Native American Perspective on Healing

NativeAmerican Perspective on Healing

NativeAmerican Perspective on Healing

Theperspectiveof theNative American healing comprisesof a combinationof healthpracticesof morethan 500 districtswheretheNative Americans livedbefore thearrivalof theEuropeans. Althoughthesepracticesvaryfromtribeto tribe, allnativehealing practicesare based on thenotionthathealthis an issueof balance(Koithen &amp Farrell, 2010). Thistypeof healing is based onbeliefthatthenaturalworldflourisheswellwhenits webof interrelationships is nurtured,honored,maintainedin harmony.In addition,Native Americans acknowledgetheexistenceof someaspectsof naturethat are not easilyseenby technology ortheeye,butcan stillbeexperiencedintuitively anddirectly.ThisimpliesthattheNative American healing incorporatestheboth thebodyandthemindtechniques.Thispaperwill addressthetypesof Native American healing, howthehealing works,conditionsin which thistypeof healing works,andtrainingof healers.

TheNative American healing associatesanytypeofimbalancein thespiritualworld.Thisnecessitatestheuseof spiritualinterventionsforanysuccessfultreatment(Mehl-Madrona, 2000). However,healers can usedifferentapproachesto restorethebalancedepending on their ownperspectivethat isin turndrawnfrom their uniquelife,skillsandexperience.Thisimpliesthatthepatientsare forcedbycircumstancesto lookof healers whohavebeensuccessfulin addressingsituationssimilarto whattheyare facing.Thisis becausenativeAmericans thesophisticatedharmoniousbalancerequiresuniquetreatmentstrategiesthat addresstheuniqueness of eachsituation.NativeAmericans holdthathealing practicesthat are standardized(includingthestandardfees)failsto addresstheneedsof individualpatients(Mehl-Madrona, 2000). Instead,theytendto compromisethepoweraswellas theintegrityof treatment.Nativehealers are, therefore,not allowedto setpricesfortheir services.Thiscreatesa roomfornegotiatingprices,which is perceivedto be thestartof thehealing process.

Unlikethemodernmedicalpractices,theresponsibilityof thefailureof thehealing practicesfallson thepractitioner in theNative American culture.Thisis becausethenativehealing systemdoesnot integratetechnology andstandardapproaches(Mehl-Madrona, 2000). Healers with a largenumberof healingerrorsrisklosingtheir reputationin thesociety.Thismeansthateachhealer has a primaryresponsibilityformaintainingthequalityof their healing practices.Theseforce healersto conducta subtleassessmentof clientsbearingin mindthatvariousfactors(includingthevalueof treatment,readinessto thehealing process,andthestrengthof client’swill are criticaldeterminants of thehealingoutcome.Clientsselecta practitioner andplacean offeroutside thehouse.Iftheofferisnot takenby thefollowingmorning,theclientrealizesthatthehealer wasnot satisfied,butifitwastaken,thehealing processcanstartimmediately.

NativeAmerican healing worksby restoringtheharmoniousbalanceof thepatientas wellas their relationshipwith theouterworld.ThismeansthattheNative American healing bringschangein one’s pathology,their understanding,viewof theworld,andself-concept (Whole Health Medicine, 2014). Thistypeofholisticapproachseeksto curetheillnessandtransformtheclientusingtheexperiencesof thatillness.ThefactthatNative American healing preparestheclientforhealing andseeksto maintaintheir healthmakesitnecessary,evenin situationsthatthemoderntreatmentisrequired.Thismeansthatthenativehealing can besoughtas a complementary of themoderntreatmentprocess.However,thespiritualaspectof healing is nevercontraindicated.

TheNative American healers undergoa relativelysimilarprocessof trainingas themodernhealthcareproviders, butthetwo typesof trainingdifferin thetrainingsettings,durations,andthemethodof deliveringthetrainingcontent.Nativehealers are trainedby theelderhealers andherbalists(Koithen &amp Farrell, 2010). Thetrainingcontent isdeliveredthrough apprenticeship forindeterminate, usuallyan extendedduration.Thismeansthatthelearnersare expectedto alignthemselves with theelder,whosupervisetheir learningprogressandgrowth.Theapprenticeremainsunder thesupervisionof selectedeldersuntil theydecidethelearnersarereadystartpracticingon their own.Thistypeof traininghas allowedNative Americans to maintaintheir traditionalhealing practicesforyearssince similarbeliefsandmodalities are passedfrom one generationto nextone through apprenticeship.

Inconclusion,theNative American healing is one of theholistic approachesthat seekto healsicknessandhelpthepatienttransform through their experienceswith theillnesses.Thistypeof healing is groundedon theassumptionthatsicknesses,bothphysicalandpsychological,resultfrom somesortsof imbalance.In essence,theNative American healing processaimsat restoringthelostbalance,which in turnhelpsthesickto recoverfrom their illnessandenhancetheir relationshipwith theinneraswellas theouterworld.TheNative American healing can becombinedwith themodernapproachesof treatment(suchas theuseof pharmaceutical products),butthespiritualpartof thehealing processcannot be substituted.

References

Koithen,M. &amp Farrell, C. (2010). Indigenous Native American healingtraditions. Journalof Nursing Practice,6 (6), 477-478. Doi:&nbsp10.1016/j.nurpra.2010.03.016

Mehl-Madrona,E. (2000). Native American Medicine and the treatment of chronicillness. AlternativeTherapies. 5(1),36-44.

WholeHealth Medicine (2014). Native American medicine. Therapies.Retrieved February 24, 2015, fromhttp://www.wholehealthmd.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?type=AWHN_Therapies&ampid=3E228F7E6E154777B9F3929686313E5F&amptier=2

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