Traditional Healing Vs Western Medicine Essay

2113 Words 9 Pages
Cultures around the world offer different perspectives on the relationships between spirituality, healing and illness from that of mainstream Western culture (Mark & Lyons, 2010, p.1756).The coexistence of both traditional and biomedical healing systems is commonplace throughout the world and finding a place where only one method is relied upon exclusively is particularly difficult (McGrath, 1999, p.484) Medical pluralism within societies, as Stoner (1986) notes, “is the rule not the exception the world over” (p.44). Medically pluralistic societies provide a variety of treatment options, both modern and traditional, for people to use. (Stoner, 1986, p.44). As Stoner (1986) found, “often these alternatives are held to represent various …show more content…
The beliefs, history and relationship with biomedicine within traditional Maori medicine and Haitian Vodou need to be discussed in order to examine the capacity of their survival in a world that seems to be dominated by Western biomedicine.

Traditional Maori healing practices are still commonplace throughout New Zealand (Lange, 2012, pg.3) and in a world dominated by biomedicine, the survival of these practices is due to its resilience, adaptability and spiritual significance. As with most traditional medicine, healing frequently involves the fusion of both medicine and religion (Sanson, 2012, p.4). As Sanson (2012) identifies, “the complex interfaces between spirituality and healing are no less evident in all maori healing traditions” (p.4). While some healers use various direct forms of healing such as massage and energy work, others work indirectly and heal spiritually through the use of oratory, song, chants, and dance (Sanson, 2012, p.17). In a world of endless global interactions, cross-fertilisation of cultural, artistic and healing practices is common and today many Maori healers have altered their practices from the traditional teachings to incorporate western or other indigenous customs (Sanson, 2012, p.2). As Sanson notes “they blend many influences with their

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