Period: 21 November 2003 - 25 March 2004. Country: India
(1) Contemporary Transformation of Traditional Medicines in India
KASEZAWA Masato  (Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies)
Key Words: Traditional Medicine, Globalization, Sharing Knowledge, Reflectivity, Nationalism

A local practitioner. He diagnoses mainly by checking the pulse, in the traditional way
(2)  The purpose of my dissertation is to elucidate the contemporary dynamism of traditional medical treatments in India . Today, it is no longer valid to consider traditional medical treatments to be specific and limited to the areas where they have been nurtured. In the case of Ayurveda-one of the traditional forms of medicine used in South Asia -it is not even appropriate to understand it as merely a local and traditional form of medicine confined to South Asia. Ayurveda has become popular in the Western world as one type of alternative medicine, and many Western patients now travel to India for treatment. Thus, the conditions surrounding Ayurveda in India have changed tremendously. In the dissertation, I will attempt to elucidate how the local people accept and respond to the contemporary global conditions surrounding Ayurveda, and how they transform the forms of their treatments in a reflexive manner.

(3)  This field research was performed from November 2003 to March 2004 in Trivandrum district of Kerala state, South India. During this period, I carried out research particularly on the activities of the local traditional practitioners: how they have modified and improved their treatments for acceptance by the local people. I also concentrated on the association formed by local practitioners. The reasons for organizing the association for Ayurveda is that Western medicine is spreading even in the village, and villagers are gradually moving away from local treatments. It is also becoming difficult for the local practitioners to respond to the illnesses of modern society. There is also a tendency for local practitioners to protect their knowledge about treatments in the context of increasing recognition of intellectual-property-rights in the world.

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