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Folk Medicine : . A Cultural Perspective. Oral transmission Health as harmony Interrelation of body,mind, spirit Supernatural elements. Thoughts and emotions associated with disease Positive/ negative energies Moral tone. Core Concepts and Characteristics of Folk Medicine.

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folk medicine
Folk Medicine:
  • A Cultural Perspective
core concepts and characteristics of folk medicine
Oral transmission

Health as harmony

Interrelation of body,mind, spirit

Supernatural elements

Thoughts and emotions associated with disease

Positive/ negative energies

Moral tone

Core Concepts and Characteristics of Folk Medicine
disease and illness classification
Disease and Illness Classification
  • Classified according to causation
  • hot or cold type
  • elements of the body
  • natural(according to God)
  • supernatural(violating God’s will)
folk practitioners
Folk Practitioners
  • Self or Family Care: Generalists or Specialists
  • birth order or circumstances
  • divine gifts or calling
  • special or transformative life circumstances
  • familial inheritance
  • personal desire or interest
common therapeutic practices
Common Therapeutic Practices
  • Religious, spiritual, magical, sacramental objects
  • Natural substances; botanical, animal, mineral
  • Physical Therapies
c a m complimentary and alternative medicine
C.A.M.Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
  • This is a Western view of traditional healing practices
  • Millions of people use these practices as their primary source of health care
ancient folk traditions
Traditional Chinese Medicine

over 4,000 years old

is the basis for other healing systems: Vietnam, Korea and Japan

has now spread worldwide

to learn more:

The Chinese Way to Health: A Self-help Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine

by Dr. Stephen Gascoigne

Indian, Ayurvedic Healing

5,000 years old

Sanskrit for” the science of life and longevity”

diet/ nutrition




meditation, breathing


The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies

by Vasant Lad

Ancient Folk Traditions
why folk medicine
Why Folk Medicine?

“Her days are slow, days of grinding dried snake into powder, of crushing wild bees to mix with white wine. And the townspeople come, hoping to be touched by her ointments, her hands, her prayers, her eyes. She listens to their stories, and she listens to the desert, always to the desert.“

from the poem, "Curandera" by Pat Mora

Cultural Identity & Tradition

  • Personal beliefs, guided by social and ethnic backgrounds
  • Folk remedies are usually passed by word of mouth.
  • Strong ties to nationalities, backgrounds, and heritage
personal power taking control why wait to jump that bridge
Personal Power & Taking Control--Why Wait to Jump That Bridge?
  • Limited accessibility to medical care.
  • Affordability of medical care.
  • Distrust of the Western healthcare system .
distrust of western system
Distrust of Western System
  • Side effects.
  • HMO marathon visits.
  • Medication not Meditation.
doctors are community
“Doctors” are community
  • The healthcare practitioner is always a member of the community
  • Practitioners assist in finding the root cause of health issues, using the appropriate form of “treatment” to help cure the patient.
  • Community is the “doctor”
  • In many cultural folk medicine rituals and belief systems, the entire community is involved in the ritual.
  • The individual, as part of a community, is directly involved in the healing process.
  • Choosing Folk Medicine
  • Simplicity of Treatment
  • Gives You You
food as medicine
Food as Medicine
  • Food IS your Medicine
  • We really ARE what we eat. Whole Foods Processed foods
  • People are chronically unhealthy. Dis-ease Malnutrition Convenience Addicted culture/cravings
  • Medical System Sickness oriented. Pill mentality – quick fix. People don’t like the discomfort of change. Minimal Nutrition Education in Medical Schools.
ayruvedic 5 element system
Ayruvedic5 – Element System
  • Basic elements or constituents to which anything can be reduced.
  • Fire
  • Earth
  • Water
  • Air
  • SpaceUse this to deepen your connection to all things, including the foods we eat.
  • We are ENERGETIC beings. Real food feeds this energy life-force.
food related diseases and conditions that can be controlled and treated by dietary adjustments
Food-related diseases and conditions:that can be controlled and treated by Dietary Adjustments
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • GI Disorders
  • Celiac Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Kidney and Gallstones
  • What are the “BEST” foods for Good Health?
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity/ eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Immune disorders
  • Headaches/ migraines
  • Fibroids
  • A.D.D.
  • Clods and flues
  • PMS
solutions lifestyle choices what you can do this is your medicine
SOLUTIONS & LIFESTYLE CHOICESWhat YOU can do – This IS your Medicine
  • Drink more water!
  • Reduce or eliminate sodas and caffeine.
  • Eat REAL foods
  • Shop at Farmers Markets
  • ADD good things to your diet, don’t just eliminate.
  • Get outside and do something physical.
  • Get enough sleep and relaxation.
  • Meditate.
  • Grow a garden
  • Cook at home more.
  • Be present when you eat
  • Connect with where your food has come from.
  • Practice Gratitude.
  • Try eliminating something for 1 day.
  • Cut out partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Eat Breakfast.
  • Chew your food thoroughly.
  • Too little attention is given to CREATING health, rather than treating Disease/Dis-ease.