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Sorano: The Indigenous Psychotherapist

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In the Philippines, there is a medical practice that rooted from ancestral medical customs that could be traced back to as early as the time of the first Filipinos. It has endured time, industrialization, and even discrimination, and remains a medical practice still existent and patronized nowadays despite the emphasis on and wider acceptance of modern and scientific medicine. Filipinos call the practitioners of this medical practice albularyo, manghihilot and in Iloilo, which is the focus of this study, sorano. These medical practitioners exercise different treatment procedures and make use of a variety of indigenous materials to heal patients. Soranos often make use of the plants and other native ingredients around them to formulate medicine which they use in their rituals when healing or to make charms that are believed to ward off undesirable entities.

A usual and well-known example is the pagluluy-a which is characterized by a piece of luy-a (ginger) pressed flat or crushed, which the sorano presses on the ailing part of the patient’s body. It could also be used in paghuyup wherein the sorano presses the flatten luy-a on the patient’s forehead and blows warm air at it. Some soranos even prescribe these home-formulated medicines and homemade charms or carmen to their patients. But they also prescribe medicine sold in the pharmacy like a professional physician. They also have their own “clinic”, where people could see them for consultations, or to have themselves checked up or cured of a malady. They could also have a line of supporters who assist them when they perform rituals and surgeries and help keep the “center” in order.

In Iloilo, most soranos are found in the rural communities. Faith healers in the city are rare that city folks know almost nothing about them and their methods of treatment. Soranos are widely known around their barrios and their healing capabilities are spread through words of mouth. People from outside their municipalities and even from outside Iloilo come to them to be healed despite the trouble of travelling far distances.

Soranos cure all sorts of diseases and illnesses, ranging from common colds to different kinds of cancer. Some of them also perform dental surgeries. At the whole sense of the medical profession, they are doctors. But aside from healing diseases through herbal medicine, sacred rituals, spiritual practices and hilot, soranos also act as indigenous psychotherapists.

They are indigenous in the sense that their practice was developed and practiced in the environment where it originated. The major difference of soranos from the doctors who practice mainstream or Western medicine is they embrace the spiritual, even mythological, approach of looking at human maladies, which the medical professionals chose to deviate from. This characteristic of the soranos, can be traced back to its origins which rooted from the Filipino babaylan (Wikipedia, 1999).

During the Pre-Hispanic periods, an alburyo or sorano is known as the Babaylan (Wikipidea, 1999). The Babaylan is the spiritual leader of Filipino communities who acts as the healer, shaman and miracle worker of the community they lead. According to Leny Strobel (2010), the babaylan in Filipino indigenous tradition is a person gifted with the ability to heal the spirit and the body. They serve the community through acting as the resident folk therapist, wisdom-keeper and philosopher who keeps the community’s social structure stable. The practices of both are designed based on the needs of the natives, hence, are indigenous. They are psychotherapists too, in the sense that the babaylans, the soranos’ and albularyos’ origins and from whom they inherited their treatment practices, also functioned as psychotherapists. The babaylans have access to the spirit realm and can tap on other states of consciousness. They can walk in and out of these worlds easily, an ability relevant in their healing therapies (Strobel, 2010).

Babaylans give their patients a lot of counselling and they regard their patients as spirits or souls and not merely a composition of cells. This is a similarity the babaylans share with the present-day soranos and albulryos in general. In an interview by the Manila Standard, Dr. Marie Therese Burgos, the chair of the non-government Medical Action Group (MAG), stated that the babaylans’ approach “can be traced back to their multi-dimensional understanding or perception of the human being.” (1996).This explains why the Babaylans can cure ailments related to kulam (witchcraft), usog, bati, naligaw na kaluluwa (wayward soul) among others. These illnesses that are spiritual in nature are illnesses soranos and albularyos today also attend to. According to Enriquez (1994), the babaylan or also known as katalonan were the first psychotherapists in the Philippines. They administered the harmonious relationship between ginhawa and kaluluwa.

