Navajo medicine today has remained preserved for millennia as many Navajo people have relied on traditional medicinal practices as their primary source of healing. However, modern day residents within the Navajo Nation have incorporated contemporary medicine into their society with the establishment of Western hospitals and clinics on the reservation over the last century.
In addition, medicine and healing are deeply tied with religious and spiritual beliefs, taking on a form of shamanism. These cultural ideologies deem overall health to be ingrained in supernatural forces that relate to universal balance and harmony. The spiritual significance has allowed the Navajo healing practices and Western medical procedure to coexist as the former is set apart as a way of age-long tradition.
Illness is described as the manifested mental or physical consequence brought on by a disruption of patient harmony. Some causes of this disruption include taboo transgression, excessive behavior, improper animal contact, improper ceremony conduction, or contact with malignant entities including spirits, skin-walkers and witches. Breaking taboos is believed to be acting against the principles devised by the Holy People that withhold personal harmony with the environment. There are some cases in which illness is merely the result of accident. Personal injury or illness can be the error from lack of judgment or unintentional contact with harmful creatures of nature. Illness can also be brought on by malevolent practitioners of negative medicine. This belief in hchx, translated as “chaos” or “sickness”, is the opposite of hzh and helps to explain why people, who are intended to be in harmony, perform actions counter to their ideals, thus reinforcing the need for healing practices as means of balance and restoration. Those who practice witchcraft include shape shifters who intend to use spiritual power and ceremony to acquire wealth, seduce lovers, harm enemies and rivals. Ill health is also believed to be brought upon by chindi (ghost) who can bring about a kind of ghost sickness that leads others to death.
reference aziz baloch
Navajo Hataii are traditional medicine men who are called upon to perform healing ceremonies. Each medicine man begins training as an apprentice to an older practicing singer. During apprenticeship, the apprentice assembles medicine bundles (jish) required to perform ceremonies and assist the teacher until deemed ready for independent practice. Throughout his lifetime, a medicine man can only learn a few chants as each requires a great deal of time and effort to learn and perfect. Songs are orally passed down in traditional Navajo from generation to generation. Unlike other American Indian medical practitioners that rely on visions and personal powers, a healer acts as a facilitator that transfers power from the Holy People to the patient to restore balance and harmony. Healing practice is performed within a ceremonial hogan. It is common for medicine men to receive payment for their healing services. In the past, healing was exchanged for sheep. In modern times however, monetary payment has become a widely accepted form of compensation. It should be noted that women can also play the role of healer in medicinal practice.
Hand tremblers act as medical diagnosticians and are sometimes called upon in order to verify an illness by drawing on divine power within themselves as received from the Gila monster. Typical services can be provided in the form of songs, prayers, and herb usage. During a diagnosis a hand trembler traces symbols in the dirt while holding a “trembling arm” over the patient. Movement of the arm signifies a new drawn symbol or a possible identification to the cause of illness. Once a solution has been found, the patient can be referred to a herbalist or singer needed to perform a healing ceremony.
A number of healing ceremonies are performed according to a given patient situation. Some chants and rites for curing purposes include:
See Navajo ethnobotany for a list of plants and how they were used.
Navajo Indians utilize approximately 450 species for medicinal purposes, the most plant species of any native tribe. Herbs for healing ceremonies are collected by a medicine man accompanied by an apprentice. Patients can also collect these plants for treatment of minor illnesses. Once all necessary wild plants are collected, an herbal tea is made for the patient, accompanied by a short prayer. In some ceremonies, the herbal mixture causes patient vomiting to ensure bodily cleanliness. Purging can also require the patient to immerse themselves in a yucca root sud bath. Any distribution of medicinal herbs to a patient is accompanied by spiritual chanting. The Navajo people recognize the need for botanical conservation when gathering desired healing herbs. When a medicinal plant is taken, the neighboring plants of the same species receive a prayer in respect. Despite this fact, the collection of medicinal herbs has been more difficult in recent years as the result of migrating plant spores. Popular plants included in Navajo herbal medicine include Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), Wild Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.), Puccoon (Lithospermum multiflorum), Cedar Bark (Cedrus deodara), Sage (Salvia spp.), Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), Juniper Ash (Juniperus spp.), and Larkspur (Delphinium spp.).
