A tree curing back aches; is this possible? It is not uncommon for a person in Western culture to be thinking it is not. We were raised with the belief that our medical society largely based on chemical concoctions is powerful because it has cures for everything from various cancers all the way down the list to the common cold. Don’t get me wrong, the medical profession is quite effective, but for several generations, Native Americans have been using herbs to cure aches and pains, and various other illnesses. Many of the herbs used by Native Americans are the ones you can actually find in aspirin and other medications today. In fact, many ingredients used in various modern medications are actually derived from Native American cultures.
Herbal medicine is being reintroduced through various forms of alternative medicine. Out on the market we see aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbology, and many more forms of alternative medicine.
Herbology is a practice which seeks to heal people through a variety of herbal supplements.
Aromatherapy deals with various scents to change the mood of individuals. Different scents have different effects. Lavender helps bring peace and balance and has been known to help ease respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis; basil helps stimulate brain function; mandarin has a cheerful refreshing and inspiring effect in the individual.
Through these various forms of alternative medicine, Native American beliefs pertaining to nature and spirituality are being awakened in American culture.
Why is alternative medicine becoming so popular? Are people starting to doubt the effectiveness of Western medicine? Americans looking for new ways to cure themselves from various illnesses may be finding that escaping from all the technology and stress of the Western medical society makes it easier to deal with their illness and to focus on getting better. Herbal remedies are not as stressful and depressing as some medical techniques because the main focus is on making peace with nature and the whole body, not just the place of illness.
Nature is the most important aspect of the universe in which humans only play a part. That is why Native Americans spend a great deal of time restoring balance and harmony with nature. Native Americans believe that the reason why a person becomes ill is because the balance with nature has been disturbed. By performing shamanic healing practices through various rituals, the Navajo Native Americans believe they have solved their problems with the Gods and Goddesses.
Before medical technology was available, doctors relied on Native American knowledge of nature to heal illnesses. When medical technology became available, people started to depend heavily on the technology and seemed to have forgotten about their roots in Native American cultures. People began to focus more on advancing technology and to try improving the ways that medicine works, that they forgot to thank those who gave them their knowledge from the beginning: the Native American Indians.
When Native American medicine men and women are healing people, they are not only treating the illness such as a sore throat, for example, but they are also healing the whole body. Native Americans believe that the only way a person can be healed is if they can rid the body of the evil that has fallen upon it. Healers must also know the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental state of the patients as well. Native healers don’t apply the same medication or process to the same physical symptoms in different patients because they treat entire entities, whole persons, and not symptoms. At the other extreme, the medical society uses identical treatment techniques and medications on patients who share similar symptoms. While the medical society has far more advanced technology and medications to help them treat patients, Native American healers use knowledge, nature, and prayer to heal their patients.
Both Native American Indians and the medical society have similar types of medicine. They just use them in very contrasting ways.