Seven Healing Points

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Seven Healing Points

from Perry Robinson

The Lifeway Ceremony teaches about the seven healing points of the body. In a physiological sense, these are located at the joints that allow for movement of major parts and associated functions of the body.Starting with the feet, there are the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and neck. These are places on an individual subject to pain but are also important for healing and critical to motion. Just as a person may twist the wrong way or not walk on a “straight path,” the pain felt in a particular spot may indicate that one is not acting in an appropriate fashion. Perry Robinson believes, “If this happens, you are not living a straight life, doing things correctly, or you are not in tune with your life. Your joints will tell you by hurting in different places. If you are able to undo this wrong, the pain will go away. These seven places talk to you and tell you where you have made a mistake.”

We have all twisted an ankle, lifted something too heavy, or turned too quickly and hurt our back or hips, but these joints also bother us if we do something or go somewhere we should not.For instance, your ankles are about the direction that you are going and how you have acted in a situation; knees indicate the type of opposition or problems one may face. They also determine how much work a person can do; one must be the right height and weight to avoid injury. UNHS is able to assist with a health plan that provides a balanced diet and exercise. Of all of the joints in the body, knees are the first to make a person aware of an issue that exists, communicating on behalf of the rest of the body. The hips are where earth and heaven meet, joining the legs that travel with the torso that connects all of the main organs and the more spiritual parts of the body.Hands and wrists bring close the important things of life. They may hold a baby, hug a child, embrace one’s spouse, and greet friends. They are well-named as “the tools that bring the good things in.”Elbows establish boundaries.The fingers are the boundaries for “outside” things that should not get too close, but elbows are bent and arms shortened as loved ones draw closer, even to the shoulder in a hug.The shoulders also support the head so that one can see into the distance. Between the shoulders and the nose and mouth there exists a theoretical triangle where medicine and prayers are placed to heal.

All of these important locations on a body lead towards the head and neck, where individual spirituality is located. The neck connects a person to the heavens and is the most holy part of a person. The spine that passes from the tailbone (coccyx) through the neck and to the head is a place of meditative thought, an extremely important healing point and vital part of life. One reason for this is that the top of the head has an invisible plume that connects an individual to the heavens and the holy people. Each person has one that is unique and just as distinct as the whorls on one’s feet or hands. This is where the holy wind enters and leaves the body and also where first sunlight touches the head, spreads down to the neck and then the spinal cord.This heat is necessary for life, just as when a newborn’s head is laid by a fire, allowing the warmth to become part of the mind and body. The bone in the top of a baby’s skull is left open for a while, creating the place for the holy people to enter to prepare the baby for the future. Where the hair swirls on a head stands an invisible plume, representing one’s sacredness. The gods recognize a person by this feather; by putting corn pollen in this place one indicates “I am your child.”Every time someone prays, they are identifying themselves and letting the holy ones know they are being contacted through prayer, almost like an antenna sending and receiving messages.

Healing is a complex activity that depends upon many different parts of the body to be effective. Each element of this system has a physical and spiritual function that is necessary for the furtherance of life.Navajo traditional teachings identify how each part works and the role each plays in curing.All are necessary for a long and happy life.

I am Perry Robinson my clans is Edge Water born for Nakaii’dine. I am from Pinon Arizona born and raised there. I finished high school at Intermountain H.S. in Brigham City Utah in 1974 went to school in Utah State University for a year. I got inducted into military. I was in Marines for 4 years. Worked in construction, as a Boilermaker and iron worker for some years. I slowly worked my way back into schools to get licensed in counseling grandfathered in and a license to do traditional counseling- ceremony. I worked for Navajo Nation behavioral health for 25 years as a traditional practitioner. Retired last year. Started working with UNHS. Now as traditional consultant- practitioner.

Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth