One thing is for certain—whatever race, religion, or ethnicity, we are all instinctively human. Traveling to different countries is one way to explore other cultures and learn about their unique way of life. One of the most surprising differences I have found between cultures are medicinal practices. We are all human, yet so many cultures have different medicines and methods for taking care of the human body. The medical stories below are real, personal stories from Ukrainian, Russian, and French cultures. Take enjoyment from them, they are quite thrilling.
Quick, my kidneys need a jacket.
Here's a story for you. A Ukrainian girl wears a short, cropped jacket on a cooler, breezy day. She is outside for most of the day. Keep in mind, her jacket covers her midriff, but it is shorter and can rise when she lifts her arms. She wakes up the next morning and her sides hurt, she knows her kidneys are sick because of the cold. She goes to the doctor and she, in fact, does have an infection in her kidneys. She is not surprised, but the American doctor is. Are you surprised?
Wow, worms sure are stressful.
Teeth grinding, or Bruxism, is not uncommon across the globe. About 40 million Americans grind their teeth alone and between 5-20% of the worldwide adult population do as well. It is usually done in one's sleep, not discovered until a partner or roommate points it out. In America, we think to go to the dentist and order a mouth guard to protect our teeth from further damage. Others might look into getting tested for sleep apnea, but did any of you think about worms? Probably not. Some cultures directly link teeth grinding to worms. Their logic—worms move inside your intestines while you sleep and it causes stress, teeth grinding. Makes sense? Eh, kinda. But, who do you know? Who has ever had worms except your dog?
I don't know about you, but I like a nice plaster of mustard paste when I am congested. Mustard seeds have been known for their copious health benefits, but one possibly forgotten benefit by Americans is their stimulation of blood circulation. Mustard seeds warm the skin and dilate capillaries to move trapped phlegm and mucus out of your lungs. Get rid of that heating pad mom, i'm pasting myself up this time!
Cold vs. Heat
When you have a high fever, it's possible to overheat. Temperatures over a certain level are damaging to the human body and brain. I was once saved by eating a box of popsicles, but if you bring up cold and sickness to someone foreign, you may as well be the devil. They drink very, very hot drinks and bundle-up under blankets. While, Americans may enjoy a nice smoothie while sick, cultures in colder climates try to stay as warm as possible.
ADD or Discipline?
This is a controversial debate in the world. Americans offer medication for kids with ADD and ADHD while some countries think treatment is primarily discipline based. Medicine can be perceived as taking the 'easy way out'. Americans can start this discussion with almost any other country.