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The debate over Chinese-language knowledge among culture brokers of acupuncture in America.

... those who rule the symbols, rule us.--Alfred Korzybski

OVER THE PAST 30 years, acupuncture and Chinese medicine have transformed the way many North Americans view health and health care. Today over 40% of Americans utilize some form of complementary and alternative medicine (Eisenberg et al., 1998) and acupuncture remains one of the most highly sought-after modalities. (Palinkas et al., 2000, Winslow et al., 2002)

When a millennia-old set of medical practices is appropriated from one socio-cultural setting and adopted into a markedly different one, language becomes a core site for cultural translation. Medical practices are often assumed to be immutable, static, and objectifiable entities. Medical historian Paul Unschuld suggests the opposite: like many medical systems, Chinese medicine is an extremely heterogeneous medicine, grown, adapted, and appropriated in a variety of cultural and historical settings. (Unschuld 1985) According to Unschuld, the practices of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have never constituted a stable, objectifiable set of practices that can be "taken" and then "used" in new cultural settings. The history of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is one of mutability and fluidity, strongly influenced by cultural, historical, and political contexts. (Unschuld 1985, 1987; Farquhar 1994) This raises the question of how medical practices are transformed through intercultural exchange. This essay examines how language functions as a central arena for the cultural translation of Chinese medicine into American contexts.

For those who "broker" the practice of acupuncture in the United States, the issue of cultural translation is deeply enmeshed in a debate over Chinese-language knowledge. This debate constitutes a rich ethnographic study in general semantics, because it brings to the surface a process of self-evaluation integral to the profession of American acupuncture. Cultural translation transfigures into literal translation for several of American acupuncture's luminaries. In interviews during the summers of 2002 and 2003, four of the field's most public personas initiated discussion of a series of questions they all considered crucial to the successful professionalization and cultural translation of the field of American acupuncture. The kinds of questions raised by my interlocutors--such as whether students in American acupuncture schools should be required to learn Chinese or at least Chinese medical language, whether practitioners should have Chinese language skills (such as minimal reading knowledge), and whether the field's public persona should incorporate Chinese language examples and hegemonic translations in their public presentations--constituted the contours of a heated semantic debate within the profession. I began to document this debate ethnographically by noting how each persona situated his or her public identity around these questions.

Background and Methods of this Study

My work to date (Emad 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001 [with Cassidy]) develops a multi-disciplinary, ethnographic exploration of American encounters with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Drawing on 10 years of participant-observation and interview-based research at multiple urban and rural sites in the United States, the project explores the body as a site for cultural translation in the ongoing development of an American acupuncture. The current component of the study consists of in-depth interviews and participant-observation of the practices and workplaces (sites of practice) of six prominent American acupuncturists, leaders in the field who I identify as culture brokers who have been deeply involved in the professionalization and institutionalization of American acupuncture. (1) Each of these six "translators" of the culture of acupuncture and Chinese medicine are practitioners who have worked and continue to work in the public eye as self-conscious representatives and brokers of acupuncture and Chinese medicine: they have published popular works "translating" acupuncture to a general public and/or set up nationally (and internationally) recognized businesses and/or schools that train American acupuncturists. Several of the brokers emerging from these interviews and site visits form the focus for a specific debate central to the process of professionalization and institutionalization of an American acupuncture. The semantic debate over Chinese-language knowledge emerged in these interviews as a central self-evaluative concern for those brokering a new profession in American health care.

