Although I have owned the
book for years, I most recently rediscovered and read Coyote Medicine a book by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D. What a fantastic read. To my pleasant surprise, just yesterday, I
found out that the author will be presenting at the CFHA conference in San
Diego CA this October 2009.
The following link http://www.healing-arts.org/mehl-madrona/mmbook.htm provides a description of Dr. Mehl-Madrona’s book as follows:
A Stanford-trained physician, who gave up the promise
of a lucrative private practice to embrace the Native American healing arts of
his ancestors, describes his continuing efforts to integrate both ancient and
Dr. Mehl-Madrona’s attempts
to shake things up in the medical world are similar to the concept of
Integrated Care; shifting a medical paradigm from traditional approaches to
something new. Providing integrated care
is partially about addressing the mind body connection in order to provide
comprehensive care to our patients. A
unique characteristic of Lewis Mehl-Madrona’s approaches is that he practices a
combination of modern technology based medicine coupled with spiritual precepts
from his Native American heritage.
Mehl-Madrona’s approach not
only addresses the mind/body connection he also adds a spiritual component to
his medicine. Cultural sensitivity and
relativity are very important concepts when treating patients. Spiritual healers range from Curanderos and
Houngans, to Priests and Rabbis. These
practitioners use the person’s faith and belief systems to address the
presenting medical issue. Preparing for a Native American "sweat lodge” can
take a significant amount of effort but there are more subtle, realistic and practical
approaches that could be attempted even in our offices.
What sort of faith, spiritual
or cultural based approaches have you seen used, have you used in your practice
or heard of in other practices regarding behavioral health. Please share your thoughts on what you think
constitutes "hokey” and why. When does a
certain faith/religious or cultural approach violate your office policy?