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The Transmission of Chinese Medicine

The Transmission of Chinese Medicine


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology

  • Date Published: November 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521645423

£ 24.99

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About the Authors
  • This is one of the first studies of traditional medical education in an Asian country. Conducting extensive fieldwork in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China, Elisabeth Hsu became the disciple of, a Qigong master a scholarly private practitioner, who almost wordlessly conveys esoteric knowledge and techniques; attended seminars given by a senior Chinese doctor, an acupuncturist and masseur, who plunges his followers into the study of arcane medical classics, and studied with students at the Yunnan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where the standardised knowledge of official Chinese medicine is inculcated. Dr Hsu compares the theories and practices of these different Chinese medical traditions and shows how the same technical terms may take on different meanings in different contexts. This is a fascinating, insider's account of traditional medical practices, which brings out the way in which the context of instruction shapes knowledge.

    • Clearly written introduction to basic concepts of Chinese medicine, which combines an account of practice with textual knowledge
    • Compares Chinese medical knowledge in thre different sectors of Chinese urban society, and not only about government promoted medicine
    • Suitable as a textbook for courses in Chinese medicine
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an excellent blend of ideas, narrative and information … the book is beautifully-written and the ideas are succinctly expressed … Elisabeth Hsu offers thought-provoking insights that are pertinent to anybody who is interested in the education of practitioners and therefore the future of Chinese medicine.' Journal of Chinese Medicine

    'As the first ethnographic description of a college of traditional Chinese medicine [Hsu's] book opens a whole new area for research in medical anthropology … this book will stimulate new research by other ethnologists, and its talented author will surely continue to expand the reach of medical anthropology.' The Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521645423
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.544kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The secret transmission of knowledge and practice
    2. Qigong and the concept of Qi
    3. The personal transmission of knowledge
    4. Interpreting a classical Chinese medical text
    5. The standardised transmission of knowledge
    6. Teaching from traditional Chinese medical textbooks
    7. Styles of knowing

  • Author

    Elisabeth Hsu, University of Cambridge

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