"Healing is not just about recovering what has been lost or repairing what has been broken. It is about embracing our life force to create a new and vibrant fabric that keeps us grounded and connected, wraps us in warmth and love and gives us the joy of seeing what we have created."
Professor Helen Milroy
I came across a beautiful description of healing in the Forward of the fascinating book Traditional Healers of Central Australia: Ngangkari. I quote this description here, although I have altered the paragraphs
‘Healing is part of life and continues through death and into life again. It occurs throughout a person’s life journey as well as across generations. It can be experienced in many forms such as mending a wound or recovery from illness.
Mostly, however, it is about renewal. Leaving behind those things that have wounded us and caused us pain. Moving forward in our journey with hope for the future, with renewed energy, strength and enthusiasm for life.
Healing gives us back to ourselves. Not to hide or fight anymore. But to sit still, calm our minds, listen to the universe and allow our spirits to dance on the wind.
It lets us enjoy the sunshine and be bathed by the golden glow of the moon as we drift into our dreamtime.
Healing ultimately gives us back to our country. To stand once again in our rightful place, eternal and generational.
Healing is not just about recovering what has been lost or repairing what has been broken. It is about embracing our life force to create a new and vibrant fabric that keeps us grounded and connected, wraps us in warmth and love and gives us the joy of seeing what we have created.
Healing keeps us strong and gentle at the same time. It gives us balance and harmony, a place of triumph and sanctuary for evermore.’
Professor Helen Milroy, Aboriginal Child Psychiatrist and Australia’s first Aboriginal doctor, 2009
‘... healing goes beyond treating the disease. It is about working towards reclaiming a sense of balance and harmony in the physical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual lives of our people, and practising our profession in a manner that upholds these multiple dimensions of Indigenous health.
In essence, it is “Moving forward in our journey with hope for the future, with renewed energy, strength and enthusiasm for life.”...
Healing needs to occur at various levels - from cells, organs and systems to individuals, families and communities. A number of different modalities may be used to ensure healing is meaningful to different people and different communities.
For example, this could mean Western-trained doctors working alongside Ngangkaris (traditional healers from Central Australia) to deliver an optimal health service that facilitates physical repair, psychological buffering, social nurturing, cultural reclamation and spiritual maintenance.
Indigenous healing services need to be culturally meaningful and must focus on why people are at risk of succumbing to physical disease and to using drugs and alcohol, as well as the ways in which restoring cultural norms and repairing the social fabric can mitigate these negative disruptions. Health professionals must be culturally competent and need to understand the cultural and spiritual elements of health.
The national effort to improve the health of Indigenous Australians is vital and must continue apace, with the driving principle of a holistic view of Indigenous health as being:
Not just the physical well-being of the individual but the social, emotional, and cultural well-being of the whole community. This is a whole-of-life view and it also includes the cyclical concept of life-death-life....
The fundamental aim of healing is to provide a better future for our children and to create a world in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture thrive...’
'A healed and healthy country: understanding healing for Indigenous Australians’ by Tamara Mackean