Book ID: CBB460433093

Medicine and Memory in Tibet: Amchi Physicians in an Age of Reform (2018)


Hofer, Theresia (Author)

University of Washington Press

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 283
Language: English

Medicine on the Margins explores the ways in which Tibetan medical doctors have preserved and revitalized aspects of Tibetan medicine over the past fifty years. During decades of forced sociopolitical and economic upheaval in Tsang Province of China's Tibetan Autonomous Region--with medical texts destroyed or hidden, teachers and lamas imprisoned or otherwise silenced, and almost all trade in medicinal ingredients halted--they had little hope that their 'science of healing' (Sowa Rigpa) would again flourish. Today, however, Tibetan medicine is in vogue, promoted by the Chinese Communist Party as a pillar industry of Tibet and a valuable asset of Tibetans' 'nationality minority culture.' For urban Tibetans, traditional medicine is one of the few areas where a relatively liberal expression of Tibetan identity and language is possible. In urban, medically pluralistic settings it is an easily available resource, while in remote areas, its practice and transmission to the younger generation faces many challenges. The passing away of the last practitioner of a certain pulse-reading or compounding of an herbal formula, for example, could mean the end of a long chain of transmission. For reasons of lack of access, continued repression of nonofficial histories, fear, and loss of living memory, Tibetan medical doctors--the so-called amchi--have been little studied. This volume presents their story, showing how practitioners from Tsang have retained crucial links in the teaching of medical knowledge despite the near-annihilation of monastic Buddhism and 'medical houses. (Publisher)

Reviewed By

Review Kloos, Stephan (December 2019) Review of "Medicine and Memory in Tibet: Amchi Physicians in an Age of Reform". East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (pp. 583-587). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Barbara Canavan; (2014)
Riding the Permafrost Rooster Across the Roof of the World (/isis/citation/CBB077851401/) unapi

Article Yang, Wei; Ma, Xuebo; Li, Zhiping; (2013)
The History and Causes of the Formation of the Harbin Jewish Hospital (/isis/citation/CBB001200174/) unapi

Chapter Gewurtz, Margo S.; (2006)
Looking for Jean Dow: Narratives of Women and Missionary Medicine in Modern China (/isis/citation/CBB000772479/) unapi

Article Smanla, Tsewang; Millard, Colin; (2013)
The Preservation and Development of Amchi Medicine in Ladakh (/isis/citation/CBB001213621/) unapi

Article Garrett, Frances; (2007)
Critical Methods in Tibetan Medical Histories (/isis/citation/CBB001031017/) unapi

Book Bradley M. Gardner; (2017)
China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation (/isis/citation/CBB364882966/) unapi

Article Lena Springer; (2015)
Collectors, Producers, and Circulators of Tibetan and Chinese Medicines in Sichuan Province (/isis/citation/CBB445531510/) unapi

Article Chorell, Torbjörn Gustafsson; (2003)
Mannen utan minne: Till frȧgan om relationen mellan historia och minne i sekelskiftets psykiatri (/isis/citation/CBB000500390/) unapi

Thesis Mullaney, Thomas Shawn; (2006)
Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification and ScientificStatecraft in Modern China, 1928--1954 (/isis/citation/CBB001560792/) unapi

Thesis Stacey A. Van Vleet; (2015)
Medicine, Monasteries and Empire: Tibetan Buddhism and the Politics of Learning in Qing China (/isis/citation/CBB460895891/) unapi

Thesis Ga, Yang; (2010)
The Sources for the Writing of the “Rgyud Bzhi”, Tibetan Medical Classic (/isis/citation/CBB001561054/) unapi

Article Katharina A. Sabernig; (2017)
Vulnerable Parts (/isis/citation/CBB383918351/) unapi

Article Hofer, Theresia; (2009)
Socio-Economic Dimensions of Tibetan Medicine in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China (/isis/citation/CBB001020985/) unapi

Article Hsu, Elisabeth; (2008)
A Hybrid Body Technique: Does the Pulse Diagnostic cun guan chi Method Have Chinese-Tibetan Origins? (/isis/citation/CBB000931577/) unapi

Book Mullaney, Thomas S.; (2011)
Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China (/isis/citation/CBB001220085/) unapi

Book Prusiner, Stanley B.; (2014)
Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions--A New Biological Principle of Disease (/isis/citation/CBB001451045/) unapi

Article Chen, Zhenghong; Yang, Guifang; Wray, Robert A. L.; (2014)
Shiyan Tao and the History of Indigenous Meteorology in China (/isis/citation/CBB001422089/) unapi

Article Czaja, Olaf; (2013)
On the History of Refining Mercury in Tibetan Medicine (/isis/citation/CBB001510476/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Mullaney, Thomas Shawn
Baer, Hans A.
Chorell, Torbjörn Gustafsson
Keyes, Charles
Gewurtz, Margo S.
Hsu, Elisabeth
Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
Journal of Asian Studies
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Columbia University
University of Wisconsin Press
University of California Press
Yale University Press
Harvard University
Independent Institute
Physicians; doctors
East Asia, civilization and culture
Medicine, traditional
Science and race
Tao, Shiyan
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
12th century
20th century, early
21st century
United States

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment