Healing comes in many forms. Modern western, or allopathic medicine, focuses primarily on either the acute or chronic treatment of specific disease, illness, or injury entities, and has become increasingly specialized.
Traditional healing, on the other hand, encompasses a holistic approach to treatment by focusing on the health of mind, body, and spirit in a way that is culturally appropriate. The ideal is to achieve total healing of individuals and communities. Native traditional healing embodies the time-honored concepts of lifelong wellness and harmony with self, community, and the natural environment.
Traditional healing practices are rooted in a 10,000-year history, and are re-emerging today as a holistic healing approach for individuals and communities.These methods are often used in combination with western-based medical therapies to promote health, prevent disease, reduce pain, and enhance wellness.
Today, a variety of methods are used by tribal doctors, traditional healers, and other practitioners of health, blending elements of Native cultural groups, as well as incorporating elements from tribes throughout Indian country.
Check out our Wellness and Healing page for more information.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was adapted from Alaska Native Traditional Healing, by Kimberly Corral.