Conducting rites and practices aimed at treating spiritual and psychological suffering.
Religious-based treatments include casting out of demons, retrieving "wandering" souls, white magic, exorcisms of bad spells, absolution for sin and enlightenment for those in need. In more secular social contexts, psychoanalysis, support groups and encounter sessions provide for healing.
Sacred sites, cults and individuals provide spiritual healing, as do rituals and sacraments of religious and quasi-religious groups. Wholistic health and contemporary spiritualistic groups stress the utility of spiritual healing, and also the importance of a healthy vital attitude in disease prevention.
Among the Gypsies, formal religion adopted from host cultures encountered is often supplemented by faith in the supernatural, in omens, curses called amria, and healing rituals. Good luck charms, amulets, and talismans are common among Roma. They are carried to prevent misfortune or heal sickness. The female healer who prescribes these traditional cures or preventatives is called a drabarni or drabengi. Some Roma carry bread in their pockets as protection against bad luck, or bibaxt, and supernatural spirits or ghosts, called mulÃ³. Horseshoes are considered good luck by some Roma just as they are by non-Roma. Since Roma feel that illness is an unnatural condition, called prikaza, there are many supernatural ways in which they believe disease can be prevented or cured. One method of lowering a fever has been to shake a young tree. In this way the fever is transferred from the sick person's body to the tree. Another method to bring down fever has been to drink powdered portions of certain animals, dissolved in spirits, to the accompaniment of a chant. Some beliefs include carrying a mole's foot as a cure for rheumatism, and carrying a hedgehog's foot to prevent a toothache. Any number of herbs, called drab, is used for the prevention or cure of various diseases. Some of these herbs, called sastarimaskodrabarÃ³, actually have medicinal value in addition to their supernatural qualities.
A human being is an integrated whole. Insofar as illness affects the whole being, physical, psychological and spiritual cures need to be brought to bear.
Physical treatment is better understood than healing as to how it works on the sufferer.