When the Spaniards came to the country and converted Filipinos to Christianity, the babaylans were suppressed and were forced to find a way to preserve itself. The struggling Filipino pagan religion soon gave rise to the albularyo or native healers. The albularyo exchanged native pagan prayers and spells used in healing rituals with Catholic oraciones and Christian prayers (Wikipedia, 1999). This way, the albularyo combined the ancient mode of healing with the new religion. The albularyo often lacks in formal education and his or her skills are based on hand-me-down practices and lore that are honed by an older family member who has experience in healing or a local healer (Philippine Alternative Medicine, n.d.). Some undergo a period of mysterious state where they usually lose consciousness and their healing capabilities appear when they woke up. Albularyos usually attribute their healing capabilities to a greater being.

As time progressed, Filipinos recognized the treatment practices of albularyos and the albularyo became a prominent health-care provider in the Philippines. However, with the rise of modern medicine, and with urbanization giving the masses greater access to modern and scientific medical treatments, the role of the albularyos as healers was overshadowed. Today, the albularyo is still present and actively practicing, especially in areas where medical treatments are deemed expensive and inaccessible. They are called different names in different provinces. In Iloilo, they are called soranos. Objectives

The researchers are interested on the role of the sorano, not just as a healer of diseases, but also in their role as the resident psychotherapists of their communities. Hence, the study seeks to explore the role of the sorano as an indigenous psychotherapist. The researchers want a) to explore how soranos become soranos; b) to know how the sorano is seen as a therapist by him/ herself and his/ her patients; c) to identify the conditions that are being treated by the sorano and how they treat these conditions; and d) to identify the perceived effects of a sorano on his patients. Definition of Terms

Sorano. A sorano is a person who could either be a male or female who has been practicing sinuruwano for at least 10 years.
Sinuruwano. It is an Ilonggo medical practice wherein the practitioner uses a mixture of a variety of indigenous treatment processes and medicinal plants, and connections to the creatures in realms not accessible to average people, to rid patients of their physical, mental and spiritual problems. Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is primarily directed to the benefits of the sorano. First, by knowing detailed facts about soranos, it will give the society a clearer picture of the soranos in the Philippines. Through this, the society may be able to understand why are there still soranos practicing in the Philippines despite the advanced medical treatments offered. Furthermore, it will clarify and lessen the misconceptions about the soranos and their methods.

Secondly, this study will also benefit the patients of the soranos. The results may help patients understand the medical conditions usually treated by the sorano and the treatments the soranos carry out. This may serve as an assurance of the safeness of the methodology of the soranos.

Lastly, the results of this study can serve as reference to future researchers who are interested in studying soranos. Furthermore, the results may contribute to the growing body of knowledge of Filipino Psychology. Scopes and Limitations

The researchers will only study selected soranos in the Province of Iloilo particularly in the municipalities of Molo, Mandurriao and Miag-ao. They can be either a male or female sorano with at least 10 years of experience. These qualifications were set by the researchers primarily because soranos, who have been practicing for at least 10 years, can be now considered “experts” in this field – experts, in the sense that they have already developed mastery in diagnosis of conditions and identification of proper treatment.

On the other hand, the patients, who will be interviewed, must have experienced soranos’ medication personally. They are either from a rural or an urban place. They must be 18 years old or above. They should also be psychologically stable. These conditions were considered so that the researchers could yield meaningful and substantial information from them. Methodology

Research Design

In this study, we employed qualitative research design. Through our research tools, we aimed to yield verbal descriptions and explanations regarding soranos as psychotherapist.

