I find the ethnomedical approach to be the best way to study health especially when considering cultures that have existed for thousands and thousands of years. I like this approach because it takes into account all different types of traditional medicine used. In less developed countries than the United States, medicine men, shaman, and traditional healers are where most people go to receive care. In another class I’ve taken about public health we learned that in Africa bone setters are standard of care for broken bones and injuries. A large amount of the indigenous people do not want to go to hospitals and prefer the traditional methods. These methods are very popular in the Far East as well with use of different herbs, plants, and acupuncture.
I find it hard to distinguish the difference between illness and disease sometimes because the two are often interchanged or said that a diseased person will lead to having an illness. I believe the opposite that an ill person is at the beginning stages of disease. I had not read this article before and I did not realize it was about America until i saw the sentence talking about chopping the cherry tree. One of the rituals was the “holy-mouth men” i found this one as an interesting view on dentists and americans importance of a healthy mouth and nice smile. People with a nice smile make a wonderful first physical impression. I liked it also because my dad is a dentist. It also referred to our daily teeth brushing as a “private mouth rite”. The latipso ceremony is referring to our hospitals and there say it is a temple “where people go to die” and that those willing to undergo the purification ritual only receive it if they can afford it. The section about women’s appearance and their breast size was interesting, but easily recognizable in our culture. The article says, “a few women afflicted with almost inhuman hypermammary development are so idolized that they make a handsome living by simply going from village to village and permitting the natives to stare at them for a fee.”
This article shows that without knowledge of a people you can make assumptions and biases without realizing how similar you are. The article made our health system and culture seem so crazy with how it was worded, but we experience these “norms” everyday