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A Healing temple is a religious temple devoted towards Faith healing.

Hippocrates is said to have received his medical training at a Asclepieion on the isle of Kos.

Sleep temples (also known as Dream temple or Egyptian sleep temple) are regarded by some as an early instance of hypnosis over 4000 years ago, under the influence of Imhotep. Imhotep served as chancellor, and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. He was said to be a son of Ptah, his mother being a mortal named Khredu-ankh.

Sleep temples were hospitals of sorts, healing a variety of ailments, perhaps many of them psychological in nature. The treatment involved chanting, placing the patient into a trancelike or hypnotic state, and analysing their dreams in order to determine treatment. Meditation, fasting, baths and sacrifices to the patron deity or other spirits were often involved as well. This can be seen as early psychotherapy.

Sleep temples also existed in the middle east and ancient greece. In Greece they were built in honour of Asclepios, the Greek God of Medicine. The greek treatment was refered to as incubation, and focused on prayers to Asclepios for healing. A similar Hebrew treatment was refered to as Kavanah, and involved focusing on letters of the hebrew alphabet spelling the name of God. Sir Mortimer Wheeler unearthed a Roman Sleep temple at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire in 1928, with the assistance of a young J.R.R. Tolkein.


In ancient Greece, an asclepieion was a healing temple, sacred to the god Asclepius.

Asclepeion of Kos

Asclepeion, Thermae

Alternative spelling: asklepieion

Starting about 300 BC, the cult of Asclepius grew very popular. His healing temples were called asclepieia; pilgrims flocked to them to be healed. They slept overnight and reported their dreams to a priest the following day. He prescribed a cure, often a visit to the baths or a gymnasium. Since snakes were sacred to Asclepius, they were often used in healing rituals. Non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor in dormitories like an asclepieion, where the sick and injured slept.

Prior to becoming the personal physician to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Galen treated and studied at the famed Asclepieion at Pergamon.

The oldest known asclepieion was at Trikke (now known as Trikala) in Thessaly. The Asclepion at Epidaurus, traditionally regarded as the birthplace of Asclepius, is both extensive and well preserved.

Pausanias remarked that, at theAsclepieion of Titane in Sikyonia (founded by Alexanor, Asclepius' grandson), statues of Hygieia were covered by women's hair and pieces of Babylonian clothes. According to inscriptions, the same sacrifices were offered at Paros.


Amphiaraos, Votive relief in the shape of a temple. Pentelic marble.

Votive relief of Archinos (370 BC) from Tyrea, Argolis (Oropos / Amphiaraus), 0.49 m x 0.55 m. The healing god Asklepios appears to the dreamer to cure him. National Archaeological Museum, Athens, No. 3369. The same person is shown 3 times. First Asklepios personally checks his hand. As a patient on a bed (kline) he is biten by a snake. Raising his hand he thanks Asklepios for the cure.

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