Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries are the hallmark war wounds of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, affecting anywhere from 18.5 percent to 43 percent of combat veterans. If not released in a timely manner, the trauma of war can store in the muscles of the body and begin to affect daily functioning of the soldier. This research examines how yoga functions as a holistic, body-based, community oriented treatment option for veterans with PTSD and TBIs. This paper draws from literature on PTSD symptoms and treatment, yoga class sequencing, and interviews with therapists and yoga teachers to insert yoga within a wider landscape of Complementary and Alternative Medicines being used to treat veterans. After going through Yoga Warriors International teacher training, observing a yoga class for veterans with PTSD, teaching yoga at Ft. Carson, Colorado, and conducting interviews, it is evident that yoga may be a viable treatment option for some veterans. Individuals should be empowered to choose the treatment method that resonates the most within their healing process. Research shows yoga can be a singular grief and stress management tool; pranayama, (yogic breathing) stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and calms the body. This thesis considers the physical aspects of yoga in the context of communities of yogic practice, which together create productive environments for healing.
For centuries scholars have assumed that a ubiquitous deterioration in quality of life occurred throughout the former Western Roman Empire following its collapse in the 5th century AD. This presumption is largely the result of a lack of understanding of the common people and the so-called “barbarians.” My research addresses this gap in the literature through the bioarchaeological analysis of the impact of the Vandal occupation of the Roman city of Sanisera on the island of Menorca, Spain during the 5th-6th centuries AD. The frequencies of osteological indicators of pathological conditions are calculated and compared to frequencies at other sites throughout the Empire dated to before, during, and after the barbarian invasions and collapse of the Western Roman Empire. This data is used to determine relative quality of life and the level of continuity in health between Roman and Vandal rule. The indicators analyzed are dental caries, dental calculus, abscesses, antemortem tooth loss (AMTL), periodontal disease, dental enamel hypoplasias (DEH), traumas including fractures and dislocations, periostitis, osteomyelitis, degenerative joint disease, osteophytosis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. The results indicate a high rate of disease at Sanisera, likely as a result of the plague that swept the region during this period. The diet was relatively balanced and nutritious, and the level of mechanical stress was normal for a rural, non-mechanized society. Overall, these results indicate that the average level of health at Sanisera was relatively good for a rural, non-mechanized society from antiquity. The level of health seen at Sanisera is consistent with other sites prior to the collapse of the Empire, implying that the Vandal occupation of the island did not result in a decline in the quality of life of its inhabitants.
Using the framework of schema theory from cognitive anthropology as implemented by Roy G. D’Andrade (1995) and Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn (1997), the current study analyzes the language use of participants in an eating disorder support group meeting, of three interviewees who have a history of at least one eating disorder, and of three interviewees who have played a role in eating disorder treatment: a licensed professional counselor who works as a research associate for a biomedical organization, a registered dietician who works in private practice at an organization with a multidimensional approach to food and body issues, and a recent graduate of a master’s in acupuncture and Oriental medicine program who intends to specialize in the treatment of eating disorders. The study took place in and around Portland, OR. It culminated in four schemas related to eating from the viewpoint of individuals with eating disorders, which pointed to an underlying metaphor linking eating and being. The practitioners’ language use reflected acknowledgment of these schemas and of the metaphor driving them at varying degrees. Therefore this study concludes that eating disorder treatment necessitates a complementary approach involving biomedicine primarily in extreme cases, the holistic thinking of Oriental medicine, the philosophy of intuitive eating, and support from loved ones—at the table and elsewhere.
The people of the desert Southwest have significantly felt the global water crisis. This paper explores the constant struggle for water rights by focusing on the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico, a community which plays a central role in understanding the issue of water shortage and disputes over water claims in the Southwest. The building of dams, a primary solution to the water crisis, also creates environmental and social impacts on the local cultures. This ethnographic study explores to what degree land conversion, as a result of dam building, has affected the Cochiti people’s native agricultural lands and practices. This paper incorporates perspectives of multiple stakeholders, including local farmers and ranchers, lawyers, forest rangers and members of the Cochiti community. The multiplicity of voices reveal the complexity of water sharing, as every party involved upholds different values and often one profits at the expense of others. The struggles of the Cochiti illustrate the difficulty in finding balance between environmental sensitivity, corporate interests and traditional cultural practices. Specifically, this project identifies the need for maintaining control of the water distribution, stabilizing the environmental issues resulting from the Cochiti Dam and preserving the cultural traditions of the Cochiti Pueblo. Exploring these issues on a local and global level is integral for the future of our environment and local cultures.
Recent polls indicate that only 15% of Americans accept secular evolution as the cause of human origins and less than 10% possess a functional understanding of evolutionary concepts (Gregory 2009; Newport 2012). Due to various social and psychological barriers to the acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory as well as a minimal educational focus on evolution, for some Americans visiting institutions of informal education like natural history museums is their only opportunity to obtain scientifically sound information about evolution (Diamond and Evans 2007; Spiegel et al. 2006). Many studies have investigated natural history museum visitors’ understanding of evolution but few have examined understanding of human evolution in particular. Data were collected over a five-day period at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Ninety-six museum visitors participated in an exit survey in the Hall of Human Origins. Fifty percent of visitors subscribed to young earth creationist or theistic evolutionary beliefs. Visitors’ answers to questions pertaining to information presented in the exhibition and their understanding of the principles of evolution as the basis of human origins were scored for accuracy. Relationships were found between acceptance and understanding, with those who accepted secular evolution scoring on average 79%, those who accepted theistic evolution scoring on average 70%, and those who accepted young earth creationism scoring on average 41%. Results indicate that visitors held several misconceptions about evolution, e.g. new traits that arise in populations are always beneficial (54%) and adaptations arise in response to need or an intentional effort to change by individuals (68%). Because natural history museums house the objective scientific knowledge and fundamental evidence for evolution, they play an important role in educating the public. However, as these results indicate, personal beliefs influence visitors’ ability to understand the principles of evolution as the basis of human origins.
Tattooing as a cultural practice has existed definitively in the archaeological record since the Bronze Age and continues in a diverse array of contemporary cultures. Throughout its extensive history, tattooing has often been closely tied to the military community, as either a mark of prestige or punishment, or through the military’s ability to transfer the practice between cultures. This study investigates tattooing among the contemporary military community in terms of image, location, motivation, and meaning in order to better understand influences of tattooing on identity formation. Quantitative and qualitative data collected through interviews in several tattoo parlors in the Colorado Springs area revealed that 71% of the tattoos observed had no military association in imagery or motivation, compared to 12% with direct military association. The results, when coupled with military tattoo history, indicated a higher level of personal identity assertion than anticipated. This study investigates this phenomenon further and formulates a new hypothesis on tattooing among the military community: the trend of individuality.
This thesis explores the roles that museums in Andalusia, Spain play in constructing and reflecting a sense of identity and nationalism. Andalusia is composed of imagined communities defined by their particular histories and cultural contexts, and museums are central in navigating the variability in the region’s collective memory. Museums emphasize certain aspects of the region’s history and culture and exclude others in the process of constructing narratives. By observing twenty-six museums in Andalusia, categorized as archaeology museums, history museums, ethnographic museums, and cultural interpretation centers, it is possible to identify elements central to defining the region and its inhabitants. Examining the way in which particular events and cultures are highlighted or silenced, and the way in which the past is constructed in relation to the present, reveals the power the museums hold in creating identities and perceptions of places and people.