I was lucky to have Mexican friends to put me up, ferry me around, shower me with food and attention, without asking for a thing in return. It wasn’t long, however, before their hospitality began to overwhelm me. I felt compelled to return the generosity in whatever meagre way I could – and hamstrung by my inability to do so.
Each so-called weed, after all, has a remarkable story to tell. Each is the product of millions of years of evolution. Each is a descendant from an ancient species that had migrated across seas and continents. Each has a life trajectory – dormancy, germination, establishment, secondary growth, bolting, pollination, seed dispersal, reproduction, death, decomposition.
This post is about the biopsychosocial medical model and how it relates to the treatment of chronic pain. As an anthropologist, I’m particularly interested in the social part of that model - what societal factors contribute to the causes of chronic pain? What societal and contextual factors could be used to help individuals recover from their conditions, and help society recover from the current chronic pain epidemic? To get to that though, I’m going to need to talk about the biological and psychological aspects too, because the three are inextricably connected, despite Descartes assertions about the distinction between the mind and the body. To illustrate this, I’m going to share with you my own experiences. They’re highly subjective of course, and my journey will not be identical to anyone else’s - what has worked for me may not work for you, and I’m certainly no medical professional. But I gift my experiences to you here for you to evaluate for yourself.
As Rama becomes more and more the icon of “virile Hinduism” and the symbol of a new kind of hegemonic, patriarchal, masculinity, so Krishna is held up as the counterpoint: masculine but not man; gendered but fluid; and sexual but not bound by cultural or even biological norms.