Article

Returning to Ourselves: Palestinian Complementary Healers in Israel

1David Yellin Academic College, Jerusalem, Israel.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 11/2013; DOI: 10.1177/1049732313513175
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Studies of traditional healers in various cultures describe their initiation into the healing profession as a climax that constructs their professional and personal identity. Literature emphasizes the healers' intense association with the culture in which they work, as reflected in the initiation narratives that healers in various cultures recount. In this article we reveal unique initiation stories and identity formation from Palestinian nonconventional healers in Israel who described a cross-cultural journey: After studying healing traditions of foreign cultures and on returning to their own cultural environment, they developed a unique and complex combination of healing values and traditions. We examine the stories of these healers, whose personal and professional identities are affected by cultural, political, and social contexts. We note the blending of healing traditions and practices, and the changes in identity, assessing them against cultural processes that many Palestinians in Israel have been undergoing over the past few decades.

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