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Carleton College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Health Care Systems


Far from the hospital room and its doctor, the medicine and philosophies of Lakazy and its Ombiasa pertain to a domain largely untouched by western logic and science. Their practices appear to be effective and unique enough to have survived the advent of compelling new theological and scientific belief systems and the vastly different perspectives on community health and stability which these systems have brought to Madagascar. The prime examples of these new arrivals are Christianity and modern medicine, respectively. Within and without their sacred space, the mission of the true Ombiasa is to support their community and for this work they rely neither on physiological tests nor on pre-established pharmaceuticals. To this date, no scientific and objective evidence can substantiate the practices of spiritual or psychic healers enough to grant them the credibility of modern medicine. This is due to the fact that tools capable of measuring the mechanisms at hand are still inexistent and no laws and formulas are in place to explain such phenomena and consistently reproduce the same results. The lack of investigation in the field has delayed the development of the nools and approaches necessary to evalute the phenomena. Yet evidence there is – having solely remained outside of technological and theological reach. Formula or law there is yet is has been overlooked : the mechanism underlying the phenomena is directly affected by human intention and this aspect of reality – the maliability of external reality and the influence which consciousness bears on it – is only beginning to find scientific acknowledgement. Due to the fact that psychic or spiritual healing is not yet understood with the certainty of chemical or cirgical intervention, it lacks credibility among the majority of the scientific and medical community. Despite this, the field of noetic sciences is beginning to achieve certainty in these domains. The Double-Slit Experiment has revealed that the conscious observation of a possible phenomenon collapses the phenomena into finite existence. Furthermore, multiples experiments have revealed that human intention, when projected towards chemical and biological structures affect the stability of these structures. This stuy is designed to generate additional momentum towards uncovering the truth behind the power of consciousness since the holistic effect of psychic or spiritual healing may be orders of magnitude greater for reasons explored further down. The phenomena which the Ombiasa call “Spirit” must imperatively be studied under greater light for it has the potential to have a significant and positive impact over our reality and more specifically over the health and life events of communities which place positive intent in their interactions such a phenomena.


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Other Public Health | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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