A sweat lodge ceremony is a common practice to most Native American cultures throughout North and South America. Fire-heated stones are placed in a pit within the sweat lodge enclosure. Water is ceremonially poured over the heated stones, creating steam and rising temperatures. Participants in the ceremony are exposed to increasing temperatures and additional moisture, causing them to sweat rigorously.
The ceremony is not only comprised of physical purification and cleansing, but also provides an intrinsic cleansing. The sweat lodge acts as a refuge for mental healing and guidance. Traditionally, material possessions such as watches, jewelry, cell phones, or any other object that promotes disparity in value are not permitted. Also, all senses of race, color, and religion are set aside during the ceremony.
The sweat lodge ceremony consists of four rounds or pours, where water is poured over the hot rocks to create more heat and steam. Throughout each of the rounds, subjects such as recognition, knowledge, growth, and healing are discussed.
Although we do not participate in sweat ceremonies at the LodgeQuest Outpatient Clinic, we do embark on a Quest towards healing and recovery with those in need, through the principles of the sweat Lodge ceremony. We do believe that everyone is sometimes in need of both psychological and emotional healing. We do believe that everyone, regardless of race, creed, nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and disability, should be given outlets to heal themselves. We do believe that temporarily depriving ourselves of worldly possessions can help us understand the core of our suffering. We do believe that everyone deserves recognition for their accomplishments and that we should all identify things we are grateful for. We do believe that by gaining knowledge and insight anything is possible. Finally, we believe that through suffering can come healing and through healing can come growth.