Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan, First Nations University of Canada, Community Development and Health Sciences, 1301 Central Avenue, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V4W1, Canada. email@example.com
J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2010 Jul;48(7):27-34
This article presents an overview of culture as treatment, by recognizing the impact that culture has on treatment along with the specific rituals, customs, and meanings related to healing. Attention must be given to the Aboriginal heritage, including various concepts of metaphysics, spirituality, medicines, government, oral history, and language. A pedagogical underpinning of illness and healing is better cared for through cultural messaging and learning that is related to the complex historical legacy of Aboriginal societies, and therefore, culture provides important diverse contributions to current treatment and wellness programs.
In recent decades, Indigenous peoples across the globe have become increasingly urbanized. Growing urbanization has been associated with high rates of geographic mobility between rural areas and cities, as well as within cities. In Canada, over 54 percent of Aboriginal peoples are urban and change their place of residence at a higher rate than the non-Aboriginal population. High rates of mobility may affect the delivery and use of health services. The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between urban Aboriginal peoples' mobility and conventional (physician/nurse) as well as traditional (traditional healer) health service use in two distinct Canadian cities: Toronto and Winnipeg. Using data from Statistics Canada's 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this analysis demonstrates that mobility is a significant predisposing correlate of health service use and that the impact of mobility on health care use varies by urban setting. In Toronto, urban newcomers were more likely to use a physician or nurse compared to long-term residents. This was in direct contrast to the effect of residency on physician and nurse use in Winnipeg. In Toronto, urban newcomers were less likely to use a traditional healer than long-term residents, indicating that traditional healing may represent an unmet health care need. The results demonstrate that distinct urban settings differentially influence patterns of health service utilization for mobile Aboriginal peoples. This has important implications for how health services are planned and delivered to urban Aboriginal movers on a local, and potentially global, scale.
During the Dark ages, Greco-Roman science survived in the eastern Roman Empire and the most important advances in pharmacology and pharmacy were made in Byzantium. As the Arab empires spread in the 7th and 8th centuries, they incorporated earlier learning, and the most important contribution of Arabic medical writers was probably the introduction of formularies to aid in the preparation of medicines. In turn, the later spread of Arabic knowledge to the West introduced little-known plants and fostered an interest in collecting and cultivating them, and also introduced the palatable dose forms preferred by the Arabic doctors. In the West, however, the Christian Church taught a doctrine of unquestioning faith, and despite the centers of learning, e.g. at Salerno, most ordinary people depended on the healing power of faith, religious relics and traditional folk medicine. Hydrology was also well developed in the Middle Ages. The formularia that survive describe many indigenous plants, but with few illustrations. Their gathering and preparation is generally guided by magic ceremonies and ritual, and plants often took their properties from their habitat, e.g. the wayside plantain was thought good for tired or wounded feet. Concepts of therapeutic plants were also influenced by alchemy and were linked to related metals and planets.
Facing severe mental health disparities rooted in a complex history of cultural oppression, members of many urban American Indian (AI) communities are reaching out for indigenous traditional healing to augment their use of standard Western mental health services. Because detailed descriptions of approaches for making traditional healing available for urban AI communities do not exist in the literature, this community-based project convened 4 focus groups consisting of 26 members of a midwestern urban AI community to better understand traditional healing practices of interest and how they might be integrated into the mental health and substance abuse treatment services in an Urban Indian Health Organization (UIHO). Qualitative content analysis of focus group transcripts revealed that ceremonial participation, traditional education, culture keepers, and community cohesion were thought to be key components of a successful traditional healing program. Potential incorporation of these components into an urban environment, however, yielded 4 marked tensions: traditional healing protocols versus the realities of impoverished urban living, multitribal representation in traditional healing services versus relational consistency with the culture keepers who would provide them, enthusiasm for traditional healing versus uncertainty about who is trustworthy, and the integrity of traditional healing versus the appeal of alternative medicine. Although these tensions would likely arise in most urban AI clinical contexts, the way in which each is resolved will likely depend on tailored community needs, conditions, and mental health objectives.
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Two First Nations girls with leukemia received a significant amount of media attention in 2014 and 2015. In both cases, the parents refused to continue chemotherapy, the only proven effective treatment; they opted instead for a combination of traditional Aboriginal healing approaches and alternative therapies offered in a facility outside of the country. One child has died; the other relapsed and required chemotherapy to avoid death. Media reports were polarized, focusing either on the historical legacy of distrust felt by First Nations people when accessing health care, or the need for child protection services to intervene. One article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal focused on the legacy of mistrust and methods of countering it, but did not address the legal and ethical duties of physicians in such situations. The present commentary describes the events, responsibilities of professionals involved and a course of action for physicians when faced with similar circumstances.
