I found through this chapter that a medical anthropologist is not like any other individual who practices medicine in their profession. Rather, medical anthropologist collect, translate, and make a significant effort to document healing practices and health systems around our world. While medical anthropologist collect important data, they also discover how cultures treat their ill and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Guest states,
Whether it’s pneumonia, chickenpox, or the common cold, illness is a familiar occurrence worldwide. What is not familiar, however, is how different regions of the world and different people groups approach the processes of healing and curing. “Healing may be operationally defined as the personal experience of the transcendence of suffering,” (Egnew, T.R., 2005) whereas curing is listed as the “restoration to health” in Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. There is a very fine line between these two terms, but two distinct philosophies, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese, approach the healing and curing of disease in very unique ways. The use of herbal remedies is commonly implemented in both practices, but even so, the objective of Ayurveda is “to accomplish physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being by adopting preventive and promotive approaches as well as treating disease with a holistic approach,” (Chaudhary, A., p. 180).
Medical anthropologists have sought to understand and critique the similarities and differences between the social and cultural authority held by folk healing and biomedical practices. The understanding and critique come from the desire to learn more about relationships between a sick person and a healer/doctor. This relationship is a crucial piece in analyzing how social authority, which “involves the control of action through giving of commands” (Joralemon 2010:69), and cultural authority, which “entails the construction of reality through definitions of fact and value” (Joralemon 2010:69) are formed, used and sustained within a medical community. In both folk healing and biomedical practices, as Joralemon states, “the ability to cure would support a healer’s claims to superiority over others and could be used to promote professionalization” (2010:70). He says that when a doctor or healer is correct in their diagnosis and the patient gets better, doctors and healers gain more power and prestige within the community, which leads to a greater authority.
This motivates me to study and practice alternative medicine which has a different approach to healing than conventional medicine. Alternative medicine uses treatments such as herbalism, massage therapy, acupuncture, and exercise, in order to give the body a chance to heal itself. Alternative Medicine uses natural forms of treatment in order to aid the body to become successful in healing itself. Forms of Alternative Medicine can relieve pain, stress, prevent and treat illnesses and have the potential to heal and cure sicknesses and disease. I know that people are suffering and losing their lives to varies forms of diseases and cancers and many of them result to receiving conventional medical treatments but, find that the medications seem to be harsh to their bodies and too expensive.
Pacific Collage of Oriental Medicine DTD 1 course notes. San Diego, CA: Pacific College of Oriental Meidicine. Deadman, P., & Al-Khafaji M. (2009). A Manual of Acupuncture. East Sessex, England: Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications Liangyue, D., Yijun, G., Shuhui, H., Xiaoping, X., Hengze, X., Xinling, X., … Jingling, Y.
Those newly defined illnesses changed people’s perceptions and expectations of health and old age, thus dramatically altering society’s expectations of medicine and subsequent life quality. Conrad’s ethnography is a good example of the ethnomedical approach to medical anthropology that addressed several health conditions that are prominent in the United States. He culminated his book by arguing medicalization primarily serves as a form of social control, solving problems with individuals and not society. While the book clearly explained a wide range of negative causes and effects of medicalization, Conrad only acknowledged a few examples of successful resistance briefly in his last chapter. In order to empower its readers beyond education, the book should have examined these instances of anti-medicalization to find similarities and derive productive countermeasures for individuals to follow.
In the eastern countries, there seem to be more on religious treatments, and healing the entire body – not just the deformed part. They believed that the whole body is to be treated to maintain a healthy body and prevent disease. Various kinds of treatments were discovered throughout the ancient societies. These cures includes trepanning, surgery, herbal medicines, religious or agricultural remedies, and sacrifices. These were the forms of treatments undertaken by the patients.
Marwick, Charles. "Acceptance of Some Acupuncture Applications." The Journal of American Medical Association 3 Dec. (1997): 1725-1727. Thie, John F. Touch for Health. New York, Devorss & Co. Publishers, 1973.
Areas of life which could be considered 'natural' such as pregnancy, childbirth, unhappiness, ageing and death have been brought within the medical remit (Taylor & Field, 1997) and therefore are increasingly viewed under the principles of the medical model. Indeed many of these 'ailments' cannot be cured by medical intervention but are still subjec... ... middle of paper ... ...don. Taylor, S. & Field, D. (1997) Sociology of Health & Health Care. Blackwell Science: Oxford. Thompson, D. F. (1993) Professionalism & Paternalism IN Dickenson, D. & Johnson, M. (Eds) (1993) Death, Dying & Bereavement.
 Vaidya Dash, Tibetan Medicine, 89.  Dr. Yeshi Dhonden. Health Through Balance. (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 1986), 142.  Dr. Dhoden, Health Through Balance, 148.