The maligned healer: The ‘hakim’ and western medicine
MetadataShow full item record
Over the past decade Britain has seen an unprecedented increase in ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ therapies and yet concern has been expressed in particular about the practices of one type of healer, the hakim. Here I assess these concerns about ‘Eastern medicine’ by examining issues such as the hakim's education and training, treatment regimens and client groups; concepts of health and illness prevalent in the Asian communities, their relevance to the choice of practitioner and implications for health; the status and role of hikmat in the context of health care in the Indo‐Pakistani subcontinent and in the UK. The article suggests that hikmat and other ‘alternative’ treatments are here to stay — they are important areas for further study, particularly in the social and structural context of ethnic minorities’ health status and access to health care in Britain.