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Lifestyle and Maori Models of Health

Compare and Contrast Between Lifestyle and Maori Models of Health
Lifestyle is changing rapidly and continuously. As a result, many diseases have risen since the explosion of the revolution (19 century). Human health has always been an internationally discussed issue. What “Health” is has many dimensions of definitions and sometimes politics is likely to be involved. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “More than freedom from illness, disease and debilitations conditions “(Corbin, 2011, P12). So, it refers not just to the physical condition, but also to mental health. In addition, having a disability doesn’t mean having a disease. In this essay, both Maori and Lifestyle models of health will be discussed through illustrating the similarities and the differences providing some criticism supported by evidences.
“The rise in obesity worldwide has focused attention on lifestyle as a prominent cause of disease in modern times“ (Egger, 2010, p. 121). Lifestyle theory illustrates that bad daily habits such as smoking, stress and little exercise leads to diseases. The main reason of all diseases is our habits in life, as it also appears as a consequence of the rapid development. For example, when we breathe the polluted air that is released from the industries, factories and burning fossil fuels, we accumulate the toxic gases in our bodies. Furthermore, the main cause of cancerous tumours is the “Mobile Towers” which are being established in the urban areas (Fougere, 1994). Moreover, radiations emitted from the microwaves into our food and cells is actually killing us slowly .The accumulation of the chemicals in fast foods leads to diseases in the long-term. So, if we want to be healthy we have to adopt a healthy lifestyle, like taking regular exercises and making sure that we are having the necessary diet.
In contrast to Maori model of health, Lifestyle model focuses on the Micro level of analysis. While Maori focuses on “Culture”, as the base of the determinants of health, “The model of the wheke, the octopus and its 8 tentacles represents Peres’s statement about the total development of the Maori individual within the context of the Maori family and community (Drummond, 2004). It is then Micro, Macro and Mizzo, a “Holistic” model. The lifestyle theory focuses on personal responsibility for the health. This is because it explains on poor health where factors considered to be causes of the diseases are those which can be avoided. A lifestyle approach focuses towards the future, stressing on the maintenance and fostering of good health. It is therefore important that people understand the relationship between their ways of life and the illnesses developed which has always been the focus of healers (Hansen, E. & East hope, G., 2007)
Another model of health described by “Holistic” is the Maori model of health. Maori model of health is based on four aspects physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. For Maori alienation from land has spiritual, social, political and economical effects which damage spiritual as well as psychological health and well being (Curtis, 2010 p. 175). So, these four bases ensure strength and balance in each side offering a distinct contribution. Maori Model depends on the relevance of culture to illness and treatment at bases of the cultural heritage which shaped ideas and reactions at a particular time of illness. WHO claims that health was greatly influenced by social and cultural factors. Maori depends on the value of traditional belief systems to health (Herbs, alternative therapies …); they also focus on body gestures such as eye movement. We can obviously see that its concept is influenced by the colonial experience with crown’s application of the treaty. By taking determinants of health into account, good health is a balance between interacting variables and each of these bases must be strong enough to ensure that others are in a good condition. Few criticism and difficulties are facing this concept. First, access to Maori culture resources is uneven. Secondly, native people who are talking in Maori language are becoming fewer (McNeill et al., 2010).
So now by knowing lifestyle’s concepts and criticisms and the Maori model of health, the essay will compare and contrast between these two models. The first key issue is that lifestyle theory focus is in the micro level of analysis while the Maori model of health in addition to the physical factor is also based on the social and cultural factors (Macro, Mezzo), which makes it “holistic” and the ideal model of health in this century where people are mentally fluctuated. Maori model is embedded in cultural understandings, while lifestyle focuses on people’s choices and disregards the mental condition, regarding social level, and the bad habits that lead to diseases. “ Healthy thinking from a Maori perspective is integrative not analytical ; explanations are sought from searching outwards rather than inwards ; and poor health is typically regarded as a manifestation of a break down in harmony between the individual and the wider environment “ (Durie, 1994). Adopting a healthy lifestyle is a factor in health, wellness and fitness promotion, but evidence suggests that many people are not able to make changes, even when they want to do so. Experts have determined that people who practice healthy lifestyle possess certain characteristics. These modified to improve the health behaviours of all people (Corbin, 2011, P.2).
There are similarities between these two models. First, they both consider social “context” such as, family, culture social exclusion and unemployment to be health’s determinants. However, the micro focus on lifestyle’s theory opposes the Maori model of health’s view, as they highlight society and make the culture embedded in health “holistic. A question from a social model which depends on mortality and morbidity statistics to study the relationship between illness and its spread into a population, Maori statistics shows increase in infant death and decrease in life expectancy.
Although we found huge differences between lifestyle and Maori models of health, we also can observe few similarities such as having the Micro level of analysis. Lifestyle model focus on the relationship between the individual and his social context, Maori too has a holistic model focus on that level of analysis. Both of them have a philosophical underpinning which focuses on individualism rationalism. “Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand and make up to 15% the total population “(Durie, 2012, P.288). The good point about Maori health promotion is that it is perfect, it cures all internal diseases (mental, social, intellectual and spiritual) and external ones (physical). In contrast with lifestyle model it is obvious that this model ignores the spiritual human condition and just focuses on the external diseases that result from human activities and his choices.
Lifestyle model is ideal for preventing diseases by avoiding daily causes of illness. However, it disregards the mental sides. What makes Maori model “holistic” or ideal is that it combines all physical factors within social contexts and it symbols the meeting house and octopus. Health specialist should focus on applying Maori model of health as it concerns about the mental status. They should give Maoris opportunities to present their own traditional alternative therapies and herbs. Also the government should support them with sufficient funds and establish special Maori centres.

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