Published on March 29, 2012 by Amy
Jamie Sams is a Native American Holy Person of Cherokee and Seneca descent, who explains that medicine has to do with anything that makes us feel whole. Indians view medicine as a person’s gifts, including their inner strengths, talents, and abilities. “When we look at the idea of medicine,” Jamie Jamie Sams says, “we have to embrace the total person: the body, the heart, the mind, and the spirit. When any of these part are out of balance, then there is a need for healing.”
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The processes used in healing depend on the type of illness. First a person must be diagnosed to see whether their sickness is physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental. Then it is treated accordingly. When the body is sick, herbs, flowers, and other plant matter can be used to promote recovery. Mechanical help is also used, such as setting bones when broken. Spiritual illnesses are handled by medicine people who may work with a person’s dreams, or with what they experience on other dimensions that need to be healed. Some tribes also take into account the influence of past lives. Emotional healing for family upsets, a broken heart, or other problems, and psychological healing for mental illnesses are handled differently still. “Sometimes we need to heal our impatience,” Jamie Sams says. “And sometimes we need to heal our frustrations. Many times we need to heal the internal criticism that our brain is constantly carrying on, which makes us feel less than. But always, we need to take a look at that which does not work in our lives, and makes our behavior out of balance towards ourselves and others.” Here, Jamie Sams explains important principles of healing for specific circumstances:
“In indigenous cultures, when someone that we care about is dying, there is a very intense need to mourn. When you don’t release the mourning, it will make you sick. Certain Anglo cultures have a different concept. If you release the mourning, you are looked at as if you lost control over your emotions. The spirit of the person who has passed away that you cared about is not then free to move on into the spirit world because the mourning was not complete. The people did not purge their bodies of this sense of grief.” Jamie Sams adds that mourning to Native people is like a bow. The people moving on are the arrows. Mourning a loss allows the spirit to fly into its new non-physical life.
Healing Pollution for Ourselves, Our World, and Our Future
Jamie Sams notes how we poison our systems on multiple levels: “Bitterness, hatred, and resentment are toxins from our heart, while jealousy and greed poison our thoughts. Then we harm our bodies with unhealthy foods and artificial substances, and hurt our spirits with a lack of gratitude.
In this sickened state, human beings tend to lose balance, and begin to see the world around them as something to abuse as well. “The things that we have done to ourselves internally,” notes Jamie Sams, “we have also done to the earth, which is our sustenance.”
Native Americans realize that living according to right principles not only helps ourselves and our planet, but insures a future for generations ahead. Jamie Sams notes that, “When we gather herbs to assist someone, we thank each and every plant that the earth mother sends, and we pass the first seven plants to always remember to leave enough for the next seven generations. In doing that, we are honoring the ninth clan mother who looks toward tomorrow for what our children and their children will need on the earth.”
Regarding humiliation, Jamie Sams writes, “Humiliation is the one event in human life that becomes unforgettable. The loss of human dignity at the hands of another can be forgiven, but it is rarely, if ever, forgotten. Healing humiliation and the loss of dignity is something that comes from inside a person. No healer, psychologist, doctor, medicine person or teacher can do it for somebody else. Consciously shaming another has dealt many a blow throughout time. Kicking people when they are vulnerable is a tactic of insensitive bullies. The world has been fraught with this behavior since its inception. It never seems to happen when we are feeling strong. It almost always happens when we are dealing with our own self-doubt and self criticism.
“We can heal the need to experience this reflection if we protect ourselves. The key is to notice that if we stop beating ourselves up internally the bullies of the world will quit picking on us externally. In Native American thought, we understand that the external world, and the things we experience in day to day life are mirror reflections that show us what we are doing to ourselves internally. If we honor who we are without an arrogance or sense of pride, but do it in a balanced way, and we walk life in a manner that allows us to honor and respect every other living thing, then we don’t bring the experience into our lives that would necessitate us being shown how it feels to be bullied or humiliated by another human being.”
Healing Personal Integrity
“One of the things that human beings need to heal is the idea of hypocrisy. We say walk your talk. Don’t talk your walk. Human beings have learned over the years that spoken words are cheap and promises are often broken. And that, in many cases, is a commitment that is not being honored. So, many times we ask people who have walked the crooked path to heal their personal integrity. That’s a facet of healing that most people do not look at.
In our grandparents and our great grandparents day, a person’s word was their bond. But in this modern world, most times, if we give our word, we aren’t sure that the person we give our word to, and they give their word back is going to honor their personal integrity, because the sense of self has been eroded to the place where we cannot embrace the idea that integrity is everything, that if a person honors themselves, that promise is made to themselves. When you make a promise to another person, you are making it to yourself. That’s another aspect of the great smoking mirror. And when you do not honor your promises to another, you have reflected back to yourself through that great smoking mirror, what you actually think of yourself, which must be very little, because the integrity in your bond and your word was not honored by you, so how can others honor that same thing.”