Amish beliefs about sickness and healing are not radically different from those held by many modern Americans, but they are uniquely tied to the Amish way of life. Simplicity, community and a respect for the natural world are important tenets of Amish life that influence their health and wellness practices.
The Amish Way of Life
According to the BBC article, "Religions," the Amish are an American religious group who are best known for their 19th century way of life. The Amish believe that the community as a whole is of central importance, and individualism is to be avoided. Members of an Amish community rely on each other, and avoid interactions with the outside world when possible. The Amish believe that God is glorified when man interacts with the nature, so they avoid certain technologies, such as cars and electricity, that could distance them from the natural world.
Amish Spiritual Belifs
The Amish are Protestant Christians who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, pacifism and the importance of community to the maintenance of faith. The Amish view salvation as a community matter, rather than an individual one. They view any claim to personal salvation as prideful. The Amish do not believe that technology is evil or sinful. They avoid it because they believe it could potentially distance them from God and their community.
Amish Beliefs of Sickess and Healing
No Amish tradition of beliefs prevent them from seeking out or utilizing modern health care. However, the Amish respond differently than the average American would to most minor ailments. The Amish attempt to integrate their health and wellness practices into their beliefs about the importance of community and alignment with nature. Modern medicine is seen as a last resort rather than a first response.
Amish Healthcare Practices
In order to conform with their desire to live simply, the Amish attempt to treat most minor ailments with basic home care. Home care can range from standard first-aid to pow-wowing. Pow-wowing involves having certain members of the community anoint the sick with natural oils that are seen to hold certain healing properties. When possible, the Amish first attempt to treat illnesses with natural remedies. The use of vitamins, plant and mineral oils and herbs are preferred to modern medicine.
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