Biological Approach

I think all of the six approaches are very important and interconnected when it comes to studying health. However, if I had to choose one as the most useful I would pick the biological approach. I believe that biology is a cornerstone in medicine and in the health field. It is important for doctors and other health care professionals to understand what causes a particular disease or illness, whether it be caused by genetics, individual choices, or the environment in order to solve/treat these conditons. The biological apporach almost in a way paves the way for other approaches such as the enthomedical approach. Without biology there would be no way to identify or treat illnesses.

Prior to watching the online lecture I used the words illness and disease interchangably. However, I am now beginng to see the distinction. Illness is defined by the culture of a society whereas disease has a more universal understanding. For example, symptoms for a specific illnesses common to a group of people native to a region of Northern America may not be considered symptoms at all to a group of individals residing in Amazon river basin. Illness is more about feeling ill whereas disease actually alters physical functions and can be diagnosed through further testing/analysis.

At first I was not sure which kind of culture Miner was talking about in the Nacerima article. However, I slowly began making many connections between the culture he was speaking of and our very own Western culture. I didn’t clue into this until he began talking about oral health. The line explaining the dental care where they drilled decay and filled it with “magical powder” instantly made me think about cavities and fillings. As I continued reading I could make even more connections. Being a certified nursing assisant myself when they spoke of the latipso it made me think of the hospitals  many people go into the hosptial leaving with more infections than they came in with, and the bathing no matter how much pain the individual was in, made me think of my job as a CNA where I often time have to turn and bathe patients that are in extreme pain. After re-reading the article I saw that there were many other connections to Western culture in the Nacerima article. For example, the scraping the face with sharp instruments is shaving, and women baking their heads for an hour may be a hair blow dryer at a salon.

The “mouth-rite” where the Nacerima culture puts hogs hair in their mouth (toothbrush), and magical powders (toothpaste), and they move it “in highly formalized series of gestures” is referring to teethbrushing. This obession with mouthcare shows that the culture values dental hygiene but not for the health benefits they value hygiene for the appearance; as Miner mentioned in fear of losing friends and lovers rejecting them.  The other ritual of giving “a rich gift” to the custodian (money to pay for a hospital visit) shows that the Nacerima culture does not put much value to an individuals lifethey are more worried about material possesions and there is obvious greed. The Nacerima culture has superficial values and ideologies about health/medicine.

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