W1 Reflection: Biological Approach

I think Biological Approach is more helpful to understand health. First of all, as the video says, “this approach has been examining human growth, evolution and adaptation and the relation to the environment for a long time.” Such aspects all involve in and have profound influence on human health in all ages. This approach also examines genetics and individual choice. It always does research on and analyzes health from the internal human body like “evolutionary processes, natural selection and human genetic variation”, which is an essential way to understand health. For example, whether human beings can grow depends on the health condition, both mentally and physically. Moreover, over many centuries, human beings are evolving all the time, that is, they have changed a lot and look so much more different from the past, which also affects the evolution of health. Furthermore, if humans want to adapt in various environments, they have to own different health qualities to develop.

The distinction between disease and illness relies on whether human is affected by own experiences or the outward clinical manifestations and I think it is obvious to me.

First, “Illness is human experiences and perceptions of alternation in health, as informed by its broader social and cultural contexts.” Illness emphasizes the internal factors. It makes people feel uncomfortable for a long time. Additionally, illness is also something about psychological and mental.

Furthermore, “Disease is outward clinical manifestations of altered physical function or infection.” Disease is something specific sickness and caused by bacteria or virus, especially infection. It is an external factor influenced and changed by artificial reasons.

Miner is talking about the culture of medical anthropology, specifically is the rituals of medical anthropology in an old Nacerima tribe. When I read the third paragraph “The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people”, that is, the main of the activity is the human body and the appearance and health, including the rituals about taking medication, the complicated, “sacred” and cruel procedure in subsequent content, I realized this.

I want to talk about the ritual how people ask the medicine man for help and what happened in latipso. In my opinion, comparing Nacerima with society nowadays is more persuasive to show the value and ideology on Nacerima culture. The medicine men are just like the doctors who prescribe to people and they decide what medicine the patients should use. The magical potions are medicine and also useful to specific sicknesses. And latipso stands for the hospital in modern society. The “listeners” are like psychologist. People cannot recover in latipso, but they are willing to accept the ritual. Because the authority of “witchcraft” and the “sacred medicine” is extremely stable. Such “civilization” in Nacerima culture is based on the “sacred medicine” that offers impetus to the people and society in Nacerima. “Sacrded medicine” is a power and a guide for people’s life and people believe it, so it exists as a chain of thought, a kind of value and ideology. As a consequence, it is normal for Nacerima people to do harm to their own body by “body ritual” because of the superstition of “sacred medicine”.


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