Week 1 Reflection: Biological Approach

I believe that the biological approach is most useful for me in comprehending and studying health because it covers the major areas that can directly influence your well-being. It focuses on environmental causes, genetics, and the lifestyle choices we make in contribution our health. For example, if someone chooses to smoke frequently or consistently doesn’t eat well, it is going to have a negative affect on their health.

Disease refers to what actually ails us, such as cancer or an infection. Illness is how we as individuals feel about our ailment and how it affects us. The answer wasn’t obvious to me because both terms are used so interchangeably.

Miner is discussing the American culture. I first realized this when the author began discussing our ‘shrines’ built into the walls. I felt like I was missing something so I went back to the beginning and caught on that ‘Nacerima’ is ‘American’ spelled backwards and our own rituals were being described from someone else’s perspective. I found this article to be very interesting because we typically view other cultures’ methods of healing and perceptions of health to be bizarre, so it was nice to read about ourselves from different eyes. It also shows how seriously we take our health by making our ‘rituals’ seem unconventional.

One of the rituals described in Miner’s article is when he discusses the ‘holy-mouth-men’, which refer to dentists. He goes on to describe our unwavering belief that we need maintain proper and daily cleaning with a ‘bundle of hog hairs’ in order to stay healthy. We also need to see the mouth men frequently so we can patch up any holes. If we fail to do this, our physical and social states can be negatively affected.

Another ritual Miner describes is the ‘latipso,’ referring to hospitals/doctors. Miner makes the latipso sound very scary and invasive, which makes sense to me because most cultures find our health practices very hands-on and undesirable. He describes how children are terrified to go whereas sick adults are more than willing. He talks about ‘magic wands’ and ‘probes’ that are inserted into us to find the source of ailment and make us better. He also places a huge emphasis on how easily we are willing to remove our clothing and sense of comfort to be examined for the sake of our health.

One thought on “Week 1 Reflection: Biological Approach

  1. Hi Michelle,
    I enjoy reading your post and I agree that the biological approach is very useful. However, I was more interested in the critical approach. This approach requires us to think of how the world works. Medical professionals always come across to questions like is a person alive or dead when they’re in a coma, or can they use this kind of drug for that kind of purpose. I think that many of these questions makes this an interesting reflection on our culture and should not be ignored. I also think that the ‘holy-mouth-men’, which refer to dentists. The condition of our teeth is still a huge factor in our lives today. In the article, it mentioned that there are rituals making women’s breasts large if they are small, and smaller if they are large. This still happens nowadays, women go in for plastic surgery to adjust their breast size. Also, the daily body ritual performed by everyone includes a mouth-rite that was being explained in the article. People nowadays still care about their mouth hygiene and teeth very much that they would spend thousands of money on it.

Leave a Reply