Aboriginal Culture and Healing, Native American Therapy, Shamanism

Aboriginal Culture and Healing

Aboriginal healing practices and Australian bush medicine is practiced by healers who have special powers and knowledge about plants animals and spirits. Their power to cure the sick is said to be derived from their spiritual Ancestors.

Healers are said to be able to ‘see’ into the body of their patients and identify the cause of the illness which could be psychological in nature, not just physical. Aboriginal healers diagnose problems, advise on remedies, and perform ritual healings.

Native American Therapy

Native American Therapy

There are many types of medicinal healers in Native practice. In the Sioux tradition medicine in general, terms are called Pehula and a Medicine Man is a Pehula Wacasa, however, the medicine man is not called Pehula Wacasa because there are 4 main types of ailments in this healing tradition which require different treatments and often these treatments are provided by different practitioners. For example;

  • Medicine Man of Spirits Wacasa Tanka
  • Medicine man of Herbs Wacasa Chun
  • Medicine Man of Earth Wacasa Maka
  • Medicine man of Heart Wacasa Chante

There is also the geographical aspect of native healing that must be considered. Many Native American healing traditions are centered on plants and herbs to correct imbalances and these herbs are local to each tribe or group. Often focusing on geographical threats to health and well being. For example; there are certain roots which a medicine man can use to make a tea which will help a patient recover from a snake bite, but the root and the snake are unique to the region, therefore the remedy is will not work in a different region. The native practitioner believes that the creator put the threat in place in the environment and then provided the antidote as a way of providing balance in nature.

However Native medicine is much broader than this and encompasses many healing arts and principles for the treatment of disease, illness, and malady shared by all beings. Many curative practices require a spiritual component and often patients are put under the protection of the medicine man during treatment.

Parallels can be easily drawn between modern alternative therapies and ancient native practices. The idea that our energy field can be out of harmony is shared with the native practitioner, as well as many of the practices or remedies needed for realignment.

Many of the ceremonial aspects of native American healing have been embraced by alternative practitioners in modern times, like sweat lodges or the ancient art of healing through the smoke and olfactory stimulation. This is done by burning barks or herbal combinations and then wafting them over the patient, the smoke being the conduit between the physical world and the world of the creator.

Native medicine has become quite robust as an alternative or complementary medicine and is currently
practiced by numerous alternative therapy practitioners worldwide.



Practitioners of this ancient healing art enter an altered state of consciousness induced by rhythmic drumming and meditative techniques. In this altered state, they experience their spiritual self traveling to other realms and interacting with other healing entities in order to affect healing in the physical plain.

These traditions are handed down through the generations because of their effectiveness and positive impact on the emotional/mental and physical self. The Shamanic healing practitioner uses the power of the shamanic journey to diagnose and treat illness and malady.

The shamanic healing practitioner employs spiritual entities to receive information that will be helpful to their patient using a process called spirit vision. It is with this information they develop appropriate treatment regimes to address affliction.

Aboriginal Culture and Healing

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