mercredi 8 janvier 2014

SYMBOLIC HEALING AMONG RAPA NUI

SYMBOLIC HEALING 
WHAT CAN WE LEARN IN RAPA NUI

One of the pleasures of being trained as a Medical Anthropologist is to absorb with the vision you have been taught about the Society and Health, very quickly while integrating yourself. In a way you have to become a symbol of healing yourself, not an agent of some change, treatment or advise.
In my early days at the University of Havana, I had noticed, the medical doctors always talked about GOODS: and in quantitative fashion, such as:
How much is such and such a text book in the USA?
Whereas the Medical Anthropologists always talked about ideas
This distinction is much the same as the modern European and european influenced ways of thinking which are Quantitative and Indigenous ways of thinking which are much more qualitative.


Embody characteristics which are emic to them.
What are they? The values which they live by?
Without a genuine interest in their culture, it would be difficult to learn or understand it. This becomes acute, when sickness or suffering is involved. Perhaps that is why there is such a general dissatisfaction with the rotating doctors in any Indigenous community whether the Chilean doctors in Rapa Nui or the Doctor of the Day at many of the Indian Health   Clinics.


(two pineapples, locally grown, were given to me, at the home of the first patient I visited in Rapa Nui)
Rapa Nui Symbolism
Smile
Iorana
Openness to friendship so that you can receive their friendships
Equality
Non Commercial nature of friendships or transactions
Accepting their Explanatory Models
Many of the above are common to many indigenous cultures but 
SMILE
WELCOME
FRIENDLINESS and lack of Moroseness
seem to be more often seen in Rapa Nui
Offer Comfort

Talk about Natural Remedies
References to remote past and history always brings out a good response, this I learned from American Indians
Herbs, Natural Teas
Principles of Breathing, Yoga or Meditation, translated into the local ambience

take into consideration that of the 6000 inhabitants of Rapa Nui, only 60 % can be classified as Rapa Nui