P 21 Medicine of Becoming: Translation between Knowing and being in East Asian Medicine

How do we in the present know what the authors of the classical texts in East Asian medicine knew about a thousand years ago? How is medical knowledge transmitted from the previous generation to the next? How are the multigenerational translations among diverse actors in history eventually substantiated into clinical practice in contemporary East Asian medical settings?

Of the multilayered translation practices, this panel focuses on two subtly discernible constituents: that between practitioners’ knowing and the practitioners themselves. Despite its faintly recognizable nature, this translation between knowing and being is worth scrutinizing since it manifests as the accumulated results of multigenerational translations beginning with the classical texts. Furthermore, this translation greatly influences the actual practices in the clinical settings of contemporary East Asian medicine. One of the interesting aspects of this translation phenomenon is that the discernible distance between knowing and being among novices becomes increasingly imperceptible as practitioners become more adept in diagnostic and therapeutic practices.

When practitioners reaches the stage of virtuosity, the embodied knowing becomes being itself. This knowing being or the being of knowing is often called the master. This panel examines this medicine of becoming from multiple angles, raising a number of intriguing questions. How is the knowing of Pulse Image embodied in the process of learning and practicing? What role does the medical case (醫案) play in becoming a practitioner with virtuosity? How do practitioners of Sasang medicine determine the four person-types with embodied knowing? How does learning and teaching practice between the master and disciples in currents of tradition (學派) lead a novice to become a practitioner imbued with virtuosity? How did healers in Korea in the context of Japanese rule (19101945) continue to be guided by Confucianism, despite the introduction of modern forms of western medicine?

Impressions of ICTAM IX

  • Impressions of ICTAM IX, 2017, by Matthias Burmeister, ICTAM IX Filmteam