Nontraditional Health Care Practices

The use of nontraditional healthcare practices has continued to increase in the United States in the effort to complement conventional medicine. Nontraditional health practices use different techniques which may include the use of natural resources, osteopathy, and body systems that help the body to heal from the inside (Purnell, 2013). Scientific evidence has supported the efficacy of alternative medicines in addressing specific health issues. Most American cultures have adopted nontraditional healthcare practices that are passed down from one generation to the other (Purnell, 2013).

This can begin in the family setting where members of a family are taught different skills and practices that can help them in addressing certain health issues. These practices are also meant to produce the same results as medicine which include effective healing. Some of the cultures that have adopted nontraditional healthcare practices include Native Americans, Asians, and the Chinese (Purnell, 2013).

Native Americans

Native Americans have used different combinations of health practices that have been adopted by different tribes.

Although some of the natural medicines used by Native Americans may not have been researched, there is evidence that these medications have the same aspects and results as modern medications (Kirmayer, 2013). Some of the substances found in modern medicines may be traced to these natural remedies. Most Native Americans believe that everything on the earth has a purpose and every disease has an herb to cure it. This has led to the tribe focusing on nontraditional and alternative medicine (Kirmayer, 2013). They also believe that the environment plays a key role in improving and sustaining an individual’s health by accessing natural remedies from the surrounding environment.

These practices have been orally passed down which leaves most of these remedies a mystery for the modern generation (Kirmayer, 2013). The remedies are effective that they have been integrated into modern medicine and are still in use in the current times.


Asian Americans are also involved in the use of nontraditional medications. A National Health Interview Survey carried out indicated over 60% of Asian Americans use a form of alternative and complementary medicine which includes meditation, prayer, massage, and yoga (Yoo, Le, & Oda, 2014). Some of these practices have not been integrated into the modern medical process as they are depended on different factors within different cultures which means that they may not work for everybody. Most patients use these practices to supplement modern healthcare interventions (Yoo, Le, & Oda, 2014). Asian Americans have used nontraditional healthcare practices prior to technological advances in medications. The use of nontraditional healthcare practices by this culture is attributed to the emigrating populations in the United States where most of the cultures in the United States adopted these practices (Yoo, Le, & Oda, 2014). However, there are concerns that the use of nontraditional healthcare practices may increase the risk of endangering the environment by destroying some of the plants that are used in modern medication production.


China has used nontraditional healthcare practices for a long time with most of these practices still being used in current times. Traditional Chinese healthcare practices perceive the human body as a small universe where they are aimed at bringing a balance between dark and light (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). Traditional Chinese Medicine composes of herbal medicines, cupping, and acupuncture with some of these practices being publicly displayed as the case in 2016 Rio Olympics where some of the Chinese participants had red marks on their bodies and bruises a sign of participating in these practices (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). However, the use of these herbal products has been contaminated with toxic compounds as well as manufacturing errors that have led to serious side effects. Most Americans have adopted Traditional Chinese Medicine in addressing certain health issues in collaboration with modern medicines although no sufficient research has been done to indicate the effectiveness of these medications in healing some of these illnesses (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019).

How These Practices Affect Wellness and Prevention in Different Cultures

Native Americans believe that herbs have been used for a long time in their culture to help individuals in addressing some of the health issues as well as prevent specific health conditions (Kirmayer, 2013). Some of the processes include mixing herbs, natural plants, and roots. This culture also performs different rituals aimed at enhancing the healing process, as they believe that health is an expression of spiritual, mental, and physical strength (Kirmayer, 2013). These practices are important in improving the different aspects of health compared to modern medications that only focus on physical health. Asian Americans also use nontraditional medicine in addressing some of the chronic illnesses where modern medication cannot effectively address (Yoo, Le, & Oda, 2014). Due to the geographical aspects where most Asian Americana are unable to access healthcare services, the use of nontraditional healthcare practices play a key role in enabling them to access vital medicine to address some of the health issues (Yoo, Le, & Oda, 2014).

The integration of nontraditional healthcare practices has also increased in this culture due to the results experienced in the usage of these remedies. Chinese herbal products are used to address chronic health issues that include heart diseases, respiratory diseases, and mental issues (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). Chinese use these medicines to improve their quality of life as well as help address certain pain conditions. This includes improving the mind and body health status. Acupuncture which is a technique used in stimulating specific points on the body to release natural painkillers has been widely used to improve the well-being of individuals undergoing pain as a result of underlying health conditions (U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 2019).

Identify The Nontraditional Health Care Options In Your Areas, And Identify The Number Of People Choosing To Use Them Over Traditional Medical Practices. Propose Reasons Why the Number of People Using Nontraditional Health Care Options Is Rising

In my area, there are different nontraditional healthcare options that have been adopted by different individuals. Some of the nontraditional healthcare options in my area include the use of herbs to lower blood pressure as well as address other health issues (Kirmayer, 2013). From a healthcare perspective, some of these chronic illnesses have no cure. However, some herbs have been indicated to cure some of these health issues. About 50% of the residents in my area testify to using herbal remedies once or regularly with most of them suffering from chronic illnesses (Kirmayer, 2013). Another nontraditional health care option is the use of massage and yoga to enhance the functioning of the brain and body. These practices may be difficult to access in traditional medical practices. With an increasing number of individuals participating in these practices, this is a clear indication of the importance of these practices to one’s health (Kirmayer, 2013).

Yoga and massage are gaining recognition in my area with most of the participants being the young and old populations who make up about 80% of the total population. This is due to the increased knowledge related to these practices (Oleson, O’fallon, Sherwood, & Chute, 2012). The old populations are also unable to participate in vigorous exercises choosing yoga to help relax their mind and body. Most individuals believe in the use of natural remedies compared to manufactured remedies that have been contaminated and may be harmful to one’s health. One of the reasons for adopting these nontraditional healthcare options is their effectiveness in addressing certain health issues (Oleson et al., 2012). Traditional medical practices have been unable to address some of the chronic health issues with most of the individuals running to other options in the effort of improving their quality of life.

Nontraditional healthcare options have been used for a long time with people testifying their effectiveness in addressing certain healthcare issues (Oleson et al., 2012). Families have also played a key role in passing down these practices an aspect that is based on their effectiveness in treating certain healthcare issues as well as spiritual aspects that may not be addressed using traditional medical practices (Purnell, 2013). Traditional medical practices have also been associated with serious complications due to the agents and chemicals used in the production process. This discourages individuals from using these practices (Purnell, 2013). Traditional medical practices are also expensive to access due to the use of technology and complex research used in the development of these medications. Nontraditional healthcare options have been in use since the creation time where people used to heal from serious health issues (Purnell, 2013). This has increased the adoption of these options reducing the use of traditional medical options.


  1. Kirmayer, L. (2013). The Cultural Diversity Of Healing: Meaning, metaphor, and mechanism. Heart Views, (1), 39.
  2. Oleson, H. E., O’fallon, A., Sherwood, N. E., & Chute, S. (2012). Health and Healing: Traditional Medicine and Karen Experience. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 19(2), 44–49.
  3. Purnell, L. D. (2013). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
  4. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. (2019). National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Traditional Chinese Medicine: What You Need To Know. Retrieved from
  5. Yoo, G. J., Le, M.-N., & Oda, A. Y. (2014). Handbook of Asian American health. New York: Springer.
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