Why Indigenous Healers Need To Be Recognised As Legitimate Health Practitioners

SoulAdvisor | 23 Oct 2019
Why Indigenous Healers Need To Be Recognised As Legitimate Health Practitioners

As the world begins to rediscover the wisdom of traditional healing modalities, the shortfalls of Western medicine are becoming increasingly obvious. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples specifically mentions that traditional cultures are entitled “to maintain their health practices”. Yet Australia is lagging behind the global community when it comes to Indigenous medicine.

Dr Victoria Grieve Williams, Indigenous Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, looks at why undermining Aboriginal healing practices is not only behind the times, but also has a damaging effect on the health of Indigenous Australians.

Writing for The Conversation, Dr Grieve Williams talks about the Ngangkari, Aboriginal healers of Central Australia, and her own experience of being treated by them. Several Western doctors have spoken glowingly of working alongside the Ngangkari, and even conducted research on their healing practices.

It’s encouraging that traditional healers are being invited to cooperate with Western medical staff in community clinics and hospitals. The patients report remarkable results of Ngangkari treatment, particularly for psychological disorders, although their Western counterparts are at a loss to explain why their methods work so well.

However, there is no scope as yet for Ngangkari to be recognised as legitimate health practitioners. According to Dr Grieves, it’s vital that Australia catches up to the rest of the world in acknowledging the value of healing modalities which have a cultural basis rather than a scientific one.


Dr Victoria Grieve Williams | The Conversation

Aboriginal healers should work alongside doctors | The Conversation

Ngangkari Healing | SoulAdvisor

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Our purpose-driven editorial team has selected articles to share with our global community from thought leaders, commentators and subject matter experts in the traditional & complementary medicine sector from around the world. If you have any suggestions, comments or feedback, please contact us at [email protected].

Disclaimer: This Content has been developed from our generous global community and is intended for informational purposes only. This Content is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon. Further, the personal views and experiences published are expressly those of the author, and do not represent the views or endorsement of SoulAdvisor through the act of publication on our site.

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