Native American Indian Spa Treatments

2348

Spirit Connection

 A major difference between Native-American and conventional medicine concerns the role of spirit and connection. Although spirituality has been a key component of healing through most of mankind’s history, modern medicine eschews it, embracing a mechanistic view of the body fixable pursuant to physical laws of science.

Native American Medicine

Native-American medicine considers spirit, whose life-force manifestation in humans is called, ni by the Lakota and nilch’i by the Navajo, as an inseparable element of healing. Not only is the client’s spirit important but the spirit of the healer, the client’s family, community, environment, and the medicine. 

In addition to these overarching philosophical differences, there are many other properties that distinguish Native-American from Western medicine. In Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing summarizes some of them:

 

WESTERN MEDICINE

NATIVE-AMERICAN MEDICINE

Focus on pathology & curing disease.

Focus on health & healing the person & community.

Reductionistic: Diseases are biological, & treatment should produce measurable outcomes.

Complex: Diseases do not have a simple explanation, & outcomes are not always measurable.

Adversarial medicine: “How can I destroy the disease?”

Teleological medicine: “What can the disease teach the patient? Is there a message or story in the disease?”

Investigate disease with a “divide-and-conquer” strategy, looking for microscopic cause.

Looks at the “big picture”: the causes & effects of disease in the physical, emotional, environmental, social, & spiritual realms.

Intellect is primary. Medical practice is based on scientific theory.

Intuition is primary. Healing is based on spiritual truths learned from, nature, elders, & spiritual vision.

Physician is an authority.

Healer is a health counselor & advisor.

Fosters dependence on medication, technology, etc.

Empowers patients with confidence, awareness, & tools to help them take charge of their own health.

Health history focuses on patient & family: “Did your mother have cancer?”

Health history includes the environment: “Are the salmon in your rivers ill?”

Intervention should result in rapid cure or management of disease.

Intervention should result in rapid cure or management of disease.