Community event highlights Native American, Mexican healing practices

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austinites got the chance to experience traditional medicine Saturday afternoon.

A community health fair at the Mexican American Cultural Center showcased Curanderismo — traditional healing practices of Native American and Mexican cultures

People got to see how spiritual cleansing plays a role in overall well-being.

“We are not just about giving somebody, as in western medicine, just a pill or something,” said Marika Alvarado, a traditional healer. “It is about having a conversation. It’s about taking care of that person, working on their bodies, listening to what is going on.”

Alvarado said she hopes to create a school for traditional medicines.

Alvarado’s event was one of more than 200 ideas submitted to a call for ideas issued to people across Central Texas for ways to improve health in their own communities. The call for ideas is a project of the Center for Place-Based Initiatives, part of Dell Medical School’s Department of Population Health.

“Endeavors that help establish habits of healthy mindset and healthy activity are represented in the world’s wisdom traditions, and a key aspect of wisdom traditions is thatalvarado the mind is considered part of the body,” said Dr. David Ring, associate dean for comprehensive care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.

With Dell Medical School’s support, Alvarado is creating a nonprofit organization to preserve and teach traditional healing practices and integrative medicine, which can act as a bridge between western and traditional medicine.

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