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Holistic Medicine in the Cherokee Tradition

Friday, April 18, 2008 by: Cathy Sherman
Tags: Cherokee, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) It is a rare privilege to spend a few moments within a rich culture that may be disappearing from our midst. A recent glimpse into the Cherokee way of ensuring holistic health for the people revealed wisdom and practicality that modern man could do well to emulate.

He has been learning the art since the age of seven, and she is still in "resident" stage after twenty years of learning. This husband and wife team now share their gifts with clients referred from area providers who feel their patients will benefit from this unique and ancient approach to alternative medicine.

A Cherokee tradition to identify gifts of young members and raise them in the teachings of elders has successfully insured that the tribe has practitioners in all areas of need. Modern life and assimilation has caused a loss to the tribe of such leaders. Young members no longer want to put in the long years of training that such roles as Medicine Man entail.

Rural southern Arizona is home to one of these authentic Medicine Men, who we will call Jack for the purposes of this article. (The couple does not want any personal publicity.) Jack and his wife have been sharing their gifts with non-tribe members in the wider community. Besides storytelling, teaching, and leading ceremonies and rituals, Jack offers aura and energy repairs.

His wife, herself part Cherokee and grounded in earth energy, works alongside Jack with the patients. A graphic artist, she also teaches art holistically by facilitating healing through its practice. Introductory training sessions and weekend workshops are available.

Aura and energy repair depend on the gift of "halfsight". This is the ability to see the human aura or the etheric (astral) energy system which surrounds every person. The aura expands when the person feels secure and contracts when threatened.

This system relates to and corresponds with the physical body. When these system components, called chakras, are damaged, the condition can contribute to or cause physical disease.

In this traditional healing art, there are seven chakras along the meridians. An infant arrives in the world with one at the top of his head, one in the forehead (the third eye), three grouped in the ribs until after birth, and one in the pelvic area.

Within the first month of birth, the three in the ribs move apart, and the second one moves to the left side near the spleen. In adulthood, 99.9 percent of people maintain this configuration. In a rare few "Enlightened Beings", the second chakra moves back into alignment with the other six.

Many life experiences can cause damage in the seven chakras. Surgeries, illness, drugs, blows to the body and other traumas can often be identified as the cause, but sometimes no cause comes to mind.

Either way, the Medicine Man employs his healing technique to open up blocked chakras, re-energize them, re-connect broken meridian lines and release negative energy. Often the patient can actually feel things happen inside their body as he works.

If the Medicine Man has earned the honor and right to use eagle feathers, their power is utilized in the drawing out and repair of the aura field.

The practitioner then prescribes a collection of herbs, gems and minerals to be carried with the patient for a time following this treatment. These items serve to draw out more negative energy and increase the healing. Because they hold the diseases of the person, they are to be buried after the two month period.

Depending on the needs of each patient, other procedures may be prescribed. These depend on the person's individual problem and what work was done by the Medicine Man. For example, sometimes a bland diet for the first three post-treatment days is called for. A special blend of salts may also be provided with instructions to soak in a bath containing them. There are many other recommendations which may be given to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

Alternative treatments which release toxins and other disease-causing elements often result in feelings of fatigue, moodiness, depression etc. Such is also the case with this treatment, as the body reacts to the loss of the dysfunction within it. The sudden void which is left takes a few days or weeks to fill back up.

At that point, healing will be continued by the body's natural processes, which can be augmented by an acupuncturist or a similar holistic practitioner. In some cases, further visits to the Medicine Man might be necessary.

For energy practitioners, Jack does have one word of warning. All facilitators of healing should make sure they provide self-protection from the negative energy released from patients. Without such a shield, disease components may enter into the practitioner's body and cause great harm. The cumulative effects can be disabling.

Jack does not consider himself a shaman, and in fact rejects that title. What he does consider himself to be is an electrician. Since the auras exist because of the electrical energy field within the body, he is really dealing with "wires". His goal is to fix and realign those wires that have become unplugged, tangled, cut or pulled out of place.

Western society could learn much from the Medicine Man. His ways embody the community spirit, in which values such as mutual aid are fundamental. Bartering for services is an example. Also, there is no need to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans and pay thousands for liability insurance. One learns his trade as a natural part of growing up, instead of wasting precious hours of youth on pointless video games.

Medicine men like Jack do not advertise and are not available to just anyone. A referral from a trusted holistic healer is often the best means to secure an appointment. For those already under the care of such a practitioner, he or she would be the one to ask for information on local aura and energy repair professionals.

About the author

Cathy Sherman is a freelance writer with a major interest in natural health and in encouraging others to take responsibility for their health. She can be reached through www.devardoc.com.

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