Panel 1

 Rasheeqa Ahmad
‘The old knowledges in the community apothecary – gathering plants and people’

What are the oppressions upon our health and what happens when we come together to share the ancient knowledges of herbs, body awareness, healing practices and wild earth connection? A telling about a tryout of a community herbal medicine space for learning, togetherness, sharing and co-creating.

Yarjung Gurung
‘Himalayan herbals’


Panel 2 

Yvette Staelens
‘Human Henge: exploring ways to improve mental health well-being in ancient landscapes. Journeying in the past to help the future’

According to figures from the NHS, one in four of us will experience poor mental health during our lifetime. This makes mental well-being one of society’s most pressing issues. Human Henge is a ground-breaking project about archaeology, mental health and creativity. Run by the Restoration Trust in partnership with Richmond Fellowship, English Heritage, the National Trust and Bournemouth University, supported by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wiltshire County Council and English Heritage. This presentation will include words from the Hengers on their journeys  with ancestors in healing landscapes, some interim findings and a presentation.


Shirchinaa Baatar
Seded Baatar
‘The current situation of traditional medicine and its trend in Mongolia’

Uranchimeg Ujeed
‘Cultural heritage for self-healing: the reshaping of shamanic practice in Inner Mongolia’

A predominant feature of contemporary Horchin shamanism in Inner Mongolia, China, is neophytes’ self-healing through shamanic training, involving rigorous dancing, singing, and drumming. Recent neuroscientific studies have shown that self-induced trance results in cognitive brain change which may be linked to shamanic self-healing. Although shamanism is outside the scope of recognised religion under the current state religious policy in China, Horchin shamanic dance has been formally recognised as an aspect of intangible cultural heritage. To compete for the status of Transmitters of Intangible Cultural Heritage, master shamans have greatly promoted the shamanic arts, shaping the practice into an elaborate, self-healing group performance for their disciples. Through the example of Horchin shamanism, this paper demonstrates how the value in public life of attaining ‘cultural heritage’ status contributes to the shaping of such labelled practices.


Damdinsüren Natsagdorj
‘Integrating traditional medicine into COVID-19 national healthcare policy in Mongolia’

Panel 3

Emily Bradfield
‘Prescribing art and heritage to support positive mental health’

What does it mean to ‘prescribe’ the arts? Drawing on Arts and Minds’ established Arts on Prescription model, we will explore some of the key elements and challenges of this type of ‘therapeutic’ programme, taking learning from the global pandemic. This session considers the concept of ‘creative medicine’, understandings of ‘art’ and ‘heritage’ and their role in supporting positive mental health.

Linda Monckton
‘Present and future policy changes in wellbeing and the historic environment’

This paper will comprise three short sections. Historic England published its first wellbeing and heritage strategy in May 2022: This was the culmination of a process to consider how to frame wellbeing within the historic environment sector. Section one will look at this and other recent changes that have been achieved in the sector and identify some of the key challenges and issues that have arisen through that process. Section two will introduce some case studies to illustrate that change ranging from shifts in approach to ‘business as usual’ to new therapeutic interventions. The third section will consider the future, in particular, what desirable change looks like and how we can make the most difference through mapping, methodology and measuring concluding with what the practical challenges are likely to be in achieving this.

Alexandra Coulter
‘Creative health – the national policy landscape’

Alex Coulter will talk about the work of the National Centre for Creative Health and the current Creative Health Review. She will provide some context for how we might consider the role of nature and heritage based therapeutic interventions within the wider ecosystem of creative health research, policy and practice.



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