Biological approach

In my opinion of the six approaches to medical anthropology, I believe that that biological approach is the best way to find out health of a person. My reason is that a person condition and decision and the environment’s influence is the result person’s health. To make a bit clearer a person’s genetic deposition can make him easier or resistant to get sick, a person’s decision may allow to avoid getting sick by getting away from source of the cause of sickness such as the cold environment. With biological approach leads to creation or influences of the rest of the approach.

With the comparison of disease and illness are that both are negative impact to health. The difference between the two, disease are physical condition while illness is an expression or behavior. At first the two term was a bit confusion and was not so obvious, by searching for and examples and further reading of the two terms made it clear about the difference and similarity.

In the article what Miner was describing was a Native American culture. I realized because it was given out in the description that they reside at Mexico region. If the article were to not given the location of where the people reside, I would not able to guess. The reason is even if I were to compare people living around the world, there are people living isolation that do emphasize the rituals of the human anatomy and something relating to spirits.

It seems that people of Nacerima culture seems to take seriously about an opening of the body. One example is that a mouth are treated with a rituals in a way to prevent the loss of its property, including social relationship and the health of the mouth. Therefore a person with certain job called mouth-man are to treat the people by inserting magical substance in their mouth or to examine it.

Also the ear are said to allow devil to enter and possess people. It seems that the children are prone to the possession by the influence of their parents. Therefore there is special people called “listener” for exorcise the devil.

It seems that despite of the ritual that did not work, the people put strong belief on the people who perform special task and emphasize that the bodily opening give a significant influence of the health of the people.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ashley Lathrop says:

    First of all, nice post, I enjoyed reading it.

    The Narcirema had many rituals described in the article. Even though this article was more than 50 years old, a lot of it still rings true. I think the ritual about exercising the devil still is true today. However, I think regarding children now, ADD or ADHD is the focus. Children seem to be diagnosed with these disorders more often than not and are prescribed pills like Adderall to keep them calm and focused. So for our society today, maybe the ear that would be lent would be the psychiatrist trying to figure out if the child has ADD or ADHD and that’s why they act like they’re “possessed.” Furthermore, children are influenced by what their parents say and do. Maybe in today’s society, parents are busy and can’t control their children or maybe they just don’t know how to work with them. So maybe parents are taking their “possessed” children to the doctor to get medication when really, maybe all the child needs is a different diet, different environment and/or different parenting tools.

    The other ritual discussed was the opening of the body. In our society today, I do not believe surgery is as large of a deal as it once was. The prevalence of non-essential surgeries to “fix” one’s appearance is a good example of this. I think 50 years ago the risks were many, which today, medicine has advanced so much that we’re able to handle a lot more. I think of surgeries like gastric bypass to shrink the size of one’s stomach as to prevent them from eating too much. This surgery, although helps people lose weight, does not fix the problem, just puts a Band-Aid on it. When talking about dentistry, I think it’s still the same. We go through un-pleasantries to ensure our health. It’s necessary and ensures health for not only our mouths but for our entire bodies.

    I think that throughout the article, it wasn’t as dated as I assumed. I think society is still much the same but has changed. Unfortunately, I think we rely way too much on medications to fix the problem.

  2. Moriah Hill says:

    I too also believe that the biological approach has a lot to do with finding out more about the health of a person. You must first look at the genetic factors, know what was passed down to a person, what may be hereditary and if it is able to be cured. Knowing the background of a person and their illness can help the way the health care providers go about treating it, if it is something that may not be curable, if it can be passed down and many more important things that should be known. The biological approach gives an inside perspective on illnesses and diseases, in my opinion.
    The Nacirema culture are known for using “magic” when curing illnesses and diseases. In today’s society we use medications, surgeries, therapies and etc to cure our illnesses and diseases. Magic is seen to be irrelevant when it comes to curing something. Most people do not believe in magic today, anyhow. The idea of surgery or opening the body in the Nacirema culture was not as bi of a deal as it is now and the need for medications were not important. The Nacirema culture used rituals to overcome illness and disease.

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