Definitions of healing and healing interventions across different cultures

Ann Palliat Med. 2017 Jul;6(3):248-252. doi: 10.21037/apm.2017.06.16.


For centuries healing has been embedded in non-Western cultures. Traditional cultures believe that healing is derived from the divine and utilize a holistic approach to healing including the body, mind, and spirit. The community and environment are key elements in individual healing along with herbal remedies and ceremonies. Western cultures have accepted some traditional methods of relaxation and exercise, such as yoga and tai chi. In this paper we will examine some similar themes of traditional practices to better understand traditional patients' healing paradigm and find new tools as practitioners of Western medicine.

Keywords: Traditional healing; holistic medicine; psychosocial spiritual; spirituality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care*
  • Spiritual Therapies*