n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - African breathing and spiritual healing

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



Discerning visitors to Africa typically have an 'ancestral-roots' experience on encountering an essential humanity and communal spirituality which may seem lacking in their home communities. This is scarcely surprising when it is considered that converging lines of evidence from various scientific disciplines all point consistently to Africa as the cradle of civilisation for all humanity.

In its original, essential and literal meaning, psychology is concerned with the breath, energy, consciousness, soul or spirit of life that leaves a person at death and continues in some other form. Such an essential and spiritual form of psychology, still practiced internationally, has its roots in African communal spirituality and spiritual community. Today, such reality remains concretely apparent in the experience of the Zulu diviner of being "breathed" by the ancestors during the divine healing process (ukububula kwedlozi) and in the mobilising of spiritual healing power (umoya) by African Indigenous Church faith healers.
The aim of this paper is to make clear some of the implications of this ancient theme of African breathing and spiritual healing for the promotion of health for contemporary humanity.

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