Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China

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Columbia University Press, 2003 - Health & Fitness - 238 pages
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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.

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Review: Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China

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A solid introduction to the qigong movement that snowballed in China throughout the late '80s and '90s and increasingly went global. David Palmer covers much of the same terrain in Qigong Fever ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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