What’s with Egyptian Healthcare?

Hello my lovely friends. Welcome back to my fifth and final blog post about medical diversity. I know for each post I say that I am excited to tell you about what I learned but this one is by far my favorite. Soon you will find out as to why. As always, I hope you enjoy! 🙂

Ancient or Modern Medicine?

“The interdependency of humankind, the relevance of relationship, the sacredness of creation is ancient, ancient wisdom.”

Rebecca Adamson

As usual, let start from the beginning. As any other culture, Egypt had their own special way when it came to medicine and healing practices. What many people do not know is many of the practices they used as far back as 2700 BCE are still used in medicine today. In fact, many of Egypts practices were so advanced they were not surpassable my Roman or Greek medicine which where the “leaders” of their time. It is truly mind blowing, I know! Their knowledge of medicine was very advanced. They knew that disease was able to be treated by pharmaceuticals, massage, and aroma. Egyptians were also very big on cleanliness. This is how there was a low mortality rate in their population. Even though they had some of the key concepts that we follow today in healthcare, the ancient Egyptians did not understand the reasoning being diseases or needing to be clean until the Germ Theory came about in the 19th centruy. For ancient Egyptians it is easier for them to understand an injury. For an injury, there is a specific cause and then an effect that comes from that cause. On the other hand disease is not as easy to understand. For example, take someone who get cancer. In an Egyptian’s eyes centuries ago there is no real clear cut reason as to why that person got cancer. This is why disease is harder to understand than injury. So since they cannot find a natural cause of disease Egyptians have to some up with another cause. Disease in their eyes is the result of a sin and if there is no apparent sin that is taken place then it is a result of a demonic possession. This is one of the instances that the Egyptians believed that magic spells were the logical cure for a disease. Aside from these few differences, the basis that the ancient Egyptians build in the medical field lead to some of the most frequently used practices in medicine today.

Ancient Egypt in the Modern World

“Ancient wisdom is the medicine for the modern world.”

Don Howard

Unlike my other post, I am not doing the modern side of medicine in Egypt. Honestly that is kind of impossible. Egyptian medicine was so advanced in its early years that many of the practices that they used thousands of years ago were finely tuned and are still used today. So instead of telling you what Egyptian medicine looks like now I will tell you the practices they used in the ancient world that are still used today! First and foremost comes one of the things that is used in every aspect of medicine. You guessed it. Anesthesia! Egyptians are known as the forefathers of anesthesia and pain relief. They established some of the first forms of narcotics by finding the pain relieving ability in natural herbs such as lotus, water lily, poppy, and more. An example to show how advanced Egyptians were to the rest of the world is seen when comparing them to Europeans. Europeans were barely discovering the general power that natural herbs had at the same time that Egyptians were using them for pain relief and anesthesia. Another modern medical practice that we use today which came from the Egyptians is the process of splinting broken bones. The process of splinting is in some of the oldest journals that we have recovered from ancient Egypt as well as studying the mummies they preserved. The typical material that the splints were made out of was bark and they were often padded with linens. These along with so many other things are just a glimpse of the advantages that ancient Egyptians had above us centuries ago and how they played a huge role in our lives today.

Well folks, that is all that I have for you. Reflecting back on researching the ancient Egyptian ways it makes me realize the importance of our ancestors and their creations. Far too often we think that we are in the age of advancements and new technology. While we are acquiring new knowledge that we didn’t know before, we would be no where without the knowledge that came before us. It was my pleasure informing you of things we don’t really give any thought to in every day life. Thanks for joining me on this journey. Until next time my friends.

“There is a Single Law. The Law of Nature. The Law of Equilibrium. The Law of Unity. The Law of infinite Love. We exist within it. It covers us like a mother covers a child. If we correspond to it, we will prosper. If we don’t correspond to it, we will suffer.”

Abraham the Patriarch

Latino Medicine

Oh, what a beautiful day for some medical diversity. I am happy you are able to join me again to dive into the past and present views of medicine. This week we will be looking into the Latino tradition and comparing where medicine was and how far it has come. How exciting! I hope you enjoy!

Taking it back to traditions in Latino medicine

“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.”