The Debate: Linguistic Knowledge & Standardized Practice

Processes of professionalization often demand standardization of practice. The field of American acupuncture has developed over the last 30 years around the standardization of what medical anthropologist Linda Barnes refers to as PRC-TCM. (Barnes 2003) TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine belies its moniker, emerging as China's "New Medicine" during the Cultural Revolution, a direct result of Maoist unification and standardization efforts towards a mass health care system. Heavily influenced by western science and biomedicine, TCM was firmly in place in China when acupuncture exploded onto the scene of the American media in 1971. (2) Barnes identifies this practice as PRC-TCM (People's Republic of China TCM) to clarify that in the three thousand year history of a variegated set of medical practices, this "tradition" is very young indeed, and has been constructed in a particular political context. TCM became the standard for American acupuncture primarily when it won a highly negotiated brokering process to become the foundation of state and national licensing examinations. Among the culture brokers involved in this process, some worked hard for a more diverse representation of acupuncture practices in the licensing process, but creating a standardized exam through which students become professionals on a national scale required linguistic uniformity, stability, and memorizability. PRC-TCM's uniform, protocol-based, formulaic methods lends it well to the task of professionalization through standardized national examinations. (3)

The public intellectuals in American acupuncture who function as culture brokers were often deeply involved in the establishment of national standards; i.e., in the creation of an acupuncture profession. As such, no matter what side of the debate they hold a stake in, they are astutely aware of issues of cultural translation. For many of them, this issue boils down quite literally to the issue of linguistic translation. A central debate within the field of American acupuncture is whether the professionalization process of acupuncture in America--specifically, the educational process through which students become professional acupuncturists--should require linguistic knowledge, at the very least the ability to read and engage with Chinese medical language. Ken Rose, editor of the journal Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has devoted many of his editorial pages throughout 2001 and 2002 to this debate. He and assistant editor, Zhang Yu Huan, relay a mandate for the international community of acupuncture practitioners in 2001: "Our basic premise is that the proper understanding of Chinese and therefore many other varieties of Oriental medicine begins in an understanding of the Chinese language." (2001:185) Rose and Zhang argue that the leaders of the profession in the United States and in other English-speaking areas of the world have "all but ignored" Chinese medical literature and have also ignored what Rose and Zhang deem the "necessity of Chinese language skills." Rose and Zhang further suggest that American students of acupuncture have acquired faulty knowledge due to their "ignorance of the words with which that knowledge has been created and preserved." (ibid) "It is a mistake," they argue, "to train the standard bearers of Oriental medicine in the West in ignorance of the Chinese medical language ... A profession that cannot assert mastery of its source knowledge cannot claim control of its field." (2001:186)

In her careful rendition of "The Acupuncture Wars," Linda Barnes only mentions the debate over linguistic knowledge in passing, indicating that "most European-American practitioners neither speak nor read Chinese and feel no need to do so" (2003:268), relying instead on translated texts, even as they "do not define themselves as scholars or historians, but holders of a working knowledge that approximates aspects of the curriculum in Chinese medical schools." (ibid) While her focus on the "war" between a monolithic standard of practice (PRC-TCM) and the push for medical pluralism from within the American acupuncture profession constitutes an important ethnographic document, it does not map the brokerage of language onto the debate over medical pluralism.

Semantic Brokering around the Language Debate

As brokers of various aspects of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the United States, public intellectuals (the acupuncture brokers) have long engaged in a semi-public process of self-evaluation through which choices have been made and sides have been taken regarding the authenticity of meanings conveyed through medical practice. What is at stake in this semantic evaluation continues to be crucial for how acupuncture is understood and enacted, both in terms of public perceptions of the practice, and in terms of how acupuncture is practiced "on-the-ground" in American settings. The public sites for this professional self-evaluation include speaking engagements, organized events or workshops, publications--both in professional journals and on the Internet--and interviews in popular alternative health magazines, as well as in journals read primarily by practitioners. This section examines the semantic debate as delineated by three of American acupuncture's leading brokers. Each interviewee brought the issues of this debate to the interview quite spontaneously and often with great intensity of feeling.

Mark Seem: "In the beginning, I entered this profession as a translator. People wanted to bring me in, and I didn't pretend it was my practice; I was brand new."