The participants of our study were soranos and their patients. The soranos, can either be a male or a female, must have been practicing sorano medicine for at least 10 years. The patients, on the other hand, must have personally experienced being treated by a sorano. He or she must be at least 18 years old and psychologically stable. Both the soranos and their patients must be residents of Iloilo. Sampling

We used convenience sampling and snowball sampling for soranos and the patients respectively. In obtaining the patients, we asked the soranos if it is possible to refer some of his or her patients. Research Instruments

For our data gathering, we used interviews for soranos and focus group discussions for the patients. Also, we used guides in the above mentioned research tools.
There were 27 questions reflected in our interview guide. These questions represent the objectives of our study. The following are our sample questions for the interview:

•Paano ikaw naging Sorano (How did you become a sorano?)
•Ano ang imo mga pangabudlay nga naagyan sa pagka-sorano? (What are the difficulties you experience as a Sorano?) •Nagaresita kaw kang mga bulong? (Do you prescribe medicines to your patients?) •Kaagi ikaw eksperyensya tubang sa pasyente nga gin sapian demonyo? (Have you experienced dealing with evil-spirit possessed patients?) On the other hand, the FGD guide consisted of 10 main questions. These were designed to answer our specific objectives. Questions 1, 2, and 3 represented the patients’ perceptions on the sorano; 4, 5, and 6 represented the conditions the soranos treat; 7, 8, 9 and 10 represented the perceived effects of the soranos to his or her patients.

The following were selected questions from our FGD guide:
•Ano nga mga kondisyon ukon sakit ang kalabanan mo nga ginapakonsulta sa sorano? (What conditions do you usually consult with the sorano?) •Ano mahambal mo parti sa pamaagi /proseso kang sorano? (What can you say about the procedures of the sorano?) •Ano ang epekto kang pagbulong kanimo kang sorano (What are effects of the treatment of the sorano on you?) Procedure

Preliminary Procedure
We sent letters to soranos asking for permission regarding the study. Moreover, we also gave out letters of permission to the barangays where the soranos reside. We obtained our FGD participants, on the other hand, through referral by the sorano or our tulay. Our questions for the interview and FGD guide were originally in English. These were translated into Kinaray-a and Hiligaynon, local dialects used by the participants for effective communication between the participants and us, the researchers. In order to check for the accuracy of our translations, we had non-researchers Kinaray-a and Hiligaynon speakers translated the questions back to English. Next, we did a mock FGD and interview session among ourselves. This served as our pre-testing of the questions as well as our practice. After which, we revised and finalized questions used in the said research tools.

Study Proper
We interviewed three soranos from Miagao, Molo, and Mandurriao, Iloilo. On the other hand, we obtained our participants for our focus group discussion (FGD) from Igbaras, Miagao, and Molo, Iloilo. The duration of our data gathering lasted from September 9 up to September 19, 2012. These dates were chosen by our participants based on his or her convenience.

We conducted the interview with the sorano first before the FGD sessions of the patients. This is because of the above mentioned sampling method.
First, we gave out informed consents to the soranos. This is to ensure confidentiality and anonymity of the participants.
During the interview proper, one of us acted as the interviewer but we all interacted with the sorano. By our participants’ permissions, we were able to record all our interview processes.

The flow of the interview is reflected on the interview guide.
The interview process lasted one to two hours. After which, the soranos were given tokens for participating in the study.
After the interview process, the researchers asked the soranos to refer some of his or her patients in the barangay. The researchers gathered 6 to12 patients of each of the sorano to form a FGD group. The FGD process was done in the place wherein the participants are most comfortable with.

During the discussion, one of us acted as the facilitator. The others were the co-facilitator, content documenter, process documenter, and note taker respectively. Before the FGD starts, we, as well, issued informed consents to the participants.

The flow of our discussion is reflected on our FGD guide.
The process lasted for about thirty minutes to an hour. After that, we gave out snacks for our respondents as tokens for participating in the study. Ethical Considerations

We strictly observed anonymity and confidentiality among our participants. We ensured that we have issued informed consents and politely asked permission regarding the recording of their respective interviews. Data Analysis

We analyzed our data through thematic analysis. We have based our themes on our study’s objectives namely the views and perception of the soranos’ and patients’ towards sorano as a therapist, methods of treatments, conditions of patients, and the perceived effects. Results and Discussion

There are four aspects to sorasnos’ role as indigenous psychotherapists: how they became soranos; how they are seen as therapists by themselves and by their patients; what are the conditions they usually treat and how they treat it; and their perceived effects on their patients. How do soranos become soranos?