Chapter 2: Mental health and the indigenous peoples of Australia and New Zealand; Chapter 8: Suicide as a way of belonging: causes and consequences of cluster suicides; Part 3: Resilience: transformations of identity and community
This article will explore food preparation and faith healing practices of contemporary Cajun culture. Decades of exile and oppression required the early Cajuns to make use of scarce resources as a means of survival. Although modern society offers technological advances and information that can lead to more positive health outcomes, this close-knit group of hearty individuals frequently chooses to leave many traditional practices unchanged. Health care practitioners must understand the beliefs and practices of the Cajun people in order to meet their health needs.
To ascertain the extent to which family physicians in British Columbia agree with First Nations patients' using traditional Native medicines.
Randomized cross-sectional survey.
Family medicine practices in British Columbia.
A randomized volunteer sample of 79 physicians from the registry of the BC Chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Of 125 physicians contacted, 46 did not reply.
Physicians' demographic variables and attitudes toward patients' use of traditional Native medicines.
Respondents generally accepted the use of traditional Native medicines for health maintenance, palliative care, and the treatment of benign illness. More disagreement was found with its use for serious illnesses, both for outpatients and in hospital, and especially in intensive care. Many physicians had difficulty forming a definition of traditional Native medicine, and were unable to give an opinion on its health risks or benefits. A significant positive correlation appeared between agreement with the use of traditional Native medicines and physicians' current practice serving a large First Nations population, as well as with physicians' knowing more than five patients using traditional medicine.
Cooperation between traditional Native and modern health care systems requires greater awareness of different healing strategies, governmental support, and research to determine views of Native patients and healers.
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a The National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM), Department of Municipality Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences , UiT, the Arctic University of Norway , Tromsø , Norway.
In Northern Norway, traditional healing has been preserved by passing down the knowledge through generations. Religious prayers of healing (reading) and Sami rituals (curing) are examples of methods that are used. We have examined traditional healers' understanding of traditional healing, the healing process and their own practice, as well as what characteristics healers should have. Semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews were conducted among 15 traditional healers in two coastal Sami municipalities in Norway. The traditional healers understood traditional healing as the initiation of the patient's self-healing power. This power was initiated through healing rituals and explained as the power of God and placebo effect. During the healing ritual, the doctor's medical diagnoses, the patient's personal data and a prayer in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit were used in combination with steel and elements from the nature. The traditional healers stated that they had to be trustworthy, calm and mentally strong. Healers who claimed that they had supernatural abilities (clairvoyant or warm hands) were regarded as extra powerful. According to the participants in this study, the healers must be trustworthy, calm and mentally strong. Moreover, these traditional healers drew on information from conventional medicine when performing their rituals.
The Healing and Empowering Alaskan Lives Toward Healthy-Hearts (HEALTHH) Project: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of an intervention for tobacco use and other cardiovascular risk behaviors for Alaska Native People.
Tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases disproportionately affect Alaska Native (AN) people. Using telemedicine, this study aims to identify culturally-tailored, theoretically-driven, efficacious interventions for tobacco use and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk behaviors among AN people in remote areas.
Randomized clinical trial with two intervention arms: 1) tobacco and physical activity; 2) medication adherence and a heart-healthy AN diet.
Participants are N?=?300 AN men and women current smokers with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
All participants receive motivational, stage-tailored, telemedicine-delivered counseling sessions at baseline and 3, 6, and 12?months follow-up; an individualized behavior change plan that is updated at each contact; and a behavior change manual. In Group 1, the focus is on tobacco and physical activity; a pedometer is provided and nicotine replacement therapy is offered. In Group 2, the focus is on medication adherence for treating hypertension and/or hypercholesterolemia; a medication bag and traditional food guide are provided.
With assessments at baseline, 3, 6, 12, and 18?months, the primary outcome is smoking status, assessed as 7-day point prevalence abstinence, biochemically verified with urine anabasine. Secondary outcomes include physical activity, blood pressure and cholesterol, medication compliance, diet, multiple risk behavior change indices, and cost-effectiveness.
The current study has the potential to identify novel, feasible, acceptable, and efficacious interventions for treating the co-occurrence of CVD risk factors in AN people. Findings may inform personalized treatment and the development of effective and cost-effective intervention strategies for use in remote indigenous communities more broadly. Clinical Trial Registration # NCT02137902.
