Medicine Isn’t Always a Persons First Choice

I think its important for people to have their own beliefs when it comes to medicine and treatment. As it stated in the “does it work” lecture, different medicines and treatments work in different contexts but there also may be aspects of those medicines and treatments that aren’t beneficial or are harmful in certain ways. Even though a medicine may not be harmful to the patient, the waste or fluids released from the person on the medication may in fact be harmful to others. For example the lecture video “does it work” talked about how the chemicals for chemotherapy are in fact dangerous to those who handle them, and even to the nurses who administer it. Also the idea of a certain medicine or treatment being thought of as effective or not can vary all over the globe from culture to culture. Another thing the “does it work” lecture video covered is the idea of America going overboard with vaccines, drugs and antibiotics. Not all germs are bad germs and sometimes the medicines given to patients can actually cause more harm than good, especially when it comes to pregnant moms and babies. According to an article on WebMD, A mounting body of research suggests that exposing infants to germs may offer them greater protection from illnesses such as allergies and asthma later on in life(Zamosky).  Many cultures and societies have there own medical practices and beliefs, especially when it comes to religion. A person being spiritual or religious has a big impact on how they may view their own illness and how they want to go about treating it.  In the lecture video “Cartesian duality, bio medicine, and spirit” It talks about how the mind and body are in fact connected based on the placebo effect. The placebo effect is for example, when a person is in pain and when given a placebo or “fake medicine” from their doctor they think the pain has reduced or gone away. An ill person may go to a leader or pastor or priest for healing or a holistic healing treatment. According to the “Cartesian duality, bio medicine, and spirit” lecture video a group of people in Botswana and Namibia will gather together and have a healing dance that lasts all night long when someone is affected. The healers may even wrestle with the bad spirits and to them this treatment works which i would say is another form of your mind working with your body. Some people like to rely on science and medicine to heal while others like to rely on their religion for holistic and spiritual treatment.

Zamosky, Lisa. “Are We Too Clean? Letting Kids Get Dirty and Germy.” WebMD. Accessed July 22, 2016.

6 thoughts on “Medicine Isn’t Always a Persons First Choice

  1. Kendra,

    I like your example of how people employ differing strategies, both physical and spiritual, as preventative measures to disease. We have talked most of how people use different methods to treat illness, but I think it is important that we talk about what happens medically before illness strikes as well. As we know, what we do before we get sick is almost as important as what we do after we get sick. If certain spiritual practices are used in healing processes, there is a good chance that related spiritual practices were used prior to illness.

    Your example of kids being introduced to germs early in life also shows how strongly healing methods differ, even within America. Some people seem to think that healing methods don’t differ much within the United States. This study shows, however, that Americans employ different healing and preventative methods without necessarily thinking about it.

    Considering this, we shouldn’t be surprised that, throughout the world, different physical and spiritual methods are used in the healing process. There are methods far beyond the typical Western pharmaceuticals. Sometimes, these differing methods are even more effective than traditional scientific healing methods. It is important that we all understand that healing methods can transcend science and can be just as potent.

  2. I really like a lot of the points that you made in your blog post. I think it is very interesting how you brought up that too much of a focus solely on medicine can actually surpass being helpful and eventually become harmful. We are breeding super viruses because of our excessive use of antibiotics, and that isn’t to say that we shouldn’t tread anything with antibiotics, but I think that in our culture we are quick to treat things scientifically when there may be other ways that could help alleviate some of the risk associated with too much antibiotic use. I really like the information you presented from your additional article about how children are actually healthier in the long run if we expose them to some germs when they are young. I think this really highlights that there needs to be a balance in how people are treated. Science has done amazing things, and it would be silly to completely reject bio-medicine, but I think we could stand to learn from other cultures that take a more holistic approach to health. Like the healing dances in Botswana that we learned about, there are other ways to treat illness that we can use in addition to bio-medicine to create a personalized path to health.

  3. Hi Kendra! I was also intrigued about the consequences of medicines that we never think about. I for one have never considered the environmental effects of medicines, because I assumed that if they were harmful then they wouldn’t be in the market. I think there is a very large grey area when it comes to how many antibiotics and drugs created is considered overboard. At the end of the day, humans will never be safe from all germs, so I believe we must pick the best well rounded option.

    I think the placebo effect is something that goes around very underrated. I feel like I am always hearing this great research about how it is real and helpful, but that is the end of it. It is crazy to think that our own thoughts and attitude can effect our own healing. But that is the norm in most cultures. Its hard to believe one such thing when new research is coming out everyday, like your example of kids having a better resistance to illnesses later if they are exposed to some germs early on. We won’t know the lasting effects of all of these trials or experiments until a long time from now. This makes the decision for the healing process even harder without all of the facts. Right now, I do agree that it is a personal choice, and I hope those who need it do all the research on their different types of healing options. Good luck with the rest of the course!

  4. I totally agree with what you’re saying about Americans going overboard to a certain extent, and I also can relate to what you said about the Chemotherapy and how it can be harmful to hospital staff. My mom works at a hospital and she got a Parvo virus from being exposed to too much chemo and chemicals around the cancer patients, so this is becoming a serious problem that is being ignored. If a hospital wants to keep treating people that are sick then they need healthy staff and certain protocol should be in place so they can prevent getting staff sick.
    One thing that I disagree with when talking about Americans and how they are going overboard is vaccines. I believe that vaccines are essential to todays medicine. Reasons being that women are less likely to breastfeed now-a-days because the societal norm tells them they shouldn’t because it is not acceptable in public and really that is hurting the baby because they are not getting the proper nutrients or being exposed to the proper germs to build their immune system. So if we are not taking care of our kids from the start how else are they going to be exposed to certain germs that cause diseases? The answer is vaccines. Everyone has their own opinion but I have been vaccinated and I have not had any disease that has affected my life yet and I have been exposed to it. If it is going to help my chid or family, you bet I will get them vaccinated.

  5. Hi Kendra!
    I found your post really interesting and actually touched on a few of the same topics in my own. I definitely believe that western medicine isn’t the right treatment fro everyone. I think for the most part, we don’t pay enough attention to the other aspects that come with the medicine we are taking, and how it can affect others around us, or even ourselves later on in life. In today’s world there are so many other types of treatments that people use because they feel that it benefits themselves, along with the people around them as well.
    I also agree that the U.S. does sometimes go overboard with drugs and vaccines. Some of these precautionary measures we are taking can actually be hurting us in the future. If we begin taking antibiotics for every sickness that we acquire, this may hurt us later on in life. Our bodies develop immunity to the drug eventually, and if we were ever to contract a potentially deathly disease that required the use of antibiotics, they wouldn’t be effective on our bodies anymore. I also like how you mentioned the placebo affect. I found it so interesting to learn about more in depth, and after further research I agree that this can be an affective way in tackling pain management and other problems that don’t involve actually taking a certain drug. Overall great post!

  6. Hi! I really enjoyed reading your post, and I very much agree that there are many other options to healing rather than medications. Many people choose not to use medicine because they have other ways in which they believe work better for them. Depending on what works for them, who are we to tell someone what works better for them, they know their body, they know what helps them, and I do not think it is right for us to tell someone their ways of healing are wrong or right. some people use medicine, and some people like to meditate, I don’t think their is a wrong way. Obviously, if there is something totally wrong that reacquires medical attention, there is a different story but thing such as stress can be healed often using relaxation techniques. Many people are very quick to jump to medication before they try other forms of healing, and I think natural healing solution should be encouraged much more. Great post, thanks for sharing.

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