For soranos, the process towards becoming a full-blown sorano begins at birth, continues throughout the lifespan and ends at death, a period in which the tag lugar have chosen the next person to take on the responsibility left by the previous sorano.

Soranos perceive that the ability to heal is genetic. They believe that being a sorano flows in their family’s blood and is heritable. More than one person per generation could inherit the ability to heal, but only one can pursue being a full fledged sorano. The particular person to succeed the previous elder sorano in the family is unknown to anyone in the family but to the elders who have the ability to heal and connect to the tag lugar. The tag lugar are good beings unseen to average people that help soranos with their diagnostics, treatments and medicinal recommendations. Soranos turn to them for guidance and follow their orders with the belief that it is for the good of human beings and the sorano him or herself. The tag lugar also chooses who the next sorano in the family line would be and the elder soranos act upon this selection through making the selected one undergo processes that would confirm whether he or she is really capable of handling the responsibilities of being a sorano.

This process could be either through actually trying to heal someone with the guidance of the elder sorano he or she will succeed, or through a ritual called Batakan-dungan. If the selected person successfully heals his or her first patient, the choice is confirmed and he or she advances to the next step towards becoming a full sorano. Batakan-dungan on the other hand is a ritual where the candidate gives the tag lugar an offering in the form of food. A total of 35 dishes, five groups of seven dishes made from five different main ingredients are given (e.g. seven dishes made with chicken, seven dishes made with shrimp). The elder who conducts the ritual will be the guardian and protector of the one who is binatakan-dungan or the successor sorano. Once the ritual is through, the successor will be acknowledged and welcomed in the world of soranos. Soranos also believe that as much as the ability to heal is heritable, it is also a gift from God.

After the process of confirming the choice of the tag lugar, the elder soranos who are to be succeeded host another ritual called Paghalad or the ritual of thanksgiving for the ability received and a show of respect to the tag lugar who chose the successor to be the next in their family’s line of soranos.

The “gift” is not all one needs to be a sorano though. The sorano is required to embrace the reality of his ability and harness this ability through practice. Soranos heal for two reasons: public service and maintenance of their ability to heal. The sorano should serve his or her people wholeheartedly just like how the previous soranos in their families did. They should also utilize the gift given to them because if they don’t, their ability to heal will be taken back by the tag lugar who blessed them with it.

Soranos believe that their ability is genetic. When in reality, it seems that what is heritable is not the gene of being able to heal, but the privilege to heal. All of the interviewed soranos came from a long line of soranos who have been serving the same place for a long time. They were also born and raised in the same place their ancestors were from. They grew up watching their elders heal and practice sinuruwano and when their elders died, they took their place as the resident sorano of their respective communities.

Hence, pagkasorano is like a family heirloom that is passed from one generation to the next. It is their family’s way of “owning” the privilege
to heal in their respective communities. And passing this privilege to the next generation after generation is their way of maintaining strong hold on this privilege.

The confirmation of the tag lugar’s choice is also a way of ensuring that the elders themselves made the right choice. It is their way of confirming confidence on their decision and securing that their family will survive another generation of being the resident healers in their community. The ritual Binatakan-dungan is a way of securing this privilege further. The ritual is comparable to baptism; the one to be succeeded is equivalent to a godfather and the one to succeed him is the godchild. This is a way to guide the successor towards effective sinuruwano, all the while protecting him or her especially on his or her first years of being a sorano to ensure that the successor will carry on effectively and efficiently. This increases the possibility that the successor will become a fully developed sorano who will be able to live out what his or her successors did during their time.

