W3: The AnthroTrinity – Science, Healing, and Religion

This week, we were able to look at three different aspects of health: science, healing, and religion. The main purpose or middle point of any sort of treatment is healing. Science focuses more on the biochemical aspect of the problem at hand; meanwhile, religion deals with the connection of mind, body, and soul all in one. I think that to be truly successful, one needs to have both scientific and spiritual beliefs.

In our hemisphere, to treat the patient successfully, it almost is required to use some sort of western medicine. We have to use the biochemical side of the patient and treat it accordingly. Using our knowledge of the body and its systems, we will create a treatment plan that suits the patients needs and accommodates the side effects that may be created. To create the treatment plan, we use scans and tests. We measure amounts and create experiments.

According to Dr. Gabriel in lecture, we found out that Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, takes into account mind, body, and soul. A belief of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that you need to keep your mind, body, and soul balanced (Dr. Cynthia Gabriel, 2015). When you are in a better mood and keep better emotions, your health will be able to follow. This way of thinking is something that is usually lacking in Western medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine is just one example of a spiritual belief.

I think that both of these need to be used hand in hand to reach healing. I think that in order to heal a patient, the patient needs to have a spiritual belief. That belief could be in some higher being that will guide them through treatment; it could be a belief in fate, destiny, or just sheer luck. The belief that there is a possibility of health again is what needs to be evident. The belief of how that could be achieved is up to the patient. Since I am going into medicine, I also think that the scientific side of the spectrum is also very important. In order to have some biochemical healing happen, a treatment plan based on tests and experiments needs to be instated. This will help heal the body. The spiritual beliefs will help the soul. The fact that the soul and body are being aided will put the mind at rest making it easier to heal the patient.

I was surprised to find that Western Medicine seemed so cold and distant in the lecture videos. When I was researching things related to this week, I found a statistic that stuck out to me. It was one that proved that more and more physicians in America are starting to bring more and more spirituality into their own beliefs. Dr. Larry Dossey wrote, “A recent nationwide survey of American physicians in various subspecialties found that 59 percent pray for their patients individually, 51 percent pray for their patients as a group, 42 percent encourage their patients to pray for themselves, and 55 percent say they have seen clinical events among their patients that they consider miraculous” (Dr. Larry Dossey, 2011). I think this is amazing. I love hearing that more and more physicians are starting to include both scientific and spiritual aspects in their practices. This will create a more holistic healing process that will be easier on the patient and all around fulfilling.

All in all, I think that to reach health and healing, I think we need to first achieve including both science and spirit in our practices. To do that, I think we need to recognize that the patient is not just a body; it is a mind, body, and soul that need to be healed cohesively. That is the steps that need to be taken by physicians when they exit medical school and enter the work force. We need a better practice to start today; start with the AnthroTrinity.


i. Gabriel, Cynthia, Ph.D. “Cartesian Duality, Biomedicine, and ‘Spirit'” ANP 370 Culture Health and Illness. 2015. Accessed July 20, 2016. http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp370-us16/lecture-videos/cartesian-duality-biomedicine-and-spirit/

ii. Dossey, Dr. Larry. “Spirituality, Healing and Science.” The Huffington Post. May 25, 2011. Accessed July 21, 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-larry-dossey/spirituality-healing-and_b_680472.html

2 thoughts on “W3: The AnthroTrinity – Science, Healing, and Religion

  1. Hey Maria! I love your title it caught my eye and I love how you tied it in at the end! I also believe that their needs to be a combination of practices to be in place for a person to have an over all healing. Like you said we usually only focus o one part of the body that is hurting not at the individual as a whole which is what we should be doing!
    I also found it very interesting the statistic about the doctors praying for their patients and I think that just goes to show how caring doctors can really be and they’re not all just there for a pay check! I actually have a personal experience with this because i have to get iron infusions every three months and i get it done at the same place chemo is administered ad the first time i went to get it done there were two ladies getting ready to have treatment started and the nurses and ladies all asked if we should have a prayer circle and we did and i really thought that was just amazing. i’m not really a spiritual person myself but to see that everyone can come together and we can all be thee for each other was really great.

  2. First off, I chose to read your post because of your “AnthroTrinity” title, so well done on the creativeness. As I read through your description of the ideal healing process I began to realize that you and I have some very different views on the subject. I am a Biomedical Laboratory Science major, so you can probably guess what I believe is important in a treatment plan. I am a science guy, and I believe that science is the answer to most medical problems. However, your ideas about spiritual belief really made me think about healing as a holistic process. Whether you believe in a greater being or you believe in fate, destiny, etc. the process of believing is a distraction from what is happening around you. In the worst case scenario, a distraction might be the best thing for a patient. A hospital is an endless maze of tubes and wires that can be very frightening to some people. They may not feel very comfortable and therefore not respond very well to treatment. When you introduce that additional aspect of belief, the mind can focus on things other than what is surrounding them in a hospital bed. For these reasons healing should not be limited to pure science.

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