history, and environment. There is also an overlap of the mental and spiritual facets of the person.
The person must be in a state of balance with the family, the community, and the forces of the natural world around him or her. This balance is what is perceived as HEALTH in a traditional sense and the way in which it is determined within most traditional cultures, as you will note in Chapters 9 through 13. ILLNESS, as stated, is the imbalance of one or all parts of a person (body, mind, and spirit); a person may be in a state of imbalance with the family, the com- munity, or the forces of the natural world. The ways in which this balance, or harmony, is achieved, maintained, protected, or restored often differ from the prevailing scientific health philosophy of our modern societies. However, many of the traditional HEALTH-, ILLNESS-, and HEALING-related beliefs and practices exist today among people who know and live by the traditions of their own eth- nocultural and/or religious heritage.
■ HEALTH Traditions Model The HEALTH Traditions Model uses the concept of holistic HEALTH and ex- plores what people do from a traditional perspective to maintain HEALTH, protect HEALTH or prevent ILLNESS, and restore HEALTH. HEALTH, in this tradi- tional context, has nine interrelated facets, represented by
1. Traditional methods of maintaining HEALTH—physical, mental, and spiritual
2. Traditional methods of protecting HEALTH—physical, mental, and spiritual
3. Traditional methods of restoring HEALTH—physical, mental, and spiritual
The traditional methods of HEALTH maintenance, protection, and resto- ration require the knowledge and understanding of HEALTH-related resources from within a person’s ethnocultural and religious heritage, and a reciprocal re- lationship exists between the person’s needs and the available resources within the family and community to meet these needs. The methods may be used instead of or along with modern methods of health care. They are not alterna- tive methods of health care because they are methods that are an integral part of a person’s ethnocultural and religious heritage. Alternative, or complemen- tary, medicine is a system of health care that persons may elect to use that is generic and not a part of his or her personal heritage. The burgeoning sys- tem of alternative medicine must not be confused with traditional HEALTH and ILLNESS beliefs and practices. In subsequent chapters of this book, traditional HEALTH and ILLNESS beliefs and practices are discussed, following (in part) the models (Figures 5-5 and 5-6). This model is two-dimensional in that it examines HEALTH as the internal perceptions of a person and addresses the ways by which a person can externally obtain the objects and/or substances necessary for his or her HEALTH. Tradition is the essential element in this model, and the model
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recognizes the fact that the role of tradition is fundamental. “When tradition is no longer adequate, human life faces the gravest crises” (Smith, 1991, p. 163). Given that the United States has been a melting pot, it has frequently weakened the traditions of immigrants during the processes of acculturation and assimla- tion, especially where health beliefs and practices are concerned. Many people relate that they “threw these practices away” when they came to the United States. Yet, for many people, modern medicine has not provided a compelling replacement. Examples of the barriers to modern health care are further ex- plored in Chapter 8.