ABSTRACT: This article coins and deploys the term kinetic health as part of a broader attempt to historicize the mobilities paradigm from the standpoint of past community prophylactics. It uses the example of Galenic or humoral medicine, which for millennia organized individual and group health as a dynamic systems balance among several spheres of intersecting fixities and flows. The radical situatedness it fostered emerges clearly from tracing preventative health interventions among different communities in ‘preindustrial’ Europe, including urban dwellers, miners and armies, whose different motilities both bound people to and released them from their immediate environment. Beyond reframing past practices, kinetic health benefits mobilities studies scholars by interrogating stagist narratives of civilization and modernization in two ways. First, as an analytic, because although humoralism and other medical systems continue to inform present-day approaches to health and disease around the globe, they are often obscured by layers of colonialism and biomedicine. And secondly, as a perch for viewing the long-term ebb, flow and mingling of ideas about ill/health as an assemblage of (social) bodies and their natural and social environments.
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