Alternative Medicine?: A History
Walk into the local health food shop or pick up today's paper and the chances are that you'll see adverts for acupuncture and herbal medicine, hypnotists and homeopaths. Some doctors and scientists mourn the lost lustre of mainstream medicine and complain about a new breed of 'irrational' consumer. But what exactly is 'alternative' medicine? Is the astonishing popularity of alternative and multicultural medicine really such a recent development? And, given the success story of modern biomedical science, why are alternative and traditional treatments now so fashionable? Has the impersonal chill of high-tech medicine driven consumers into the arms of charismatic quacks? Or is it the cost of western medicine that makes its competitors look so attractive? Do patients seek hope, holism, or just the thrill of rebellion? This book seeks answers to all these questions and more. Comparing the medical systems of China, India, and the west - both mainstream and alternative - Roberta Bivins shows how medical expertise has migrated from one culture to another. From acupuncture in Regency England to homeopathy in the 'Wild West', Bivins unearths the roots of today's distinctions between alternative, complementary, and orthodox medicine, and shows how popular interest in medical alternatives - often of exotic origin - is a phenomenon with a long and fascinating pedigree.
What people are saying - Write a review
Alternative medicine?: a historyUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
As a child, medical historian Bivins was treated by a healer in Nigeria and an M.D. in Boston; the experience left her convinced that, though effective, the Western model of medicine is "far from ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
acupuncture alternative medicine anatomy animal magnetism Asia Asian Asian medical aVected Ayurvedic beneWts biomedical biomedicine body body’s Britain British Busschof Cambridge Chapter China Chinese medicine cholera Churchill consumers contemporary cross-cultural medicine cure David Arnold deWned disease diVerent doctors drugs eighteenth century elite empirical Engelbert Kaempfer Esdaile Europe European medical eVects eVorts exotic experience eYcacy germ theory gout Hahnemann healers healing homeopathy hospitals humoural Ibid illustrates India indigenous innovations inXuence James Esdaile Japanese John Floyer Kaempfer London medical culture medical knowledge medical practice medical profession medical systems mesmerism models moxa moxabustion natural needle nineteenth century non-western observation organs orthodox medicine oYcial pain particular patients physical physicians popular professional proponents pulse remedy Rhyne Roy Porter scientiWc scientiWc medicine social Society speciWc substances surgeon suVerers Systems of Medicine technique Temple Temple’s therapeutic therapies Tiger Balm tion traditional treatment Unani University Press Wercely western medicine Wrst Xuid