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Traditional Latino medicine can be seen in one of many ways. Often, we can compare it to other various traditions in the healthcare field. The Latino mindset thinks of illness as a trifecta of spiritual, emotional, and social state. Illness is present when there is an imbalance between the individual and the environment. Latinos also recognize that there is a physical state which can be the cause of an illness. What is unique to the physical state is that any type of imbalance is known as being too hot or too cold. I find this an interesting concept. This concept is a very intrinsic property and can often be open to many interpretations. However, there are clear cut definitions to what is a cold illness and what is a hot illness. A cold illness is a condition that is characterized by a low metabolic rate and vasoconstriction. A common example of this would be pneumonia. Hot illnesses on the other hand are characterized by their vasodilation and having a high metabolic rate. An example of this would be hypertension. Anyone want to guess how hot and cold illnesses are treated? Right! They are treated using the opposite concepts medicine. For treatment of a hot illness one would use a cold medicine and for treatment of a cold condition one would use a hot medicine.

With the simplicity of hot and cold illness, that is not the only thing that defines traditional latino medicine. Latinos and Hispanics are very religious and family oriented people so it is a given that this would be incorporated into their healthcare behaviors and beliefs. Many illness, know as folk illnesses, are health problems which are associated with a particular groups of individual and have some sort of religious overview. Do you think America has the same type of illness and we just aren’t aware of them? Just a little food for thought. Regardless of what type of care is taken upon a disease, Latinos like to have a visual component of God in order to understand and problem and potential cure. Other types of traditional Latino medicine/healthcare is herbal remedies (wonder where we have seen that before) as well as massage and other home remedies. Two individuals who played a critical role in traditional Latino healthcare is Curandeo Total and Doctor Naturalista. Curandeo Total is a lay healer that does not only focus on the body but also on the spiritual aspect of the disease. Doctor Naturalista simply prescribes natural remedies but does not pay mind to the potential spiritual aspect of the disease. So, in your opinion, which one would be better

Present day perspectives in Latino medicine

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”

T.D. Jakes

So you are probably asking yourself why I have lost my mind and put another example of modern Latino medicine in the present day section. Well I am glad that you question me so you may seen how high reliability Latino medicine today still has on traditional practice. Today we see more of an even mixture of tradition and modern medicine when it comes to healing illnesses. Quite frequently, Latinos will still use the traditional resources of herbal remedies as seen above as well as traditional healers such as the Curandeo Total or Doctor Naturalista. However, given the modern age that we live in it is hard not to find yourself at a doctors office or hospital for an itch or pain that just will not go away. That is okay. This is what we typically see now a days from the Latino group. They will pair prescription/over the counter medication with the healing measure they they already know in order to get their body back into balance.

The role of religiosity is still very prevalent and used in today’s society. Have you ever heard of Fatalism? Yeah, me either but I will tell you what it is. Fatalism is the view that Latinos and Hispanics have which says illness is God’s will or punishment which is a result of a sinful behavior. To this day this is a concept that plays a huge role in Hispanic culture. With this concept in mind you need to understand the different individuals who are available to pray to in order to heal. I will just give you a few examples. If a couple is suffering from infertility they may pray to St. Anne for healing. Another example is if someone is dying either the individual or the family members pray to St. Joseph for help. In the modern day, we ca often be blinded in to thinking the 20th century healthcare system is the only way to become healed when there are cultures all around us getting by just fine with their traditional ways.

So what do we have in common again?

“Harmony prevails if people of similar nature meet.”

Rig Veda

So here we are again comparing how the two are similar. I believe in one aspect that is pretty straight forward. Hispanics are the most prevalent groups that resides in America today. With that being said Latinos have all the access to healthcare that anyone does in America. However, Latinos still heavily rely on traditional practices to explain or heal conditions they have. From all that I have researched this is the main difference between the two cultures. However, there is something that separates Latinos from the modern medical care that they could have. There are medical barriers such as communication that is the biggest hindrance between those of Hispanic origin from getting the necessary medical treatment they need. Often the language barrier that is present can account for a condition that is perceived as less severe or expressing one disease but doctors perceiving it as another. There are other barriers such as long wait times and finical eligibility that also play a role but these factors can also be seen in individual who were born and raised in America. A lot of the medical barriers that are seen today can be seen from both ends of the spectrum when it comes to Americans and Latinos but Latinos have the shorter end of the stick.

What would you do if that was you in that situation? Would you stand up for what you know is right and get things like medical barriers eradicated? Why can’t you do it now? Just a little food for thought and something that you can ponder in before my next post. Thanks again for joining me and my wonderful world of medical diversity. Hope to see you next time!

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln

So Where is Healthcare in India?

Hello friends!! I am really excited to see that you have returned for another round of medical diversity. This blogs topic is India and how they see the healthcare system. There is surely a lot of things to learn this time around. I hope you enjoy!

Where it all Started

“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.

Mark Twain

As seen in the pervious two post, no matter where you go in the world there is always traditions that are the basis of what we know in the present day. When looking back on the start of the medical system in India, it is first seen in ancient Vedas as well as other scriptures. This dates back to anywhere between 2500 BC to 500BC. It is insane to think that even a little thought was given to creating the healthcare system that long ago. It makes you wonder how far we have come and if there was anything that America could have learned from other cultures that would have put us into a further advancement. India developed this concept of Ayurveda, which has the literal meaning of the “science of life”. The India population was very focused on the man and the illness that is associated with him when it came to their traditional healthcare system. This I’m sure is similar to what we would see today in the healthcare system no matter what country or culture you would be in. Being healthy is viewed as being well maintained and well balanced person. It gives you a very zen kind of vibe, doesn’t it? With all of this being said the India culture always heeds warning to the use of their traditional medicine and remedies. It requires the person’s full involvement in order for it to work. It can’t be used as a last resort, one time use kind of thing.

Furthermore on this whole idea of traditional healthcare in India comes the medicine and remedies that they constantly used. Like many other cultures, India used a wide range of medicinal plants in their newly developing medical communities. It is interesting the more that we go on we find such similarities in countries/cultures that are typically found hundreds, even thousands of miles apart. Talk about rumors spreading like wild fire. Maybe that’s how the basis of healthcare and medicine became so similar throughout various cultures. India is the leading developer of medicinal plants to this day so it is easy to say that they heavily relied on medicinal plants to give them any and all treatment to illness when their medical system was beginning.

Where it is Today

“In the digital age, we have an opportunity to transform lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine just a couple of decades ago.”

Narendra Modi

The healthcare system in India is very similar to that which you may find anywhere else. They had come a long way from where they have began thousands of years ago. In today’s age, India is one of the most popular medical destinations because of their high quality hospitals and medical equipment while keeping a relatively low cost. India is often the place to travel internationally to receive medical care that won’t leave you in debt for the rest of your life. Personally, if I had an illness that required me to need expensive treatment I don’t think I would travel to another country to get that same treatment at a lower cost. To me that seems like it would worse the condition I was already in and put me at risk for a million more things that if I were to stay in American to receive the treatment. The main reason why healthcare is at such a low cost in India is because they passed the National Health Policy in 1983 which had the goal of giving universal healthcare coverage.

The way that India looks at their healthcare system across the country is by states. This helps them spread their resources as evenly as they can. In modern healthcare in India there is the standard imaging systems and medications that are used universally across the world. There is not much of a difference in the way that healthcare is set up in India when compared to America. The main difference is the cost. Like stated before, it is interesting to be able to start making connection in the healthcare systems across different cultures/countries. It makes you think of just how good we have it here in America. I understand that there may be flaws but that is anywhere you may go. There is not such thing as a perfect society and definently no such thing as a perfect healthcare system. There is always a development of some sort in order to make it better.

India and America as One?

“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

Since the healthcare system in India is very similar to America I will focus more on a common problem that both of these countries have. The space that these countries occupy can be spread out very thin in some places, even with the growing population. With that being said, sometimes not all of the benefits that healthcare can offer is getting to each and every one of these individuals in very rural areas. In America, we see some of the rural areas of the country suffering from lack of medical care especially in cases where a specialist is needed. Due to these resources not being readily accessible, individuals are going longer until they go to the doctors and by the time they go it is often too late to intervene with any medical treatments. Hospitals often go without funding that is necessary for advanced treatment so they are moving the big money making patients to hospitals that are equipped for their condition. This leads them to being forced to close which further hinders the resources in rural areas.

India is also struck with this same problem. Some areas of the country are in the same status as America. India, however, has a plan in place to try and reverse these effects on rural areas. There main way to help is by the establishment of the National Rural Health Mission in 2005. This is something that the government in India put in place so that poor states who have bad healthcare are able to get the resources that they need. This is a good policy that is put in place because it entails that no matter where one lives they have the right to access any healthcare systems that they may need. Even though the mission has been put in place there is still parts of India that go with little to no healthcare resources or have the travel far in order to receive what is needed.

It is enlightening to see that countries which have such expensive medical advancements still have issues as little as make sure their people have the healthcare resources that they deserve. Hearing situations like this make you wonder when there will ever be a point of true equality across every aspect of a country. This just goes to show how there are not only problems unique to America but relatable in other cultures and countries. Maybe one day we can see a time that India and America take advice from one another and solve this common problem. Do you think there will be a point that cultures, or even countries, will come together to solve similar problems? Ponder on that a bit. Until next time my friends!

“He who experiences unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all beings in his own self, and looks everything with an impartial eye.”


African Healthcare: Where Does it Stand?

Well hello there! Welcome back! I am filled with joy that you would choose my blog to follow and read. As always I hope you like what you see and cannot take your eyes off the page.

Traditional African Medicine

“Every great design begins with an even better story.”

Lorinda Mamo

As usual we will be kicking it old school from the very beginning and look at where African healthcare and medical practice originated from. The majority of African individuals use traditional medicine in their daily living when being faced with an illness or disease. It is near impossible to just put into one summary the diversity of all the traditions because they are developed locally opposed to continentally. The biggest roll traditional African medicine had was that of Islamic medicine. Much like any healthcare system you stumble across, African medicine has developed over thousands of year and is still continuing today. It makes to ponder if we will ever know everything or if evolution will always have the upper hand on us.

Despite the difference in the highly diversified medicine of African, there is one common difference when it comes to the comparison of other cultures. Africans have a mindset that establishes equal importance in physical as well as spiritual aspect of the body. This is why you can often see the use of herbal remedies in treating the biological aspect of the body as well as “traditional healers” to focus on more of the spiritual aspect. The three main forms of treatment that is used is medications, physical treatment, and divination. Divination is a treatment that is performed by the traditional healer. Since this form of treatment is used for the spiritual aspect of the body it focuses on finding the meaning of the illness and how to get rid of it. This is where outside cultures often see ceremonies where the community comes together and performs rituals with that ill person. Could we compare the traditional healers to our modern day therapist? Ponder on that a bit.

The Modernization of African Medicine

“After all. Conflict arises, does it not. Through the desire to be something, to be other than what it is.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

When looking at the African healthcare system today, you can see many places where faults lie. Though Africans still have their traditional values and beliefs when it comes to medicine, it is no match for the evolution of the body and disease. Studies have shown that half of the African population do not have access to healthcare in any way other than their traditional teachings. Imagine a world we live in without healthcare. Pretty insane, isn’t it? I personally couldn’t imagine going through typical medical events such as giving birth or mending a severe wound without a doctor present.

Truthfully, any way that you look at the situation there is a decline now more than there was in healthcare before. With the rapid disease progression may Africans are left dying from a disease that can be treated in other countries due to the lack of resources that are available to them. Hospitals or any other healthcare facility are more often than not miles away. Even if they bare the travel it does not guarantee that it will be worth the trip. Often there are high out of pocket expenses which make or break whether someone gets the life saving medical treatment that they need. In Africa’s case, it is not there is a huge change between traditional and modern healthcare and medicine but rather a lack there of which puts most their lives at risk. Scary, huh?

America vs Africa or America and Africa?

“Cultural analysis is intrinsically incomplete. And, worse than that, the more deeply it gets, the less complete it is.”

