The healers in this article were the Hmong Shaman. They have recently been allowed in hospitals around The United States to perform ceremonies for patients. In some hospitals they even have acquired the same clearance to walk around the hospital as the clergyman. This article highlighted how these new policies to introduce shamans to Western medicine are a huge step in medical anthropology in considering cultural beliefs in our traditional biomedical practices of healing. Hospitals around the country have been increasingly embracing cultural beliefs creating a trusting area for peoples from all walks of life to receive healthcare.
These Hmong shaman believe that when a person becomes ill, their soul is lost and they perform the ceremonies in order to summon the soul back to the person’s body. They believe that doctors are necessary to prevent disease but their responsibility is to protect the soul and the combination of these practices allows for a successful recovery. Their social status among the Hmong people is as high (if not higher) than doctors is Western culture. I think that often our culture undervalues the shaman as healers because we mostly rely on biomedicine in our healthcare. But having the hospitals include them where appropriate shows a great deal of improvement in the medical community.
These shamans operate in the Folk sector of healthcare. They share the cultural values of society and take a holistic approach towards healing compared to Western medicine. The healthcare that they administer is delivered through their ceremonies using ropes, chimes, whispers, and sometimes even animals! The body and systems is understood as the soul being the most important entity to keeping a person healthy. They believe that when you become ill, it is because your soul is unhappy our lost. They use the ceremonies to summon the soul back into the body in order to heal them.