The emergence of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a type of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the United States was motivated by patients’ desire for balance and aversion to the side effects and invasive nature of biomedicine. Patients’ need for more holistic care is fulfilled by the TCM imperative using concepts of harmony, order, and the notion of responsibility for oneself in preventing illness and maintaining health. The TCM paradigm of diagnosis and treatment along with rising costs of biomedical care, inaccessibility of medical care, and patient dissatisfaction with the biomedical experience correlates with increased use of medicines outside of biomedicine. While the reasons and rates for patient use and interpretation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine have been widely studied, TCM practitioner experience is widely underrepresented in academic literature. This ethnographic study is based on interviews with seven acupuncturists in Southern California who treat female infertility and participation observation in terms of my training as a California State licensed acupuncturist. My own experience as an acupuncturist provided a necessary point of entrance into this community, due to the sensitive nature of infertility (it affects over one in six couples and is also a major disruption in life stages), the long-term treatment process, and the material goal of treatment (having a baby). In summary, I found acupuncturists’ descriptions of medical interactions to have little to do with the academic and technical skill of treating infertility and more to do with interpersonal communication, patient compliance, and how to talk about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine with patients where they are in the treatment process.
|Commitee:||Rousso-Schindler, Steven, Wilson, R. Scott|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Alternative Medicine, Medicine|
|Keywords:||Acupuncturist, Chinese medicine, Fertility|
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