Social Science / Culture Essay

Iranian Culture and Healthcare

Before 1935, Iran was known as Persia until the Shah requested the international committee to refer to Persia as Iran. Iran had a series of invasions just like the history of other countries. Invasions from other countries like the Arabs, British, Russians, Turks, and Mongols.

Iran was formally the Islamic Republic of Iran and it is located in central Eurasia and western Asia. Iranian Culture and healthcare are so rich and diverse and the Iranian culture has been dominant in Central Asia and the Middle East. Iran consists of people of many religions and ethnicity which is cemented by the Persian culture.

Family Values

The family is held with high regard in Iran. The harmony and dignity of a family are of greater significance than an individual’s wish. The eldest male is in charge of most families and formal authority descends through the other males in the family by age.

The father is regarded as the head of the family, and he is bestowed with the responsibility of protecting and providing for the family while mothers are bestowed with the responsibility of taking proper care of the children and the family.

The children are expected to be respectful of their elders and act in a proper and disciplined manner. The children are to be well-behaved, neat, and be willing to learn. Parents should be ready to sacrifice for their children in terms of education and health. Children should remain with their parents, but they are not to stay with their parents when they get married and parents depend on their adult children as they reach old age.

Family ties are of greater significance than that of political and social alignment. Individuals are oriented towards the overall good of the family, and mutual dependence is observed over individual independence.

Spirituality

In Iran, God's will (tagdir) and punishment from God for sins committed are spiritual factors that influence health. Spirituality also plays a huge factor in healthcare in Iran as it helps patients to cope with sickness and diseases. (Johnson, Tulsky, Arnold, and Lindquist, 2011).

In traditional Iranian medicine, spirituality is not a new concept in Iran and it has been known as a prevailing element for healing. During the tenth century, a physician in Persia, Muhammad Ibn Zakariya Razi, split the science of physics into two; spiritual and physical (Karaman, 2011). He posited that the spiritual division was related to spiritual distress while the physical division was related to physiological and biological diseases.

Cultural Beliefs

The absence of blood in the head was seen as a cause for headaches while the wind was a cause for rheumatism.

Supernatural Beliefs

Some evil spirits could be the cause of some illnesses and the evil eye present in some individuals could lead to a curse placed on those looking at them.

Balance

It is believed that certain elements in the body should be balanced. This philosophy aims at maintaining balance in all the four senses of humor of the body which include blood, yellow and black bile, and phlegm. This is achieved through the combination of foods. The kind of lifestyle a person lives will also affect his health.

Some Iranians adhere to a four-category system while others stick to two; hot and cold. The excess of hotness and coldness elemental in nature could lead to related illnesses. For instance, consuming both watermelon and yogurt (both are cold foods) could lead to death.

Traditional Medicine

Herbal and natural medicines are used as holistic approaches to treat sicknesses. Traditional specialists are called upon to administer herbal portions, help to set bones, cupping, do leech therapy, and massage therapy with plant oils.

Stigmas

Any form of mental disturbance and suicide in a family will be highly stigmatized.

Nutrition

Iranians take their diet seriously, and they ensure that they always eat healthily. They eat fresh fruits, greens, and vegetables. Meats are used as condiments. Black tea is an Iranian primary beverage. It is a taboo to eat pork as it is an Islamic prohibition.

• Contraception is accepted and widely practiced in Iran.

• A pregnant woman is seen traditionally as a woman with status and high self-esteem and a woman who gives birth to a male child as a higher level of social acceptance.

• It is very common for a woman to have her obstetrician in Iran and elective cesarean sections are common.

• It is uncommon to have fathers involved in the birth.

• Traditional Iranians may observe diet regimes during the first forty days to maintain humoral balance.

• Breastfeeding is usually done up to a year and solids are introduced 4-6 months.

Iranian culture and health care are linked together as their culture greatly affects their health care. The life expectancy in Iran is high which is up to seventy years. Iranians do not have severe infectious diseases and the major causes of deaths are the circulatory and cardio diseases.

The health care Iran is generally good and, in recent times, the health care programs have recorded a high amount of success. Illnesses like malaria and waterborne diseases have been put under control and family planning programs have improved. AIDS figures have reduced drastically.

The body is linked with the relationship with God, family, society, and nutrition. Iranians are concerned with the daily maintenance of their health. Some common health problems are cancer, arthritis, heart disease, hypertensionIranian Culture and Healthcare, and gastrointestinal disorders. A disabled person is well accepted and cared for as disabilities are seen as an act of nature and God’s will.

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