The Institutionalization of Traditional East Asian Medicine in Three East Asian Countries

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 17:00
Location: Hörsaal 32 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Jae-Mahn SHIM, University of Seoul, South Korea
There is little consensus on how to institutionalize the traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TCAM) along with biomedicine for the sake of public health and well-being. At the minimum, the world health care community needs to be informed of possible options of implementing plural medical systems. To this end, this paper investigates how the traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM), composed of herbal remedies, acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, and massage, is institutionalized in three contemporary East Asian societies: China, Korea, and Japan. TEAM is one of the most popular TCAM practices in the world. This paper has found that the three contemporary East Asian societies reveal divergent ways of institutionalizing the historically shared medical tradition of TEAM. Based on the finding, the current comparative examination of medical systems in the three countries purports to conceptualize three distinct ways of organizing a plural medical system that incorporates both TCAM and biomedicine.