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Traditional Healing

We believe culture & spirituality are essential to healing.

Native American traditional healing ceremonies are interwoven with research-based practices throughout our health programs.

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Traditional Healing Practices - Culturally Competent Services

The smell of smoke from the fire and the sound of drumming and songs draw people to the Sweat Lodge as they prepare for the ceremony that provides purification and healing of the mind, body, and soul. Traditional healing practices include:

    • Sweat Lodge
    • Smudging and purification
    • Talking Circle
    • Songs and drumming
    • Red Road teachings
    • Native art and crafts
    • Storytelling
    • Cultural presentations
    • Positive Indian Parenting
    • Circle of Strength
    • Gathering of Native Americans (GONA)
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Sweat Lodge Ceremony

As with our ancestors, the Sweat Lodge is a purification ceremony. Preparations are conducted in a sacred manner by cleaning and caring for the grounds, building and tending the fire, and covering the lodge. During the ceremony, hot stones are placed in the center while the leader guides participants in prayer or song. The leader teaches about the ceremony, Native American traditions, and the uses of the hot rocks, heat, sacred herbs, and water. Representing the womb of Mother Earth, this is a sacred place to ask for healing, forgiveness, hope, vision, to give thanks, or anything else participants need during their journey of change in their lives.

Talking Circle

As in ancient circles of elders, people sit in a circle, listen deeply, and speak from the heart. The Talking Circle begins with prayer provided by the Traditional Practitioner conducting the ceremony. Participants may smudge or purify with the smoke from sacred herbs. A feather or talking stick is passed around the circle, in a sunwise direction, to each person. Holding the feather serves as an invitation and as encouragement to speak from a place of sincerity and truthfulness. The Talking Circle provides a place for healing and resolving trauma and an opportunity for each person to speak heart-truth without interruption, criticism, or judgment.

Addressing Addiction & Behavioral Health with Cultural Competence

NAC integrates medical & behavioral health with Native American healing approaches to provide an environment to heal the mind, body, and spirit. This involves navigating the delicate balance between respecting cultural diversity and incorporating evidence-based methodologies. Traditional healing practices are integrated in all our residential and outpatient addiction treatment programs and services, licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services since 1978.

  • Dedication: Over 50% of our resources focus on serving Native American communities.
  • Preservation: Safeguard ancestral knowledge, languages, and cultural heritage.
  • Heritage: Uphold traditions passed down through generations, including ceremonies, stories, dances, and more.
  • Language: Protect and promote indigenous languages, vital for cultural continuity.
  • Historical Impact: Acknowledge colonization's effect on tribal languages and communities.
  • Education: Address the historical health and housing challenges faced by Native American individuals.

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Our traditions are the foundation of our organization - explore, learn, and utilize resources available for all.

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