TRADITIONAL MEDICINE FOCUS OF PACIFIC DIPLOMA

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New curriculum debuts at New Zealand college

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 27, 2010) - The first course to qualify in traditional healing among Pacific communities is being launched in New Zealand this week.

The Diploma in Traditional Pasefika Healing is believed to be the first of its type in the world.

The South Pacific College of Natural Therapies course will study the philosophy behind the alternative treatments.

Deputy Principal Robyn Carruthers says that they aim to work closely with Pacific communities but are mindful that the topic may be sensitive for some.

"A lot of that knowledge is knowledge that has been tapu [restricted] in the past that has been very closely guarded by families," said Carruthers. And it’s always been knowledge that’s been held, that is very particular about who is given that knowledge. So really what we’re trying to do in the diploma is to come from the philosophical side of it, in a very simplified way. We’re not trying to give away the secrets."

Carruthers says another course they are launching is a new Bachelor of Natural Medicine.

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