BenchmarkAssignment: Nontraditional Healthcare Practices
BenchmarkAssignment: Nontraditional Healthcare Practices
Theuse of nontraditional medicines has been controversial for manyyears. Some people believe that they are effective, but scientistsquestion their safety. The nontraditional treatment options are givendifferent names. However, they are commonly referred to ascomplementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It is estimated thatabout 80 % of the world’s population have used unconventionalmethods of disease treatment at least once in a lifetime (Lu &Lu, 2013). This paper will address the application of nontraditionalmedicine in three cultures. The paper will also discuss the reasonswhy many people choose CAM over traditional options.
Nontraditionalhealthcare practices in three cultures and how they affect preventionand wellness
Latinosuse a combination of spiritual and herbal plants to cure or preventillnesses. Unlike most of the communities that depend onnon-traditional medicines, the Hispanic community is able to mix awide range of ingredients to produce more effective drugs. Forexample, a combination of star anise, linden tea, cinnamon, andchamomile is used to cure a sore throat (Consumer ReportOrganization, 2012). In addition, Latinos apply alternative therapiesin curing chronic diseases. For an instant, studies have shown thatthis community has effective treatment for diabetes as well as thehigh blood pressure (CRO, 2012). Although the level of safety ofthese products is not ascertained, some of them are more effectivethan traditional ones. A study of 65 patients confirmed that the useof hibiscus cures hypertension completely within six months while sawpalmetto treats impotence among men (CRO, 2012). Moreover, a largenumber of Latinos add herbs to food, instead of salt, which serves asa measure for prevention of diseases.
TheNative Indians form a culture that is known for its emphasis onholistic treatment. This community applies thebio-psycho-socio-spiritual strategies and traditions to address bothchronic and acute medical conditions. Most of the communities holdceremonies to advance their culture, but native Indians believe thatthese events play a key role in enhancing their spiritual wellbeing(Perez & Perez, 2016). Gatherings that are held periodically withthe objective of promoting traditional practices also improve thesocial wellbeing of the attendants since they get a chance to danceand eat together. Moreover, the story telling is among the key toolsthat are applied by the community to prevent illnesses that areassociated with risky behaviors. The elderly members narratedifferent legends that enlighten the young people and warn them aboutthe possible outcome of unethical or immoral conducts.
Apartfrom the treatment of diseases, the Indian culture is rich inapproaches that help its members prevent the occurrence of diseases,which enables them to maintain their bodies healthy. For example,running in the morning to greet the dew is a traditional practicethat is believed to bring luck, but it gives them an opportunity toengage in rigorous physical exercise (Perez & Perez, 2016).
Theincrease in the popularity of nontraditional therapies among theIndian community is attributed to the fact that they associateillnesses to the loss of balance. Their entire healing system isillustrated using a complete circle where God is at the center (Perez& Perez, 2016). The north stands for mental wellbeing, which ismaintained through medicinal plants, such as sweet glass. The eastrepresents the physical health. This category of wellbeing ismaintained using herbs, including tobacco. The south representsemotional health and it is enhanced by medicinal plants, such assage. Lastly, the west stands for spiritual wellbeing, which ismaintained through herbs, including cedar. Therefore, medicinalplants and traditional healers play a critical role in maintainingwellness and preventing illnesses among the native Indians.
TheChinese Americans form a large group of citizens who rely onnontraditional medicines to cure or prevent diseases. Thecomplementary therapies are put into five groups, including theacupuncture, Qigong healing, herbal, dietary, and Tuina treatment (Lu& Lu, 2013). However, medicinal plants are more common than otheroptions. These herbs have gained popularity among the Chinese livingin the U.S. because they are considered as alternatives to thewestern drugs that are often considered as toxic. In most cases,medicinal plants are consumed as ordinary types of food without anypackaging or recommended dosages. However, there are some optionsthat require the help of herbalists and traditional doctors sincethey are strong. For example, the preparation of ExcrementumTrogoterori, which is used to cure gynecological disorders, isprepared by experts since the addition of compounds (such as RadixGinseng) can lower its effectiveness and result in adverse events (Lu& Lu, 2013).
TheChinese medicines, unlike other cultures where cases of serious sideeffects are rare, have been shown to be dangerous in some instances.For example, the community has exaggerated that ma huang, which is astimulant herbal product, can treat asthma. However, it has beenshown that drug’s uncontrolled consumption and its addition toalcohol leads to addiction or death (Lu & Lu, 2013). Similarly,unregulated application of Ginseng, which is an effective cure forcardiovascular disorders, can lead to abuse syndromes, including skinlesions, diarrhea, and CNS stimulation. Apart from a few types oftherapy that lead to negative effects, most of the treatment optionsplay a critical role in preventing diseases and enhancing wellnessamong the Chinese Americans
NontraditionalCare Options in My Area
Thereare four major types of nontraditional care options in my area. Thefirst one includes natural products (such as herbal plants) that areused by different communities. Most of them are sold in the market assupplements and others are available in food markets as well asglossaries (Perez & Perez, 2016). The second category iscomprised of the mind-and-body therapy. These treatment options(including hypnotherapy, musing, and guided imagery) are used toempower the mind by enabling it to control the functioning of thebody. Third, alternative medical systems are quite common and theyare used by individuals who are opposed to complementary therapy.Most of them prefer the traditional Chinese medicine system (CTM),which encompasses acupressure, acupuncture, and herbal therapy (Perez& Perez, 2016). Lastly, energy therapy options are increasinglygaining popularity. They aim to manipulate bio-fields, which isaccomplished through the application of pressure on specific bodyparts. They are being used to treat diseases (such as arthritis) thatare associated with pain.
Thenumber of patients who use nontraditional therapies has beenincreasing with time. It is estimated that 4 out of 10 U.S. citizensrely on CAM (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016). Theincrease in the number of people using the nontraditional medicine isattributed to a perception that these types of therapy have no sideeffects, which is absolutely untrue (HHS, 2016). In addition, a largepercentage of individuals who rely on nontraditional treatmentoptions believe that they are more effective than the conventionalalternatives. Moreover, some people rely on the CAM following thefailure of the western medicine.
Theuse of nontraditional healthcare options has been gaining popularity,which is attributed to the development of a perception that they aremore effective and less likely to cause adverse events. The CAMtherapeutic options are mainly used by Latinos, Native Indians, andthe Chinese. Nontraditional medicines are mainly applied in thetreatment of diseases, but there are some cultures that consider themas suitable alternatives for preventing the occurrence of illnesses.The main concern for CAMs used in all cultures has been the level ofsafety. Most of the people who administer nontraditional therapeuticoptions do not have specific dosages, which increase the risk ofabuse.
ConsumerReport Organization (2012). How Latinos use alternative medicine andbotanicas for their health. ConsumerReport.Retrieved January 7, 2017, fromhttp://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/02/is-it-safe-to-buy-herbs-from-botanicas/index.htm
Lu,I. & Lu, P. (2013). Impact of Chinese herbal medicine on Americansociety and health care system: Perspective and concern.Evidence-basedComplementary and Alternative Medicine,1, 1-7.
Perez,H. & Perez, A. (2016). Complementary,alternative, and integrative health: A multicultural perspective.Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (2016). The use ofcomplementary and alternative medicine in the United States. HHS.Retrieved January 7, 2017, fromhttps://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm