Vietnamese Traditional Medicine: A Social History by C. Michele ThompsonVietnamese Traditional Medicine: A Social History by C. Michele Thompson

Vietnamese Traditional Medicine: A Social History

byC. Michele Thompson

Paperback | June 22, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 223 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 3-5 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Medical manuscripts in Chinese and in Nom (vernacular Vietnamese) capture various aspects of the historical interaction between Chinese and Vietnamese thought. In Vietnamese Traditional Medicine: A Social History, Michele Thompson argues that indigenous Vietnamese concepts regarding health and the human body helped shape Vietnam’s reception of foreign medical ideas and practices, first from China and then from the West. To illustrate this theme, she presents a detailed analysis of the Vietnamese response to a Chinese medical technique for preventing smallpox, and to the medical concepts associated with it, looking at Vietnamese healers from a variety of social classes.


Thompson’s account brings together colorful historical vignettes, contemporary observations and interviews, and textual analysis. One particularly instructive episode was Jean Marie Despiau’s 1820?21 journey from Vietnam to Macau to secure doses of smallpox vaccine to vaccinate the royal children of the Nguyen Dynasty. The documentation associated with Despiau’s effort provides insight into the Vietnamese receptiveness to one foreign medical technique and the concepts of the body associated with it.

Title:Vietnamese Traditional Medicine: A Social HistoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:June 22, 2015Publisher:NUS Press Pte LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9971698358

ISBN - 13:9789971698355

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

“The real focus, and strength, of this work is its attention to the uses of language in medical texts, which tells us about more about the linguistic strategies and theoretical underpinnings of traditional Vietnamese medicine than it tells us about the social contexts in which this medicine was being practiced, received, and transmitted over time.”