Although Ngangkari healers have been working and healing people successfully for tens of thousands of years, it’s only recently that Australian hospitals, prisons and health clinics are slowly engaging Ngangkari to help provide a more holistic and culturally appropriate healing space for their patients. The latest research shows that cultural inclusion and the use of Ngangkari improve health outcomes for thousands of First Nations patients in Australia each year. So why isn’t it happening more?
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Many local mobs in Central Australia and outlying desert communities rely heavily on Ngangkari for healing. I met with Troy, a Ngangkari from Santa Teresa near Alice Springs, who explained that Ngangkari are not paid for their community work. It’s their duty and is handed down by senior Ngangkari, whom they mainly relate to by bloodline.
Troy also explained no one can simply announce themselves as a Ngangkari; the special gift and way of knowing are ‘seen’ in you by Ngangkari elders and direct family members. Training begins only when you are ready to absorb the profound nature of your intuitive gift. An older Ngangkari will then take you under their wing. Troy received his ‘ngangkar’ and training from his Grandad.
Ngangkari’s ability to travel in the quantum field and use their intuition to heal others might seem like hocus-pocus to many Westerners. Traditional healers from various Indigenous cultures worldwide have used their spirits and intuition and navigated the stars and the quantum field for thousands of years. For example, Shipibo healers from the Amazon, the Onanya, work directly with energy, identifying where there are blockages. Like Ngangkari, the Onanya diagnose dense energies trapped in the system and cleanse and purify the body of these energies and sicknesses.
In stark contrast, modern medicine’s scepticism about the intrinsic relationship between someone’s spirit, mind, and body has created a reliance on prescription medication and subsequent pharmaceutical solutions. There is, it seems, a pill or lotion for everything.
Troy acknowledges modern science has its place. For example, diabetes, in its later stages, is not something they can ‘heal’ because when the kidneys are damaged, the patient requires particular medication. But they can and do work on associated issues that a renal patient might have.
From a Ngangkari-patient perspective, the placebo effect doesn’t come as a sugar pill. It comes instead from the patient’s deep belief that their spirit, embodied most powerfully by the Ngangkari, can and does cure chronic illness and extreme discomfort, and has done for many thousands of years. Medicine’s reluctance to fully embrace the Ngankari’s spiritual healing modality is undoubtedly reflected in Australia’s broader historical denial and ongoing attitude towards First Nation’s densely rich and profound cultural gifts, which it seems, is forever waiting in Australia’s wings.
Story and Videos by Tom Hearn (C) BushTV
Tom Hearn is an Australian writer, doco maker, and founder of BushTV.
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Delve deeper into this fascinating world by purchasing the Ngangkari book from the NPY Women’s Council.