Native American Indian Medicine forTtreatment of illness
However, there are several intervention categories that are universally important among healers such as smudging, prayer, music, counseling, massage, ceremony, herbs, and vision-seeking (Cohen, 2003).
Cohen (2003) presents descriptions of the common therapeutic methods used by the American Indian healer with regard to their connection to the healing process (pp. 146-147). Vision-seeking, dreaming, and fasting are used to help the healer and patient receive guidance, information, and solutions to the illness and to commune with spirits and spiritual power. Smudging with wormwood, sage, cedar, sweet grass, juniper, and pine needles helps to purify the healing space and all involved (healer, patient, helpers, ritual objects), to induce a spiritual mind set, to increase the awareness of forces that are helpful and disease-causing, and to invite and provide respect to helping spirits. Prayer and chant includes communion, invocation, petition, and sacred expression. This helps the mind focus on healing, love, peace, acceptance, and trust. Prayer also expands the receptiveness of the consciousness of all involved and invokes healing forces. This also helps the patient to feel worthy of divine help. Herbs are administered at this time. Music in any form (voice, drum, rattle, flute, whistle, rasp, clacker, violin, and bull roarer) act as prayer to induce harmony and unity among participants and accompany dance and ceremony. Counseling (to include ta