With a fresh doctorate in French philosophy, Mark Seem, a student of Michel Foucault, entered a drug detoxification clinic to listen to a lecture on acupuncture in 1977. When the speakers learned that he spoke French, they implored him to translate some French acupuncture material for them. In a poor academic job market, with Foucault's name on his recommendations serving as more of a curse than a blessing, Seem was looking for any kind of intellectual work. He readily agreed to the project, quickly became enamored with acupuncture, and set out to study the practice himself.
 This move from French philosophy to French acupuncture was an
 effortless one for me, as it took me right into the middle of medical
 anthropological matters akin to Foucault's work.... While the English-
 language translations of texts from the People's Republic of China
 (PRC) bored me with their obvious political indoctrination, the French
 texts carefully scrutinized the entire human energetic story of
 pathways that could be influenced by external stimulation. (1992: 17)

Seem's own work as an acupuncturist developed during this initial intellectual engagement with what he later called "acupuncture energetics." He has since become an eminent culture broker and "master practitioner" (4) of American acupuncture, publishing books and articles, founding a school, and working intensively on the process of professionalization of American acupuncture.

Seem is the founder and president of the Tri-State College of Acupuncture (TSCA) in New York City, established in 1979. As a former commissioner on the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Seem has also been at the forefront of establishing national standards for acupuncture licensure. When I interviewed him in New York in the summer of 2002, he opened our interview session by clearly identifying translation as a central issue in American acupuncture, launching into an astute ethnographic description of the profession and its brokerage of Chinese language knowledge:
 The main issue in the field is whether or not--well two things--one is
 whether TCM should be the standard form of traditional Chinese
 medicine and acupuncture that is sort of rendered in this country, and
 the second is whether there should be standardized translation:
 whether there should be exact correlates for every Chinese medical
 term in English.

A central figure in this debate--a persona not interviewed for this study, but around which each broker positions him/herself--is Nigel Wiseman. Wiseman is the author of several Chinese medical dictionaries and co-author of Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine (1995). Wiseman's translation choices of specific clinical terms have taken on hegemonic authority, partially through support and dissemination by certain brokers. Mark Seem identifies Wiseman as a broker with a lot at stake:
 And Nigel Wiseman is the big person in the debate who's arguing for
 his [linguistic standard]--he has a glossary, a Chinese medical
 glossary. He wants that one to be standard. He is lobbying heavily in
 the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, where he lives, to make
 that the standard [for all English translations]. He's trying to
 convince the Chinese because obviously if they all start translating
 it in that version of English, it would be very hard for any English
 speaking people to say that that's not the best version .... if it
 becomes the standard in China for how things get published and how
 things get taught in China when they learn their English TCM
 terminology, you know, five to ten years down the road, he's going to
 have won a major coup, because everything coming out of the People's
 Republic would be in that language.

Unlike other American brokers, Seem positions himself in a more complex hermeneutic arena, one in which translation does not rely on the idea of a one-to-one correspondence between comparable terms in different languages:
 And the other side of the debate is [represented by scholars like]
 Elizabeth Rochat LaValle and Claude Larre and people like them, who,
 number one, have classical Chinese backgrounds, not just modem
 Chinese. Their view is that to really understand Chinese terms, you
 have to go back to the classics and when you do, the etymology of the
 character could have embedded in it so many different complex concepts
 that changed through the centuries, that you need to know what those
 things all meant and you need to see how they were transformed, and
 you need to realize that the Chinese classics are extremely elastic.
 They have been re-interpreted many ways. [Paul] Unschuld [takes this
 perspective, too], if you've ever looked at Unschuld's Nan Jing

Having faced public critique of his own eclectic treatment methods (a hybrid combination of myofascial bodywork and meridian acupuncture), which do not rely on Wiseman-esque translations nor on Chinese language PRC-TCM protocols, Seem positions himself and his school squarely in favor of medical pluralism. The Tri-State College of Acupuncture trains students in three different "schools" of acupuncture, one of which is PRC-TCM; Seem has come to terms with the language debate in the following way:
 All of our TCM faculty are either from China or fluent in Chinese,
 another fact that Bob Flaws and Nigel Wiseman don't recognize. They
 often criticize people like Korngold and Beinfield and me, and so on,
 because we don't know Chinese. Making the assumption that different
 schools don't teach the Chinese stuff, but most schools have TCM
 faculty from China now. All of us do.... It became logical once there
 were enough people who spoke good, solid TCM English and could really
 teach in English, we all started doing it. So, they have TCM faculty
 now in the evening, not people like me, struggling with TCM stuff,
 wishing that I could undermine it, which I was doing in the old
 days.... [And the students get it] from people who love it.

