Ecological Approach

I find that the ecological approach would be the best useful to me in studying health.  Since many diseases are common in populations, I find that we should study why diseases are spreading throughout populations.  For example, what ecological factors are contributing to the prevalence of malaria, AIDS, or high blood pressure in certain populations.  Environmental factors definitely contribute negatively or positively to our health.  This can be seen just depending on where we live.  If someone lives in an environment where they are facing strong pollution, or political unrest, the ecosystem has been thrown off-balance and their body will be in stress.  I feel that the ecological approach is the most important because in order to increase health for an entire population, we should create a balance.

The distinction between illness and disease was not obvious to me because I have always used the two interchangeably.  A disease is an abnormal condition of the body, something that can be scientifically proven and hopefully cured.  An illness is the feelings that one can get from a disease, although, not always.  These are the reasons that people seek healthcare.  The term “illness” can change from culture to culture.  While in some cultures, hearing voices is a sign of insanity, in other cultures, hearing voices could be the voices of spirits.

Miner is talking about the American culture when he talks about the Nacirema culture.  I did not realize it until after I read the article and investigated the article some more.  It shows how our rituals would look from a different culture who did not have these same practices.  In the article, he talks about a the ritual of the mouth.  He explains that the people think that if they don’t do it, they think that all their loved ones will leave them and that their gums will shrivel up.  It shows that we value physical appearance, and worry about what others think as a determinant of health.  Miner also talks about the latipso, or the “hospital.”  He stresses the lengths that many Americans will go to to get better.  Many will go through procedures that they do not understand and pay large sums of money just to survive.

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