Skip navigation

Medicine Ways: Traditional Healers and Healing


Many traditional healers say that most of the healing is done by the patient and that every person has a responsibility for his or her proper behavior and health. This is a serious, lifelong responsibility. Healers serve as facilitators and counselors to help patients heal themselves. Healers use stories, humor, music, tobacco, smudging, and ceremonies to bring healing energies into the healing space and focus their effects. The healing process also goes beyond the individual patient. Traditional healers take into account not only the patient’s immediate family and community, but future generations as well.