Non-Western=Holistic Medicine?

John Mcreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Fri, 22 Jul 1994 17:34:18 JST

Barbara Campbell asks if holistic medicine is "equivalent to the non-Western medical model"? In hopes of stirring some discussion, let me say bluntly that
to me "the non-Western medical model" has about the same intellectual
standing as "primitive religion." Both are rash and largely vacuuous
stereotypes that obscure an enormous range of highly heterogeneous and
very particular things. They represent, shall we say, an "orientalist"
(following Said) Other in terms of which critics of "Western" medicine
belabor what they see as its flaws: impersonality, false objectivity,
overspecialization, etc. I would very much like to see a detailed
comparison of, say, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine and
both might turn out to be in some sense "holistic." What that sense might
be ought to be studied, not assumed.

Feeling feisty,
John McCreery (JL@TWICS.COM)