Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: University of California Press
Place of Publication: Berkeley
Sources ID: 92451
Notes: xx, 321 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Collection: Himalayan and Tibetan Medicine
Visibility: Public (group default)
"Tibetan medicine has come to represent multiple and sometimes conflicting agendas. On the one hand it must retain a sense of cultural authenticity and a connection to Tibetan Buddhism; on the other it must be proven efficacious and safe according to biomedical standards, often through clinical research. Recently, Tibetan medicine has found a place within the multibillion-dollar market for complementary, traditional, and herbal medicines as people around the world seek alternative paths to wellness. Healing Elements explores Tibetan medicine within diverse settings, from rural schools and clinics in the Nepal Himalaya to high-tech factories and state-supported colleges in the People's Republic of China. This multi-sited ethnography explores how Tibetan medicines circulate as commercial goods and gifts, as target therapies, and as panacea for biosocial ills. Through an exploration of efficacy - What does it mean to say Tibetan medicine "works"? - this book illustrates a bio-politics of traditional medicine in the twenty-first century. Healing Elements examines the ways traditional medicine interacts with biomedicine: from patient-healer relationships and the cultural meanings ascribed to affliction, to the wider circumstances in which practitioners are trained, healing occurs, and medicines are made, evaluated, and used. As such, it examines the meaningful, if contested, translations of science and healing that occur across distinct social ecologies"--Provided by publisher.