Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 98-107.

"The four elements of the person are the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental. Disease or bodily ailment is traditionally viewed as the physical manifestation of a weakness--a symptom of something deeper. The weakness may come from the spiritual, emotional, or psychological aspects of a person. When a person is afflicted with a disease, the traditional view is that the disease exists to offer the individual a teaching. The teaching will ultimately be about oneself, but the person may choose to deal only with the physical manifestation of the weakness--the symptom--and not address its root. If the person chooses to treat only the symptom and ignores the teaching that is being offered, then the disease will return. Physical manifestations may continue to appear until the individual accepts the teaching." (excerpt)