chapter  3
Medicaments and Persuasion: Medical Therapies for Madness in Nineteenth-Century China
Pages 16

How did pre-twentieth-century Chinese physicians understand this kind of insane behaviour and how did they attempt to treat it? On what conceptions of the body and its pathologies were these approaches based? Were some therapies more common than others, and if so, why? is chapter starts with a historiographic and conceptual survey, and then draws from Mr. Bao’s case several themes that will help to answer these questions. ese themes include the nature of the medical object ‘madness’ in pre-psychiatry China (and how it di ers from ‘mental illness’), the complex ties between emotions and insanity in Chinese medical representations, the relative importance of medication and exhortation in the treatment of psycho-behavioural pathologies, and the construction and enactment of e cacy in therapeutic relations. By the end, readers will be able to discern what was typical from what was unique in Wu Tang’s approach, and will therefore have grasped the main medical ways of handling insanity in late Imperial China.