W1 Reflection: Biological approach

Biological approach is a useful tool in understanding a person’s health for many reasons; environments can be a cause of illness or diseases due to weather changes and living in bad neighborhood. genetic also contributes a fair amount to health issue because it can be inherited through genes from parents or families, making bad choices by individuals also relates to health issue because choices of eating bad food can cause illness and disease. I believe that biological approach is useful to me to understand the health because it helps me to understand the health issues through environment, genes, and individual choice which make more sense to realize how the illness or disease come from and so on.
The distinction between illness and disease is straightforward in the lecture, so no problem with understanding them. I believe that illness comes from human experiences, influenced by both in culture and biology. In addition, disease is an aspect of human environment that can also be influenced by individual’s behavior and socio-political factors. I think the distinction between them is obvious to me because I saw those concepts in some science books and magazines, so it can be easily interpreted right away and also approachable.

Miner represents the culture as North American culture in the Nacirema because it was from “their nation was originated by a culture hero, Notgnishaw,” so I will be able to recognize that it is from North American. In addition, mentioning Spirit of Truth also helps me to figure out which culture Miner is talking about. I realized this answer by reading the passage over and over again. It was a little confusing at first, but re-reading helps me to understand it better than first time.
I chose the ritual about latipso which refers imposing temple for sick people. The reason why I chose this ritual is now known as hospital treat sick people and let the patients to rest. However, this ritual has bad influence on many people because once people are in this latipso, people in latipso forces the patients to live in latipso forever. In addition, this ritual also affects on body-rites on men medicines and sometimes takes advantages of women through this ritual. Many people believe this ritual because people feel safe in latipso, and they also want to be treated by men medicines for their illness.
Other ritual that I chose is the holy-mouth-men because people in Nacirema want to see the holy-mouth-men to cure their teeth. However, when the holy-mouth-men use their tools to cure their teeth with magical powder, it actually makes them decay continuously. People still believe this ritual for their mouth is healthy to rely on the holy-mouth-men because they trust their ritual of healthy mouth makes their teeth better than before even though the holy-mouth-men use their tools to take teeth off by force without using any relief pain drugs.

One thought on “W1 Reflection: Biological approach

  1. Hi Sunjoon, your analysis of the “Latipso” and the “Holy-mouth-men” practices was very thorough. I particularly liked your notes on the social aspect into these rituals, such as the disparity between men and women patients. I too chose these rituals to analyze but I failed to look into the modern implications of these practitioners like you did. It is very interesting to note the parallels between the Latipso and holy-mouth-men and health professionals such as doctors and dentists when considering a modern day context. Latipsos care for the ill through a very ceremonial process and subjects are placed under extremely uncomfortable situations such as being fully nude and performing excretory practices in front of others. The whole process seems very reminiscent of a cleansing ceremony as an ablution follows the excretory functions. Applying this practice into modern day health practice, a similar body cleansing can be done but under a lot less of the social scrutiny associated with it, especially for women. The other practice dealing with the holy-mouth-men also seems very foreign but can be seen as a derivative of modern day dental hygiene. Through excruciating steps, the holy-mouth-men attempt to halt the spread of decay in the teeth of their subjects although it doesn’t seem particularly effective. Adaption to modern health practices would probably include some type of pain relieving medicine that dentists use today to help with the more invasive procedures. This would be extremely important because in a modern context, patient retention would be a lot less if the procedure was as painful as described by Miner. In the article Miner actually notes that the Nacerima people are questionably a masochistic or sadistic culture so it may lead into why these practices are so painful.

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