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The Heart and the Circulatory System Introduction Imagine that you are living in the year 1535 and that you dont feel well You have had some problems with fatigue feeling a little more tired than usual when you walked to the market and back You tell this to your physician and he sends you to another physician down the street telling you there may be some problem with your circulation When you get to the new physician he tells you to take off your shirt and lie down on the bench After a quick look in your mouth he says your vital blood is probably OK But hes concerned that maybe your nutritive blood is not being made fast enough Then he starts to feel around on your abdomen He mentions that your liver is slightly enlarged and suggests that maybe you have not been eating enough green leafy vegetables or protein Wait a minute You have come in with problems with your circulation and this guy is talking about your liver and the type of foods you have been eating What is going on here Where did this fellow learn to practice medicine anyway Confusion over the nature of the heart the blood and the role of the blood in the body had existed for centuries Pliny the Elder a Roman writer who lived from AD 23-79 and author of a 37-volume treatise entitled Natural History wrote The arteries have no sensation for they even are without blood nor do they all contain the breath of life and when they are cut only the part of the body concerned is paralyzedthe veins spread underneath the whole skin finally ending in very thin threads and they narrow down into such an extremely minute size that the blood cannot pass through them nor can anything else but the moisture passing out from the blood in innumerable small drops which is called sweat
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