Posts Tagged ‘Emotional Healing’
The medicine wheel is a European termed used to describe Native American beliefs that life moves in a series of cycles. The small icons we see are the symbolic representation of the cardinal directions upon a circle. Each direction represents a series of lessons represented by specific animals, medicines, stellar and planetary alignments and colors.
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I am often asked, why do people do sweat lodges? The purpose of the lodge, better known as a purification ceremony, is just that, to purify the body, mind and spirit. Modern health advocates have long recognized the effectiveness of steam in helping to release toxins from the body through sweating. The process of heating, steaming, cooling the body in progressively longer periods provokes a rapid release of toxins from the body core. The intervals of heating and cooling the body over several cycles has also been proven to boost the immune system. The process of going in and out of a hot tub or sauna, progressively heating then cooling the body, has similar effects.
The ceremony, because of the heat and steam, causes the body to release endorphins; the “feel good ” hormone. I recall reading studies in my earlier years that Native American clientele had higher success rates of recovery from alcohol addiction when they regularly participated in traditional purification ceremonies. Success was, in part, attributed to higher self esteem due to reclaiming cultural identity. Also critically important to this success was that the stimulated endorphin release gave a natural chemical alternative to alcohol.