Restoring balance through cultural safety & the medicine wheel WNRCASN
Information about Restoring balance through cultural safety & the medicine wheel WNRCASN
Health & Medicine
Published on February 24, 2014
North American culture sees health as an individual problem, but we live in dynamic, intercultural communities. Health is multifaceted with issues related to mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Our culture can be a barrier to caring for our clients.
Each area of the medicine wheel needs to be balanced for wholistic health for the client, where the client is the person, family, group, or community. Indigenous teachings support addressing all areas of the person to achieve balance.
Through literature reviews and interviews with elders, it is clear health care providers can serve clients better with knowledge related to the medicine wheel. Cultural safety stresses the importance of reflection and acceptance of differences. As health care providers, and teachers, we should not treat everyone the same, but we do need to recognize and acknowledge our blind spots. Increasing awareness of Medicine Wheel teachings will support health care workers to care effectively for their clients.
Moving beyond our own and into the culture or the ‘other’ is required to provide care, treatment, and support to clients, and students, from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The culture of Western medicine places diagnosis as a central goal, whereas other approaches, including Aboriginal medicine, see diagnoses and the physical aspects of health as less central and pay more attention to finding a safe environment in which the patient may recover.
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Restoring Balance through Cultural Safety & the Medicine Wheel
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