Bob Flaws: "Until you know Chinese, you don't even qualify."

Bob Flaws is the force behind Blue Poppy Press, a primary publishing house for texts, brochures, and charts used by acupuncture practitioners and American teachers, as well as the biggest clearinghouse for English translations of Chinese texts. While maintaining a private practice, Flaws himself has written, edited, or translated over 90 books on PRC-TCM, the treatment modality most commonly taught and practiced in the United States. As a persona, Bob Flaws appears most frequently now on the Internet. His quick, concise translations of Chinese medical reports appear on several websites. No longer in clinical practice and exchanging his highly sought-after workshops for tapes and videos sold through Blue Poppy, Flaws has to a large extent withdrawn from his public persona. In an interview with Flaws in August 2002, he clearly positioned himself in alliance with Wiseman and the issue of linguistic knowledge:
 Wiseman and myself and the whole [group of us], I mean there is a
 school that has risen around this ... What we believe is that in order
 to understand how to do the Chinese medicine technically, you have to
 understand the words. And if you substitute words, you then lose the
 technical precision. So we tried to find English words that capture as
 precisely as possible the actual Chinese understanding. So what
 Wiesman does is he goes all over China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and asks
 Chinese people, "What do you actualy mean by this? What is your idea?
 What is your definition? Don't just tell me the word, tell me what you
 mean by it." [He focuses on] the practical implication and then he
 sits down and tries to figure out the best possible English
 [translation]. He then throws that out there and people either jump up
 and down, or they say, yes, that's good, no that's not good, and he
 revises it to come up with something better.

During the interview, Flaws' quiet demeanor animates as he offers an example of the implications of this translation process for acupuncture practice:
 How about here's another one. Blood. We quicken the blood. Many people
 like to say "invigorate the blood," "activate the blood," there are
 all sorts of other English terms out there. The word "quicken" in
 English has two meanings--it has the everyday meaning of making
 something go fast; it also has the meaning from the King James' Bible,
 "to make something alive." The word in Chinese means exactly those two
 things--to bring something back to life and to make it go faster.
 "Invigorate" means to make something stronger, blood isn't strong.
 Blood has no charcteristics of strength in Chinese, so "invigorate" is
 simply wrong. And if you activate, well then "activate" is good, but
 it doesn't have anything to do with quickening, in the sense of
 bringing back to life.

Flaws' overall position on the question of Chinese-language skills is adamant, unilateral, and non-negotiable. For entrance onto the terrain he has staked out, professional acupuncturists must have not only Chinese language knowledge but further linguistic skills, as well.
 So Nigel's done this huge piece of work of trying to come up with [the
 terms] and then you know, other people who don't know English well
 enough to comment on this and don't know Chinese either, then they
 say, "well, it doesnt sound good to me," "I don't understand it"....
 Most of the people I would say shouldn't even qualify to have an
 opinion! You can have an opinion, but it isn't an informed opinion.
 Until you know Chinese, you don't even qualify, and then I also want
 you to know English, French, and Latin, because you don't really know
 English until you really know French and Latin because ... that's
 where the roots come from. If you don't know those three, then you're
 certainly not an expert in English.

Emad: And you are fluent in all of those?

Flaws: I read Latin, I speak, write and read French ... yes.

Emad: When did you develop reading and writing knowledge of Chinese?

Flaws: Well about 10 years ago, and I don't write Chinese. I only read Chinese.... I can tell you what something says but I have no idea what it sounds like.

