Health is a state of physical, social, and psychological well-being within a given social, cultural, and environmental context. Sometimes we describe being healthy as eating the right foods and exercising, but I think the true definition goes beyond that. Not only does it mean to be without illness or disease, but you also have to take into account the mind. So, an illness is an unhealthy condition of the body or mind. When the body is out of homeostasis and loses some stability, it becomes ill.  The lecture slides describe illness as the human experience and perceptions of alternations in health, as informed by its broader social and cultural contexts.

I would say that a combination of things have influenced me on what I think it means to be healthy or ill. When I think of health as described by the media, I think diet and exercise. Now almost every restaurant/fast food place has a “healthy” section of the menu to try to entice people to eat at their establishment. On top of that, you cannot go a half hour without seeing an infomercial for some new workout routine that will get you in shape in no time. That’s the physical aspect of health. School has definitely had an impact of my definitions of the two. Since I can remember I have learned about the human body and how it works. Lastly, my family has played a part in my knowledge of health and illness. When I got sick as a child, my parents would take care of me depending on what my symptoms were. If it was a little more serious, I would visit a doctor.

The three conditions from the list that I chose to discuss were migraines, old age, and illness. Trying to decide whether or not migraines were an illness was probably the most difficult choice. I would have to say the migraines are an illness. People who suffer from migraines face moderate to severe headaches and nausea, which affects an individual’s well-being. Old age was the next item from the list to decide. In my opinion, old age is not an illness. For those who are lucky enough to live long enough, old age is just a natural part of life. Just like grey hair and wrinkles, getting older happens to everyone. Lastly, I would not classify poverty as an illness. Poverty means that one is lacking material things or money. Though I don’t think poverty is an illness, I think it can lead to things that would affect an individual’s well-being.

1 thought on “Migraines

  1. I too had some trouble classifying migraines as an illness or not. I decided ultimately to classify it as illness was well because of the pain and other physical symptoms migraines causes a person. As I started to research into migraines I found that the Chinese and Asian cultures believe that Qi is a life force flowing through the body and migraines can be explained as an interruption of that Qi causing the illness. I also found that a treatment that Chinese medicine uses for migraines is acupuncture. In the article I read on Info Med acupuncture works as a treatment of migraines by “realigning this energy by stimulating certain spots that can affect the biochemical and physical operation of the human body”. Acupuncture is when thin needles are placed on the arms, legs and shoulders. Treatment can range from 5 to 30 minutes and patients undergo this procedure once to twice a week. “Some studies have tried to use the needles only in the scalp for treating headache pain. Surprisingly this has had very impressive results with ninety eight percent of patients in this study did not have headaches, or only the very occasional mild headache, for six months after the study was completed” according Info Med. These statistics seem very promising and seem to having a very good success rate.

    1. http://info-med.co.uk/headaches/traditional-chinese-treatment-for-headache-pain.php
    2. http://adam.about.net/reports/Migraine-headaches.htm

Leave a Reply