A ‘Miracle Bed’ and a ‘Second Heart’: Technology and Users of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Context of Medical Diversity in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan
In this chapter, I examine the changing role and place of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, in the context of medical diversity which is particularly prevalent in the capital, Bishkek. The focus is on technological inventions from South Korea, popular among users of CAM therapies in Bishkek, specifically the Nuga Best (NB) bed-massager and other devices offered by the Nuga Medical Company. In the analysis, I apply Latour’s Actor-Network Theory (ANT), understood as a method for tracing processes of networking, stabilising and destabilising networks, in this case the NB network in Bishkek. In accordance with this method, I follow the network’s actors and demonstrate the role of the ‘miracle bed’ as a powerful non-human actor that has a special appeal to the people, significantly influencing their attitudes and strongly contributing to the network’s durability.
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