Medicine

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One of the things I’m asked for often as a foti is medicine.  When somebody isn’t feeling well, they assume that I have the cure.  I count myself blessed that I’m usually able to help.

The complaint I hear most often is pain in the belly.  Sometimes, it’s exhibited as a small pain where the person has a more subdued energy than normal.  Other times, the sufferer is lying down in too much pain to do much of anything else.  When the case is the former, I mix up some white clay that was gifted to me by a girlfriend in California.  One spoonful of clay mixed with water followed by two more cups of water, and my patient is usually feeling better right away.  For more severe stomach pain, I mix up some water with a spoonful of activated charcoal, gifted to me by another friend in California.  For extremely severe pain, I’ll follow up the natural medicine with a Reiki healing session.  I’m lucky to have happy patients each time.

I’ve offered several Reiki sessions here in Guinea for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes for stomach upset, others for fever, and other times for life issues compounded by energetic blocks in the chakras.  Even though Africans here haven’t heard of chakras or Reiki before, they’ve been extremely receptive to the healing.  I’ve received feedback that they’re able to feel the energetics of the treatment, have a sense of calm afterwards, and feel relief for the symptoms that led to me offering a treatment.

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I’m lucky to have more than just natural medicines and Reiki in my toolkit.  My extensive time practicing and studying yoga and meditation means that I can prescribe asana exercises, pranayama, mantra, or meditations for people to practice that will continue bringing their physical and energetic bodies into alignment long after my work with them is complete.  I’ve also spent years studying and collecting essential oils.  While I don’t have my full collection here with me here in Guinea, I’ve been able to use what I do have to treat skin conditions, chakra imbalances, and other disorders. Most people usually only need one or two of the healing modalities I have to offer, and I’m grateful to have so much knowledge I can pull from in helping them.

If people weren’t coming to me, they would either be paying to visit a local clinic or visiting a traditional healer.  The doctors at the clinic have a distorted Western approach to medicine, prescribing an overabundance of pharmaceuticals for whatever problem is presented.  The medicine is given with little instruction and no warning of possible side effects.  Also, since so much medicine is prescribed, there is the possibility that the meds might have adverse reactions if taken together.

When a local healer is called upon, the effects can be good, neutral, or downright harmful.  In the family I am staying with, it appears that the mother had a stroke about a year ago.  After visiting a local hospital, the family was told that her illness is a result of high blood pressure.  To help her regain movement in her left hand, which has withered in on itself since the suspected stroke, the family called in a local healer who comes over and massages the limb as the mother cries out in pain, and then ties the hand flat to a board to encourage the muscles to again open up.  No discernable benefits resulted from this treatment.  In the US, stroke victims would receive extensive physical therapy immediately to help them regain the ability to walk.  Either because the stroke went unrecognized here, or because the resources simply aren’t available, that has never been an option for the mother.

In an example of poor results, the man pictured below went to see a traditional healer after he fell and broke his leg.  Because the healer set the bone poorly, the man cannot now support his weight on his leg years later.  The femur does not connect with his knee, a lack that will also cause instability in his ankle, his hip, and eventually throw his spine off balance.  The man lives in constant pain from his knee, and the pain will only exacerbate as time goes on.

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Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common story here in Guinea.  There are many people walking around with life-long deformities caused by an illness or accident that, had it occurred in a developed country, would have only lived on as an uncomfortable memory for the sufferer.  Here, people have a constant reminder in the form of pain that never goes away or a body that is transformed in a failure to ever truly heal.  I’ve seen feet deformed by snake bites that never heal, many people walking around with large growths on their bodies, and many who have lost the ability to walk without assistance.

Along with continuing to offer holistic healing and education on holistic healing, one of my goals on returning to the States will be seeking donations such as artificial limbs, wheelchairs, and other items that can assist people here as well as donations to pay the not-insignificant cost of a shipping container to transport the items to their intended recipients.  Because people here have so little, what seems like a small donation to us can make a world of difference to them.

In the meantime, I will continue my work with people, teaching what techniques I can and sharing what relief I am able to offer.  As always, I remain grateful for the opportunity to make this small bit of difference.  Sat Nam.

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