Altern Ther Health Med. 1998 Nov; 4(6): 45-57.
Native American medicine.
This article summarizes common principles, practices, and ethics of Native American healing, the traditional medicine of North America. Native American healing, spirituality, culture, and, in modern times, political, social, and economic concerns are closely intertwined. Intuition and spiritual awareness are a healer's most essential diagnostic tools. Therapeutic methods include prayer, music, ritual purification, herbalism, massage, ceremony, and personal innovations of individual healers. A community of friends, family, and helpers often participate in the healing intervention and help to alleviate the alienation caused by disease. A healthy patient has a healthy relationship with his or her community and, ultimately, with the greater community of nature known as "All Relations." The goal of Native American healing is to find wholeness, balance, harmony, beauty, and meaning. "Healing," making whole, is as important as curing disease; at times they are identical.