Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 05/28/06 John Maisel was drawn to sweat lodges 15 years ago when he was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a condition that paralyzed parts of his face. After studying Native American culture, he became open to the possibility of seeking alternative healing methods. “It has the potential, if a person is willing, to heal,” he said. “It is an incredibly powerful spiritual experience.” Julie McKee, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said that while she can’t guarantee that sweat lodges provide a cure to certain ailments, she does believe in their therapeutic potential. “Our mind is a very powerful tool,” said McKee, who works at UTMB’s Integrative Medicine Clinic and is certified in holistic medicine.