Medicine in China. A history of ideas

Wellcome Institute
Medical history (Impact Factor: 0.56). 09/1987; 31(4).
Source: PubMed Central
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    ABSTRACT: Pluralistic societies such as China and Canada frequently find themselves pursuing potentially contradictory goals. China's contradiction results from a desire to preserve cultural diversity while eliminating ‘backward tendencies’ which work against the economic and social development of the country as a whole. Canada's contradiction results from a desire to preserve cultural diversity while maintaining an emphasis upon equality of rights and responsibilities for all Canadians. Behind these differences in ideology, however, is a more basic structural contradiction ‐ namely, that cultural pluralism, while considered an asset as long as it is restricted to preserving unique cultural traditions, is nevertheless a threat to a strong central government if interpreted to imply the power to set policy at the local level. To explore this issue, this article compares China and Canada in terms of three related topics. First, it briefly examines the multicultural policy of China and Canada. This is followed by a discussion of medical pluralism in China and Canada, with an emphasis upon the health of minority groups and the status of minority healing traditions. Finally, common perceptions of shamanic healing traditions in both China and Canada are considered. It is in relation to shamanism that the dilemma posed by cultural pluralism is most clearly delimited.
    Ethnic and Racial Studies 07/1995; 18(3):494-514. DOI:10.1080/01419870.1995.9993876 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper is about a pre-modern 'science of touch' - Chinese pulse diagnostics - which was the aspect of Chinese medicine most admired by physicians in early modern Europe. The paper first provides some historical information on Chinese pulse diagnostics in Europe and then details how it was presented to an 18th-century readership. At last, it points out that Chinese physicians had developed an elaborate system for distinguishing between various experiences of touch. From an outsider's viewpoint, one could say that they already had an idea of calibration and made measurements in respect of a calibrated condition. Since they put their fingertips on the wrist of their patients and actively palpated it, one can say that their 'science of touch' was developed in respect of 'active touch'. This in contrast to the 'science of touch' developed by psychophysicists of the modern West, who have been interested primarily in 'passive touch'.
    Anthropology and Medicine 08/2000; 7(2):251-268. DOI:10.1080/713650587
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    ABSTRACT: The elderly Korean immigrants in the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan Area use emotional self-care practices to counteract sad and depressive experiences. They tend not to use professional medical help and/or prescription medicine. Their choice of a self-care mental health strategy is a function of several sociocultural and historical factors: the Korean concept of self, life-long caring role, concepts of a morally exemplary emotional life, religious and cosmological beliefs, beliefs about depression and mental illness, systematic and holistic medical principles, political and social upheavals in Korea. Additional factors include the challenge of transition and immigration to a new culture and country, the USA, with its lack of available resources for the immigrants, such as time with their adult children, lower socioeconomic status, language facility, and transportation. Specific self-prescribed self-care strategies for depression include cognitive strategies, religious strategies, physical strategies, social strategies, and artistic strategies.
    Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 09/1996; 11(3):229-54. DOI:10.1007/BF00122703


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