale and Columbia University. The following year he joined the graduate faculty of The New School for Social Research in New York City. He co-chaired the Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences. After traveling to the Amazon where he ingested the hallucinogen ayahuasca, Harner began experimenting with monotonous drumming. In 1979 he founded the Center for Shamanic Studies in Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1980, Harner published The Way of the Shaman: a Guide to Power and Healing. Students in the United States and Europe began to take his classes in what he was now calling "core shamanism”. Harner later integrated his Center for Shamanic Studies into the nonprofit Foundation for Shamanic Studies. In 1987, Harner resigned his professorship to devote himself full-time to the work of the foundation.

  41. Mikao Usui - Year: 1865-1926 - Fields: Reiki - Country: Japan - Usui was the founder of the spiritual practice known as Reiki, used as a complementary therapy for the treatment of physical, emotional, and mental diseases. It is believed that the aim of Usui'

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17 Jul 2019


By Bradley Aden
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