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Investigación y Desarrollo

Print version ISSN 0121-3261


PAEZ CASADIEGOS, Yidy. Shen: a holistic psychology of traditional chinese medicine. Investig. desarro. [online]. 2015, vol.23, n.2, pp.416-438. ISSN 0121-3261.

The word Shen denotes mind, consciousness, states of mind, but, thanks to its ideo-pictographic nature, it also involves metaphorical connotations which make its translation an exercise in hermeneutics, especially when, along with other metaphors, it is part of a style of thought which is structured discursively and poetically. The central metaphor in this system is Tai-Chi ("great celestial breath", "great cosmic energy", the "energy of everything", etc.), which is the foundation of a medical-ethical-philosophical discourse. The word Shen refers to a type of "energy" (chi) which enables us holistically to interpret symptomgenerating mechanisms, to describe their signs, therapeutic approaches and the ethical position of the therapist vis-à-vis the patient. Through Shen, the realm of natural Tai-Chi becomes integrated, in transdisciplinary fashion, with a mental-philosophical-societal tai-chi. On the basis of these considerations, this paper proposes a view of Traditional Chinese Medicine as psychological medicine, with its propedeutics and holistic methodology and its psychosomatic vision, in the epistemological sense. This psychological medicine raises questions with regard to our institutional conventions and our discursive certainties about a "medical psychology" which is coming to be perceived as disciplinarily separate from psychological knowledge.

Keywords : Shen; Tai-Chi; mind; Traditional Chinese Medicine; psychological medicine.

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