Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

The Role of Media in Positioning Indigenous Healing in Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

The Role of Media in Positioning Indigenous Healing in Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

As education and awareness aid, effective, democratic and unbiased media are essential and indispensable in positioning indigenous healing methods in Nigeria. Media is one of the principal agents of societal and cultural development, a crucial element in propagating, initiating, maintaining, and sustaining interest, a major force in attitude formation and change. Media can provide a platform for debate, stimulating ideas, and opinions. Concerning the patronage, availability, acceptability, afford ability and efficacy of indigenous healing. Media can also be used to expose the likely side effects and other negative aspects of indigenous healing for the purpose of improvement and research. Contrarily, media can be misused for propaganda purposes to incite hatred, spread rumours and introduce bias, by ignorantly or purposely painting black or over emphasizing the negative aspects of indigenous healing. Advertising and product promotion also depend on what media practitioners favour. This paper examined through secondaiy information the roles of media in positioning and conferring status on indigenous healing in Nigeria. Symbolic interactionist theoiy and agenda setting theory of the media were used as the bedrock of the paper. References were made to strategic claims by herbal healers, comments were made on the ethics guiding media practice in relation to 'health reportage'. Recommendations were put forward to guide media practitioners, therapists, prospective clients, and the government in dealing with indigenous healing in Nigeria.

Introduction

"Health is said is wealth". This adage ascertains how important human health is, without good and sound health of the citizen of a particular nation, the nation may not achieve her economic, political and social goal successfully. This is why people want to live a healthy life at all cost. This is why Adefolaju (2011,) says all human societies desire good health for their members. "It is therefore an ideal state couched on the realization that only the healthy can perform his obligation toward the survival and development of the society. Health has always been a concern for all human societies since the beginning of history. People will go to any length seeking solution to a particular illness. The solution which can be through conventional healing/therapy or traditional healing/therapy. Although the subject of traditional healing has been contested in medical studies in the last few decades, the monumental studies on the subject have emphasized the place of traditional healing in basic health service.

Indigenous healing practices are not homogeneous, being in some cases very specific to a particular group and facile generalizations are problematic. People over the centuries are going back to their roots not only in healing but in other aspect of their endeavour, dressing, programmes taste, hairdo and others inclusive. This is why Solomon and Wane (2005) put that many indigenes have growing interest in returning to their sacred teachings and ceremonies and will continue to follow their traditions to sustain themselves and to help the generations to come. The question now is how are people returning to the sacred teaching and ceremonies and will continue to follow their traditions which indigenous healing forms a cogent part?

This can be made possible through interpersonal communication, telling it to friends, public communication like campaigns, open lecture, conferences, group communication, through community heads, religious leaders and finally through the mass media which include television, radio, newspapers and magazine.

Healing

Healing is the pursuit of holistic health and wellness through the prevention and treatment of illness. It is the life long journey toward healthy and good life. Antone and Hill (1990) posit that healing is the journey toward self-awareness, self knowledge, spiritual attainment and oneness with creation. It is also the life long process of understanding one's gift from the creator and the embodiment of life's teachings that the individual has received. …

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