Latino and Asian Families’ Heritage Assessment

Table of Contents


The paper aims to present specifics of treatment and needs of families with different ethnic backgrounds. The chosen families are Cuban, Russian, and Japanese descents (first or second-generation immigrants). Using the obtained data, the author analyzed how this heritage could be applied in health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration to ensure that needs of these families are met.

Common Health Traditions

The first family is second-generation Cuban immigrants; it consists of a 40-year old woman, a 42-year old man, and their 16-year old child. Common health practices in this family include heavily limited or restricted tobacco and alcohol use as such behavior is prohibited by religious beliefs of the family (the family’s religion is Santería, a synthesis of the Yoruba and Roman Catholicism). Another common practice is the healing by Santería healers, individuals who practice folk healing and view physical and mental health as a whole and thus approach it from a holistic point of view (Rosario & De La Rosa, 2014). Santería is also used by patients as a substitute for practices that target individuals’ mental health or as spiritual guidance (for example, in end-of-life care). This family used Santería as a supporting spiritual practice to cope with physical illnesses. The family confessed that they were active members of the religious institution (they often visited a Catholic church located in the neighborhood), as well as celebrated religious holidays, prayed, and read the Bible. Their native language is Spanish.

The second family is from Russia; they are first-generation immigrants. The family consists of two members, a 31-year old man, and a 28-year old woman. Their parents grew up in Russia and did not immigrate with them. Their religious preference is Orthodox Christianity (also known as Orthodox Catholic Church). They belong to a religious institution but rarely visit it. However, they actively practice religion at home (e.g., pray, read the Bible, and celebrate religious holidays). Health practices in this family include specific dieting that emphasizes organic food and enough nutrition, especially when a member is sick.

If one of the members has a serious condition (such as a broken leg, an inflammation that requires surgical involvement, etc.), religious practices are used actively (individuals pray and bring along religious icons to the hospital room). Furthermore, the support of the family and friends is considered as a crucial part in the healing process, and friends and relatives might visit the patient during his or her stay at the hospital (“End-of-life care”, n.d.). According to the interviewed individuals, religion often serves as a substitute for mental health care, and spiritual practices are performed to improve a patient’s psychological well-being.

The third family is of Japanese descent (first-generation immigrants). There are four members in the family: a 50-yeard old man, a 47-year old woman, a 20-year old son, and an 18-year old daughter. The family stated that they were not religious, although they did follow some Shinto rituals, as well as utilized various health practices derived from other cultures and religions (e.g., Chinese culture or Buddhism). Such practices include Japanese herbal medicine, also known as Kampo. Kampo is based on the belief that illnesses are caused by disruptions in the flow of Qi (Carteret, n.d.). Japanese acupuncture is also used, where parts of the mugwort plant are burnt before the procedure to warm the patient’s skin. Acupuncture is believed to help restore the flow of Qi and mitigate symptoms of illnesses.

Mental illnesses are a complex subject as the discussion of them is tabooed. Folk practices such as herbal healing can be utilized to help the individual who has psychological issues. In serious cases, religious and spiritual practices, together with traditional medicine, are also used.

Health Maintenance

In Santería, the maintenance of health is achieved through the service to one’s Orisha; these mystic and spiritual relationships with a medium can help mitigate health issues. This emphasis on individual involvement in one’s health can be used by clinicians to teach individuals with Cuban ethnic background to be attentive to their health and disease prevention practices, just as they value their relationship with Orisha. Compared to other ethnic beliefs discussed in this paper, Santería emphasizes self-reliance (McNeill & Cervantes, 2011). The Russian culture tends to place a high value on the doctor’s orders, making discussion on equal terms and questioning unlikely (“End-of-life care”, n.d.). Religion plays an integral part in the healing process, and the clinician should not intervene in religious practices. He or she can utilize them to stress the importance of connection and communication both with the family and the medical personnel for a person’s well-being, for example when the patient is unwilling or refusing to be educated about a health problem or does not understand the importance of self-management of chronic disease.

With Japanese individuals, clinicians can utilize a different approach: advise additional health practices (dieting, physical activity, etc.), together with acupuncture sessions, as helpful interventions. The clinician can emphasize the importance of physical activity and its positive influence on the overall well-being or the Qi energy of the person. It is essential to integrate cultural beliefs and rituals into the treatment plan or health maintenance plan to support the patient and encourage them to follow advised practices.

Health Protection

Botanicas, shops that sell folk medicine, and santeros, professionals who are licensed to provide medical counseling in Cuba can serve as mediators who can support the health protection of their clients. While individuals can mistrust traditional medicine for various reasons, santeros can emphasize the importance of healthy living and the use of medicine (e.g., vaccines) among their clients. Furthermore, santeros can be spiritual guides, who can help patients overcome minor psychological issues such as temporary stress or advise spiritual practices that patients can use as a “mental floss”.

A similar approach can be applied to individuals of Russian and Japanese origin, where providers of folk medicine can be integrated into the more traditional means of health protection. Furthermore, the emphasis on healthy nutrition in Russian culture is a good belief that physicians and nurses can use to promote healthy eating habits and evidence-based nutrition practices for patients with various chronic conditions. Japanese acupuncturists often use palpation and other techniques to identify the disruption of the energy in a person, and their contribution to health protection and detection of illnesses can be significant, especially if the patient respects their authority.

Health Restoration

Spiritual practices and guidance are most frequently used in health restoration, as these procedures emphasize the importance of a healthy mind, body, and soul, and can often rely on religious practices if the patient prefers them. Moreover, illness can be perceived by patients as an opportunity to grow spiritually, see the problem as a chance rather than a barrier. It seems that the inclusion of spiritual practices, such as counseling by santeros, priests (in Russian Orthodox Church), or bhikkhus (priests in Buddhism) should be incorporated into the daily routine of hospitals. Additionally, clinicians should not prevent patients from using religious rituals in the hospital room if they do not contradict safety policies. In some hospitals, spiritual counseling by nurses and religious representatives is being implemented, which should provide more support for religious patients.


Carteret, M. (n.d.). Web.

(n.d.). Web.

McNeill, B., & Cervantes, J. M. (2011). Latina/o healing practices: Mestizo and indigenous perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge.

Rosario, A. M., & De La Rosa, M. (2014). Santería as informal mental health support among US Latinos with cancer. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 33(1), 4-18.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with My Homework Geeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Live ChatWhatsApp