Heritage Assessment Essay

1206 Words Feb 9th, 2012 5 Pages
Heritage Assessment
Heritage is who we are, where we come from, it’s our history. Traditionally the word heritage means one back ground or tradition. Each individual’s heritage varies between different cultures and consists of determination of one’s ethnic, religious, and cultural background (Spector, 2009). The heritage assessment tool helps healthcare professionals evaluate someone’s physical, mental, and spiritual beliefs which in turn helps with determining traditional health methods such as health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration. It also helps in opening a pathway for effective communication between the patient and health care provider to understand ones culture, beliefs, as well as their health
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Most African Americans believe in supernatural forces, such as an evil spirit or devil will cause harm. They use spells, sacred names and other forms of magic to bring out these forces and with the act of god working through a healer these spiritual forces can be diminished. African Americans are affiliated with many religions from Protestant and Catholic to Muslim, so it really depends on there religion as well. Chinese on the other hand, believe food and herbs is very important to restore balance. Chinese have a similar belief to Hispanics in their culture, they believe in finding harmony between complementary energies such as hot and cold, dark and light, water and fire, high and low, male and female. These are known as the yin and yang balance. They believe too much of one thing and not enough of another will disrupt the natural flow of their health. This concept helps them in having a well balanced diet and moderation.
Health restoration is how an individual approaches and treats an illness once diagnosed. It deals with how they restore their health using beliefs and home remedies (Spector, 2009). The Hispanic culture believes in two holistic healers, Curanderos who are natural healers using plants and herbs, and Santeros who use the power of saints to aid and heal individuals. Treatments by curanderos and santeros include using herbs, massage, ointments, cleansings, plants, and lighting of candles for saints. Hispanics will

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