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The Clinical Utility of the Concept of Jing in Chinese Reproductive Medicine

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AbstractThe concept of jing is fundamental in Chinese medicine (CM). However, English-language discourse reveals the term to be polysemous, confusing, and contradictory. In the currently flourishing field of Chinese reproductive medicine in the West, clinicians claim to be able to provide treatment for age-related pathologies of the human gametes—ascribed by modern CM to be manifestations of jing—that seem dubious from the perspective of modern biomedicine. Such practitioners reveal scripts that diverge significantly from their biomedical peers. In the context of the unclear modes in which the concept of jing functions, and the emotive sphere of reproductive medicine in which it operates, this paper uses a grounded theory approach to make a thematic analysis of the relevant English-language discourse relating to jing. Interpretive analysis of the resulting themes shows the term being used differently by clinicians and scholars of CM, and that such modes are predicated according to the specific requirements and agendas of the author. Finally, recommendations for clinicians, scholars, and researchers are made along with concluding remarks.


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