Sand painting is the transfer of strength and beauty to the patient through various drawings made by a medicine man in the surrounding sand during a ceremony. Elaborate figures are drawn in the sand using colorful crushed minerals and plants. Many sand paintings contain depictions of spiritual yeii to whom a medicine man will ask to come into the painting in order for patient healing to occur. After each ceremony, the sacred sand painting is destroyed.
As prompted by the Meriam Report in 1928, federal commitment to Indian health care under the New Deal increased as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Medical Division expanded, making medical care more accessible, affordable, and tolerated by the Navajo populace.
Increased demand of BIA medical care by Native Indians conflicted with post World War II conservatives who resented government funded and privileged health care. Growing interest in Indian termination policy in addition to unaided medical attention called for a transition of medical affluence by both native and non-native parties.
Under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, funding was provided for the United States Public Health Service to gain a “Division of Indian Health” which would help provide a stronger federal commitment to health care. This division would later be renamed the division of Indian Health Service. Despite its initial successes, the Indian Health Service on the Navajo Nation faced challenges of being underfunded and understaffed. In addition, language barriers and cross-cultural tensions continued to complicate the hospital and clinic experience.
Expanding Western medical influence and diminishing medicine men in the second half of the 20th century helped to initiate activism for traditional medical preservation as well as Indian representation in Western medical institutions.
With the coming of the 1970s spawned new opportunities for Navajo medical self-determination. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act 1976 aided local Navajo communities in autonomously administering their own medical facilities and prompted natives to gain more bureaucratic positions in the Indian Health Service. The gained presence of native people in medical institutions also helped ease many who regarded non-Navajo medical providers with mistrust.
Community medical care that relied less on government involvement also took root in Rough Rock and Ganado, both towns that administered their own health care services. Navajo Nation Health Foundations was run in Ganado solely by Navajo people. In expressing identity in the medical community, the Navajo Nation took advantage of the National Health Planning and Resources Development Act to create the Navajo Health Systems Agency in 1975, being the only American Indian group to do so during that time.
See the original post here:
- Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More - May 25th, 2019
- Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week - May 25th, 2019
- Bitcoin Rise: Is the Recent Bitcoin Price Surge a Sign of Things to Come or Another Misdirection? - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs - May 25th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity - May 25th, 2019
- My Medicine - WebMD - May 14th, 2019
- Medicine | Definition of Medicine at Dictionary.com - May 14th, 2019
- Medicine - definition of medicine by The Free Dictionary - May 14th, 2019
- Medicine - May 9th, 2019
- Medicine | Define Medicine at Dictionary.com - May 5th, 2019
- Drugs.com | Prescription Drug Information, Interactions ... - May 5th, 2019
- My Medicine - WebMD - May 5th, 2019
- Drugs.com | Prescription Drug Information, Interactions ... - May 3rd, 2019
- Medicine | Define Medicine at Dictionary.com - May 3rd, 2019
- My Medicine - WebMD - May 3rd, 2019
- Medicine - definition of medicine by The Free Dictionary - May 3rd, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More - April 29th, 2019
- Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs - April 29th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity - April 29th, 2019
- Bitcoin Rise: Is the Recent Bitcoin Price Surge a Sign of Things to Come or Another Misdirection? - April 29th, 2019
- When the Large Hadron Collider Turns on, It May Trap Dark Matter - April 21st, 2019
- India Blew up a Satellite. Now A “Space Fence” Is Tracking Its Debris - April 21st, 2019
- Expert: AI-Generated Music Is A “Total Legal Clusterf*ck” - April 21st, 2019
- The Mueller Report Confirms We’re Living in a Cyberpunk Dystopia - April 21st, 2019
- This Space Roomba Could Clean the ISS While Astronauts Sleep - April 21st, 2019
- John McAfee Vows to Reveal Bitcoin’s Creator - April 21st, 2019
- Astronomers Finally Found the Universe’s First Type of Molecule - April 21st, 2019
- Amazing New Rocket Engine Sucks up Atmospheric Oxygen for Fuel - April 21st, 2019
- Climate Change Could Cause Fukushima-Style Meltdowns in the US - April 21st, 2019
- Denver Is Voting on Whether to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms - April 21st, 2019
- Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year - April 21st, 2019
- Listen to Brutal Death Metal Made by a Neural Network - April 21st, 2019
- Professor: Total Surveillance Is the Only Way to Save Humanity - April 21st, 2019
- China’s Military Built an Autonomous Amphibious Landing Vehicle - April 21st, 2019
- Boston Dynamics Unveils SpotMini You’ll Actually Be Able to Buy - April 21st, 2019
- IBM Pulls the Plug on Drug-Discovering Watson AI - April 21st, 2019
- The Government Wants to Make an Example out of Mark Zuckerberg - April 21st, 2019
- From Coffee to Popcorn, Celebrate 420 With These Futuristic CBD Edibles - April 21st, 2019
- Scientists Create Material With “Artificial Metabolism” - April 21st, 2019
- Scientists Find Genetic Variants That Prevent Obesity, Diabetes - April 21st, 2019
- Some People Are Exceptionally Good at Predicting the Future - April 12th, 2019
- Amazon Workers Listen to Your Alexa Conversations, Then Mock Them - April 12th, 2019
- Scientists Say New Quantum Material Could “‘Download’ Your Brain” - April 12th, 2019
- Scientists Find a New Way to Kickstart Stable Fusion Reactions - April 12th, 2019
- The Israeli Moon Lander Is About to Touch Down - April 12th, 2019
- Infertile Couple Gives Birth to “Three-Parent Baby” - April 12th, 2019
- MIT Prof: If We Live in a Simulation, Are We Players or NPCs? - April 12th, 2019
- Here’s How Big the M87 Black Hole Is Compared to the Earth - April 12th, 2019
- We Wouldn’t Have the First Black Hole Image Without Katie Bouman - April 12th, 2019
- NASA Is Funding the Development of 18 Bizarre New Projects - April 12th, 2019
- Report: Tesla Doc Is Playing Down Injuries to Block Workers’ Comp - April 12th, 2019
- Space Station Mice Learned to Propel Themselves in Zero Gravity - April 12th, 2019
- NASA: Genetic Changes Caused by Space Travel Are Temporary - April 12th, 2019
- Israel’s Lunar Lander Just Crashed Into the Moon - April 12th, 2019
- The First Black Hole Photo Is Even More Amazing When You Zoom Out - April 12th, 2019
- Family Caught Selling Diseased Body Parts to Medical Centers - April 12th, 2019
- SpaceX Milestone: Company Lands Three Falcon Heavy Boosters - April 12th, 2019
- People Are Horrified When They Have to Torture a Virtual Person - April 12th, 2019
- Fecal Transplants Reduce Symptoms of Autism Long Term - April 12th, 2019
- Astronomy - Wikipedia - April 11th, 2019
- Astronomy Picture of the Day - April 11th, 2019
- astronomy | Definition & Facts | Britannica.com - April 11th, 2019
- Astronomy | Definition of Astronomy by Merriam-Webster - April 11th, 2019
- Medicine | Define Medicine at Dictionary.com - April 1st, 2019
- Drugs.com | Prescription Drug Information, Interactions ... - April 1st, 2019
- My Medicine - WebMD - April 1st, 2019
- Medicine - definition of medicine by The Free Dictionary - April 1st, 2019
- medicine | Definition, Fields, Research, & Facts | Britannica.com - April 1st, 2019
- medicine - April 1st, 2019