Similar to the concept of a continuous flow or cycle of energy, circles are symbolic in Native American cultures. In Native American cultures that live in teepees, such as the Lakota people, the round bottom indicates a person is in touch with the world and at peace with himself.3 In Cherokee medicine, the term “spirit” refers to an active flow of energy that connects all individuals to the “Universal Spirit.” In Cherokee culture; rituals, magic work, and ceremonies are conducted within these sacred circles with fire placed in the middle. The fire in the center is known as the Universal Circle and serves as a reminder to seek harmony and balance. It is considered to be the path to the Great One (a supreme energy being) and the beginning for all living things. In the Cherokee’s eyes, the universe operates in a circular fashion wh...
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...n order to facilitate movement and help elongate shortened muscles with success. In homeopathic medicine, people are beginning to recognize the usefulness of natural supplements and herbs to assist in treatment. The most notable difference in American versus Cherokee medicine is these types of treatment are considered to be adjunct treatment instead of primary when utilized in Cherokee medicine. Even though Cherokee medicine is often brushed aside as superstitious and considered inferior to Americanized medicine, I believe that we may have something to learn from the Cherokee medicine way. Cherokee medicine has proven to be very successful in its ability to cure various illnesses and disease in addition to improving one's quality of life. We speak of, “treating the whole patient,” but if we don’t consider their mind or spirituality, how can we claim to be doing so?
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- Interconnectedness is a theme that flows throughout all aspects of Cherokee culture from spirituality to medicine, as they believe everything within the world is related. They believe spiritual energy courses through all components of the universe that influence their daily life and maintaining a balance between these energies is crucial to being in harmony with Mother Nature and living a fulfilling life. Rather than having a dominant species, group or society, all components of the world are considered to be equal and to have a purposeful role.1 Given this perspective, the Cherokee believe they can learn about health and medicine from plants, survival tactics from animals, and spirit freedo... [tags: interconnectedness, herbal remedies]
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