Curanderismo: Traditional Medicine

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Course Date: 18 August 2014 to 13 October 2014 (8 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

This online course will provide information on the history, traditions, rituals, herbs and remedies and video demonstrations of Curanderismo, a folk healing tradition of the Southwestern United States, Latin America and Mexico. The course will discuss the effectiveness of traditional medicine in order to meet the needs of many people, especially the uninsured.


Estimated Workload: 10-12 hours/week

Course Instructors

Eliseo (Cheo) Torres

Since he was a boy growing up on the border of Texas and Mexico, Eliseo Torres, known to everyone as “Cheo,” has been fascinated by the folk traditions and folkways of Mexico and of his Mexican American roots.  Both of his parents were versed in aspects of herbal lore and healing, and as he matured he learned from them a love and respect for the history and folk knowledge of the ancient art of curanderismo, or Mexican folk healing.

Now an administrator at the University of New Mexico, where he is Vice President for Student Affairs and a member of the faculty of the College of Education, Cheo regularly lectures and gives presentations on the history and lore of curanderismo to audiences ranging from scholars and students of Latin American culture to people hoping to become knowledgeable about alternative and traditional medicine, including lay people and medical professionals alike.  He has published two books on his life in and research on his subject area: Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing, and Healing with Herbs and Rituals: A Mexican Tradition, both available from the University of New Mexico Press.

Course Description

This online course will provide information on the history, traditions, rituals, herbs and remedies and video demonstrations of Curanderismo, a folk healing tradition of the Southwestern United States, Latin America and Mexico.  The course will be divided up into thematic modules such as traditional plants, body cupping, traditional massage, juice therapy, energetic cleansings, laugh therapy, shawl alignments, and the traditional Mexican sweatlodge.   The course will discuss the effectiveness of traditional medicine in order to meet the needs of many people, especially the uninsured.  The thematic modules will consist of a short video with a well-known healer followed by a short quiz. 

Format

The instructor will present a welcome video describing the course syllabus followed by a Power Point presentation on the topic of "curanderismo," traditional/folk medicine.

Each unit will consist of a video presentation by a well-known traditional healer from Mexico, Peru and the United States and will focus on a particular theme.  The hands-on demonstrations will be followed by additional readings and discussions on effectiveness of traditional and complimentary medicine which has been revived and recently gained popularity throughout the world.  There will be a translator in the videos for two or three healers from Mexico and Peru who speak Spanish.

• 30 minute Introduction of course and weekly themes
• 20 minute lecture/demonstration videos
• Short quizzes after each video
• Homework including reading of books and articles after each module

Course Workload

10-12 hours/week

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