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Religion and Healing in America$
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Linda L. Barnes and Susan S. Sered

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.001.0001

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Multiple Meanings of Chinese Healing in the United States

Multiple Meanings of Chinese Healing in the United States

Chapter:
(p.307) 19 Multiple Meanings of Chinese Healing in the United States
Source:
Religion and Healing in America
Author(s):

Linda L. Barnes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.003.0020

Following a front-page story in the New York Times in 1972 by James Reston about his experiences with acupuncture in a Chinese hospital, virtually every article on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in United States media has featured this modality as CAM's poster child, with the patient presented as a wide-eyed face bristling with needles. To a lesser degree, Chinese herbs have made the news as well. This chapter examines constructions of race in the United States; the ways that Chinese healing practices interface with issues of religious identity and expression for Chinese American practitioners; tensions between conversion and appropriation, particularly as both pertain to European American practitioners; and a different aspect of acculturation, the phenomenon of medicalization. These issues are reviewed in relation to broader issues of cross-cultural transmission in the context of globalization.

Keywords:   United States, Chinese healing practices, race, complementary medicine, alternative medicine, acupuncture, herbs, medicalization, religious identity, healing, conversion

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