Flaws has built a successful business around his persona as a brilliant and exacting translator of Chinese medicine. Blue Poppy Press has now morphed into Blue Poppy Enterprises, with herbal supplements, workshops, tapes, and personal care products for sale through various catalogues and websites. Translation for Flaws remains his passion and his favorite project at the time of the interview was selecting case studies and clinical trials from any of the 10 Chinese medical journals he subscribes to, and "generating content" for acupuncture websites. When I asked him about copyright issues, Flaws made an interesting distinction: "I'm reporting their information," he argued, "not actually translating the text."

Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold: "We don't use the term translation, we use the term transplanting."

Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold are the authors of Between Heaven & Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine (1991), which remains the best-selling popular book introducing the American public to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Their San Francisco clinic, Chinese Medicine Works, is one of the longest standing and most successful clinical practices of acupuncture in the U.S. Both Beinfield and Korngold sit on advisory boards for major acupuncture and alternative medicine organizations. They have also been centrally located in the language debate: their book uses virtually no Chinese medical language and offers an eclectic approach to culturally translating Chinese medicine drawn from their early training in the Five Elements approach disseminated by Jack Worsley in Britain in the 1970s. They have created a solid, identifiable persona around their popular book and through national and international speaking and workshop engagements, many of which are carried out by Beinfield. In their public life, the couple often acts as a single persona; they work, speak, and write in tandem as strong advocates for medical pluralism within the field of American acupuncture.
 We remain on the fringes of any designated sect or school, seeing
 ourselves as belonging to an eclectic group of writers, teachers, and
 practitioners without allegiance to any single Chinese medicine
 ideology. (Beinfield & Korngold 2001:152)

Explicitly arguing that the Wiseman position in the Chinese language debate is dogmatic (2001:146), Bienfield and Korngold are as adamant in their anti-authoritarian stance as Flaws is in establishing himself as a linguistic authority. Last summer, they organized a week-long, invitation-only intensive seminar on the history of Chinese medicine--a series of lectures held by medical historian, Paul Unschuld. Through this event, Beinfield and Korngold were able to enact their singular persona as hosts, organizers, and leaders of a kind of acupuncture "intelligentsia." I interviewed them prior to the beginning of this event which they hosted at an intentional community/land cooperative they have been involved with for many years. Both were eager to discuss Wiseman's role in promoting a hegemonic stance in the debate over Chinese-language knowledge. They had decided to take turns responding to my questions in order to avoid talking over each other, but characteristically interrupted each other nevertheless (usually with good humor), which I would attribute to the sway their mutually constructed singular persona holds for them.

Korngold: Yeah, there's this whole movement now, which as I call it is sort of a pseudo-scholastic movement. [It] is being led by Nigel Wiseman. And, it has to do with the language. You know, we were publicly denounced by Nigel Wiseman at a conference.

Emad: Really?

Korngold: Yes. Because he said that people that don't speak or read Chinese have no right teaching or writing anything about Chinese medicine ...

Emad: Oh my.

Korngold: ... unless you understand the terms, [and this approach] is very consistent with a particular tradition in Chinese medicine called the legalist tradition. Because there's a law, there's a right and there's a wrong way. And, people who are in the wrong should be punished.

Emad: And [right and wrong in this context is] based on language, on proficiency with language?

Korngold: Yes, exactly.

Beinfield: Well, he's not a practitioner. He's not a religion. He's a translator.

Korngold: He writes dictionaries.

Clearly for Beinfield and Korngold, the writing of dictionaries does not merit the hallowed status bestowed upon Wiseman by members of the American acupuncture community. As they note in their published response to their public denunciation by Wiseman,
 Although arguments for the adoption of a shared vocabulary are
 provocative, it is distressing to anticipate that a single, stringent
 terminology might establish itself as the sole criterion for the
 authenticity of discourse; it is alarming when anyone assumes the role
 of self-appointed arbiter of valid ideas and legitimate speech.
 (Beinfield & Korngold 2001:146)

When I asked them, then, how they viewed the issues of language and translation in their field, Korngold responded, "We don't use the term translation, we use the term transplanting." He developed the metaphor of transplanting as follows:
 Well, because you are taking something that grew up in another culture
 and you are trying to make it grow in your own. You know, it's like
 taking a chrysanthemum, which is a medicinal plant in China, and
 making it a decorative plant in the United States. Is it the same
 plant? Well, yes and no. You know, it's been adapted to American
 traditions, both from an abstract perspective and also from a
 horticultural perspective. Right? People's gardens are full of
 medicinal Chinese herbs. They don't know it, they just know them as
 decorative plants. So, is jasmine for example.

