Biomedicine is the study and treatment of disease using a biological and scientific approach. It is the type of medicine used in western society and is said to be universal and objective from culture. However, while biomedicine may not share inherent views or beliefs of the culture, it is very much defined and manipulated by the culture in which is resides. The culture of biomedicine combines its history and evolution as well as its characteristics and uses in modern medicine. Biomedicine re-conceptualizes the social values and ideologies of society to being natural or scientific. What western society believes to be “normal” or “ideal” is what in turn the medical field describes as healthy. Since its conception, biomedicine has had a very influential roll on society. Because of its powerful scientific and evidence based backing, most people put their trust in biomedicine, even when it has been used by those in power for morally unethical goals such as the Tuskegee syphilis study or the American Eugenics movement. This influence on society is why understanding the culture of biomedicine and its effects is so important, so that it may be used to improve the health and lifestyle of society ethically and efficiently.

I believe dichotomy is how people put abstract ideas into more tangible terms that we can better understand. I think dichotomy can be useful for basic understanding, but that the ideas in question are far more complex and difficult to understand than the way we frame them. The mind and the body is an age-old dichotomy that sums up the first basic understanding of the human experience and later became a relationship that would be revolutionary in the realm of science. For the majority of the first half of human history the mind and body were believed to be separate entities. Sickness of the mind and sickness of the body were in no way related and were gone about treated in different ways. The mind was associated with spiritual trauma and the body was physical. It wasn’t until the late 19th century and early 20th century that scientists and medical professionals began to realize the mind and body are connected and directly affect each other. Phenomena in the brain are responsible for our thoughts, actions, personality, and mental illness when the brain is damaged or chemically imbalanced. This brought about a whole new strategy to treat mental illness in a more efficient and ethical way. In turn, the mind can have profound effects on the body as described last week in the placebo effect video. Today the dichotomy of body and mind is still a common thought/belief even though we now know they are connected. The mind is abstract and the body is physical so it’s easy to think of them as separate entities. We often forget that it’s certain neurotransmitters and neurological pathways in our brains that set up our thoughts that we have throughout the day. There’s still not a great amount of understanding to exactly how biologically our thoughts are formed so we tend to think that the mind is its own power, even though we still associate it with our brain.

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  1. Vu Ho says:

    Like you said I also think that it is important to understand that the body and mind as dichotomy. The reason is that there are a health for body and the mind. Though a doctor may treat the body, does not mean that the mind have been treated. One example is a person had a car accident may be treated of his/her injury and after several months of the body being healed does not mean that the mind have been healed. A person may suffer from PTSD and anxiety from that previous event. That is when there are psychologist to treat the mind.
    It is important to know that both the mind and the body can influence the health. A bodily injury can cause imbalance to the mind such as brain injury can change hormone and signaling of the brain. For example a damage in the frontal lobe can change the person’s personality. A psychological injury can also cause damage to the body. A prolonged stress can cause damage to the body because stress hormones being released for too long can increase blood pressure and affect heart heath. I find that it is important for clinician to notice the health of both the body and the mind since it can affect the overall health and cannot ignored one from another.

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