Burns are common in Vietnam, and because of economic constraints and limited resources for the import of appropriate treatments, the health authorities are obliged to rely on traditional herbal remedies. It is therefore essential to evaluate current drugs, one of which is the water extract of the bark of the tree Choerospondias axillaris. It has been used for many years in the Vietnam-Sweden hospital at Uong Bi in northern Vietnam. We assessed the efficacy of the remedy in an open, randomised controlled clinical trial, in which 20 patients with second degree burns were treated with the extract of the Choerospondias axillaris and 19 with saline gauze. The mean healing time was significantly shorter for patients treated with Choerospondias axillaris (11 days) compared with patients treated with saline gauze (17 days) (p
The traditional medical system of a small Bahamian island is explored through a health survey of 83% of the population and an analysis of the activities and materials of the two main native health 'professionals'--the healing specialist and the 'herbalist'. The present findings suggest that the Bimini medical system has historically been efficacious in the treatment and management of many health problems on the island. Part of the success may be attributed to the resourceful utilization of indigenous medicinal plant species, several of which contain chemical substances that may be curatively effective against a number of diseases as claimed. In recent years the island has experienced a relatively smooth process of medical modernization including the increased availability of 'westernized' health care and the gradual supplementation of the herbal remedies by imported patent and prescription medications.
The author describes Psychiatric hositals and psychiatric practice in Nouvelle-Calédonie, with historical and modern datas. The indigenous traditional psychiatry (healing) of the melanesians (who are half of the total population) remains ill-known and separated of occidental modern medical practice.
The use of medicinal plants in the world, and especially in South Africa, contributes significantly to primary health care. This paper presents the findings of an initial survey of plants used for the treatment of wounds in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Ethnomedical information gathered from surveys at clinics, hospitals as well as interviews with traditional healers and rural dwellers has revealed that Grewia occidentalis, Polystichum pungens, Cheilanthes viridis and Malva parvifolia are the most commonly used plants for the treatment of wounds in the province. The methanol extracts of G. occidentalis, P. pungens and C. viridis showed significant inhibition against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, while the acetone extract of P. pungens inhibited the gram-positive bacteria only. Extracts from M. parvifolia did not show any antibacterial activity at 5.0 mg/ml. Generally, the antibacterial property of the plants appears to have justified their use for the treatment of wounds, which are contaminated through bacterial infection, in the province.
One of fastest-growing population groups in recent decades, Asian Americans represent a vastly diversified and rich mixture of cultures, languages, beliefs, and practices, many of which differ widely from those of European Americans. As immigrants, Asian Americans have experienced and continue to experience various emotional and behavioral problems. However, they tend to underuse existing services except those that are culturally appropriate and linguistically compatible. Misdiagnosis frequently occurs, and the existence of culture-bound syndromes points to a lack of precise correspondence between indigenous labels and established diagnostic categories. Due to Asian traditions of viewing the body and mind as unitary rather than dualistic, patients tend to focus more on physical discomforts than emotional symptoms, leading to an overrepresentation of somatic complaints. Traditional practices and healing methods are frequently used to alleviate distress both before and after patients and their family members approach the conventional mental health care system. Help seeking typically is a family venture. Asian patients respond well to highly structured therapeutic interventions such as those used in behavioral, cognitive, and interpersonal models. When applying pharmacotherapy, clinicians should pay attention to Asians' unique responses to psychotropics, especially in regard to dosage requirements and side effects. Research in this area as well as on other important issues is in the early stage of development.
Since ancient times, Germanic tribes from the Palatine valley relied on faith healers, brauchers, when health problems developed. Several hundred years ago, brauchers immigrated to the New World with various Germanic religious sects. Cooperative, instructional meetings, or pow wows, between Native American medicine men and newly immigrated brauchers allowed the newcomers to learn about herbs and remedies indigenous to North America. The brauchers, now known as pow wowers, practice within Pennsylvania Dutch communities across the country, especially in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania region. A review of the literature explores the history and development of the Pennsylvania Dutch practice of pow-wowing.
There is a special emphasis today on integrating traditional healing within health services. However, most areas in which there is a system of traditional healing have undergone colonization and a number of pressures suppressing tradition for hundreds of years. The question arises as to how one can understand today's tradition in light of earlier traditions. This article is based on material collected in Sámi areas of Finnmark and Nord-Troms Norway; it compares local healing traditions with what is known of earlier shamanic traditions in the area. The study is based on 27 interviews among healers and their patients. The findings suggest that although local healing traditions among the Sámi in northern Norway have undergone major transformations during the last several hundred years, they may be considered an extension of a long-standing tradition with deep roots in the region. Of special interest are also the new forms tradition may take in today's changing global society.
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