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Honoring the Medicine
Ken “Bear Hawk” Cohen, well known for his books, audios and videos on Chi Gung, has also trained with elder healers from all over the world and followed the path of indigenous wisdom for more than 30 years. In Honoring the Medicine, he explores the core principles of North America’s original holistic medicine, a powerful means of healing the body, balancing the emotions, and renewing the spirit. Medicine men and women prescribe prayers, dances, songs, herbal mixtures, counseling, and many other remedies that help not only the individual but the family and the community as well. The goal of healing is both wellness and wisdom.
Honoring the Medicine gathers an unparalleled abundance of information about every aspect of Native American medicine and a healing philosophy that connects each of us with the whole web of life—people, plants, animals, the earth. In each chapter, Cohen describes how Native Americans of various tribes understand healing therapies, how Western medicine, psychology, or religion interprets them, and how he understands them, from the vantage point of more than a quarter century of practice. He includes numerous case studies, drawn from his own clients, while still writing from within the tradition and respecting the privacy of individual healers and tribes.
Among the topics he explores are:
ª The power of Four Winds—the psychological and spiritual qualities that contribute to harmony and health
ª Native American values—including wisdom from the Wolf and the importance of commitment and cooperation
ª The Vision Quest—searching for the Great Spirit’s guidance and life’s true purpose
ª Moontime rituals—traditional practices that may be observed by women during menstruation
ª Massages techniques, energy therapies, and the need for touch
ª The benefits of ancient purification ceremonies, such as the Sweat Lodge
ª Tips on finding and gathering healing plants—the wonders of herbs
ª The purpose of smudging, fasting, and chanting—and how science confirms their effectiveness.