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Subtle Anatomy: The Bio-Metaphysics Of Alternative Therapies

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Chapter Summary

The physical body of flesh, viscera and membrane is not the only 'body' towards which alternative therapies focus their intervention. There is another body-the subtle body-common to many types of alternative therapies that is understood to be the locus where healing takes place. This chapter focuses on considering the subtle body as an embodied interface between the metaphysical and the physical: as bio-metaphysical. In exploring the role of the subtle body as bio-metaphysical, two forms of subtle anatomy will be considered: subtle bodies as found in spiritual healing, especially those practices informed by Spiritualism, and the networks of energetic meridians in traditional Chinese medicine, especially as utilised in acupuncture treatments. The basis of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is found in The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. Spiritual healing is a term that is used broadly to designate any type of hands-on healing that uses 'energy' for curing illness.

Keywords: acupuncture treatment; bio-metaphysics; spiritual healing; subtle anatomy; traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

10.1163/ej.9789004179707.i-300.28
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