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       Ancient Healing Techniques:

There are certain areas of study for which one has to ask whether humanity is actually more successful now than we were in the past. While there is little doubt that science has improved certain medical procedures, healing is a complex art and several recent experiments have shown that the relationship between healers and patients can be as important as the medicines themselves. It is of course impossible to say how much of a role in healing shaman took in prehistory, but studies on modern tribal shaman suggest that they were the primary healers of the sick. Reports of shaman undergoing initiation through voluntary sickness (4) support Jung's theory of the archetypal shamanic healer, which he termed the 'Wounded Healer'. In these rituals, the young shaman are required to bring themselves to the brink of death in order to begin contact with the spirit-world and 'to have sickness in order to understand sickness'.

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Modern studies have shown that the power of positive thought (i.e. prayer), can also have a marked difference on a patients recovery, regardless of their knowledge of the act. (5) In addition, there has been some important research on the famed 'Placebo effect'. The Placebo effect can arise not only from a conscious belief in a drug but also from subconscious associations between recovery and the experience of being treated - from a doctor’s white coat to ingesting a pill. Such subliminal conditioning can control bodily processes of which we are unaware, such as immune responses and the release of hormones. (1) These remarkable conclusions open several lines of debate concerning what exactly healing is, simultaneously revealing the dark underbelly of the pharmaceutical companies, who have become the silent partner in the modern relationship between healers and patients.

 

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  • Prehistoric Surgery: The Evidence.

The high number of prehistoric skulls that show evidence of trepanning show it to have been a common surgical treatment for at least 50,000 years. In addition, other operations such as dental work, and even open-heart surgery also date back thousands of years, revealing a knowledge and confidence which elevates surgery into the category of prehistoric sciences.

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  • Labyrinths: The Journey Within.

The Labyrinth is considered to be a physical metaphor for life's journey. Jung called them 'archetypal images of the psyche', and they can be found at many important pilgrim sites and spiritual centres, such as at Glastonbury and Chartres Cathedral. But what exactly is it that makes the labyrinth such a strong spiritual tool.?  

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  • Prehistoric Tattooing: Evidence of Acupuncture.

The discovery of tattoo marks on the 'Otzi' Ice-man was just the first of several discoveries of prehistoric tattoo's that appear to show a relationship between modern 'alternative therapy' acupuncture points on the body and physical weaknesses on the body's that the the tattoos' were found on. Acupuncture is now commonly available in hospitals around the world.

(More about Prehistoric Tattooing)

 
 
   
  • Mantras: Healing With Sound.

The use of mantras for healing can be seen in the Rig-Veda, one of the oldest texts in the world. Today, ultrasound is commonly used to speed recovery of various conditions including broken bones (3), and music itself has been shown to be an effective healing medium (6),(7), all of which suggests that sound deserves more recognition in the arena of healing.

(Healing With Sound)

 
 
   
  • Spiritual Healing: The Power of Positive Thinking.

There are now several studies available that show the effect of positive thought on patients in recovery. Spiritual healing (positive thinking) has now also been proven to be beneficial to patients, regardless of whether they have knowledge of it or not (5). The profound implications of these results offer credence to the traditional beliefs in the healing powers of shaman, witch doctors, and the healing miracles of the clergy.

(Positive Thinking)

 
 
   
  • Herbal Remedies: Natures Pharmaceuticals.

With over 50% of all prescription drugs being derived from chemicals first identified in plants and over 5 billion people still dependant on plant-based medicine as their primary form of health care (In 2008) (8), perhaps it is time to take herbal remedies more seriously, especially in light of the modern trend for unregulated global deforestation.

(Herb Lore: Magical, Spiritual and Medicinal)

 
 

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References:

1). http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=placebo-effect-a-cure-in-the-mind
2). http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html
3). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15262297
4). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism
5). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-408280/Could-spiritual-healing-actually-work.html
6). http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/01/health/la-he-0301-brain-music-therapy-20100301
7). http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-06-16-music-healing_N.htm
8). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7196702.stm

 

 
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