The Power of Nature in the healing process has been known for centuries by the various civilizations of the world. The process of engaging nature in the healing process is done in a variety of way. It can be through the action of some herbs, performing meditation on mountains, relaxing in a windflower terrain/field or even by strolling by a slow flowing stream.
In this paper however, we are going to critically focus on the psychological, emotional and culturally healing power of nature as seen by indigenous peoples of the world-including Native Americans, Inuit, and Inughuit, African, Aboriginal, Asian cultures
The Native American nature healing process comprises of several beliefs and practices which make part of the life of the native tribesmen, women and children. The process is made up of several elements. These elements include religion, herbal medicines, spirituality and several other rituals that are all combined so as to treat people who have either emotional or psychological imbalance. A Native American's perspective of nature's healing powers is that its medicinal aspect is concerned more with the healing of the patient than the curing of the sickness or disease. The role of the traditional healers is to seek to restore the well-being of a person to the harmonious relationship with the entire community and nature's spirit. The spirit of nature in this case refers to God or the Great Mystery. The Native American healing process has its basis on the fundamental belief that everything and everyone on earth are all interconnected. All the people, the animals and plants have elements of spirit and essence. This form of healing goes further to include innate objects such as river, rock and earth itself among the categories of objects that do have spirit.
The major theme in the Native American Spirituality is the process of honoring Mother Earth and other activities that are geared towards the coexistence of life with animals and nature as a whole. The existence of nature is portrayed to be intertwined, animated and highly connected. Ceremonies such as Dance, Tamazcal Sweat Lodges and drumming often played a fundamental role in the spirituality of native Americans.
Ceremonies and rituals like Dance, drumming and Temazcal Sweat Lodge play an important role in Native American Spirituality.
Temazcal is one of the ancient spiritual dances that were practiced by the Native Americans. It involved a sacred ritual of healing coupled with purification. The timing of the ritual is very critical since it is believed that it is most powerful at night. For many years, prior to the arrival of Spaniards, the native people of the Mesoamerica came up with a highly developed civilization. Several herbal medication and natural health activities and practices were common throughout the period and location. The herbal steam bath, also referred to as Temazcal was a critical aspect of the traditional lifestyle.It was administered for the purpose of wellness, illness treatment and it also had religious aspects. The word Temazcal has its derivation from the native language, Nahuatl, that was basically being used by the Aztecs.Temaz was used to mean bath and calli mean home. This ceremony was practiced by the Aztecs, the Mixtecs, the Zapotecs, the Mayans and many other native groups as a purifying and therapeutic ritual. The Temazcal ritual is believed to have the power of invoking the magical and spiritual realms of ones consciousness. When one undergoes the Temazcal, one has to learn the process of relaxation, silencing of the mind and the development of a template attitude.There is meant to be a general feeling of being harmonized in a human gathering, in order to respect the forces plus the living elements of the Counciosness.It is also critical that one realizes and appreciates their weaknesses and limitations. This process should be focused on ones daily activities and interactions.
The religious beliefs of the early Native Americans were therefore very diverse and had a common characteristic of being common among the many subtribes.Many of them believed in the Great Spirit that encompassed the very nature of everything in their environment. They believed in the interconnection that existed in all aspects of life with the spiritual dimension. The existence of seasons and even the moon were considered as the fundamental marking times of the spirits and even prosperity.
The native Asian communities such as the Hindu also believed on the process of natural healing. This was also invoked through a series of rituals such as Samkaras.Samkaras involved a series of purificatory rites that were performed in order to sanctify the life of every Hindu.There was an element of assigning a spiritual touch to the very important events in the life of every Hindu individual. This was captured in a person's life from inception upt the final steps of cremation.There exist Sancras of childhood, the boyhood, followed by manhood and then eventually Sancras of old age and death. Fifty Sancras exists but only ten are the most important and crucial ones in the life f every Hindu.Thjese sancras are: Garbhadana, Pumsavana, Simantonnayana, Jatakarma, Namakarana, Annaprasana, Chudakarma, Upanayana, Samavartana and Vivaha
Another element of the Native America healing involves the element of symbolic healings which are performed through the involvement of the whole community. In the process of healing several activities are carried out. Such activities include singing, chanting, dancing, painting of the body, sand painting, exorcisms and usage of some mind-altering substances that would be administered in order to persuade and invoke the healing powers of the spirits. This ritual could last even for weeks. The holding of these ceremonies signifies or rather have an importance since they are used as platforms for asking for help and guidance from the spiritual dimensions. It is important to note that prayer is an integral part of the native American healing process.
The process of invoking powers of nature for the purpose of healing is very slow. This means that it could spread and vary from just a few days to several weeks. It could involve taking a break from ones every day activities. The activities that are involved in the life of anyone undergoing the healing process would normally include reflection, meditation and emotional awareness. It is usually common for a healer to spend a lot of time with the person undergoing treatment. Healing therefore does take place within the confines of one's relationship with the healer.
Several of these natural ways of healing have been around for many years. Native American treatment methods have been around for nearly 40,000 years. Its origin point to several cultures such as the ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions. There has been influences to this form of treatment as a result of the various environments in which the native Americans settled .Other factors that also influences the evolution of these teaching practices of the indigenous people include the migration patterns of the tribes from one environment to the next.
It is worth noting that several elements of the Native medicines have been driven underground and some lost altogether as a result of banning by various governing authorities. Example includes the banning of certain Native medical practices by in the United States before 1978.This was at a period when the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was enacted. It is in fact still a nightmare to hold activities that involve access to sacred sites. Reasons for forbidding such
A study of the natural healing techniques and processes of the Asian indigenous communities such as the Chinese reveal the same pattern as those of the Native American Healing techniques.
The Chinese medicine is mainly based on the concept of philosophy that is expressed on the theory that the human body is a kind of a diminutive universe bearing complete and very sophisticated systems that has interconnected systems. All these systems do work together in perfect harmony so as to give and maintain the healthy functions of a person's body.This is expressed in terms of the yin yan concept.The gi (denotes breath or life and also the spit itual energy).the blood or jin (represents the kidney essence which also includes the semen).Other bodily fluids are considered in terms of the Wu Xing which basically represents elements of emotions, the soul and the spirit (shen).This model bears a unique model of the body. This model has very notable system that concerns itself with the meridian systems. As compared to the Western anatomical representation that divides the human body in terms of small parts, this Chinese model has more concern and attention focused on the function of the various parts of the body.Intersestingly, the spleen is not considered as a specific piece of human flesh The aspects of the human anatomy that are of very great importance are the once that are related to the process of transformation and transportation of the bodily fluids. The other elements or organs of importance are the ones that are related to the proper functioning of a person's mental faculties.
The exists however, a significant philosophical and regional contrasts between…