Soranos, it seems, believe in the Law of Use and Disuse which states that if a particular ability is unused, it will deteriorate and disappear. The tendency of soranos then is to utilize their ability in order to keep it and the perfect way of doing so is through practicing as full-time soranos. How is a sorano seen as an indigenous therapist by him/ herself?

Soranos carry themselves with great humility and kindness, all the while treating their practice with utmost respect despite the discriminations they face. They see themselves, not as soranos who are really good in their practice. Rather, they see themselves as soranos whose effectiveness resulted from their long practice and experience.

For them, their practice is pure public service. Hence, they believe they shall not ask anything in return whenever they heal patients. Genuine gratitude and recommendation of their name are enough payment for their service. But if willingly given or forced on them by their patients, they are happy to receive donations which they use for social interest purposes such as giving out scholarships and helping poorer families. They are proud of their practice and proud of being able to help other people. How is a sorano seen as an indigenous therapist by His/ Her patients?

People who have experienced consulting to a sorano see soranos as doctors to whom they go only for second opinion. They will still prefer to seek help from a medical doctor first before consulting a sorano. They feel they have more confidence on medical doctors than on soranos because they are not sure if soranos can really heal illnesses or at least provide concrete explanations to their health maladies. They also think they should go to soranos only to confirm the findings of the medical doctor they sought first. And even if they seek out second opinion from soranos, they will still follow what was told by the doctor even if it goes against what was told by the sorano.

Added to that, they go to a sorano if they don’t have anyone else to turn to or when everything else failed. They won’t go to the sorano unless recommended by someone they personally know, a friend or a relative who have experienced consulting to a particular sorano. They also have poor ideas of what soranos are and most of their background on soranos is from stories they heard from older relatives who have cured them successfully. What are the common conditions or ailments consulted to the sorano and the methods they usually use to deal with them? Most soranos start their treatment by first acknowledging the presence and assistance of God in their practice. Originally, soranos came from the babaylans. With the arrival of the Spaniards who promoted Christianity, these babaylans were considered to be pagan and were cast out from society. In order to continue their practice without being prohibited, they incorporated the Catholic prayers into their own prayers to be consistent with the established religion and for people to continue their patronage (Wikipedia, 1999).

There are three kinds of conditions and treatments usually consulted to and used by soranos: physical, psychological and spiritual problems. The usual physical problems soranos heal are stomach pain, headaches, psoriasis or skin eruptions, fevers and colds, infertility, enlargement of any part of the body and cancer. Soranos use lana or a kind of oil made from coconut, which could heal almost any kind of illness. They apply and spread it on the ill part of the body (e.g to the stomach when they deal with stomach pain). It could be used along with luy-a (ginger) and is also a common remedy for any kind of body pain. Before applying the luy-a, it is first heated by placing it near a live coal. After heating, luy-a is compressed until it is flat. Luy-a is then placed on the aching body part, say, stomach, while the sorano blows air on the opposite side of the luy-a. Luy-a can also cure fever and colds. One sorano admitted that he creates his own medicine and prescribe it to his patients. His medicines are made purely from herbal components but the ingredients are strictly kept secret since anyone could copy the medicine and use it for wrong purposes which he believes are not good for the body.

He makes medicines for all sorts of illnesses. He also makes medicines that could cut weight and minimize pimples. When dealing with infertility, soranos usually simply gives the couple a seminar or advice. One sorano sometimes recommend his capsules which he believes could make the couple fertile. Soranos are very used to dealing with enlarged body parts which they call pasuk. These swelling body parts are often caused by foreign objects stuck inside the human body such as stones, nails, candles, and other objects that are not of the body. The sorano removes the swelling through smearing lana over the swollen part and applying buyo leaves on the affected part. Following this procedure, comes the extraction of these foreign items from the body. People with cancer who have been considered hopeless cases by medical doctors come to soranos for help. The sorano provides medicines to provide temporary relief to ease the suffering of the cancer patient. One sorano gives medicines he personally made that could eliminate bad toxins that could probably be the cause of the cancer, out of the patient’s body.

