Many traditional healers and Elders agree that strengthening cultural identity, incorporating traditional healing practices, and encouraging community integration can enhance and improve mental health and reduce substance use disorders (SUD) in Indigenous populations. Despite the fact that traditional healing practices have always been valued by Indigenous Peoples, there is very little research on efficacy. Recent research by one of the authors in this group (T. Marsh) has shown that the blending of Indigenous traditional healing practices and a Western treatment model, Seeking Safety, resulted in a reduction in intergenerational trauma (IGT) symptoms and substance use disorders (SUD). This article focuses on the qualitative evidence concerning the impact of the traditional healing practices, specifically the sweat lodge ceremony. Participants reported an increase in spiritual and emotional well-being that they said was directly attributable to the ceremony. This study demonstrates that it would be beneficial to incorporate Indigenous traditional healing practices, including the sweat lodge ceremony, into Seeking Safety to enhance the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples with IGT and SUD.
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Marsh, T. N.
Marsh, D. C.
The Sweat Lodge Ceremony: A Healing Intervention for Intergenerational Trauma and Substance Use. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 9(2)
. Retrieved from: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol9/iss2/2