W3: Why not consider other options?

Science acknowledges logic, pragmatism, theories, postulates, conjectures, and evidence. Religion caters to faith, holiness, and metaphysical explanations in regards of the wonders of the world. The relationship between science, religion, and healing varies among culture. Western culture is more of a reductionist society. According to Cynthia Gabriel, we base medicine, healing, and treatment off of the notion of Cartesian Duality. Considering the fact that Cartesian Duality separates the mind from the body. Because Western culture refuses to take “the mind” into consideration when it comes to healing, people seek alternative solutions such as religious/spiritual healing, or something that doesn’t require dissections or prescription medicine. I feel as if the relationship between science and religion is healing itself. Healing can include: pain relief, mental relief, spiritual healing, and giving people hope.

Western societies idea of healing entails pumping their patients up with drugs, IV’s, and sticking people into machines. Take into consideration spiritual ceremonies in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. The San (Bushmen) has  ceremonies in which a healer dances for hours in order to connect with his ancestors and receive “power animal” in order to heal people who are amongst him seeking treatment (Ton Van der Lee, 2012). The healer in the documentary told a story about how his twisted neck was treated after a healer sung a spiritual song to him. Health solutions in societies such as Botswana entail spiritual healing. If he were in a society such as America, he would be told that he had a “crook” in his neck and to take an Advil to relieve the pain.

The potential of religion caters to healing, prevention, and empowerment (Kenneth Maton and Elizabeth Wells, 2010). Religion offers exclusive and prevailing means and a vantage point for influencing thoughts, sentiments, and behaviors. Moreover, what’s so ironic is that in Western societies, some people don’t seek spiritual healing until they’re out of options in regards of surgery and medicine. At that point, that is when people seek spiritual healing. This is because religion/spirituality restores hope and grants peace. I remember one day I was at church and a well-respected woman was testifying about a lump her doctor found in her breast. She explained that a few days after the initial examination she broke down into deep pray. She caught the Holy Ghost. She then stated that all of a sudden she had a “flushing” sensation throughout her body. Two days later after the episode she had a second examination; the doctor couldn’t detect the lump anymore. It was gone! If people learn to connect the pathos, logos, and ethos perspective of science, religion, and healing it would ultimately lead to more effective treatments for individuals.

Gabriel, Cynthia. “Cartersian Duality, Biomedicine, and Spirit.” Lecture, ANP 370: Culture, Health, and Illness, July 20, 2016.

Maton, Kenneth I., and Elizabeth A. Wells. “Religion as a Community Resource for Well-Being: Prevention, Healing, and Empowerment Pathways.” Journal of Social Issues 51, no. 2 (April 14, 2010): 177-93. Accessed July 21, 2016. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1995.tb01330.x.

SAN (Bushman) Healing Dance Botswana Africa. Directed by Ton Van Der Lee. Performed by Botswana Locals. Youtube. February 3, 2012. Accessed July 21, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyLF3y1YJKA.

2 thoughts on “W3: Why not consider other options?

  1. Hey Marqui!

    I agree that incorporating all perspectives of science, religion and healing would lead to more effective treatments for individuals. Religion gives people something to believe in and gives them hope. This hope can be necessary for achieving better health outcomes. I used to volunteer for a wellness house for cancer patients a few years ago and they would bring in Reiki professionals for the patients how would want it. Reiki is a Chinese healing practice where they do not actually ever touch the person’s body. It is all about transferring energy to the ill. While to some people this would seem absolutely ridiculous, but to these people receiving the treatment it gave them relief from their pain. I have no idea if it actually works but the patients believed it was working and therefore gave them hope and peace. When faced with a chronic illness, I can imagine that is what most of the patients want. Medical professionals in Western biomedicine are so fixated on the scientific aspect and healing the current symptoms they do not take into account the patient’s beliefs or the future outcomes of the treatment they are prescribing. This does not always make a person feel one hundred percent better, sometimes the side effects of the treatment almost makes it worse and this can be very frustrating to someone who is in so much pain. I feel that in our Western society we need to start considering the spiritual side of healing and some how incorporate that into patient treatment plans.

    Really great post!

  2. Marqui,

    As soon as I seen your title I had to start reading your blog! I ask the same question, why not consider other options? Here in the United States we are so focused on medicine and the expanding of it that we forget about the other options that are out there. Other options from different places around the world should be recognized. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. I think spiritual and emotional healing should be added into the United States’ process of healing. We tend to disregard peoples emotions and feelings and just worry about helping people through medication. If we incorporated spiritual healing into our medical plans patients would feel not only physically better, but mentally and emotionally better as well. We tend to leave patients feeling unsure and uneasy about a lot of the treatment we use and something must be done. We must change the way we do things and start incorporating other methods from different cultures into our system. If we do this I believe it will have a very positive impact on our healthcare system and people would feel much better about how they are treated in the United States. People from different parts of the world would love to see more of a diverse healthcare system as well. This would make them more comfortable coming to our country and receiving medical care.


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