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Native American Cultural - Research Paper Example

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Native American Culture Name Institution Native American Culture Native Americans are indigenous people living in the Northern part of America within the boundaries of the current continental US, in Hawaii Island State, and in some parts of Alaska. They include various distinct ethnic groups and tribes, who survive as integral political communities…
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Native American Cultural
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Download file to see previous pages However, these groups of Americans show inspirational inner strategies and reserves for survival. Some major concepts of the Native American’s identity, cultural context, perseverance, and adaptability include a desire to promote a group’s well being, a holistic approach to life, respect for all healing ways, and an enduring spirit. Cultural aspects widespread among Native Americans usually comprise of valuing cooperation, and being oriented in the present. They also place a great value on spiritual beliefs and family. To them, a state of health exists when an individual lives in totality with nature. Sickness is not viewed as an alteration in one’s physiological state, rather as an imbalance between the ill individual and supernatural forces or nature in general. Their medicine men or women, called ‘shaman’ are conducted in case of an illness (Barry, 2000). Traditional healing systems are meant for balancing the body, spirit, and mind within the community context of the Native Americans. Contrary to the Western advance to health and healing, this group of people finds it odd to isolate one part of a human being and try by all means to heal that part, a holistic approach that has been practiced for a long time. Their survival depends on their wisdom of the connectedness and interrelatedness of everything in the universe. Their holistic perception involves a sense of connection with land and place. It also entails the practical application of techniques of preventing illnesses that they believe are caused naturally, such as broken bones, as well as illnesses of the spirit and mind. According to Barry, 2000, conventional healing practices rotate around gains to the psychological, emotional, spiritual, and cultural facets of the tribal group. Systems of healing share the belief that huge, communal ceremonies act as a way to promote the well being of all Natives. The role of a healer is to reaffirm the cultural values of the group, combine all the pieces into the cultural framework, and to consider everybody in the community. To them, medicine is all about healing the patient but not curing the disease. Furthermore, some believe that inherited conditions like birth defects are a result of the parent’s immoral life and thus are not easily treated. To others, such conditions are a reflection of God’s touch and may consider them a sort of gift. Native American’s healing approaches aim to bring back wholeness and balance and restore spirituality and healthy pure state. From the cultural beliefs of Native Americans, severity of an illness is often judged with the pain, discomfort, and disability related to it. They also believe that no human part should be eliminated from the body but rather left to heal. For instance, a member of this group has to undergo a surgical procedure but when he reaches the physicians room, he informs him that he has already made peace with his creator and he is willing to die. Some of the members who are strong believers in culture will not opt to take the patient to the hospital; instead take him to a spiritual healer or use herbs, which may have toxic effects to the affected body part. A Native American patient may not come back for treatment just because the therapist did not recognize the worth of traditional curing interventions. In such cases, a therapist may mistakenly believe that the patient is a victim of neglect or that he is not taking ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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