A doctor for disease, a shaman for the soul

New York Times, September 21, 2009
At Mercy Medical Center in Merced, CA, where roughly four patients a day are Hmong from northern Laos, healing includes more than IV drips, syringes, and blood glucose monitors. Because many Hmong rely on their spiritual beliefs to get them through illnesses, the hospital's new Hmong shaman policy, the country's first, formally recognizes the cultural role of traditional healers, inviting them to perform nine approved ceremonies in the hospital, including "soul calling" and chanting in a soft voice.

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