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Explore (NY). 2010 Nov-Dec;6(6):371-9. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2010.08.005.

Journey into healing: the transformative experience of shamanic healing on women with temporomandibular joint disorders.

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1
Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, OR 97030, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate participants' perceptions of illness, healing process, and experience of effects from shamanic treatment as reported from in-depth interviews.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK:

Consistent with a whole systems research model, qualitative methods were used to evaluate the outcomes and experiences of clinical trial participants. Quantitative results are reported elsewhere.

METHOD:

Twenty participants completed five visits with a randomly assigned shamanic practitioner and completed pretreatment and posttreatment in-depth interviews conducted by trained, qualitative researchers.

CONTEXT:

Some physical and psychological symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) may be indicative of the shamanic definition of soul loss. Because this was the first clinical trial of shamanic healing for TMD pain, a mixed-methods approach enabled researchers to capture a wide range of participants' experiences.

PARTICIPANTS:

Eligible volunteers were women aged between 25 to 55 years, naive to shamanic healing, with a confirmed diagnosis of TMD and a pain level of three or higher on the Research Diagnostic Criteria Axis II questionnaire.

DATA COLLECTION:

For consistency, interviewers followed a guide that allowed individual experiences to emerge. Interviews lasted about one hour, were recorded, and professionally transcribed. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION: Following standard qualitative analysis procedures, researchers developed and applied thematic codes to transcribed text of interviews. Coded text was reviewed to generate summaries of thematic content.

MAIN RESULTS:

Although participants described physical changes, three times as much text was devoted to changes in self-awareness, capacity for coping, improvement in relationships, and taking better care of themselves. Their experience describes a process of transformation.

PMID:
21040886
DOI:
10.1016/j.explore.2010.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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