Ecological Approach

I believe the ecological approach would be the most useful to me in studying health. The ecological approach is important because our surroundings and environment we live in has a great impact on our health.  Focusing on the environmental factors of an area can help us see why certain diseases and illnesses are occurring in certain areas and what lead to these problems. The way we live our lives on a day-to-day basis has the biggest impact on their health. Therefore, if we know more about their environment and culture, its easier to understand why these diseases are prominent in different areas and populations. I do believe it is important to have our health balanced and in order to do this, we must consider the environment and the population first.

The distinction between disease and illness is important, for the purpose of clarity and truly understanding our health. I would define disease as a condition that affects the body that needs to be cured. An illness is a feeling or response to disease. So, the distinction is disease being a condition and an illness being a feeling. The distinction was not obvious to me because I usually would use them interchangeably. After listening to the lecture, I now see that they are different and its more clear why they should be used correctly in medical language.

Miner is talking about the American culture in his article. I did not realize this until he began talking about George Washington cutting down the tree and about the economy which is big in American culture.

One of the rituals that I found interesting in the Nacerima was the “mouth rite” ritual. Using the hog hairs and magical powders as like a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep their teeth clean showed the extent they would go to in order keep their mouth clean. This idea stems from the idea that teeth should be perfect and we must keep our teeth in good condition to have an appealing smile to others. Another ritual was the ceremonies the medicine men performed on the sick people, called the latipso. I found this interesting because they would not treat those that were ill if they did not give a nice gift or pay them. This is a reflection of how our hospitals are today, being that you cannot get treated if you do not have the money or health insurance to cover the cost of treatment. This shows that Americans value money more than health because they are only willing to do what you need if you have money.

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  1. Connor DeMars says:

    The two rituals that you chose have be updated to represent current health values. Like you said, the Nacirema were so concerned with their teeth that they put hog hairs and powders in their mouth to keep their teeth clean. They did this every day, and even visited the holy-mouth-man. We have been doing a similar process every day for years now. Every morning and night we brush our teeth to have a good smile, something we pay very close attention to in society. We also visit a dentist, similar to the holy-mouth-man, to make sure our teeth are clean. The other ritual you chose is the latipso, and has been updated to fit our society. You mentioned that it is a reflection of today because they would have to pay to get treated which is true, but the Nacirema weren’t even sure if they were going to be healed and many were sent there just to die. Nowadays, there has been more research done regarding diseases, and hospitals are more capable of treating people of diseases. This ritual does represent hospitals and doctors, but now we have better doctors, hospitals, and technology to assist the patient. Also, the Nacirema were forced to give a rich gift as a payment, and now it has been updated to having health insurance.

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