Experiential approach seems to summarize my interest for medicine the most.  I would like to become an OB for many reasons, however, I would like to be able to help women understand their own health, the process of birth, the options that they  have within their own bodies, and help them to distinguish their own wants and those of society.  Perhaps some women make the decisions they make based on the opinions of others, rather than their own wants and desires. 

I believe that the distinction between illness and disease is the opinion of a medical professional.  From the lecture, I gathered that an illness is more of ones belief that they have something wrong with their health, while a disease is the confirmation of a doctor, or an obvious symptom, which confirms a negative reflection of health.  I do not believe that the two are necessarily independent of each other,

The article about the Naciremas sounded mysteriously like us of the United States right from the beginning.  The location in which they were found, between Canada and Mexico, and the cultural hero in which they idolized.  Only those of the US would look to a hero than a god.  It is hard to separate myself from the rituals discussed of the Nacirema as I am the spawn of them.  I could not imagine not having my own ritual on a daily basis attempting to make my body less “ugly”.   I am guilty of taking magic potions on a daily basis believing that they will help increase my maximum health.  Lastly, I have seen first hand the benefits of dental work and annual and biannual check ups, as I have dentists in the family.  I do however, fully appreciate the advances in the field and am very grateful for only drilling when necessary and in order to prevent disease.  I may be naïve in thinking that showering, vitamins and necessary medicine, and dental work on a regular basis is needed, however, until I am educated otherwise, I will continue to with hold the rituals of my predecessors from 50 years ago with pride.   J

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rei Gjeci says:

    After reading your post based on an experiential approach, I would have to agree that the advances in the medical world give our society many opportunities to stay healthy overall. By having regular visits, whether it is to a doctor or dentist, we can detect a condition early on and are lucky enough to have resources and improve our bodies. I myself put a lot of importance on personal hygiene and looking the best I can. On the other hand, I believe our society has recently taken this idea to a new level. Today there are so many ways to completely alter one’s look by plastic surgery and that concerns me for the future of the society we live in. I do agree that keeping your teeth clean and free of cavities is very important to your overall health. In the article it was mentioned that in the Nacirema culture, people with decaying teeth would see the holy-mouth-men and even though their teeth kept decaying, it did not stop them from going back. This can be a reference to plastic surgery or more specifically Botox. I personally have not done too much research on Botox, but from reading a little about it, I do believe it is ineffective permanently. It might temporarily make the look of wrinkles disappear, but I do not believe the skin is actually repaired. Women and men who chose to get Botox have to continue the treatment throughout their lives and it could be damaging not only their skin but could also cause problems by allowing foreign bodies to enter. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid anything foreign entering our bodies to prevent any damage, so why would we feed the system and pay thousands of dollars to continue a treatment that has no final positive result? Again, I am basing my opinion on things I have heard on the media or articles but I can’t say I have done research on the topic and can support my points fully.

  2. Hassan Ahsan says:


    I found one of your comments very intriguing. You said that it was hard to separate yourself from the rituals of the United States as you are an offshoot of them. We are all the products of our exposure during our upbringing however, with new technology and knowledge, I do feel that it is possible to alter our beliefs and rituals. Though our predecessors practiced rituals that are similar to today, I believe that the human obsession with itself is reaching a narcissist level in society. Self-improvement surgeries are on the rise due to lower costs and an increase in the desire for “perfection” espoused by the media, via celebrities and models. Your comment that you perform your own rituals to be less ‘ugly’ may support the ideology that people nowadays are less satisfied with their appearances than ever before. The magic potions/vitamins are also being mass-produced as the craving for perfection. Though most potions are beneficial, easy access means that people may be unnecessarily self-medicating and this can have a detrimental impact, like a poison rather than a potion. Though the article by Miner was written in the 1950’s and is somewhat representative of today, the values and ideologies it represented have taken a turn for the more vain and idealistic viewpoint.

  3. Angela Palmer says:

    Hi zielin34,
    I like your outlook on the Experiential. That was actually my second choice, my first was biological. I like and appreciate communication and as humans everything we do is a form of communication, whether it be to ourselves or to others. Also, thank you for your passion for women’s health.
    In regards to the rituals you mentioned I would update them to today’s America by explaining that there are a lot of medicines out there in America yes. But it’s for “just in case” and it’s preventative. Today’s America may have a lot of daily medicine, like vitamins or for more serious cases pain meds, but the medicines in our “holy box”, or what have you, aren’t in normal cases necessarily used daily. For example I have tylenol, decongestant, and allergy pills in my medicine space. I certainly don’t use those medicines everyday and I don’t in any way worship it, in fact I’m stubborn and try my hardest not to use them. I want my body to fight it off on it’s own. Miner is either grossly exaggerating or 50 years ago America used way too much medicine and was way too serious about it. I’m thinking Miner was a big exaggerate with his satire, that may be so to get a point across. The other ritual I would update is the biannual dentist visit. Americans keep their teeth and bodies healthy with doctors visits, it’s not an obsession it’s just awareness and maybe fear as well, fear to be unhealthy. I would update his claims by stating that we do visit the dentist to get drillings but it’s only to prevent worse, infection that could kill us. I would much rather get a cavity filled than my jaw removed because of an infection that would soon kill me.

  4. Aaron Schmidt says:

    The daily rituals Americans have to make their body less “ugly” as you say, are also very important to me, and most of the people I know. I think our rituals have advanced a lot in the last fifty years. There have been advances in shampoos, soaps, toothepastes, toothebrushes, acne creams, vitamins, etc. that we buy in order to appear cleaner and healthier. Our modern society seems to have a lot greater variety of products that are advertised, and we spend a lot of time reading and figuring out which ones are better than others. I understand that these things are a ritual in our culture, but I believe that they are good things to have. Caring for the body, eating healthy, taking vitamins, and staying clean not only help us socially, they can help us live longer and more productive lives.
    You also talked about dentists and how they beneficial to prevent disease. Our dental system has advanced a lot in the past fifty years. We perform operations for people born with dental defects, where they could normally not live a normal life. We have braces retainers that can straighten teeth so people can chew correctly, and won’t have problems with their teeth later in life. Without dentistry, many people would not be able to properly eat, and many people would get more serious infections, that may even be life-threatening. Our daily brushing and bi-annual checkups are also important in our society, because we tend to eat foods with sugar and acid that erode our teeth faster than if we ate natural foods. Therefore, it is imperative that we have this ritual in order to keep our teeth healthy and prevent disease.

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