Mudpacks and Prozac: Experiencing Ayurvedic, Biomedical, and Religious Healing, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Mudpacks and Prozac

Experiencing Ayurvedic, Biomedical, and Religious Healing, 1st Edition

By Murphy Halliburton


232 pages

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People seeking psychiatric healing choose from an almost dizzying array of therapies—from the medicated mud packs of Ayurveda, to the pharmacopeia of Western biomedicine, to the spiritual pathways of the world's religions. How do we choose, what do the treatments offer, and how do they cure? In Mudpacks and Prozac, Murphy Halliburton investigates the very different ways in which Ayurvedic, Western, and religious (Christian, Muslim, and Hindu) healing systems define psychiatric problems and cures. He describes people's embodied experiences of therapies that range from soothing to frightening, and explores how enduring pleasure or pain affects healing. And through evocative portraits of patients in Kerala, India—a place of incredible cultural diversity that has become a Mecca for alternative medicine—Halliburton shows how sociopolitical changes around the globe may be limiting the ways in which people seek and experience health care, with negative effects on our quality of health and quality of life.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction

2 Th ree Th erapies of South India

3 Lives and Problems

4 Experiencing the World from Body to Ātman

5 Cooling Mudpacks: Th e Aesthetic Quality of Therapy

6 Conclusion: Pleasure, Health and Speed

Appendix A: Semi-Structured Interview Questions



About the Author

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General