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Tulane University

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


As globalization persists and varying cultures come into increasing contact with each other, people are becoming more exposed to a multitude of approaches to wellness. With the opportunity to examine wellness from multiple perspectives, people have the chance to blend aspects of different systems. Each paradigm of wellness posses it’s own virtues and failures, but is incomplete on its own, and thus a more holistic and integrative approach is in order. In this process, the notions of “holism” and of “wellness” demand to be contemplated and reconsidered, and ultimately united to establish a goal for healthy living. Once this is done, there is potential for harmonious and mutually beneficial relationships to exist between diverse wellness systems that may lead to closer attainment of a true state of holistic wellness. This project is a personal exploration of holistic wellness through the consideration of three different lenses, or paradigms of healing. I will be incorporating my own progressive journey and discovery with an examination of how Western medicine, traditional African healing, and herbalism relate a personalized understanding of holistic wellness. I will be utilizing extensive primary data obtained in South Africa as well as primary information obtained in the United States. Data will be collected through personal communications, informal conversations, and in depth interviews, as well as observation. In addition, I will crystallize information with literature to support and fill in gaps in my findings, and to add perspective. The weaving in of my personal perspective will establish a sense of relevance of my research both in my own life and in a greater context of wellness. By blending first-hand data, academic literature, and personal reality I aim to deeply examine holistic wellness and the three lenses of wellness in order to consider how they may interact in integration towards holistic wellness.


Alternative and Complementary Medicine



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