I think that the biological approach is the most useful approach to study health because it encompasses environmental factors, genetic factors, and individual choice. All of these are important aspects of health and it’s important to consider the influence of each factor on the whole picture- our overall health. Some environments have cleaner air than others, or provide residents a safer home. Genetics has a huge influence on susceptibility to disease or illness. And individual choice like smoking or eating healthy affects our epigenetics and can affect our gene expression later in life. All of these factors are important in determining our overall health which is why the biological approach is so useful when studying health.
Disease is the physical alteration from a healthy state, while illness is the perception or feeling of being sick. Before I never really distinguished between the two words but after the lecture the difference seems a lot more clear cut. The difference mainly lies within how an individual experiences sickness. A person can be ill but not have a disease, or can have a disease and not experience illness. It all depends on how the person perceives their sickness.
I realized right away that Miner was talking about the American culture because I have already read Nacirema. The first ritual that I found very interesting was the daily “mouth-rite” in which people insert bundles of hog hairs into their mouths along with magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a series of very formal gestures. This description sounds disgusting and confusing but really Miner is referring to brushing ones teeth which is a very necessary activity to maintain good oral hygiene. Furthermore, they also seek out the Holy-Mouth-Man twice a year. The Holy Mouth Man uses probes and prods to exorcize evils of the mouth and torture the client while doing so, yet clients return time after time. This description is of the dentist and sounds awful and horrendous, but in reality the dentist is a good thing, and helps us to keep our teeth free from cavities and decay.