Experiential Approach

I think the Experiential Approach is a very important way to study Medical Anthropology. Without it, many pieces to the medical mystery puzzle cannot be solved. This is especially true in Tribal cultures and societies such as we read with the Nacerima. In order to understand an individual’s, a society’s, and a culture’s medical history, interviewing the patient(s) is the key to unlocking the mystery. It does not get any clearer about medical histories than from the people about how they feel, think, perceive, and make sense of what their body is experiencing.

As with the Nacerima, they turned to shrines in their homes and the Medicine Men to make sense of their medical problems. They devote much time to rituals and ceremonies for explanations and healing. Their fascination with the mouth or oral cavity is how they perceive strong relationships exist in the culture. Without interviewing or observing them, outsiders would not know how deeply rooted the mouth is medically associated in this society. How the Nacerima think, feel, and perceive the mouth-rite as a healing and spiritual process is important to understanding how they view what is healthy and what is illness.

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