Envoys of the yellow emperor: The globalization and domestication of acupuncture focusing on a school of Asian medicine in Munich Germany
Hutchinson, Deborah Lynn
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This thesis explores the transnational flow of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine by focusing on an acupuncture school in Munich, Germany. A large part of the appeal of acupuncture in the West is that it is foreign and exotic, yet some concessions must be made for local acceptance, not just by the consuming public, but for legal acceptance as well. While it is not completely tamed, acupuncture is domesticated in order to bring it under control, to make it familiar, acceptable, and useful to the receiving population without loosing those features that contributed to the desire to adopt it originally. Along with being useful, there must be a fit between the ideas or objects in flow and the cultures where they successfully settle. In order to understand the transnational flow and the unique changes acupuncture undergoes as it spreads to Germany, one must consider the ways acupuncture is domesticated and negotiated through practice and through legal constraints as well as the historical, social, cultural, political, and economic context of the receiving country. In this thesis, I explore spread of acupuncture to Germany in light of issues related to domestication and with the cultural and historical interest in nonconventional medicine in Germany.