Traditional Medicines and Therapies
There are two areas of traditional medicines and therapies that we focus upon in order to create an awareness for health care professionals and the public: Traditional Chinese Medicine and traditional Aboriginal Medicine. The goal of the first is to work with practitioners and universities in China to develop our expertise in traditional Chinese knowledge and to promote the development of traditional Chinese medicines in Canada. In traditional Aboriginal medicines, our goal is to tap the knowledge of traditional aboriginal healers to understand the processes of early medicine in Canada.
Health, Healing and Oral Tradition
The goal of this program area, also referred to as traditional or indigenous knowledge studies, is to work with healers and other knowledgeable people in documenting and supporting oral traditions that are in danger of being lost.
The Dynamics of Disease, Health and Healing
In this area, researchers study the interaction between environmental, biological, sociocultural, psychological, and spiritual factors of disease, health and healing. The studies are conducted at the individual, institutional, and community level, and often involve a range of methodologies, including ethnographic analysis, historical or literary analysis, experiential analysis, and experimental intervention.
Multicultural Health and Health Care Pluralism
This program area studies the effectiveness of various programs designed to help health care providers become more aware of the needs of patients from different backgrounds so that health practitioners can provide more culturally appropriate health care. The Centre also studies the effectiveness of collaborative efforts among practitioners of different healing traditions, such as biomedicine and First Nations medicine, or biomedicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
Integrated Health Initiatives
There are many alternative health traditions around the world and many of them are espoused by Albertans. One of the most pertinent is traditional Chinese medicines. In Canada, significant medical knowledge was preserved by Indigenous medical healers and medicine people. The Centre is working to incorporate these alternative modalities into teaching for the next generation of physicians.
The Centre for Health and Culture sponsors a monthly lecture series with Le Soleil Health and Wellness held at Roots on Whyte in Old Strathcona: The Town and Gown Series featuring New Modalities of Healing and Community Awareness Initiative-Monthly Lectures on Alternative health modalities.
Institute for Integrative Health
The Institute for Integrative Health is a new structure at the university that recognizes the role of traditional medicines and health. Directors at the Institute are Dr. Earle Waugh, Dr. Steven Aung, Dr. Sunita Vohra, Prof. Hsing Jou, and Dr. Karin Olson.