Culture serves as a determiner of a person’s life choices, including the considerations relating to medicine. Similarly, personal values affect the trust in particular types of medical practices, patients’ adherence to doctors’ instructions, and the use of alternative and complementary approaches as well. In research from Zörgő et al. (2018), culturally determined “subjective experience… signifies the most reliable source of information in matters of illness.” The authors emphasize the adherent reverence of traditions among various cultures that explain alternative medicine’s popularity. Since the medical knowledge in different regions depended on available resources for remedies and on forming religious beliefs and connected to the rituals, the practices are according. Thus, culture shapes the minds of people as well as the values; as a result, each culture members use their initial knowledge to judge other life sectors like medicine.
I am a representative of Middle Eastern culture since I am from Syria. As other cultures that venerate the old, we use herbs that were and are available in the region we inhabited. For example, we still employ herbal preparation to treat diabetes, abdominal pain, and headache. Further, some can utilize cupping therapy as a complementary practice when healing back pain, arthritis, and joint pain. Additionally, multiple people recite chapters of the holy books of our culture to treat pain that does not need professional help. Therefore, the societal traditions of my culture form a positive attitude towards various traditional remedies among its members.
As a result of these cultural aspects, I resort to alternative and complementary approaches frequently in my nursing practices and self-care. Namely, I tried sage for abdominal pain and anise for constipation; both herbs proved to be relatively effective. Likewise, dandruff and itching of my patient were once cured with vinegar. Hence, such approaches may be useful for medicine and are simple to prepare.
Zörgő, S., Purebl, G., & Zana, G. (2018). A qualitative study of culturally embedded factors in complementary and alternative medicine use. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 18(1), 1–11.