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Healing Elements

Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine

Sienna R. Craig


List Price: 34.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (8/22/2012)


Tibetan medicine has come to represent multiple and sometimes conflicting agendas. On the one hand it must retain a sense of cultural authenticity and a connection to Tibetan Buddhism; on the other it must prove efficacious and safe according to biomedical standards. Recently, Tibetan medicine has found a place within the multibillion-dollar market for complementary, traditional, and herbal medicines as people around the world seek alternative paths to wellness. Healing Elements explores how Tibetan medicine circulates through diverse settings in Nepal, China, and beyond as commercial goods and gifts, and as target therapies and panacea for biophysical and psychosocial ills. Through an exploration of efficacy – what does it mean to say Tibetan medicine “works”? – this book illustrates a bio-politics of traditional medicine and the meaningful, if contested, translations of science and healing that occur across distinct social ecologies.

Praise For Healing Elements: Efficacy and the Social Ecologies of Tibetan Medicine

“An outstanding, long-overdue book that will doubtlessly serve as the standard monograph on Tibetan medicine for years to come.”

— Stephan Kloos

“A deeply moving account. . . . A valuable resource for anyone interested in contemporary issues pertaining to Tibetan medicine. . . . Highly Recommended.”

— J. Saxton, Bastyr University

University of California Press, 9780520273245, 344pp.

Publication Date: August 22, 2012

About the Author

Sienna Craig is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Horses Like Lightning: A Story of Passage Through the Himalaya and coeditor of Medicine Between Science and Religion: Explorations on Tibetan Grounds.