Biomedicine emphasizes the importance in learning about body structure and function in order to treat diseases and maintain health. The “culture of biomedicine” represents how we in Western societies denote personal values and ideologies as facts of the natural world through biomedicine. For example, the acceptance of Germ Theory required alterations in personal ideologies about how disease develops in order to accept a new concept as nature.
The relationship between mind and body is a social construct. In our Western society what we believe the relationship between the mind and body to be is different from other cultures. In the United States, we often understand the mind and body as separate entities that act upon one another. For example, placebos can affect how we feel physically by altering how the mind interprets physical symptoms. I believe that we have this understanding because breaking down the relationship between the two concepts creates a more concrete understanding of how they work together.
For example, the mind is often depicted as powerful and uncontrollable in our culture due to so much of our mind being unconscious or unknown. The mind is often referred to as its own entity due to its complexity. Our body, however, is viewed as a system of tissues and organs that functions as a vessel. The body is complex but it is often overshadowed by the mind when it comes to how our society denotes greatness to each concept.
We can see how biomedicine is effected by our culture with the words we use to describe these concepts. The mind being “powerful” the body as a complex “vessel” for life; I used these terms to describe the relationship between mind and body because that is what my culture has taught me. Even though the mind and body unite to create a single person our cultural values about each concept creates the descriptive words and definitions for each. Even though medicine and science are considered fact it does not mean it is free from cultural influence.