Posted by: Re.Rooting | 23 February, 2009

Article: Miracles in the Mountains: Medical Tourism in Rural Arkansas’ Ozark and Ouachita Mountains

I am really really busy these days, so for now, I will just post things on here of extreme interest.  As soon as my busywork dies down I will begin etching out the foundation of a book I intend to write. Until then, here goes:

Miracles in the Mountains:
Medical Tourism in Rural Arkansas’ Ozark and Ouachita Mountains

Forthcoming in Reimagining and Sustaining Community in a Globalizing World
Edited by B. Duggan and S. Folmar, University of Georgia Press

Justin M. Nolan* and Mary Jo Schneider
Department of Anthropology
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Communities across Arkansas’ Ozark and Ouachita Mountains are witnessing a subtle invasion by “medical tourists,” visitors seeking new and effective remedies in their quests for better health. The recent resurgence of interest in complementary and alternative medicine is partly responsible for this trend. For patients unsatisfied with conventional medicine, the services provided by unorthodox practitioners in Arkansas’ mountain communities offer hope
and promise where conventional therapies have failed. The healing practices observed and discussed include traditional plant-based medicine, in addition to more esoteric approaches such as quartz crystal healing, touch therapy, iridology, massage therapy, and reflexology—all of which emphasize the importance of purity, energy, and balance in preventive health and healing.
Here we examine how medical tourism has preserved these techniques by incorporating them into mainstream health care services. Ultimately, the blend of unorthodox and conventional medicine in the Arkansas Highlands is evidence of globalizing forces at work, in addition to a renewed appreciation for the historic continuity and efficacy of traditional knowledge in the Upper South.



  1. Fascinating.

  2. hey, thanks! i should be posting more soon as i will be graduating before long. I have a lot of stuff to post about.

    The guy who wrote this has been working with our anthropology department. Up to some keen stuff. I am interested in looking into traditional agroecological knowledge and reforming our understanding of TEK so as to factor in these other types of understanding. Is there much agricultural tourism out there? I’m going to be doing a bit myself here this summer, actually.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: