Alternative Medicine?: A History by Roberta Bivins

By Roberta Bivins

Stroll into your neighborhood health and wellbeing meals store or decide up the neighborhood paper, and youll see advertisements for meditation, acupuncture, natural supplementations, Tai Chi sessions, homeopaths, religion healers, and chinese language herbalists. yet what precisely is replacement drugs? Is the striking acclaim for replacement and multicultural medication relatively this type of contemporary improvement?
evaluating the clinical platforms of China, India, and the west (both mainstream and alternative), this quantity levels throughout 4 centuries and plenty of continents, mapping the transmission of clinical services from one tradition to a different and laying naked the roots of latest differences among replacement, complementary, and orthodox medication. Historian Roberta Bivens makes use of a wealth of illuminating and enjoyable old examples--from horse-racing English earls to determined missionaries in 17th-century Indonesia, and from hypnotism within the British Raj to homeopathy within the American Wild West--to underscore the important aspect that the cross-cultural transmission of clinical wisdom and services, even substitute clinical wisdom and services, isn't a uniquely modern phenomenon, yet has a protracted and interesting pedigree. via comparisons of other clinical techniques and importations throughout varied cultures, the booklet illuminates the dual methods of scientific and historic swap as obvious throughout the eyes of the doctors and shoppers of the day. It lines for instance the responses in nineteenth-century India to 2 western substitute medications (homeopathy and mesmerism) and one staple of mainstream western drugs (germ theory).
Given the good fortune of recent biomedical technology, why are substitute and conventional remedies now so stylish? This interesting quantity sheds gentle in this development because it deals a sweeping comparative account of different drugs over 400 years.

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The woman may be pregnant, as there is a shadow in her womb. Compare with Illustration 7, a much earlier Chinese version of the same concepts. introduction: rival systems of medicine 25 of diseases and their therapies, and on praising preventive medicine. The latter emphasis illustrates the traditional view in Chinese medicine that the good doctor maintains the health of his or her patients, and thus does not need to perform miraculous cures. As in the Ayurvedic and humoural models of the body and its organs, each Chinese organ was associated with one of the archetypal substances, and with all of its linked qualities and aYnities.

Since the human body mirrored in miniature this natural world, Chinese medicine was organized around Wve viscera—the heart, the liver, the spleen, the lungs, and the kidneys, each of which was also associated with a particular element (Wre, wood, earth, metal, and water, respectively). As in the parallel cases of Europe and India, this particular constellation of organs was called into existence by the demands of cosmology (theories of the universe) as well as the evidence of experience, animal dissection, and chance observations 14 introduction: rival systems of medicine 5.

Illustration of internal topography [neijing], side view’, from the Canon of Eighty-One Problems of the Yellow Lord with Illustrations and Exegesis, Wfteenthcentury Chinese woodblock illustrating the inner world of the human body in Daoist philosophy. Note the rivers, canals, and depots, so similar to those of China’s countryside. The body image is surrounded by drawings hinting at Daoist practices of internal alchemy (directed at achieving hyper-longevity). 24 introduction: rival systems of medicine 8.

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