Another sorano on the other hand, tells her patients suffering with cancer to continue praying for their health and trust God to save them from their ailment. Soranos also deal with psychological problems and emotional issues. The most common of these are polygamy and another one which one sorano calls mental blindness. Polygamy is one of the most common cases soranos deal with. They often find themselves talking to patients, who are usually women, who have been cheated on by their husbands or boyfriends. The patients often ask the soranos to help them bring their partners back. One of the soranos we have interviewed reads situations like cheating in marriage or the likes over the cards. She deals with the problem through asking the woman for her husband’s picture. She then performs rituals to get the two together again. She claims that this method is almost always effective. The other problem is called by one sorano mental blindness. According to him, people who are on the verge of losing their minds are having mental blindness or nagabuang-buang.

However, he is not able to give any advice on dealing with mental blindness because he believes this is a psychological problem caused primarily by imbalances in the body such as being too much stressed. In dealing with patients with psychological problems, soranos are very particular with ethical considerations. They value confidentiality and anonymity. They also ask their patients’ history before applying or performing a treatment or prescribing a medicine. They are also familiar with spiritual problems such as possessions of evil spirits and halit.. To ward of evil spirits that have corrupted a living’s body, soranos use healing- a term which here means, praying over the patient to calm his or her mind. The sorano immediately performs healing to calm a raging patient down. They regard this as a difficult case especially when the cause of the person’s pagkabuang-buang is not through evil spirits but through drugs. Other times, the sorano will resort to giving the patient medicines. Halit on the other hand, is a torment caused by tag lugar which are often just taking revenge on the patient for pestering them. This is treated either by medicine or healing (praying over). What are the perceived effects of soranos on their patients?

The perceived effects of soranos on their patients involve the feelings of the patients both during and after the treatment, the effects of soranos on them and the soranos’ influences. There are various reactions from the participants regarding the methods of the sorano. Their perceptions were conflicting. Some patients who consulted to soranos feel that their pains were eased. Some didn’t feel any changes. Those who sought the soranos for second opinion felt confused as to who among the sorano and the medical doctor, whom they sought first, actually cured them.

Consulting the sorano for Filipinos, is one way of dealing with various health problems, whether one believes in a sorano or not. Some were devotees of soranos while others are just in it for a try or for alternatives.

So why are the Filipinos views on sinuruwano divided? Why are their believers and non-believers?
Belief on soranos could be explained by the workings of the placebo effect. A placebo effect is a phenomenon wherein the patient believes that a particular medicine is effective when it is in fact not. Therefore, its effectiveness is not because of its internal medical properties but because of the belief the person holds that the medicine can cure him or her. The person then acts in a way as if he or she is cured when in fact the medicine has done nothing to improve his or her medical malady. Usually, people who seek the help of soranos do so because it has been recommended by a friend or relative, or anyone the patient knows personally, hence, a reliable source. Because the sorano is recommended by someone who the patient highly trusts and believes, the patient then tends to trust the sorano as well and believe that the sorano can cure him or her. Added to this, if the patient does not have enough knowledge on modern medical procedures, there is little tendency that the patient will question the effectiveness of a sorano being recommended to him or her.

If the patient is successfully healed from his or her illness, the belief becomes paired with reinforcement; hence, the behavior of seeking a sorano when ill becomes strengthened. There is a high possibility that the patient would again seek the help of a sorano when sick and a tendency that they would recommend the expertise of soranos to other people.

