Traiteurism is a very old tradition that is dying out, and very few traiteurs now exist. Traditionally, the rituals of the traiteur are passed down to the opposite gender. So a male must pass it down to a female, and visa versa. The traiteur must be asked to perform the treatments and will rarely offer them outright unless the need is great, and they can not ask for a payment of any kind, although it is acceptable to accept gifts for treating a person. However gifts for a true traiteur are never required.
In Southern Louisiana, the co-existence of conventional medicine and traiteurs offers patients a range of resources for treating illness. Traiteurs and their patients do not view the two systems as conflicting. As an example, if treating someone with a Coupe-de-Soleil, or sunstroke, one would perform the ritual, and then have the person drink as much water as they could while having them lay down, and wiping them with a towel dampened with cool water. When a traiteur becomes ill, he goes to the doctor, yet he also employs week-long ceremonial candles (which are highly commercialized), Catholic Novenas (a Catholic rite involving nine days or weeks of recitation of a series of prayers), native traditional herbs, and perhaps a visit by another traiteur to get well. Some will use herbal remedies if they are known, although the herbal remedies begin to cross over into certain types of voodoo and white magic, which some Roman Catholics deem as too pagan for their liking. Switching from one healing system to another is common among these practitioners and their patients, whose religious syncretism is matched by syncretism among medical systems. Another example of this fluidity is evident in the language with which the patients label their illnesses. Lousay A., a Cajun healer, is shown at his weekly home "clinic" hours one Saturday treating patients. One woman describes her condition as la mal angle, Cajun French for shingles, while another woman explains that she has herpes simplex, the medical term for the virus. Even in language, the traditional and the biomedical is heard to exist side by side without conflict.
The rituals involved with traiteurism are simple and time-honored, and they are careful to not transgress the teachings of the Catholic Church. This aspect contrasts with Louisiana Voodoo, which is centered in the city of New Orleans, away from the Cajun bayous. The methods of the traiteurs are purported to be able to work on a person regardless of faith, should one be so moved as to ask for a treatment.