Traditional Medicine: Native American Tribes

Traditional medicine (TM) is a term used by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others to cover the work of healers accessing a cultural repertoire of beliefs and practices about illness. In many locations, including the United States, curers are members of indigenous groups, although most developed nations also have sizable immigrant populations, many of whom follow customary health precepts to varying degrees.

While American Indians and Alaska Natives have different cultures, languages, and histories, there are some commonalities in health practices. Typically, traditional healers focus on the emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing of individuals, as well as physical symptoms, which differs from Western medicine, in which doctors deal primarily with physical health and psychiatrists or psychologists cover mental illness. Given curers’ holistic conceptualizations of ...

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