The Anthropology of Alternative Medicine

The Anthropology of Alternative Medicine

eBook - 2012
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Bloomsbury Pub Plc

Alternative medicine is not a fashionable new trend but an established cultural strategy, as well as a dynamic feature of mainstream contemporary medicine, in which elements of folk traditions are often blended with western scientific approaches.

The Anthropology of Alternative Medicine is a concise yet wide-ranging exploration of non-biomedical healing. The book addresses a broad range of practices including: substance, energy and information flows (e.g. helminthic therapy); spirit, consciousness and trance (e.g. shamanism); body, movement and the senses (e.g. reiki and aromatherapy); as well as classical medical traditions as complements or alternatives to Western biomedicine (e.g. Ayurveda).

Exploring the cultural underpinnings of contemporary healing methods, while assessing current ideas, topics and resources for further study, this book will be invaluable to undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology, sociology, psychology, and health related professions such as nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and biomedicine.

Book News
Ross (anthropology, Utica College) employs an anthropological approach to alternative medicine, folk medicine traditions, and non-biomedical healing in this text for students in anthropology, sociology, nursing, occupational therapy, and biomedicine. The book will also be of interest to students in alternative medicine programs. An introductory chapter considers conflicting interests in the rise of integrative medicine and explains core concepts of medical anthropology. Subsequently, thematic chapters address systems based on substances and energies, body movement and the senses, and spiritual transformation. Subjects examined include homeopathy, reiki, and the American health food movement. Of special note is an entire section devoted to altered states of consciousness, shamanic consciousness and symbolic healing, hypnosis, healing addictions with hallucinogens, and faith healing. It is distributed in the US by Bloomsbury USA. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Oxford : Berg, 2012
ISBN: 9780857853189
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 185 pages)


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