Just a few kilometers from the ancient city of Pergamon is the famous healing center of Asklepieion. It is believed the center dates back to the 9th century BC, reaching its height of importance in the second century AD. Since the center was not within the fortified walls of the city of Pergamon, it suffered countless attacks and was eventually abandoned in the 4th century AD as Christianity gained in popularity. During initial archeological excavations in the mid-1800s, no surgical tools were found among the ruins, leading historians to believe the center was what we today would call a holistic healing center. Patients from all over the region arrived by boat or horse-draw carts to participate in a wide-range of therapies including, massage, hot and cold baths, mud therapy, psychotherapy, sports-therapy and even one treatment that required the patient to walk the length of a cool, dark tunnel, while a soothsayer recited a treatment through small holes in the rock walls. It reminds me of a modern day medical-spa. With enough money 3000 years ago, just as today, one can find all sorts of therapies to treat every imaginable condition. I'm sure if Asklepieion was operating today, many of our Hollywood-Elite would surly be patients.
A few pictures from the ancient healing center of Asklepieion. The tunnel is where patients would walk slowly from one end to the other, while soothsayers would recite treatments through small holes in the walls. Theater also was a form or therapy, wow, maybe a ticket to a popular Broadway Show could be an alternative to popular pharmaceuticals.