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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 89-95

Healers and healing practices of mental illness in India: The role of proposed eclectic healing model


1 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha, India
2 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha; Department of Social Work, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Chittaranjan Subudhi
Department of Social Work, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur - 610 005, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jhrr.jhrr_64_17

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Much of the debate on mental illness has centered on cultural difference as a way of dealing with the health-care practices. The varieties of health-care practices induce medical pluralism. In India, this medical pluralism can be observed through the assortments of healers and healing practices. The cultural determinism of any health-care practice comprises traditional or indigenous and modern health-care practices which are embedded in the health culture of country's healing system. This medical pluralism not only provides different forms of healing practices but also addresses different ways of perceiving, explaining, and managing the illness. Nevertheless, consultation with a particular healer is governed by a set of sociocultural beliefs, background of the patients along with the family members which has also been followed through the accessibility and availability of such healers. By exploring the dominance of different types of healers and their healing practices toward mental illness from the preexisting research in India, the present paper tries to show how health-care system in mental illness also represents the kaleidoscope of medical pluralism. Furthermore, the authors have proposed a new model the “eclectic healing model” of mental illness.


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