Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, by Ruth Barcan

By Ruth Barcan

Replacement treatments, as soon as the province of the hippie counterculture, are actually a mainstream phenomenon. yet they're greater than a scientific and fiscal sensation. immediately non secular and physically, scientific and leisure, they're an significantly renowned cultural perform certain up with the pleasure-seeking force of client tradition in addition to with religious and neo-liberal values.

Complementary and substitute medication seriously examines this phenomenon - which a few denounce because the triumph of superstition over cause - through asking practitioners themselves what makes those remedies so appealing.

Drawing on a wealth of interviews with Complementary and replacement drugs (CAM) practitioners in addition to at the author's longstanding participation in CAM tradition, the ebook presents a far wanted glance from either the interior and the skin of the CAM phenomenon. This booklet is vital analyzing for college kids and students of cultural reports, anthropology, sensory stories and sociology.

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Additional resources for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses

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Although the idea of spiritual journeying often relies on the relinquishment of control, it is certainly true that the rhetoric of control is never far out of view, even among those committed to the unpredictability of healing rather than the certainty of cure. But if you get rid of all that, well you’re still in control of it, aren’t you? Here, the idea the idea of control is absolutely central, but it is not equated only with medical ‘success’. Interestingly, though, the medical intuitive quoted above uses the term ‘control’ to cover all eventualities, equating it with the taking of conscious action, regardless of the outcome.

This chapter draws on interviews with medical clairvoyants and spiritual healers, in which I explore what they see, hear, smell or feel. For as well as providing a series of separate case studies, the book charts a path from the most familiar starting point (vision, viewed cautiously as a tool of power, as in so much cultural analysis) to the most esoteric. This arc from the familiar to the esoteric describes the shape if not of a bridge, then of a jumping off into the unknown. Inevitably, I have had to focus in on just a few of the senses, even within the ‘now-standard five-fold arrangement of the sensorium’ that characterizes the modern West (Howes 2009: 3).

Although the alternative health movement dates from the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, where it had at least some connection to back-to-nature ideologies and an ethic of simplicity, the therapeutic practices that constitute contemporary alternative medicine are now firmly embedded in the pleasure-seeking, individualist, bodyfocused drive of consumer culture. In particular, they are bound up in the aestheticization of everyday life and the appeal to the senses increasingly offered by the market.

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