W3 Reflection: Welcoming Shamans Slideshow

The article is chose was the slideshow as I really fascinated by how folk practices are becoming more legitimized in Western medicine as well as in the legal realm. I n the slideshow specifically, we have a closer look at shamans in the Hmong community in California, the role which they play in that group and their immergence into mainstream healthcare. Mr. Lee is a Certified Shaman who works in partnership with Mercy Medical Center and their patients that would like additional folk therapy along with the biomedical approach. There are also images of a shaman-performed ritual at home by Ma Vue, another Hmong Shaman.

Although the article shows a greater predominance of folk therapy in private settings (like at home) in the Hmong community, the introduction of this therapy along with conventional biomedical therapy allows for a greater appreciation of more culturally based practices. There is a greater preference to typical biomedicine but it’s partnered with cultural beliefs as well. The legal certification of the Shamans in the hospital and the opportunity to get the same hospital access as other staff members allows more people to take their work more seriously and with less skepticism. I still find it difficult to understand how the symptoms of the patients are distinguished and addressed with the Shamans but from what I understood, it was more spiritual than just physical and it was more to expel the bad spirits that caused the initial disease or illness.

Leave a Reply