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.
Chapter 1: Alternative Medicine in the 21st Century Chapter 2: Substance, Energy and Information Flows Chapter 3: Spirit, Consciousness and Trance Chapter 4: Body, Movement and The Senses Conclusion