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Medicinal Herbs

After experiencing a trauma, emotional and spiritual shifts may be the result of an existential crisis. Trauma responses do not look the same in each person, however, and there is no “one size fits all” program. Moving away from Western culture, and practicing humility when healing our mind, body, and spirit can offer insight into a person’s own wisdom and honor their culture. The intersection of our identity and values with trauma influence how we heal.

Cultural practices and traditions can foster connections to the self and relationships. Check out some culture and healing videos here. Living in New Mexico, to integrate Indigenous and Native American healing practices “requires helping professionals to have knowledge of Native American cultural belief systems about health and wellness, with the many influences that create change in the mind, body, spirit, and natural environment. Native Americans believe their healing practices and traditions operate in the context of relationship to four constructs—namely, spirituality (Creator, Mother Earth, Great Father); community (family, clan, tribe/nation); environment (daily life, nature, balance); and self (inner passions and peace, thoughts, and values)” (see Four Directions Wellness).

In addition to this, the following list includes several non-traditional paths towards healing. Below, and in a study conducted through SAMHSA called Pathways to Healing and Recovery (2010), numerous ways to recovery were mentioned. 


  • Natural recovery 

  • Mutual aid groups

  • Faith-based recovery 

  • Cultural recovery (e.g., traditional Indigenous and Native American sweat lodges) 

    • Indigenous and Native American practices (powwow, music, smudging, storytelling, sweat lodge, pipe ceremony, use of herbs, prayer, chants, drumming, songs, stories, and the use of a variety of sacred objects)

  • Bodywork (e.g., yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, and Addiction Energy Healing) 

  • Physical activity (e.g., weight lifting; The Phoenix)

  • Equine and Pet Therapy

  • Music Therapy


I would agree with Mara Benner (Four Directions Wellness) in that there is much wisdom to be found in this combined system of mind, body, emotion and spirit in the modern healthcare system that is largely medical based. 

Trauma Care: Non-Traditional Paths Towards Healing

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