Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China by Nancy ChenBreathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China by Nancy Chen

Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China

byNancy Chen

Paperback | June 4, 2003

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The charismatic form of healing called qigong, based on meditative breathing exercises, has achieved enormous popularity in China during the last two decades. Qigong served a critical social organizational function, as practitioners formed new informal networks, sometimes on an international scale, at a time when China was shifting from state-subsidized medical care to for-profit market medicine. The emergence of new psychological states deemed to be deviant led the Chinese state to "medicalize" certain forms while championing scientific versions of qigong. By contrast, qigong continues to be promoted outside China as a traditional healing practice. Breathing Spaces brings to life the narratives of numerous practitioners, healers, psychiatric patients, doctors, and bureaucrats, revealing the varied and often dramatic ways they cope with market reform and social changes in China.

Nancy N. Chen is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A medical anthropologist, she also teaches courses on food, ethnographic film, urban anthropology, China, and Asian Americans.
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Title:Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in ChinaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.75 × 1 × 0.68 inPublished:June 4, 2003Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231128053

ISBN - 13:9780231128056

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction2. Fever3. Riding the Tiger4. Qigong Deviation or Psychosis5. Chinese Psychiatry and the Search for Order6. Mandate of Science7. Transnational Qigong8. Suffering and HealingGlossary

Editorial Reviews

For readers sometimes puzzled by recent mind-body movements in China and responses by central and regional governments, Chen's clear and scholarly presentation will prove most helpful. This book becomes even more important now that the movement and others like it have spread globally, including to Europe, the New World, and the US. Highly recommended. Chen's riveting study focuses on a remarkable period in China's recent history, marked by this nation's recent reengagement with global capitalism. Chen bears witness to the shifting political significance-and vulnerability-of spiritual practitioners and healers in China, exposing how such shifts affect human experiences with enlightenment, pain, and suffering. Vivid portraits of the author's encounters render this a truly moving, poetic ethnography written in the best tradition of critical medical anthropology.