116: History is Not a Placebo: Chinese Medicine in America (w/Tamara Venit-Shelton)
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Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient medical system that has persisted in its homeland for countless generations before being exported to the rest of the world—right? Well, not exactly, but that doesn’t mean the varying sets of practices have not made an impact in China and abroad.  This week, historian Tamara Venit-Shelton joins the podcast to talk to Derek about the history of Chinese Medicine in America. The author of Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace, they discuss the xenophobia and racism that Chinese encountered in the 19th century West, how early Chinese doctors used the exoticism of their system to their advantage when advertising to disaffected Americans who were suspicious of the dominant health care system, the moment that these varying practices became unified by Chairman Mao in the middle of the 20th century, and how the acupuncture needles we use today are not actually Chinese in origin—we can thank the Japanese for the world’s recent widespread adoption of that practice. Show Notes Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace Tamara Venit-Shelton gets to the roots of Chinese medicine in America Evidence Map of Acupuncture review of systematic reviews on 1,500 RCT’s. David Gorski “Acupuncture is a theatrical placebo, retconned beyond recognition.” $2.5 Spent—No Alternative Cures Found by the NCCIH
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