Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Healing is a sustained ritual process of righting the disequilibrium generated by spiritual, natural, psychological, and social factors, which are often expressed in the form of physical or mental problems. Healing practices are part of the complex conceptual framework that constitutes a people's worldview, such as in their religious beliefs. In indigenous African societies, religion and disease/illness causation are intricately intertwined. Beliefs about illness have contributed to health concerns, and the healing methods have addressed the need for healing in African societies. This entry examines how ideas about healing are connected to religious views, looks at some examples, and describes how a typical healing might occur. Religious worldviews are quintessential to understanding traditional healing systems and medicine; how the people make sense of illness or misfortune; and what therapeutic and prophylactic mechanisms they adopt. Traditional healing is holistic, encompassing the physical, mental, psychological, material, and emotional aspects that result in ...