Review essay: Celestial Healing: Energy, Mind and Spirit in Traditional Medicines of China, and East and Southeast Asia. Marc S. Micozzi, Kevin Ergi, Laurel Gabler and Kerry Palanjian. London and Philadelphia (Penn): Singing Dragon, 2011. (Hbk) 240pp. £18.99. 2013. (Pbk) 240pp. £11.99.
Abstract: The purpose of this co-authored book is to introduce traditional Chinese medicine and illustrate its influence on local medical traditions across the Greater China region, which includes Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia. Specifically, the authors undertake to examine ‘how medical practices throughout Greater China are guided by the concepts of vital energy and celestial revelation, and are also influenced by the local materia medica as part of the ecology indigenous to each region’ (p141). They argue that this is based on an understanding of how ‘the flow of energy within a body as a source of vitality is shared by Asian medical systems’ (p6). This is not exactly a study on sinology or ethnomedicine. Rather, the book aims to offer a brief account of the practices and healing methods developed across the region and which might be applicable and acceptable in Western contexts for medical practice today.
Ekaterina Zavidovskaya 叶可嘉 is Adjunct assistant professor, Center for General Education of National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Previously she was Assistant Professor adjunct of Nanhua University and Department of literature, Saint-Petersburg State University, Faculty of Asian and African studies, and Chair of Chinese Philology. She obtained PhD on Chinese, East Asia and Southeast Asia studies, at Moscow State Linguistic University, Institute of Oriental of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Her research interests include popular religion in China and Taiwan, the religious life of the ethnic Chinese in South-East Asia, self-governance in Chinese society, Chinese traditional opera, contemporary Chinese literature, lay and professional (Taoist) ritual specialists, and divination practices in the North Vietnam ethnic minority areas. She published papers on prominent figures of modern literary, and more on popular religion in modern rural China.
Cite this article
Celestial healing: A comparative study
Journal of China in Comparative Perspective
Vol.1 Issue 1. 2015, p150-155