In many cases, human sickness is inevitable and hence healing is paramount. Healing is the process of restoring physical and mental health as well as well-being from an ill organism (Hodge, & Nandy, 2011). On the other hand, wellness is more than the absence of diseases when it comes to health. Wellness can be defined as the balance of environmental traits that all together helps in maintaining good health status. Some of the existing barriers when it comes to wellness include system barriers, physical, cultural as well as environmental barriers. In some indigenous communities, sickness is considered as a curse caused by some spiritual factors and hence any form of medication is denied.
Traditional indigenous medicine refers to a variety of healing traditions. The healing traditions are as diverse as the millions of indigenous people around the globe (Gonzales, 2012). However, despite their diversity when it comes to healing in the indigenous communities, the foundation values in all the communities are similar. In many indigenous communities the traditional medicine are made from plants and are grown in the indigenous areas. The medicine are considered to be very effective to an extent the modern man and modern hospitals are now resulting to the usage of the traditional indigenous medicine in treating of their patients.
However, over the years, the traditional indigenous medicine is becoming extinct and few communities have still maintained the culture of using them due to colonization which was followed by industrialization and modernization. With colonization and industrialization, the indigenous people lost their land where they grew the indigenous medicine. In the 1890s, the United States outlawed the use of traditional Indian medicine through various laws and policies (Gonzales, 2012). This is because, although the medicine used to heal and even restore wellness to human being, they also exposed them to some diseases which were far much more dangerous than what they were curing.
Traditional indigenous medicines were mainly derived from plants which were wild and bitter and some were considered sacred. TIM is delivered from the indigenous people in the United States and their cultural practices and means of survival. The banning of the use of TIM by the government in the US was attributed to the side effects of the medicine since the diagnosis was not accurately done as well as the fact that some of the practices used in administering the medication did more harm than healing to the patients. Traditional indigenous medicine however, failed to address the mental and emotional wellness as in many cases, mental disability in the communities was considered as a curse and the person was either excommunicated in the community or isolated. However, with industrialization and modernization, modern medicine was introduced which served the same purpose; healing with a lot of precautions, less work and more accuracy since diagnosis was first carried out before any treatment administered (Hodge, & Nandy, 2011).
Traditional indigenous medicine connected more to nature such as the sky, air, fire and earth and their connection when it came to healing. The people involved in the healing process were taught as the skills were passed on through teaching and practice. However, in many cases, old people were the ones who had specialized in healing (Hodge, & Nandy, 2011). Healing with the use of traditional indigenous medicine also involved spiritual intervention as the healers in many cases were also linked o spiritual activities. Some of diseases such as STIs and cancer in TIM were considered as a curse and not healing took place, instead divine intervention was recommended.
In summary, we see that the traditional indigenous medicine was used by the indigenous people before they were exposed to modernization and although there is a lot of advancement in the medical field, some communities are still using the indigenous medicine which have their advantages as well as limitations when it comes to the human health.