INDIGENOUS WOMEN HEALERS FORMED GROUPS TO PRACTICE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE IN OAXACA (MEXICO)
INDIGENOUS POSTPARTUM MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH CARE RITES IMPROVES HEALTH OF MOTHER AND CHILD (NIGERIA)
Indigenous people have long had their own traditional understanding of the energies of the universe and been attuned to the nature rhythms of life. Traditional medicines reflect this understanding and are much more than a seemingly surface knowledge of medicinal plants; although this knowledge is quite impressive.
Ancient traditional medicines incorporated an understanding of the natural world which modern Western medicines have just recently begun to incorporate as knowledge from physics is integrated into the medical disciplines and sciences.
I have spent the past 14 years studying such ancient medicines, especially in regards to Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbology. The wisdom of such traditional approaches is quite holistic and includes an intuitive understanding of the electro-magnetic field in which we live, which has all but been lost from the modern awareness and understanding.
I believe that the various traditional medicines, whether they be native American, African, Ayurvedic, Chinese, Tibetan, etc., are all remants of a global system of health which has been lost through history after the catacylsms which wracked our planet some 5,000 years ago (as is recorded in the Hebrew Bible and in oral tradition by indigenous peoples across the planet). These systems of health are predicated on prevention and a recognition of the importance of balance in our intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional lives.
Indigenous people have kept this knowledge alive throughout history and they have much to teach us. I am reminded that Western medicine arose from the study and dissection of dead bodies. Eastern and other traditional medicines have rather an understanding of living energy systems. There understanding of these systems is thus much more profound.
In ancient China, traditional healing methods were all about maintaining balance and thus prevention of illness. I have read that in stark comparison to our system whereby the physician makes more money the sicker the patient, in ancient China, if the patient got sick payment stopped. Certainly the profit motive was more conducive to health rather than sickness.
One of the best metaphors which expresses the short comings of our system is by seeing how a healing crises is handled. A Western patient goes to a doctor, whose main tools for addressing the symptoms are either to drug or cut the patient and then send the patient home. This is much like a firefighter coming to your home when the fire alarm is sounding, taking the battery out of the annoying device and ignoring the house burning down. The root causes for the distress are never adequately addressed.
Traditional medicines are about reestablishing balance by addressing the root causes which precipitated the crises to begin with. These causes might related to any of the 4 modalities in which we experience life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and must be in balance for optimal benefit.
This knowledge is also the basis from which we must begin to address the imbalances of our world which were inherent within the dominant philosophies which reshaped the world since the beginning of history. A schism was introduced at that time which evolved to separated us from the natural world. Our environmental chaos is a direct result.