Chinese Medicine and Healing is a comprehensive introduction to a rich array of Chinese healing practices as they have developed through time and across cultures. Contributions from fifty-eight leading international scholars in such fields as Chinese archaeology, history, anthropology, religion, and medicine make this a collaborative work of uncommon intellectual synergy, and a vital new resource for anyone working in East Asian or world history, in medical history and anthropology, and in biomedicine and complementary healing arts.
This illustrated history explores the emergence and development of a wide range of health interventions, including propitiation of disease-inflicting spirits, divination, vitality-cultivating meditative disciplines, herbal remedies, pulse diagnosis, and acupuncture. The authors investigate processes that contribute to historical change, such as competition between different types of practitioner—shamans, Daoist priests, Buddhist monks, scholar physicians, and even government officials. Accompanying vignettes and illustrations bring to life such diverse arenas of health care as childbirth in the Tang period, Yuan state-established medical schools, fertility control in the Qing, and the search for sexual potency in the People’s Republic.
The two final chapters illustrate Chinese healing modalities across the globe and address the challenges they have posed as alternatives to biomedical standards of training and licensure. The discussion includes such far-reaching examples as Chinese treatments for diphtheria in colonial Australia and malaria in Africa, the invention of ear acupuncture by the French and its worldwide dissemination, and the varying applications of acupuncture from Germany to Argentina and Iraq.
Covering over 3,000 years of medical history, the volume demonstrates how successive schools of medical thought adopted new practices, accommodated old ones, and diverged from their own ideological and institutional roots in response to new sociopolitical contexts… The book examines the complex relationship between Chinese medicine and the West… While the sheer breadth of information contained within the volume might appear daunting, the book itself is actually quite approachable. The authors assume little foreknowledge of Chinese history on the part of the reader, and do a nice job of integrating general contextual information with specific examples of medical practice (often offset from the main text in gray boxes). The use of visual imagery, including maps, anatomic charts, and photographs of practitioners in action, further reinforces the multiplicity of ways in which Chinese medicine has been deployed in a range of settings and geographic contexts. By culling from a wide variety of primary and secondary sources and recruiting over 50 scholars to contribute to the volume, Barnes and Hinrichs are able to create a book that is thorough and comprehensive, yet not intimidating… Chinese Medicine and Healing can serve as a reference for students, scholars, and anyone looking to understand the historical roots of contemporary Chinese medical practices.
Taking a historical, sociological, and anthropological approach, this expansive survey makes a scholarly pursuit accessible, with crisply edited essays and fascinating illustrations that break down a complex medical tradition whose relevance has not diminished… Hinrichs and Barnes present a rich exploration of the evolution and impact of Chinese medicine… Medical professionals and alternative medicine aficionados will find plenty to appreciate in this compelling study.
Hinrichs and Barnes have produced a large, ambitious, blockbusting volume that provides both encyclopedic range and contextual historical detail. The book is a great reference for a wide range of readers, including students, scholars, clinicians, and anyone seeking to better understand a medicine that is uniquely embedded in a civilization’s specific cultural history.
Very impressive! An extraordinarily broad and rich compendium, Hinrichs and Barnes have orchestrated a vast collection of history and anthropological observations of professional and popular practice which will be useful for the expert and the general reader.
- 480 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Belknap Press
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