Cultural Diversity in the Health Care Setting
Cultural diversity in the health care setting is increasing each year. Knowing how to care for patients of different religious and spiritual faiths is essential to providing high-quality, patient-centered care. The author of this paper will research three lesser-known religions; Taoism, Sikhism and Shamanism. Through this paper, she will provide a brief background on each of the three religions and present information regarding spiritual perspectives on healing, critical components of healing and health care considerations associated with each religion.
Taoism is an ancient Chinese religion dating back to the sixth century. The basic foundation of Taoism is a life philosophy and method of living in harmony with the Tao, translated to mean “way” or “path” (Strain, 2014). Taoists believe that the Tao is the “Super One” or “Prime Source” (Tai, 2009). It determines all things and all things return to their common origin and fuse into one. Taoists believe that, “The Tao is the ultimate principle of the universe” (Tai, 2009); however, the Tao is not God and they do not worship it.
Spiritual Perspective on Healing
Taoist perspective on spiritual healing begins with purity. Taoism does not make a distinct separation between body and spirit. They regard physical actions to have spiritual effects. Because of this, Taoists believe that the body needs to remain pure in order to achieve spiritual health. A proper balance of yin and yang, complimentary energies, must remain constant in order to maintain a healthy life. When there is an imbalance of these energies, it causes a disturbance within the body. This imbalance causes harmony to become broken and manifests as a physical illness or disease. The only way to treat the illness is to restore the natural balance so the Tao, in the form of qi, is able to flow freely (Tai, 2009).
Critical Components of Healing
There are several components that assist Taoists in restoring or maintaining harmony within the body. Ch’i is the flow of energy through the body. This can be strengthen, managed and harmonized through different practices. The first is qigong which is a health practice that utilizes body movement, breathing techniques and mental focus to assist in healing, relaxation and reconnecting (Winn, 2009). Next is that art of meditation. Meditation is an important element in the Tao religion. Many Taoists practice meditation to achieve mental serenity and heighten mental awareness. There are also various forms of exercise, such as yoga and Tai Chi, and therapies, acupuncture and moxibustion, which Taoists use to restore balance within the body and achieve healing.
Health Care Considerations
When caring for Taoist’s patients, the most important thing to remember is their need to restore balance. For them, this may not be achieved through traditional medical practice; however, this does not mean that we should do nothing. Taoists do not believe in...