Medical Cultural Practices
The world being as big as it is, has a wide population having people from different regions. Each and every individual has their own culture and as such having their own cultural beliefs. There are very many cultures around the world and each culture has its own practices. These practices vary in a wide range from the types of food eaten to spiritual beliefs. Medical beliefs or rituals are one of the practices that differ across cultures. Some cultures do believe in using the modern medicine while others advocate for the use of the traditional medicines. Each and every culture has their traditional medicines of which they believe to treat some given illness. The following paper would look at a culture that differs from mine and analyze its medical beliefs.
The Chinese are among the people with the highest population in the world and their culture is seen to be widely practiced by many of the citizens. I therefore chose their culture because, having a wide population; the culture is widely practiced thus making it suitable enough for analysis. Additionally, the Chinese people have been considered to be one of the most prolific people in terms of practicing and maintaining their culture. Many other cultures have fallen short due to individuals embracing other cultures and abandoning theirs. As such, the Chinese being people who practice their culture to the latter tend to be perfect for our analysis.
The Chinese culture has very strong medical beliefs that are practiced up to date. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is said to be a system of primary health upkeep. This system includes several aspects namely acupuncture, anmo tuina (remedial massage), breathing therapy (such as gigong), exercise and Chinese herbal medicine, T’ai Chi and nutrition and lifestyle counsel. TCM is not only practiced in China but it has been embraced in other countries having different cultures such as Australia which applies the use of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. One of the key features of TCM is that good health is dependent on the maintenance and restoration of harmony, balance and order to an individual. This form of medical belief that is widely practiced by the Chinese is seen to have a holistic approach in the understanding of the normal function and disease processes. It puts focus on the prevention of illness as it does on treatment. The Chinese culture has the belief that there is qi in the human body. Adequate supply of qi which is also referred to as life energy is seen to signify that a person is healthy. Qi is said to flow through the body’s meridians. In addition to qi, the culture has also the belief of Yin and Yang. These are said to describe the opposing conditions that are exhibited in the human body. The Chinese have the belief that everything has two aspects and these aspects are opposite and independent. Medical practitioners through research have come to the findings that it is of essence for yin and yang to balance so as to achieve great health. Yin is said to be a reflection of qualities that are dark, feminine, passive, receptive, and associated with the night and it is symbolized by earth or water. On the other hand, Yang is said to be a reflection of active, light, bright, masculine and associated with the day and air or fire is said to be its symbol.
One of the things that surprised me in regards to what I read on the Chinese culture is the belief on qi, yin and yang. The belief of their being a life energy, which is the determinant of how healthy one is. Additionally, qi is said to be specifically flowing through a network of invisible channels through the body. The existence of the two opposing conditions in the body as yin and yang also surprised me due to the fact that there is no such thing in my culture.
Having looked at the Chinese culture in terms of its medical beliefs, I believe that their practices are effective and efficient. One of the major reasons towards me having that belief is that their traditional medicines are used even in other cultures thus showing that they are effective enough to be adopted or embraced by other cultures. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines are widely used in other cultures thus showing to what extent people trust such medicine and medicine practices. The only misconception or question I have is the existence of qi and the invisible channels through which it flows. This seems to be odd to some extent but all in all it is their medical belief. Even though my culture does not have the concept of yin and yang, I see this to be logical enough due to the fact that there is always two opposing forces in the body which are may be related to some extent. To conclude, different cultures may have different beliefs but such beliefs play a big part in its people.