How Traditional Chinese Health Beliefs and Chinese Culture Influence Health and Illness?

Traditional Chinese health beliefs adopt a holistic view emphasizing the importance of environmental factors in increasing risk of disease. According to Quah (1985), these factors influence the balance of body’s harmony, yin and yang. These are two opposite but complementary forces and, together with qi (vital energy), they control the universe and explain the relationship between people and their surroundings. Imbalance in these two forces, or in the qi, results in illness.

In order to restore the balance, traditional remedial practices may be needed. For example, excess `hot’ energy can be counterbalanced by cooling herbal teas, and vice versa. These beliefs are deeply ingrained among the Chinese, and have been found to be unchanged following migration to Singapore.

Lee, et. al. (2004), found that patients with specific chronic diseases, namely arthritis, musculoskeletal diseases and stroke, were more likely to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This was strongly determined by the … Read More