At this point, Beinfield exhorts, "Efrem! Get back to the question!" to much laughter, and Korngold launches into a fascinating comparison between American acupuncture and American Buddhism:
 You know, I feel like we were part of the first wave ... [and] our
 response was to make an analogy with Buddhism. Because there's an
 American Buddhism too. But, they don't call it Buddhism; they call it
 Dharma or Mindfulness. They are losing the term Buddhism because the
 term Buddhism is associated with a kind of fundamentalist, religious
 sect that Americans have a kind of allergy to. So, in order for
 Buddhism really to take root in America, to allow the Buddhist to feel
 this, sort of the next wave you know, Buddhism has to sustain and grow
 in the world, and America is the place that it will either make it or
 break it. You know, it has to change its name, it has to change its
 clothing, you know, the principle, the essence of it has to remain
 true, faithful, but everything about it must change, must adapt, so I
 think the same is true with Chinese medicine. And that's why TCM is
 kind of an anachronism, I think in the United States. Because it
 brings with it all the trappings of Chinese culture, civilization,
 which is very rigid and static. There's tremendous resistance to
 innovation. Or even questioning. Right?

The American "allergy" Korngold identifies against fundamentalist religiosity or dogma, echoed by Beinfield's exclamation about Wiseman--"He's not a religion!"--sums up the rest of the interview, throughout which they reflexively articulate the construction of their persona as counter-cultural proponents of medical pluralism and individual freedom. In keeping with this persona, the ultimate ground for acupuncture practice for Beinfield and Korngold is found in the individual people who come to them for their health care needs:
 We are ... striving to understand and solve the real problems of real
 people in the real conditions that confront us. Never relying on dogma
 or doctrine, we cultivate our own intelligence, imagination,
 compassion, and capacity to work appropriately with whatever means we
 have at hand. (2001:155).

Conclusions: the Contest for Meaning

For each of these brokers of American acupuncture, the semantic debate over Chinese language knowledge involves issues of transmission and authenticity. The question of transmitting Chinese language knowledge to American practitioners becomes the central arena for decisions regarding how a specifically "American" acupuncture will continue to emerge. Korngold's analogy with American Buddhism is a productive one for reiterating the contours of this debate: Changing the "name and clothing" of Chinese medicine so that it transfigures into "American acupuncture" is viewed as a detriment by Flaws and the Wiseman group and as an asset by Seem and Beinfield & Korngold.

For me as the researcher, it is language that brought me here--the discursive aspect of interviewing people who speak publicly for a living, and the fact that each of them believes language to be the most passionately contestable terrain for the future of their profession. For Bob Flaws, for instance, the everyday practice of American acupuncturists is diminished if the language behind and within these practices has not been accurately transmitted. For Seem and Beinfield & Korngold, their passion for pluralism and medical freedom emerges from their clinical experience, yet takes its most powerful form in the more abstract arena of language. What unifies the advocates for each position in this debate is their commitment to continued professional self-evaluation, especially in and through language. Engagement in the quest for semantic understanding is the ultimate winner in the debate over Chinese-language use in American acupuncture.


1. Cf. Richard Kurin's Reflections of a Culture Broker (Smithsonian 1997) for more on this notion of "culture brokers."

2. Acupuncture made a dramatic entry into American popular culture through the reports of New York Times foreign correspondent, James Reston, who received acupuncture for post-operative pain after an emergency appendectomy in Beijing while covering President Nixon's historic visit.

