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What are the Different Methods of Traditional Healing?

By Bethney Foster
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Nearly every culture has its own system of traditional healing. While these systems may vary across cultures, there are methods of traditional healing that are found in most all cultures. The most common methods of traditional healing are those using herbs, fasting and prayer, and treatments to balance the energies of the body.

Methods of traditional healing are forms of alternative medicine that have evolved and been practiced by groups of people for several generations. Traditional medicine often takes a holistic approach to healing, considering the patient’s diet, history, and emotional and spiritual health in addition to the symptoms presented. Many types of traditional medicine also include their own methods for diagnosing illness.

Herbalism, sometimes called herbology, is the most common method of traditional healing, and it can be found in some form in nearly every system of traditional medicine. It has been practiced as a form of healing since ancient times. Different parts and types of plants are thought to treat different types of conditions. The types of herbs used and the forms in which they are administered may vary from one culture to another.

Fasting, prayer, and other religious rituals have long been a type of traditional medicine. This type of traditional healing is sometimes called faith healing. Practitioners hope to get direct intervention from a deity or deities to bring about the return of health.

Chanting, drumming, or meditation may also be used as methods of traditional healing and are often designed to help the afflicted bring energies back into balance to cure illness. Energies that are out of balance or blocked are seen as the cause of illness in many systems of traditional medicine. This includes the theory of yin and yang in traditional Chinese medicine, chakras in the Hindu faith, and similar beliefs among other cultures.

Other methods of traditional healing that may be used to bring energies into balance include Chinese healing methods such as acupuncture, Qigong, and Tui Na massage. Diets and food therapies are methods of traditional medicine that may be prescribed for bringing energies into balance or for treating other conditions.

One type of traditional medicine found in nearly every culture in some form is that of midwifery. Depending on the culture and the system of medicine, the traditional midwife uses various methods to help women deliver babies. The midwife might use several methods of traditional medicine as part of prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care.

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