Clifford Geertz

So let me ask you something. Where does America stand in comparison to Africa when it comes to healthcare? I’m sure some of you are thinking why I would ask such a stupid thing. The answer is obvious. American has a thriving healthcare system with technology, medication, and a plethora of facilities. Africa on the other hand has their traditional practices which disease runs ramped. More and more are dying for the resources that they don’t have. What I also mean when asking this question is in what way is America responsible for Africa’s condition and how are we required to help? There would be a higher death rate if there wasn’t already outside sources established to help. However, there isn’t enough. In a sense you could say that we are essential to African survival with the support from our advanced healthcare system but what point is it too much?

So any question that are left at the end of post. If you were with me last time I’m sure you can tell the significant difference between the Chinese and African way of medicine. All of this knowledge goes toward a better understanding of life in the healthcare system and how to best connect with individuals of other cultures. Throughout all we have reviewed so far all have their own unique version of the culture cycle. Through every person is an interaction between not only institutions but also thoughts, feelings, ideas, and behaviors. Until next week my friends. See you soon!

“Medicine is the science of uncertainty and the art of probability.”

William Osler

Chinese Healthcare: Then and Now

Hello! Welcome to my page. I am very excited to be sharing my first post with everyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine

“Tradition does not mean to look after the ash, but to keep the flame alive.”

-Jean Jaures

As any culture that one may stumble across, there will always be one thing you will find which is consistent throughout: traditions. With my personal experience in healthcare, I can be one to attest to not every culture seeing eye to eye when it comes to various medical decisions or practices. Often it can get into so much of a bind that you offend the patients or their families and it may just be a bad rap tag onto your name. So the best way to avoid these types of scenarios is to be properly prepared and account for every belief which you can.

To begin with understanding this Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, we have to start from the very beginning. TCM originated in ancient China and dates back anywhere from 2,500 years ago! I know, right! who would have thought that healthcare started with a few herbs and spices that long ago. As any other part of a society, we can assume and have proof of the evolution healthcare and medicine has taken over the past few thousand years. One of the most important influences towards TCM is that the very foundation of the practice is rooted from the ancient philosophy of Toaism.

TCM was very center focused. It used a mixture of herbal remedies as well as body and mind practice to treat any illness that may come upon the Chinese people. Various ways of treatment were done through tui na, diet therapy, tai chi, moxibustion, and qi gong. The most common form of treatment that was used is acupuncture. Personally this would be my least favorite because I absolutely hate needles as would any other person.

Modern Chinese Medicine

“Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.”

-Salvador Dabi

Anyone have a prediction what the healthcare system and medicine look like today? Is it leaning towards the traditional view or the contemporary view? Unfortunately, if you have selected wither one of these answers you are incorrect… kind of. Yes we see the hospitals as the institutions of healthcare and doctors as being the saving grace but how those doctors are trained uphold more of TCM than anticipated.

When various medical staff are trained to earn their license they are taught in both Chinese and Western medicine. What does this mean you might ask. This means that not only are doctors, physicians, or surgeons trained in the contemporary medicine that is practice globally but they are also trained in traditional Chinese medicine. From there they have free range to combine traditional diagnosis with practical technological support or vice versa. There is not one way of view a disease or illness which is amazing. Diagnosis and treatment, while they have a very definitive biological cause, can also be explained traditional views. This is like having the best of both worlds if you ask me.

So where does America stand?

“The problem to be faced is: how to combine loyalty to one’s own tradition with reverence for different traditions.”

-Abraham Joshua Heschel

Answer me this: what is the most common thing that Chinese medicine and American medicine have in common? Some may say it is the modernization that has progressed throughout the past thousand years. Others will say the cultural views towards those of a different background. Thought these may all be true, the most common thing, believe it or not, that these two have in common is their treatment. When comparing Chinese medicine in American culture, it is statically proven that American use Traditional Chinese Medicine for a more contemporary health approach. In 1997, it was estimated that 10,000 healthcare providers were serving more than 1 million individuals. This number tripled in the following decades with acupuncture being the most commonly used Chinese practice following tai chi and qi gong. Again with the needles people. Never have and I never will but hey, whatever floats your boat have at it.

Well folks, that’s all I have for you. Thanks again for joining me on this very special occasion in celebrating my first post! I hope you enjoyed it. See you next time!

“The modernity of yesterday is the tradition of today, and the modernity of today will be the tradition of tomorrow.”