Download Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, by Ruth Barcan PDF

By Ruth Barcan

Substitute cures, as soon as the province of the hippie counterculture, are actually a mainstream phenomenon. yet they're greater than a clinical and financial sensation. instantaneously non secular and physically, scientific and leisure, they're an significantly renowned cultural perform sure up with the pleasure-seeking force of buyer tradition in addition to with non secular and neo-liberal values.

Complementary and replacement medication severely examines this phenomenon - which a few denounce because the triumph of superstition over cause - via asking practitioners themselves what makes those cures so appealing.

Drawing on a wealth of interviews with Complementary and substitute medication (CAM) practitioners in addition to at the author's longstanding participation in CAM tradition, the booklet offers a miles wanted glance from either the interior and the surface of the CAM phenomenon. This publication is key analyzing for college students and students of cultural stories, anthropology, sensory stories and sociology.

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Extra info for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses

Example text

In the process I have been able to listen to and learn from their responses and, occasionally, to incite them too to further thought. My fifth point of difference is that I am prepared to be uncool – indeed, to expose elements of my own investment that a more cautious guarding of the academic persona might warn against. They have slipped under its radar – or, perhaps more accurately, they have been met with an embarrassed silence, whether as medical, bodily or spiritual technologies. I have explored this special distrust in detail elsewhere (Barcan and Johnston 2005), but two reasons behind it are worth reiterating here.

This absence is in contrast to the traditions in which taste does play a central role, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine. The absence of a detailed consideration of both TCM and Ayurveda is a considerable omission, especially in those Western countries in which they are moving out from a diasporic community practice to a pop cultural mainstream, and one I hope to rectify in future work. Chapters 2 and 4 raise cautions about power relations in CAM. Well-trained, experienced, mature and ethical practitioners are highly aware of the ethics and interpersonal subtleties of therapeutic encounters, but, as in all medical practices, there are elements in the discourses of alternative health and the New Age that can unhelpfully feed the do-gooders, the ill-trained, the powerhungry, and the naively exuberant.

Well-trained, experienced, mature and ethical practitioners are highly aware of the ethics and interpersonal subtleties of therapeutic encounters, but, as in all medical practices, there are elements in the discourses of alternative health and the New Age that can unhelpfully feed the do-gooders, the ill-trained, the powerhungry, and the naively exuberant. But it also describes a journey towards some form of co-habitation of differences. But if by integration we can mean a mutual provocation between different bodies of knowledge, the valuing and mobilizing of different modes of knowing, a comfortable passageway between public and private identities, an engagement of mind and body, and a celebration of all the senses, then I am happy to say that this book charts a journey towards integration.

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