W3 Reflection:A Doctor for Disease, a Shaman for the Soul in California

In an article called “A Doctor for Disease, a Shaman for the Soul,” it presents shamans from Hmong family who are treating patients with summoning souls and curing incurable diseases such as end-stage cancers and complications from diabetes. Originally, Shamans in mountains in Laos were drafted by C.I.A., and they were compelled to live in refugee camps in California. When they lived in refugee camps, they learned Western medical procedures and tried to use both Shaman procedure and Western medical procedure on the patients. However, there were barriers on Shaman procedures usages in hospitals which instead have been using modern medical procedures for a long time. In fact, some doctors or nurses in hospitals recognized the positive effects on Shaman practices, so they helped Shamans to create Shaman policy for improving medical instrument in the future. Usually, certified Shamans don’t take payments, but often take live chicken instead. At the end, Western doctors in U.S. are hoping and trying to use both Shaman practices and Western procedures for variety types of patients.

Throughout this article, the healers are Shamans who are considered to be healing the souls for patients using the techniques called “soul calling” especially for Hmong culture people such as Mr. Lee in this case. Also, they can be certified Shamans to actually treat the patients with several different practices for different types of patients. Shamans usually interact with patients using their ceremonies to call their souls and chanting in soft voices to treat bad souls.

Hmong families are introduced as Shamans in this article, and they trust that the souls, like aberrant children, are able to wonder around and can be arrested by evil spirit such as different types of illnesses. The ceremonies they use usually take 10 to 15 minutes to complete the whole procedures. The ceremonies also include preparation times such as preparing animals for sacrificial purposes of the ceremonies for an hour. The sector they use is folk sector. The healthcare delivered in this system is mostly non-traditional medicine that is healing the spirits using different rituals. Understanding soul is the key to understanding the body and symptoms because the soul describes everything in human body, so Shamans treats patients’ souls in order to clear their illnesses.

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