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The Meaning of Health and Illness in the Mexican Culture - Essay Example

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Mexican culture and traditions have a great impact on attitudes towards health and illness among native population. Cultural values create a certain framework or approach that posits biological and psychological values which entail thoughts, emotions, manners, and social factors…
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The Meaning of Health and Illness in the Mexican Culture
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Download file to see previous pages Without a doubt, health can be deeply understood in terms of a combination of biological, cultural and social factors slightly than with the sole purpose in biological terms. As it was stated above that the complete health image can be understood more deep by diverse of factors. No one can deny that the social influence on health is significant, where the better health and higher quality of life of community members depend on the level of their participation in the social networks, assistance to each other and overall change of the society to become more healthy and prosperous. Such social networks usually include the family, friends, neighbors, church, work, sport clubs and other social groups where people can exchange information, experience and advices.
For Mexican people, health is seen as holistic issue or a unity between mind, spirit and body. In the West, the doctor hopes to "cure" a problem after people are unbearably sick, when they are in pain or feel physically disruptive symptoms. A traditional Mexican practitioner, by contrast, seeks to prevent disease by keeping all systems balanced and finely tuned throughout the patient's life span. Consultation with the practitioner of acupuncture is ideally an ongoing part of every patient's life. Although the idea of preventive medicine (for instance, prenatal care) is prominent in current discussions about revamping our medical care system, there is really no comparison to the prevention that is accomplished through acupuncture and herbs. illness also comes from a gradual blocking and deficiency of body energy. Mexican people see the body threatened by lifestyle factors such as overeating or overworking. We also look for disharmonies of the internal nature in intensely prolonged emotional states such as grief or depression (LaVeist, 2005).
Mexican culture and gender have their own influences on health care since the person's socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender and other factors directly affect his/her perception of the disease, necessity or financial ability to seek appropriate treatment. It is obvious that those people who live in poverty or from low socioeconomic status receive less medical help than those with stable income and medical coverage. In multi-ethnical communities the doctors can influence the patients by learning and understanding the beliefs, attitudes and experiences of patients from different ethnical groups and nationalities. The influence of gender on health care can be observed while analyzing the female and male patients, their attitudes and behaviors, where men are usually direct and logical decision makers and women are less independent and more influenced by others (Chabram-Derners, Torre 2008).
While some symptoms are obvious both for the person him/herself and others around (nervousness, physical dependence on alcohol or drugs, etc), other symptoms are rather difficult to recognize. Usually, people use schemas as the organized ways to look at things and people that influence person's expectations, behavior, etc. Certainly, to seek medical treatment is the responsibility of each drug-dependent person or those who surround him based on the perception of the severity of the addiction symptoms. Though, there are some factors that might positively influence treatment seeking, including belief systems, certain life activities, gender, SES and ethnicity. While the good patient role presumes that the person behaves well and properly by following the prescribed treatment and medical services, the role of bad ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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