Lulu Ulali Bevay was 36 years old when her standard Western doctor had prescribed her pharmaceutical medicine. Rather than filling her prescription, Lulu had turned to her traditional medical beliefs and sought relief through her Cherokee roots. In accordance with her native beliefs, removing all negative energies will consequently make her healthy. Therefore, she believed natural remedies were the answer to her ailments, leading her to go through a Cherokee purification ceremony. In comparison to Western medicine, natural remedies are a common practice among Native Americans; though with hundreds of native tribes currently residing in the United States, beliefs, customs, and overall subcultures vary in many ways.
Nevertheless, certain traditions…show more content… Adding to the conversation, academic scholar Daniel Carlock notes, “health disparities between Native Americans and the general population of the United States are a major health concern” (Carlock, Danielle). Hence, an inherent culturally based issue arises where natives are disregarding modern medicine and Western medical practices and instead turning to a traditional holistic approach. Alternative to standard science being the leading factor towards understanding illness and medicine, a cultural barrier divides indigenous peoples perception of the effectiveness of Western science in regards to traditional beliefs. This creates much difficulty for the U.S. government agency the Indian Health Service providing health care and assistance to federally recognized tribes and indigenous peoples. Commenting on Native American health discrepancies, professor James E. Cheek finds “the infectious disease rate in Native Americans populations was significantly higher than that of Whites”(Cheek, James E). This connects Native American cultural beliefs to an increase in medical disparities in relationship to following standard Western medical practices. With tradition ingrained in Native American culture, indigenous medical practices fail to focus on pathology and curing the disease, instead restoring balance between one's mind, body, and spirit is the focus of natives. Consequently, this is leading to standard Western medical practices and medicine being disregarded because Western culture in terms of medicine has been seen to impede important native spirituality beliefs. “The rates for the top ten underlying causes of death were significantly higher for Native American persons than those for whites” (Cheek, James E). This study accounts for the disparities in regards to