We know that we do not know everything in the West. However, many aspects of the Hmong are also just coming out of the Middle Ages and there is only so much that can be tolerated and there must be a demand for a middle ground in the way that western medicine and culture deals with medical issues when the science and the treatment regimen is clear. For instance, Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome needs to be studied (ibid 188n).
As stated in the book, “Although the Hmong believe that illness can be caused by a variety of sources – […] by far the most common cause of illness is soul loss” (ibid 10). To bring these souls back into the body and to bring bodily health, soul calling ceremonies are seen to be important to the Hmong.
There is no reason that such cultural flourishes can be tolerated and incorporated into the treatment regimen. After all, in any hospital, we tolerate and encourage pastors of Christian religions to come in and minister to their patients and pray. Should we be so intolerant when the Hmong bring their shamans into the medical treatment facilities. In the present day, we know so much about psychosomatic causes of illnesses. If such traditional ceremonies bring peace and joy to the practitioners, they may be willing to give ground and compromise on some.