W3: A strong mind is a healthy body


It is important for the patient to connect with their doctor and feel as if the one treating them as their life in their best interest. Over the years there have been issues with false treatments for money, insensitivity to ones needs, and misunderstandings between cultures. Don’t get me wrong, mostly all doctors are truly amazing and save a countless number of lives, but slight issues in the healthcare field have left some people skeptical. There is a huge relationship and connection between medicine, religion, and healing and that has changed over time.

American biomedicine is very complex and comes with different outlooks based on the start from many origins. One in particular gave the main philosophy influence on the deviation of medicine, by the name of Descartes. Where in this weeks lecture, we learned that western biomedicine was from the root of the split between the body and mind (Lecture 3.1). There was much controversy saying that the soul was not important in the treatment of illness, Cartesian duality, yet that was challenged when placebos came out, people felt like their pain had went away. A placebo is a fake treatment that does not actually contain the drug, but to see if the patient feels cured based on their mind thinking the pill is real and working. This concept is very important in studies because of how powerful our brain is; with a strong mind there is most likely a stronger body.

There is always something to be said about how doctors are so focused on treating the illness that they forget that the person beneath it all is an actual human with feelings with cultural differences, and religions, and moral beliefs. It is important to take all of that into consideration when using medicine. All of our mechanical tools and technology have been amazing discoveries that prolong a person’s life and way of living. The bigger picture that we don’t seem to look at is life verses death and now the religious meaning changes when ones alters their life. Unless it is a psychiatrist, doctors seem to just look at physical symptoms of a disease and forget about the ones spiritual and social aspects that may surround or be the root of it all. The idea of spiritual healing is important for curing illnesses, especially for people who are very religious. It is important to not forget that aspect of a person when dealing with treatment. An article in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a Doctor talked about the role of spirituality in health care. As said in the article, “Spiritual or compassionate care involves serving the whole person- the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual” (Puchalski, 2001). The findings on their research on the role of spirituality in health care show many positive effects. These include, higher mortality rates, easier coping mechanisms, and enhancements in recovery time from illnesses and even surgeries. It all goes to show that someone’s beliefs and having a health, positive mind, goes a long way with mental and physical health.


Puchalski, Christina M. “The Role of Spirituality in Health Care.” Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center). Baylor Health Care System, Oct. 2001. Web. 20 July 2016.

One thought on “W3: A strong mind is a healthy body

  1. Hello Emily,

    I totally agree with you. Western culture on the most part is a reductionist society especially when it comes down to health care. It’s very rare that you see a doctor asking about a patients mental status when it comes down to physical examinations. Say for instance person was to go to the doctor for hypertension. The first thing that comes out of the doctor’s mouth is “well your weight effects your blood pressure” or ” maybe you should lay off the salty food”. They rarely provided their full attention to the patient’s explanatory model. What if the patient is really stressed out! What if it’s not their diet and its just genetics! I know that biomedicine is amazing and I will not discredit all of the amazing innovations that have taken place in biomedicine however, sometimes physicians loose sight on what the human body entails. Due to the fact that sometimes doctors don’t care to listen on potentially helpful explanatory models…it ultimately can lead to less accurate diagnoses and limit the range of treatment options. The same cure doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes medicine may work, sometimes prayer may be the key! You never know, it all depends on the person.

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