3. Certainly the tacit model here is biomedicine. As Barnes points out, "biomedicine has routinely been elevated as being virtually synonymous with everything paradigmatic and even archetypal about the concept of 'profession'." (2003:263)

4. "Master practitioner" is a term used unabashedly within the profession to indicate practitioners, some of whom are also culture brokers, with upwards of three decades' experience, who are also established national and international teachers. Seem and his wife, Warner Seem, research director at TSCA, recently organized several colloquiums during which master practitioners demonstrated their specific needling techniques. (cf. Emad 2003)


Barnes, Linda. 2003 "The Acupuncture Wars: the Professionalizing of American Acupuncture--A View from Massachusetts." Medical Anthropology. 22:261-301.

Beinfield, Harriet and Efrem Korngold. 1991. Between Heaven and Earth: a Guide to Chinese Medicine. Ballantine Books.

Beinfield, Harriet and Efrem Korngold. 2001. "Centralism vs. Pluralism: Language, Authority and Freedom in Chinese Medicine." Clinical Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. 2:146-57.

Eisenberg, David M., Roger B. Davis, Susan L. Ettner, Scott Appel, et al. 1998. "Trends in Alternative Medicine Use in the United States, 1990-1997: Results of a Follow-up National Survey." JAMA 280(18): 1569-75.

Emad, Mitra. 1995. "'Does Acupuncture Hurt?': Cultural Shifts in Experiences of Pain." In Steve Birch, ed. Proceedings of the Society for Acupuncture Research, Second Annual Symposium.

Emad, Mitra. 1997. "Twirling the Needle: Pinning Down Anthropologists' Emergent Bodies in the Disclosive Field of American Acupuncture." Anthropology of Consciousness. 8(2-3):88-96.

Emad, Mitra. 1998. Feeling the Qi: Emergent Bodies and Disclosive Fields in American Appropriations of Acupuncture. Doctoral Dissertation, Rice University.

Emad, Mitra. 2001. With Claire M. Cassidy. "What Patients Say About Chinese Medicine." Chapter 12 of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. Churchill Livingstone/Harcourt Health Series.

Emad, Mitra. 2003. "Needling as Translation: An Anthropologist Responds to TSCA's Needling Colloquium." Clinical Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. 4(4): 164-68.

Emad, Mitra. In progress. Twirling the Needle: The Body as a Site for Cultural Translation in American Encounters with Acupuncture. Manuscript in progress.

Farquhar, Judith. 1994. Knowing Practice: The Clinical Encounter of Chinese Medicine. Westview Press.

Kurin, Richard. 1997. Reflections of a Culture Broker: A View from the Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institute Press.

Palinkas, L.A., Kabongo, M.L., et al. 2000. "The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Primary Care Patients." Journal of Family Practice. 49:1121-1130.

Rose, Ken and Zhang Yu Huan. 2001. Editorial. Clinical Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. 2:185-190.

Seem, Mark. 1992. "American Acupuncture Comes of Age: Perspectives from the Frontlines." Medical Acupuncture Journal. 4(2): 16-23.

Unschuld, Paul. 1985. Medicine in China: a History of Ideas. University of California Press.

Unschuld, Paul. 1987. "Traditional Chinese Medicine: Some Historical and Epistemological Reflections." Social Science & Medicine. 24(12): 1023-1029.

Winslow, L.C. and H. Shapiro. 2002. "Physicians Want Education about Complementary and Alternative Medicine to Enhance Communication with their Patients." Archives of Internal Medicine. 162:1176-1181.

Wiseman, Nigel and Andrew Ellis. 1995. Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine. Paradigm Publishers.

Ziff, Bruce and Pratima Rao, eds. 1997. Borrowed Power: Essays on Cultural Appropriation. Rutgers University Press.


* Mitra Emad teaches and writes about cultural constructions of the human body, especially in terms of how the body functions as a site for cultural translation. She has published articles about the American comic book, "Wonder Woman," about acupuncture needling as a mode of bodily translation, and about cultural constructions of pain. She is currently completing a book, Twirling the Needle: the Body as a Site for Cultural Translation in American Encounters with Acupuncture. Dr. Emad is an Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
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Author:Emad, Mitra C.
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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