Indigenous Healing Practices in India: Shamanism, Spirit Possession, and Healing Shrines.

Ranganathan, Shubha (2018) Indigenous Healing Practices in India: Shamanism, Spirit Possession, and Healing Shrines. In: Psychosocial Interventions for Health and Well-Being. Springer., New Delhi, pp. 109-122.

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This chapter undertakes an exhaustive review of the vast literature on indigenous healing within anthropology and psychology. Although the topic of ritual healing has been popular within anthropology, in more recent times, it has also drawn the interest of scholars in psychology and related fields. Much of the early research on indigenous healing or ritual healing focussed on the practices of healing cults and indigenous healers and shamans in non-Western contexts. These studies approached healing in terms of symbolic practices and performances. More recently, however, scholars have looked at the everyday contexts of healing, studying situations where people turn to alternative healing practices for relief from illness or distress. Accordingly, the key terms for these practices have changed, with ‘ritual healing’ and ‘indigenous healing’ giving way to ‘everyday healing’ or, often, simply healing. In tracing these changes in the study of healing, this chapter addresses the key questions about efficacy and effectiveness that are central to this field of study. While arguing for the powerful place of diverse healing practices in society, this chapter cautions against simplistic attempts to incorporate alternative healing within biomedical practices of treatment and cure.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Ranganathan, Shubha
Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Efficacy, Everyday, Healing shrines, Possession, Ritual, Indexed in Scopus
Subjects: Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2019 06:26
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 06:26
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