By Roberta E. Bivins (auth.)
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Extra info for Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine
15 Barrow concluded his retelling of the event by remarking that, `I shall not take upon me to decide whether this conclusion was drawn from his skill in the pulse, or from a conjecture of the nature of the complaint from the medicines which had been demanded . . '16 In this example of a medical encounter, the exotic opacity of the Chinese medical performance rendered its apparent therapeutic efficacy even more incredible ± at least to an audience whose expectations were firmly embedded in the protocols and praxis of western medicine.
Significantly, his intellectual and professional response to this culturally alien material was to assimilate the Asian medical traditions, re-interpreting them in the language of western medicine. 48 Even the title-page summaries of his The Physician's Pulse-Watch clearly expressed his opinion that these two traditions, while separate, were of equal value and relevance. The first part of his treatise was described as `I. The Old Galenic Art of Feeling the Pulse is describ'd, and many of its Errors corrected', while the third section came under the heading: `III.
The value placed on experience as a form of medical authority is even more evident in Floyer's conclusions about the Chinese. 55 Floyer argued that this task had to be done by a physician who himself `had a full experience of the Chinese method of practice, that he may more clearly describe their pulses, and accommodate them to the names we use'. Clearly, the assumption is one of an underlying unity, of at least Expectations and Expertise 33 a potentially shared conception of medical practice and the body.
Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine by Roberta E. Bivins (auth.)