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DiscussionHierarchy of resort3
MEDICAL PLURALISMAbove all, the participant stated that their personal evaluation of his needs dictated the healing method they would seek. He stated, “If I felt that something was seriously wrong biochemically or virally, I would then see a biomedical doctor. I need a solid justification to take pills or other biomedical medication”. Post self-management, the subject reported utilizing Indigenous healing as the second resort in the healing methods hierarchy. In fact, it is establishedfrequently during the interview that for the participant, their health sphere of inquiry is much larger than what the biomedical model offers, which is reflective of what other studies on Indigenous individuals have found (Lavallee & Poole, 2009; Hill, 2008; King et al., 2009). The participant acknowledged that Indigenous people believe that illness is beyond the borders of the physical body and the mind, thus sickness cannot be healed with a healing model with this tunnelfocus.Preventive SystemIndigenous-healing methods focus on the balance and harmony of the four dimensions of self: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical, thus health is seen as something to be maintained on a day-to-day basis to prevent imbalances (Hill, 2008, p. 23; Rice et al., 2005, p. 25; Greenwood, 2007, p. 50). Indeed, the participant reported in taking frequent Indigenous initiatives that are considered preventative measures to avoid illnesses. The interviewee reported that their daily focus was to “[be] stress-free as much as possible, and to pay attention to how you are feeling at any given time”, as they believe that stress is a great cause of sickness and imbalance. Indeed, the overall Indigenous way of life is considered to be preventive towards illness as the participant, like many Indigenous individuals, drinks cedar tea and performs the smudge ceremony frequently to manage stress before any disharmony occurs. The participant also considers informal conversations with Elder colleagues and acquaintances to be healing. 4
MEDICAL PLURALISMThus, unlike most biomedical healing methods, Indigenous healing encompasses a large and broad scope of what health and healing is. It utilizes both preventative measures and curative methods to heal in a holistic manner.The Myth of Side effectsIn essence, Indigenous medicine is considered to offer side-effect free preventative and curative care. In fact, being side-effect free is a common belief about most complementary or alternative medicines (Mahmoudi, Almasi, Lorzadeh, & Khansari, 2015, p. 1). The participant recalled an instance where against his biomedical doctor’s recommendations he sought out self-treatment and alternative medicine for a knee injury. In this scenario, he believed that alternatice chiropractic laser therapy and homecare had no side effects, unlike the knee surgery the attendingbiomedical doctor offered him. However, this belief is not considered conclusive as researchers such as Nortier & Vanherweghem (2003) found that herbal and alternative medicines may have adverse effects, some even being carcinogenic (p. 1686). According to their study, the prevalence