This is a huge area for investigation… Check out the Therapeuts and the Ancient Usages of the Greek Word ‘Therapeuo’ – to be an attendant; to serve. There are connections to writings and practices in Greece, Alexandria/Egypt, Paganism, India and Jewish culture that pre-date and inform the rise of Christianity.
The Wilderness Diary is in part an exploration of the experience of “enkoimesis” and was integral to my process of self-healing.
The following is a description from Wikipedia of Asclepieia: “Temples dedicated to the healer-god Asclepius, known as Asclepieia, functioned as centres of medical advice, prognosis, and healing. At these shrines, patients would enter a dream-like state of induced sleep known as “enkoimesis”, not unlike anesthesia, in which they either received guidance from the deity in a dream or were cured by surgery. Asclepeia provided carefully controlled spaces conducive to healing and fulfilled several of the requirements of institutions created for healing.”