248040 Mexican Traditional Medicine: A Whole Medical System

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:30 PM

Tanya R. Sorrell, PhD, NP-C, MS, RN , College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Yuma, AZ
Mexican Traditional Medicine (MTM) is an indigenous healing system developed in Mexico and Latin America. Its roots are traced to pre-Colombian Aztec, Mayan and Incan healing traditions, with African and Spanish-Catholic influences. MTM is an important part of health care with current studies estimating that 45-65% of Mexican-American families using this system for health services. The elements of the MTM as a whole medical system will be examined. A literature review is presented on MTM studies and knowledge with a discussion presented of potential areas for MTM study. The understanding of MTM as well as whole medical systems is reviewed under the concept of non-linear dynamic systems (NDS) with a development of MTM as a similar CAM method. MTM is then conferred as a justifiable whole medical system as identified by NCCAM and recent research from whole systems medicine. Given the continued use of MTM, and the particular focus of whole health healing for Mexican immigrants to the US, research inquiry should also be directed to further the understanding of this system of healing. The dynamics of MTM and the practice of Curanderismo cannot be fully studied and explained by conventional western medicine. Utilizing the concepts of NDS, MTM and Curanderismo treatments can be researched, understood and shown to be effective in those that utilize its services as a method of achieving balance in their lives. This care and treatment, particular for Mexican immigrant populations will need research methodolgy for delineation and dissemination of findings that will allow more effective culturally competent and sensitive health care provision for Mexican- Americans.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe Mexican Traditional Medicine Review current NCCAM guidelines for Whole Medical Systems Propose the acceptance of Mexican Traditional Medicine as a Whole Medical System based on NCCAM guidelines.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral candidate in Minority Mental Health and US/Mexico Border Mental Health at the University of Arizona. My focus is the indigenous mental health practices of various cultures. I am also completing simultaneous certification as a Mexican Traditional Medicine “Herbolaria’ (herbal medicine specialist) from Tlahui University in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I work with diverse minority populations to using knowledge and desire to add culturally relevant mental health services for minorities in the current mental health system. My dissertation is tentatively titled “Mexican Traditional Medicine process in Mental Health Healing.”
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.