Chapter

In the Beginning Was the Word

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0087
In the Beginning Was the Word

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This chapter addresses the question of how the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) affected the citizens of industrialized Western nations. TCM has proved to be promising for the minds and bodies of the Western nations. In the beginning there was the Word. The Word possesses plausibility and persuasiveness because it mirrors experiences and visions. It mirrors the real or ideal structures that humans live in or would like to live in. It also mirrors existential fears, and the supposedly appropriate strategies for overcoming those fears. Starting in the 1970s, the entire Western world had common experiences and visions, real and ideal structures, as well as fears and corresponding strategies, but its medicine was no longer appropriate for them. As a result, the experiences and visions of the Chinese and Greek traditional medicine were funneled into completely new arenas of healing.

Keywords: traditional Chinese medicine; Western nations; Word; medicine; fears

Chapter.  470 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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