Navajo Healing Treatment

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This relevant data about Native American substance abuse is just a remark that these communities still have a long way to go in terms of health and healing treatment, but it shows that even though they have communities ravaged by alcohol, drugs and diseases like smallpox they are still here and will make their voices heard. The focus here is to analyze and see how Navajo’s healing treatment can be applied to our understanding of medicine. The Navajo are probably the most famous native American tribe and the fact that they were the less touched and affected by European’s diseases as stated by David Jones “In contrast to most other American Indian tribes, the Navajo had been spared the catastrophic mortality that followed the arrival of Europeans …show more content…

This aspect of their healing process is almost preventive and works as karma since if a person doesn’t harm the earth or anything on it, there is no reason to get a disease or be ill. If a person gets sick despite this fact or that he disobeyed, the healer must work with what he is offered and need to respect that. The Navajo had healing ceremonies during which they would perform several dances with the most popular one called the Mountain Chant. Apparently the most important part of this ceremony is the preparation with emetics and sweat lodges, purification with smoke and pollen fragrance (Schneder 420). The ceremony lasts several days with many sacrifices and the fire dance on the last day. Its aim was to get the community together in order to heal any sick person and worked as a kind of group force. In a recent research, we learned that “A traditional Navajo diagnostician, known by what he does either as a hand trembler, crystal gazer or wind listener, first may be consulted to tell a patient what the source of his or her problem is and what kind of ceremony he or she may need. Traditional belief holds …show more content…

A lot of surveys have been done over the years about the ethological aspect of these practices since they are sometimes considered holistic and unfounded since many healing practices are composed of rituals and sacred bundles used by shamans or witches. To a foreign audience, it might be at first disorienting and doubtful because medicine in our world is considered a science and revolves around collected data unlike religious practices. A survey made in 1994 states that “Many respondents indicated that they were unsure what traditional Native medicine entailed and thus had difficulty forming an opinion on whether it would be appropriate in various settings, especially in the hospital. In fact, 16% of the physicians indicated this directly, and another 14% left the question blank, when asked for their definition of traditional Native medicine (Table 2). Eighty-one percent believed that the use of traditional Native medicine was not an important issue in their community, although 41% knew of at least one patient in their practice using such medicines, and 15% knew of more than five patients using them. Eighty-one percent of respondents indicated that they would be interested in learning more about traditional Native healing.” (Zubek 1925). Of course, one might argue that this survey was made in 1994 and that our culture and the scientific world is

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