Item Details

Medicine and Memory in Tibet: Amchi Physicians in the Age of Reform

Theresia Hofer
Format
Book
Published
Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2018]
Language
English
Series
Studies on Ethnic Groups in China
ISBN
9780295742984, 0295742984, 9780295742991, 0295742992
Summary
"Medicine on the Margins explores the ways in which Tibetan medical doctors have preserved and revitalized aspects of Tibetan medicine over the past fifty years. During decades of forced sociopolitical and economic upheaval in Tsang Province of China's Tibetan Autonomous Region--with medical texts destroyed or hidden, teachers and lamas imprisoned or otherwise silenced, and almost all trade in medicinal ingredients halted--they had little hope that their 'science of healing' (Sowa Rigpa) would again flourish. Today, however, Tibetan medicine is in vogue, promoted by the Chinese Communist Party as a pillar industry of Tibet and a valuable asset of Tibetans' 'nationality minority culture.' For urban Tibetans, traditional medicine is one of the few areas where a relatively liberal expression of Tibetan identity and language is possible. In urban, medically pluralistic settings it is an easily available resource, while in remote areas, its practice and transmission to the younger generation faces many challenges. The passing away of the last practitioner of a certain pulse-reading or compounding of an herbal formula, for example, could mean the end of a long chain of transmission. For reasons of lack of access, continued repression of nonofficial histories, fear, and loss of living memory, Tibetan medical doctors--the so-called amchi--have been little studied. This volume presents their story, showing how practitioners from Tsang have retained crucial links in the teaching of medical knowledge despite the near-annihilation of monastic Buddhism and 'medical houses'"--Provided by publisher.
Contents
  • Foreword / by Stevan Harrell
  • The Tibetan medical house
  • Medicine and religion in the politics and public health of the Tibetan state
  • Narrative, time, and reform
  • The medico-cultural revolution
  • Reviving Tibetan medicine, integrating biomedicine
  • Looking at illness.
Description
xv, 286 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-271) and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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