Is Mainstream Science Catching Up To Indigenous Wisdom?
By Zainab Amadahy
Earlier this year I visited Rotorua, considered the geothermal capital of Aotearoa (the land now known as New Zealand). Prior to the arrival of European colonizers in the area, Maori inhabitants of the region considered its many geysers, hot springs and crater lakes to be a source of healing.
When Europeans arrived, they too found the land to be medicinal. Maori peoples were evicted from their communities so white settlers could build spas and complimentary services for tourists and visitors to the area.
In the early 20th century European-trained doctors visited Rotorua, aiming to determine if and how the sulfer-infused environment was good for one’s health. They concluded the whole idea was a myth; the spas, according to them, were perpetrating a fraud. There was nothing about Rotorua’s geothermal activity that was, in any way, promoting human health.
The debate is ongoing to this day.
For me, there is no debate.
There is no question in my mind to the healing properties of Maori sulfer-infused land and Maori medicinal practices.
Eventually, through their political efforts, Maori peoples were allowed to return to their lands. There are active communities again living in Rotorua. Maori peoples have taken charge of the tourist industry, sharing what they wish of their culture and history, inviting visitors into parts of their communities while ensuring privacy for other areas.
While visiting, I noticed signs warning me away from dangerous areas that erupted boiling water and hot gasses on a regular basis. These signs listed the chemicals that rose out of the geysers and gurgling mud pools surrounding me. One of the mixtures created by the gasses being coughed out by Mother Earth into the air was nitrous oxide — laughing gas–so called because it makes you feel good. Our bodies produce nitrous oxide when we feel joyful and well. The more your body produces the better you feel, the better you feel the more your body produces. It’s also part of the sexual experience impacting the ability to orgasm and your experience of it.
So, despite the smell of sulfur in the air, it could certainly be that the original Maori and later White settlers of Rotorua thought they were healthier because of the good feelings nitrous oxide produced. That’s a possible explanation. However, if you dig deeper you might learn that the placebo effect is more likely to occur in folks that have high levels of nitrous oxide in their blood stream.
Traditional Maori wellbeing and healthcare practices relied to a great degree on the mind/body connection. This is an energetic connection. The bio-electric energy of your thoughts and feelings impacts your body, healing it. So, if you think the sugar pill works, it does. If you believe your treatment is effective, it will be.
The placebo effect is hardly controversial anymore. The vast majority of people working in healthcare recognize it as real. Many peer-reviewed articles in medical journals report brain changes as a result of placebos.
Since we now know that chemical reactions are caused by molecules reshaping themselves, and that this is caused by the exchange of subatomic particles and that subatomic particles are actually energy at their core, we can conclude that every chemical reaction is essentially, by nature, an exchange of energy. If you follow the science, medications that react chemically with our bodies to produce healing are essentially examples of energetic healing.
There is extensive communication among cells, molecules and sub atomic “particles” throughout our universe. Energies are constantly transmitted and received in a kind of universal Ping-Pong tournament. Energy is information and it’s swirling all around us.
Energies intersect and sync up all the time. One form of energy may be more influential than another but usually when energies collide both are changed in some way. We know that heart and brain wave patterns as well as magnetic fields sync up among humans and across species. We can measure this now. Energy exchanges happen all the time, mostly below the level of your awareness. Yet they still impact you.
Indigenous knowledge and other ways of knowing are not just superstition and nonsense.
Indigenous understandings of energetic interactions and how they impact peoples are valid.
Indigenous healers know what they’re talking about. Indigenous songs that are sung, dances that are danced, and the plants and animals involved in healing rituals interacting with us at the energetic level, support Indigenous, and all human, healing and wellness.
Consider all this when you encounter Indigenous medicines and healing practices, even if they have not been validated by mainstream science.
The Print version of the book is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Wielding-Force-Science-Social-Justice/dp/1481877895.
Keep an eye out for Zainab’s upcoming publication: Ways Of Wielding The Force: 13 Exercises In Collective Care & Group Effectiveness. More info on Zainab: http://www.swallowsongs.com.