A Doctor for Disease, a Shaman for the Soul

I chose the article “A Doctor for Disease, a Shaman for the Soul”. I found this article quite interesting. It is by Patricia Leigh Brown and she looked at the Mercy Medical Center in Merced, CA.  This article is about Hmong practices of healing and how it is incorporated into Western medicine. The Hmong culture believes that they need to heal a person’s soul; they believe that it is up to the doctors to deal with diseases but it is the shaman’s responsibility to save the soul. At the Mercy Medical Center they have a Hmong shaman policy allowing for Hmong to receive healing for their spirits during ceremonies like “soul calling”. The Hmong culture relies on their spiritual beliefs to get them through illnesses. You have certified shamans that wear embroidered jackets and official badges and you would pay them in a form of a live chicken, they do not accept insurance or any other form of payment. Hospitals within the United States are starting to embrace cultural beliefs which are a good thing.  As well as embracing the Hmong practice of healing, Mercy Medical Center is has a seven-week training program so that the Shamans can learn about the Western style of medicine. I believe that this is a good thing as well because it shows the shamans that western medicine works as well. Some of the ceremonies in the Hmong culture include the sacrifice of animals, spiritual accelerators but here in America they can just place a long sword at the door.

When I read the book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures” by Anne Fadiman back in the year of 2012 I found it very interesting.  I always wondered what if the two different cultures came together and practice both ways of healing for the patients benefit and I find it exciting to know that they are doing that now.

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