The “Sweat Lodge” has always been a part of our way of life since the beginning of time simply because of the healing practices of our people. Original teachings tell us that this lodge is our place of origin because symbolically it represents the womb of our mother. It has one doorway that is small and close to the ground with a pit in the center to hold the heated rocks (the life force). From that pit there is a line of cedar that symbolizes the umbilical cord and it goes from that pit to the fire out-side where the rocks are heated. A spiritual connection to both our Grandmothers and our Grandfathers, the rocks. The Grandmother because of the moon shape that takes place when the rocks are removed after being used and placed around the fire pit symbolizing the crescent moon. This is why so many people say that our Grandmothers and Grandfathers will always be together and that they will always work together. Each time rocks are brought in it symbolizes a door opening and there are four doors to a sweat. When the Grandfather rocks are brought in they are red hot and medicine tea made out of boiling cedar is poured over the rock to make steam which in turn makes those in the lodge sweat, hence sweat-lodge. During this process the body sweats out a lot of bad toxins that is usually consumed through eating and releases them through the sweat. Hence the healing practice. During the sweat the bodies skin pores are opened up which allows these toxins to be released from the body. Jumping into water afterward if possible closes the pores and the old ones said this prevents sickness from entering. The sweat-lodge helps to heal the physical, mental, emotional and the spiritual aspects of one’s life. Not all sweat-lodges are run the same way and one should keep an open mind and accept the way it is run by the facilitator keeping in mind that the next one you attend could be a little different and just because it may be different it does not make it wrong. Only trained people should be doing this, never attempt to do this on your own without being trained to do so.