The conjunction between medical practice, religion and magic becomes rather visible when one peers into old scripts and ancient literature. Before the foundation and diffusion of universities of the continent, the european convents and cloisters were the centers of medical knowl-edge and -practice for centuries. Alongside the scholarly development of medical science, driven from the roots of the eldest scholarly medicial practice, the practice of folk-medicin flourished and thrived all over Europe, not least the herbal-medicine which is the original form and foundation for modern pharmacy. This article deals with the conjunction of religion, magic and medical practice in ancient Icelandic sources such as the Old-Norse literature, medical-scripts from the 12th - 15th century Iceland, and not least the Icelandic magical-scripts (galdrakver) of the 17th century. The last mentioned documents were used as evidence in several witch-trials that led convicted witches to suffer executions at the stake once the wave of European witch-persecutions had rushed ashore in 17th century Iceland. These sources indicate a decline of medical knowledge and science in the 16th and 17th century Iceland, the medical practice being rather undeveloped at the time - in Iceland as in other parts of Europe - there-fore a rather unclear margin between "the learned and the laymen". While common people and folk-healers were convicted as witches to suffer at the stake for possession of magical scripts and healing-books, some scholars of the state of Danmark were practicing healing-methods that deserve to be compared to the activities of the former ones. That comparison raises an inevitable question of where to draw the line between the learned medical man and the magician of 17th century Iceland, that is between Magic and Science.
Music as a possible health-promoting agent has attained increasing academic and scientific interest over the last decades. Nonetheless, possible connections between indigenous singing traditions and health beyond traditional ceremonial healing practices are still under-researched worldwide. The Sami, the indigenous people living in Northern Fennoscandia, have a distinct ancient vocal music tradition called "yoik" practiced from immemorial times. The Sami share a history of assimilation with many indigenous people. During this period of nearly 400 years, yoik alongside other cultural markers was under hard pressure and even banned at times. Compared to other indigenous people in the Arctic, Sami public health shows few significant unfavourable differences to the majority population. The potential role of yoik as a protective health and resilience factor within the Sami culture is the topic of this review. We suggest a two stage model for the health promoting effects of yoik through i) emotion regulation and stress relief on the level of the individual, and ii) as a socio-cultural resilience factors within the Sami population. This review is to be understood as theory-building review article striving for a scholarly review of the literature.