Native American medicine


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Related to Native American medicine: Native American healing

Native American medicine

therapies used by many Native American Indian tribes that include their own healing herbs and ceremonies using components with a spiritual emphasis. An individual's connection to Nature and Mother Earth and communion with the spirit world is either in or out of harmony. The unique energies of the eight directions of the medicine wheel, as well as the sky, sun, moon, and earth, all play an integral part in Native American cosmology. Symptoms of illness are seen as connected with the spirit, and energy is then used as a catalyst to help patients come back into harmony. There are several forms of therapy, which include the following: sweat lodge ceremony to heal; sacred pipe; sacred sage, sweet grass, cedar, and other herbs, wafted over the patient with the use of a feather; herbs used in a tea, eaten, used in a bath, or burned with the smoke inhaled; rattles to break up blocks of dead or jammed energy; and drums to align the person's spirit with the heartbeat of Mother Earth. All diseases have been treated with the use of Native American medicine, which does not preclude the use of additional mainstream medical therapies. This medicine is a safe modality when performed by the medicine person, who is an essential part of helping patients return to a state of harmony. It should not be attempted by individuals who do not have the education or training needed.

Na·tive A·mer·i·can med·i·cine

(nā'tiv ă-mer'i-kăn med'i-sin)
Therapy based on a spiritual view of life. Methods of healing include prayer, chanting, music, smudging (burning sage or aromatic woods), herbs, laying-on of hands, massage, counseling, imagery, fasting, harmonizing with nature, dreaming, sweat lodges, taking hallucinogens (e.g., peyote), developing inner silence, going on a shamanic journey, and partaking in ceremony.

Native American medicine

Traditional, culturally specific beliefs and practices of Native Americans regarding health that emphasize awareness of self and spirit, rest, connection with nature, herbal medicine, social support, and ceremonial or ritualistic healing.
See also: medicine
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