Homegrown health myths and remedios
For many, walking around the house barefooted is a big no-no. French pedicured toes or not, the practice is frowned upon as distasteful. Most importantly, say some, it’s a sure way to catch a cold. Ditto for wearing open-toed shoes or sandals during the winter. The operating logic is when your feet get cold, you get a cold. Does it sound familiar?
While experts have debunked the above as myth and discarded the correlation between being cold and catching a cold, there are many health-related, culturally rooted beliefs and practices that inform our experiences. Whether we accept them as true or discard them as myths is a different story, and the same goes for the way in which we treat an actual cold. (Caldo de pollo?)
In this month’s cover story, Georgann Yara explores culturally rooted health myths and home remedies. We are reminded that long before GNCs and vitamin shops popped up in every strip mall, many abuelas and abuelos stocked up on herbal teas and infusions thought to treat a laundry list of ailments.
Over the past decade, the medical establishment has been more receptive to homeopathic and naturopathic medicine. There’s been an increased emphasis in treating the whole person and not just the symptoms or the disease. This trend has made possible the development of what previous generations may have viewed as an oxymoron: cutting-edge, natural therapies. And, of course, there’s a growing industry in this field.
Curious of what it takes to become a doctor in naturopathy or holistic health therapy? Go straight to the Career section where Erica Cardenas presents the lay of the land for these and other increasingly popular professions, along with their respective academic requirements, salary ranges and career outlook.
Busy professionals and stay-at-home folks alike need to make room for a new top priority: self-care. As Dr. Emily Zaragoza-Laos shares in My Perspective, in order to live a healthy and balanced life, we need to make time for ourselves. Although it may seem counterintuitive to the self-sacrificing types, taking care of oneself first is critically important for individuals also caring for other people, whether it be a spouse, children or aging parents. Like the life insurance commercials, just ask yourself, who will take care of them if something were to happen to you?
We must also do our part to be healthy for our pet’s sake. I’ve heard before “When mommy is happy, everyone is happy,” and as Robrt Pela writes in Será Posible, some suggest that this includes our pets as well, meaning, cuando mamacita está feliz, también está el perro. (Entrepreneurs out there: perhaps a line of lavender and chamomile tea biscuits for Fido?).