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A Navajo Surgeon & the Power of Ceremony, Prayer, Song & Guided Imagery…

30 Oct

Lori Alviso Alvord MD, the first Navajo woman to be board certified in surgery, according to a recent article in the East Valley Tribune, is Chief of Surgery at Banner Health Page Hospital in Page, Arizona, and associate faculty at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

She speaks about the importance of ceremony, which she frames as an elaborate form of mind-body medicine, that works at many levels and coheres mind, body and spirit. She says that ceremony mainly heals the mind, which then helps to heal the body. Critical elements in ceremony are chanting, prayer, song, dance and guided imagery.

And also critical element in her thinking and culture is that ceremony doesn't just heal individuals, but also heals the community and the planet, because it emphasizes interconnectivity of all things, and we can't heal in a vacuum.

Hats off to Dr. Alviso Alvord! You can learn more about her in the East Valley Tribune.

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.