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Monday, April 15, 2024
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Global support for trauma healing

A keynote international speaker at the Mokopuna Centred Solutions Wairarapa symposium in Masterton this month says emotional and physical healing must be sensitive to a person’s culture.

Mariano Pedroza is a practitioner of TRE, or Trauma Release Exercises, in Brazil.

Mr Pedroza said he had been invited to “share an experience that has been very successful in Brazil, a very innovative method for releasing tension and trauma”.

Trauma Release Exercises or TRE.

“They invited me to share in with this group of highly skilled and highly experienced people.”

Leilani Smiler who connected with Mr Pedroza over the internet, is also using TRE in Wairarapa as a therapist under contract to Te Hauora.

“A lot of his work was with indigenous people in Brazil; in Mariano coming to New Zealand, it’s about supporting what we know (in Maori healing models),” Ms Smiler said.

Mr Pedroza said it is “essential” to have models of healing that fit with a culture.

“Culture is a code of values, a code of communication that enables social bonding, enables people to connect easily,” he said.

“If any method, no matter how scientific it may be, if it doesn’t respect the cultural values and cultural codes, it will try to impose something over the people and disrespect who they are.”

“Any healing method should contribute and add to the healing (methods) that are already in that community and not try to overcome them, but to collaborate with them.”

Mr Pedroza said the learning between cultures goes both ways.

“I’m here to share my experience but also to learn from the Maori way of doing things.”

Cultural adviser Kahu Takarangi said since the 1850s, Maori had “ended up with a lot of things being taken away”, and recent decades had been about claiming them back, beginning with “small community” movements such as kohanga reo.

“Not only land but there’s the stuff to do with the emotional, the spiritual, all that sort of stuff.”

In that process, Maori had learned from and worked with other indigenous peoples, such as the Gaelic people of Ireland who had experience in bringing back their own language.

“What indigenous people throughout the world have been doing is supporting each other … now we’re including Brazil,” Mr Takarangi said.

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