Chinese Beliefs and Traditions in Health Care

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Chinese Beliefs and Traditions in Health Care

In China they have about 1.3 billion people, making up a little more than 20% of the world’s population. It’s no surprise that with that many people in one country that the culture there would hold many different beliefs and traditions. Chinese are known for many things and their health care practices are one of them. They use different medicines to treat the ill, have different techniques to insure that women have a good pregnancy and a healthy baby as well as old family traditions from how a family is ran to what they do when someone passes away. A lot of these traditions can compare to other cultures where many are also so different it takes some understanding to get used to them.

Family plays a huge role in the Chinese culture. As in a lot of cultures, the Chinese family is run by the father and husband of the household. He makes most of the family decisions and plays a huge role in the decisions his children make. Traditionally the father would arrange marriages for his children, guide them in the career to go and make sure that he raised strong kids who would help contribute to the family when older. Today the father figure still plays a dominant role but no longer arranges marriages for their children. He does however still influence them on their decisions but does not make them for his children. In most cases children will live with their parents until married. It is not uncommon however for a newly married couple to stay living with the husbands parents for a short time after marriage. Even though fathers in the family play a huge role, mothers play a greater role in the daily lives of their children. The Chinese preferred to have son’s who would be able to take care of them when they were older. Daughter in-laws were considered the low man on the totem pole and in the old days were actually considered slaves to their in-laws, doing whatever was needed to make their mother-in-law happy. Mothers of sons felt they had every right to treat their daughter-in-laws like that since they themselves had to go through the same thing working their way up from just wife, to mother, to mother-in-law and hopefully grandmother. This mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship seems harsh, especially with how things have changed over the years. In many cultures the mother-in-law is there to help support her son’s new wife and guide her into her role as a wife. In the United States, mother-in-laws look to the daughter-in-laws to help give their son a happy life as well as provide them with grandchildren. The Chinese mother-in-laws are also there to help raise the children and much more. They usually are there to make sure the pregnancy and labor go as smoothly as possible and that all traditions are upheld.

Pregnancy and child bearing play a huge role in Chinese culture. They have many beliefs that need to be followed to insure that the mother to be is carrying a perfectly healthy baby and will have an easy and successful delivery. “The Chinese traditions for pregnancy start as soon as a husband and wife get married. The first thing that is done is the husband will carry his bride over a pan of burning coals when entering his home for the first time to ensure his wife will pass through labor successfully.” After that first step the rest of the traditions begin once the mother finds out she is pregnant. They carry many traditions starting from what the mother to be should and shouldn’t eat, what things can and cannot be done during the pregnancy, traditions to keep evil spirits away as well as traditions to make sure nothing is done that might cause bad luck for the baby. Pregnant women must be careful of everything they do in the Chinese culture. It is believed that they must be careful and guarded with their thoughts to make sure that they thoughts they are having do not affect the baby. They believe negative or bad thoughts will affect the mother’s heart which connects to the...
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