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Download Alternative Medicine?: A History by Roberta Bivins PDF

By Roberta Bivins

Stroll into your neighborhood wellbeing and fitness meals store or decide up the neighborhood paper, and youll see advertisements for meditation, acupuncture, natural vitamins, Tai Chi sessions, homeopaths, religion healers, and chinese language herbalists. yet what precisely is replacement medication? Is the dazzling acclaim for replacement and multicultural drugs quite any such contemporary improvement?
evaluating the scientific 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 scientific services from one tradition to a different and laying naked the roots of brand new differences among substitute, complementary, and orthodox medication. Historian Roberta Bivens makes use of a wealth of illuminating and enjoyable ancient 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 very important aspect that the cross-cultural transmission of scientific wisdom and services, even replacement clinical wisdom and services, isn't a uniquely modern phenomenon, yet has an extended and engaging pedigree. via comparisons of alternative scientific suggestions and importations throughout diversified cultures, the ebook illuminates the dual techniques of scientific and old switch as visible throughout the eyes of the doctors and shoppers of the day. It lines for instance the responses in nineteenth-century India to 2 western replacement medicinal drugs (homeopathy and mesmerism) and one staple of mainstream western medication (germ theory).
Given the luck of contemporary biomedical technological know-how, why are substitute and standard remedies now so trendy? This attention-grabbing quantity sheds mild in this development because it bargains a sweeping comparative account of different medication over 400 years.

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The Wrst recorded traces of this system (familiar to westerners through the terms yin and yang, its two primary sub-categories) develop lines of correspondence or association between sets of theoretically opposed states of being, characteristics, and physical phenomena. Thus, the attributes ‘feminine’ introduction: rival systems of medicine 21 and ‘masculine’ are linked to similarly opposed physical phenomena lllike, respectively, dark and light, wet and dry, cold and warm. 13 Intriguingly, many of the pairings of opposed characteristics are exactly duplicated within western medical thought, particularly those that associate the feminine with passivity, coldness, wetness, and other negatively charged states.

1 Busschof’s extended attack drove him to desperate measures. After six weeks of agony and sleeplessness, Busschof was persuaded ‘to suVer an Indian Doctress to come to me, (whom my wife commonly employed for the curing of our slaves . . )’. This ‘Doctress’ immediately recognized Busschof’s illness and claimed that she could easily cure it. Busschof was delighted—until she told him the method she used. Although a Wxture of orthodox medicine in Asia, her technique—subsequently called moxabustion in the West—clearly sounded harsh to European ears: ‘to tell you the truth, it was done by a way of Burning: which means being by me rejected out of an apprehension I had of the pain that must needs to accompany such a remedy.

What impact has this winter of discontent already had on the cultures of medicine in the West, and what eVects may reasonably be predicted? In the account with which this chapter opened, a layman was able to present in the medical press his own evidence and arguments supporting the adoption by orthodox medicine of an originally heterodox—in fact cross-cultural—therapy. In succeeding chapters, I will sketch out the historical processes by which practitioners and patients (among others) crafted western responses to alternative medicines from a range of cultures.

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