On the other hand, the people who just came to the sorano for alternatives, didn’t attribute them being cured from the soranos’ treatment, but from the doctor. It is because they are educated and have been more exposed to the modern medicine. Their mindset is that what is medical is better. Furthermore, they are aware that the doctors are the experts in the field of medicine and would therefore believe what doctors say more than what soranos will tell them. Doubt towards soranos therefore develops and the possibility that they will again seek the help of a sorano is small. And they are least likely to recommend soranos to other people. Some, who have a background on psychology, know that soranos’ effectiveness depend on the patients’ perceptions. As they say, it is all in the mind. But then again, they go to the sorano for ailments science cannot explain. Conclusions and Recommendations

Soranos are practitioners of sinuruwano which is an Ilonggo medical practice wherein the practitioner uses a mixture of a variety of indigenous treatment processes and medicinal plants, and connections to the creatures in realms not accessible to average people, to rid patients of their physical, mental and spiritual problems.

They come from a long line of soranos themselves and are chosen by the tag lugar to succeed the elder soranos in their families and maintain the privilege to be the resident healers in their respective communities. They undergo a series of rituals before becoming full-fledged soranos such as batakan-dungan and paghalad that will confirm whether he or she can carry the responsibility of being a sorano and bring them closer to the tag lugar who chose them. They practice sinuruwano to serve their people wholeheartedly and maintain their ability to heal which if unused will be taken back by the tag lugar.

Soranos see themselves as humble practitioners of a practice they inherited from their ancestors. They believe they should serve without asking any in return but if their patients insist on giving money in form of donation, they accept it gladly and give it to those who need it more. They are glad that people still patronize their service despite the availability of modern and scientific medicine and proud that some people recommend them to others.

However, most of their patients see them as providers of second opinion only. Patients believe that if their help should only be sought if there is a need for a confirmation for the findings of the medical doctors they first sought, or when there is nowhere else to go, especially when the illness is considered medically hopeless or unexplainable.

Soranos cure three different kinds of conditions and exercise a variety of treatments. They deal with physical, psychological and spiritual problems. Some of these problems are swelling of different body parts, different kinds of pain, pagkabuang-buang and halit. They cure these health problems with treatments such as lana and luy-a. Some soranos make their own medicines and prescribe these to their patients. In dealing with psychological problems, they value ethical considerations and their patients’ history.

Their patients have divided views on soranos. Some agree to their methods and deem them effective while some think otherwise. Those who believe could be under the influence of the placebo effect, merged with reinforcement and poor exposure to modern and scientific medicine. Those who don’t tend to value the opinion of doctors who are the experts on the field of medicine and undermine the opinions of soranos.

Soranos deal with psychological and mental problems but they are very rare and thus are not part of the usual activities of soranos. They are also very secretive with their methods of treatment of psychological disorders because they are cautious of people who can use their treatment methods and medicines for the wrong purposes; or worse, could use it against them. But they do encounter patients with psychological problems whom they deal with counselling, seminar and sessions where they give them advice. They value the anonymity of their patients and check their history before acting upon their patients’ problems which is also practiced by professional psychotherapists.

For the best interest of possible further research on the topic, we recommend the increase in the number of soranos to be studied. The larger the number of soranos, the more representative the sample would be. We also recommend deeper and more discrete probing into the practice of soranos. More importantly, we recommend probing into the definition of sorano and sinuruwano which in this study was limited.


Albularyo, Wikipedia (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albularyo Enriquez, V.G. (1994).
Pagbabangong-dangal: Indigenous psychology and cultural empowerment. Akademya ng Kultura at Sikolohiyang Pilipino, Quezon City Luop, Philippine Alternative Medicine (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2012 from http://www.stuartxchange.com/Luop.html Modern doctors recognize healing powers of babaylans (1996, March 3). Manila Standard Today. Retrieved August 14, 2012 from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1370&dat=19960303&id=i58VAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1goEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2761,594766 Strobel, L.M. (2010). Babaylan: Filipinos and the call of the indigenous. Ateneo de Davao, University Research and Publication Office Tapal, Philippine Alternative Medicine (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2012 from http://www.stuartxchange.com/Tapal.html Tawas, Philippine Alternative Medicine (n.d.).Retrieved August 13, 2012 from http://www.stuartxchange.com/Tawas.html

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