Traditional healing therefore varies from country to country but in Australia, it refers to the First Nations people and the deep connection between their culture and healing.
An article by Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet helps to define the complexity of traditional healing, explaining that there are a number of key aspects to it.
In essence, it is the prescription of ancient cultural knowledge to treat trauma and promote wellbeing, which may include bush medicines and spiritual healing, but it is also about connection to country, pride in cultural identity and community connectedness.
Traditional healing originated in remote Australia - the western desert in Central Australia is home to the Ngangkaṟi healers, while Maparn are found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Ngangkaṟi healers have been invited to work alongside western doctors, who have researched their practices; and traditional healing methods are slowly becoming more widely accepted alongside mainstream medical practices. The Aṉangu Ngangkaṟi Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC), the first organisation of Aboriginal traditional healers in Australia, for example, provides its services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia.
With knowledge passed down between generations, traditional healers have a high level of knowledge, can diagnose symptoms, and may often use methods akin to counselling, such as developing trust and shared understanding.
The article discusses how “nurturing a sense of cultural distinctiveness” is a crucial part of traditional healers’ approach to holistic health. Cultural elements integral to this are language and traditions, art, dance, stories, traditional food and medicines.
The practice of Dadirri - an Aboriginal form of meditation using deep listening and silent awareness to connect deeply with culture, country, others and oneself - also comes under the earth medicine umbrella of traditional healing. Dadirri contributes to a person’s overall sense of wholeness, peace and wellbeing.
To sum up in their own words, traditional healing is about “embracing our life force to create a new and vibrant fabric that keeps us grounded and connected”.
If you’d like to learn more about the ways traditional healing can help you by speaking with one of our earth medicine practitioners, click on the image below to book a free discovery call.
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