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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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In the Beginning Was the Word

In the Beginning Was the Word

87 In the Beginning Was the Word
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

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

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