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Week 14 - Traditional Indigenous Med.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 3G03
Professor
Rhona Shaw
Semester
Winter

Description
• Indigenous Traditional Medicine • traditional indigenous healing has become popular due to: – new age health movement – ↑ appeal of holistic medicine – ↑ CAMs use – various groups & orgs now placing ↑ importance on examining this healing methodology • 2000 – Nat’l Centre for CAM (NCCAM) announces need for studies to – est the methodological feasibility & scientific rationale for conducting full scale RCT on  use of traditional, indigenous systems of medicine in US • Indigenous Traditional Medicine • early EU literature (1800­1900s) on traditional indigenous healing  – includes descriptions of various customary practices • early NA historians of religion & anthropologists – focused on indigenous concepts of supernatural healing – however, discussions reflected scholar’s own theory of religion – get varying EU interpretations of indigenous healing • info on contemporary indigenous medical practices is scarce – many aspects of indigenous healing has never been documented  – & may never will • Indigenous Traditional Medicine • formal (EU) research into indigenous healing ceremonies is limited • several factors contribute to this reality: – fear of ridicule by practitioner & user of traditional indigenous medicine – concern of misuse of info if divulged – healing may be regarded as a private matter – traditional healing is considered sacred – healing practices are documented orally  • this part of a long oral tradition among indigenous peoples – western science rejects the metaphysical – only believes in the ‘facts’ • Indigenous Traditional Medicine • indigenous traditional healing also known as – Native American medicine – indigenous medicine – Indian medicine – spiritual interpretation • indigenous medicine an ancient, complex & holistic HC system  – practiced by indigenous people worldwide – is more deeply rooted & complex than commonly understood – is based upon a spiritual rather than a materialistic or Cartesian view of health & the body • Indigenous Traditional Medicine – is possibly the most ancient form of holistic medicine – in this context western medicine is the alternative medicine – indigenous peoples describe traditional healing as an art practice since time immemorial • & continues today • the art of traditional healing places emphasis on: – the spirit world – supernatural forces – the mystical & magical – is an entirely different understanding than allopathic – is a lifelong process • Health in Indigenous Communities • thus, medicine in indigenous cultures is:  – anything sacred, mysterious or of wonderful power or efficacy in Indian life or belief • basic principles of traditional indigenous culture: – wholeness & interrelatedness – everything is considered to have life & is interconnected, intertwined & effects  everything else – the sum of the whole is greater than the parts – to ensure health, balance & harmony of the spirit, mind, & body must be accomplished – Health in indigenous Communities • indigenous perspective equates illness with imbalance – illness occurs when balance is disrupted • health involves maintaining a balanced life – health has a broad application – suggests a state of harmony, synchronicity & wholeness that should be present w/in: • the spiritual, mental, emotional & physical realms • life energy
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