Guma Yo'Amte opens southern healing centers - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guma Yo'Amte opens southern healing centers

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A group of healers are keeping the tradition alive, opening up shop in Agat, and Yona next, to serve Guam's southern residents.

Fifteen years ago, the Haya Foundation first formed to revitalize methods of traditional healing practices used by our ancestors.

Founder and Haya President Zita Pangelinan says there's still much to learn from the 3,000-year-old practices while there's a great need for it from the community.

"When we first started, I remember this lady coming up during one of our cultural institutes we were trying to assess what was happening with our culture and our traditions and this lady with a child was crying saying please find us a healer, and I just thought oh my gosh there's plenty around and to our dismay we kind of went around and they were gone," she said.

Even with modern medicine, traditional medicinal practices can help many patients overcome new illnesses.

"What has sustained our people can now sustain us we are faced with non-communicable disease the highest rates of suicide we've ever seen, and if all these other systems have not been working, should we not look at the traditional practices that made it work and reconnect," Pangelinan said.

In 2016, the first Guma Yo'Amte, or House of Healing, opened its doors in Tumon, with yo'amte, or healers, treating residents from all walks of life.

With a need for healers in other parts of the island, this month another Guma Yo'Amte opened near the Agat Mayor's office.

This Sunday, the Yona location of Guma Yo'Amte will open its doors and the public is invited to attend at the village gymnasium. The grand opening, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include a free community health fair and screening.

 
User: Guma Yo'Åmte - Håya Foundation To: link

With an Agat ocean view, Yo'Amte Betty Malaki says the sea water can help patients recovering from strokes.

"It's close to the ocean they feel the breeze and the wind...and if they want to swim after the massage it's very close to the beach for the client visiting here," she said. "A lot of people need healing...what I experienced is now a days western style is very expensive but since we have all the herbs around our house we don't really need to pay that much."

Yo'Amte Susan Aguon said lending a healing hand is her calling.

"This is a dying art...the people don't know this is an alternative to Western medicine and it's here you just have to get out of your comfort zone," she said.

For Pangelinan, healing comes in many forms.

"It's not just a physical thing they've reconnected and something fills their hearts that's true healing," she said.

Just a handful of healers service the community through Guma Yo'Amte despite the high demand for healers. Eager to foster the traditions of the Pacific, yo'amte from Rota have been invited to Guam to help apprenticeship programs and foster new healers. The Haya Foundation, was in Rota last year, with Guam and other island youth working directly with traditional healers. 

And as for cost, the healers at Guma' Yo Amte do not charge a fee for their services. Instead, people are encouraged to give from their heart for services through monetary gifts or other goods in the spirit of inafamaolek. 



 

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