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Himalayan Medical Encounters: The Establishment Of Biomedicine In Tibet And In Indian Exile

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of the Tibetan encounter with biomedicine during the first half of the 20th century. There are indications that by 1903-04, when the Younghusband mission invaded Tibet, Western medicine had already gained some favourable repute among Tibetans. The Younghusband mission itself played a part in introducing Tibetans to both the ideals and practices of biomedicine. The British period in Tibet was nonetheless one in which significant numbers of people in central Tibet first became acquainted with biomedicine, and came to regard aspects of the Tibet medical system, such as vaccination against smallpox and cataract surgery, as elements of modernity which were plainly beneficial. The chapter traces the history of Tibetan medicine in Indian exile and discusses aspects of its encounter with biomedicine in the ensuing decades.

Keywords: biomedicine; British period; Himalayan medical encounters; Indian Medical Service; Tibet medical system; Western medicine; Younghusband mission



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 10: Soundings in Tibetan Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
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