The healthcare fundamentals unit in the grade 11 health care class is a very long and involved one. After learning common health care terms and learning about the major bones, muscles and organs in the body, we have shifted our focus to the topics of homeostasis, lifestyle choices, and disease prevention and treatment. When looking at disease prevention and treatment, we not only look at the conventional western modalities, but also focus on complementary methods such as massage therapy, meditation, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. The grade 11 health care class was fortunate to be able to look at First Nations Rituals of disease prevention and treatment. We had the good fortune of having the Academy’s good friend and master orator Jim Adams who led two classes on the aforementioned topic.

On the first day, students looked at how Western medicine differs from Indigenous medicine, focusing not only on the differences, but the similarities as well. Jim talked about the medicine wheel and its teachings as well as the seven chakras of the body.

On day two, students were treated to cedar tea at the start of class and informed about its health benefits. Jim focused on the use of energy centers to achieve balance to overall health during the first half of the class, and answered student questions during the second half. Overall, students were very engaged and intrigued by the wealth of knowledge and stories Jim presented to them.

Learning about Complementary Medicine

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