Native Americans

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Alternative medicine, Illness Pages: 4 (1577 words) Published: November 14, 2013
Native American culture has a very rich history and its healing rituals have been practiced in North America for up to 40,000 years and shares roots with ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions. Native Americans were influenced by the environment, plants, and animals in the areas in which they settled. Some practices were influenced over time by migration and contact with other tribes along trade routes. Many tribes used herbs and seeds gathered from their immediate environment and from hunting excursions for healing rituals or ceremonies. Many Native medicine practices were lost or driven underground because they were banned or illegal in parts of the United States until 1987; when the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed. In 1987 there were difficulties with ceremonies and rituals on sacred sites, as ritual activities are sometimes forbidden because the land now serves other purposes. Today, Native American and American Indian community-based medical systems still practices some Native American healing rituals, while others secretly practice in their homes and refuse to use conventional medicine. Those who grew up within the Native American culture still apply what they learned or grew up with, which is healing spiritually along with their illnesses. They do not believe in modern medicine and question any of the practices that are available now. Native Americans tap into the knowledge gained from their ancestors and prefer to “sweat it out” instead of giving in to conventional medicine. Beliefs and Practices

With this in mind, the Native American culture carries the understanding that the harmonious balance between oneself, man and nature is sophisticated and should not only exist, but it needs to be respected. Rituals and practices bring participants into harmony with themselves, their tribe and all of life. There is a belief that violating tribal laws carries consequences to include mental and physical illness, ongoing bad luck,...
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