A visit to a Curandera, a Mayan witch doctor, my experiences with “Total Body Modification” which sounds better than it was, and healing foot massage
There is a lot going on in my vanilla life right now, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t found time to try out some fun new treatments for my body.
You won’t be surprised to learn that I am curious about naturopathy and spiritual healing. This is a life interest. I was able to go and visit a traditional Mayan Curandera the other day, a witch doctor, and it was an incredible experience.
I got to her through a love of plants and honey. This is Mexico. The healing arts have been an important part of meso-American culture for millennia. The wisdom of lifetimes is carried in a small number of Curanderas and Curanderos who preserve these methods. This is what she said to me as I was leaving:
“I have taught my daughters and their daughters all of my secrets. Now, when I leave this earth, I can go empty handed for I have left everything I have with them.”
She is a well-known Curandera for her work with fertility, doing “uterine adjustments”, but also natural childbirth. When my friend was telling me about her, I said, “I should get my uterus adjusted,” and without missing a beat she said, “you should go see her. She’ll adjust you.” It’s nice to have friends who see me.
In Mexico, traditional medicine is still very much alive and well. It is respected. This Curandera is sought after not just in Mexico, but women will fly internationally to see her, to help achieve pregnancy. She is also brought into assist childbirth, particularly when a child is in breach as she has a deep skill in turning them around so that a natural birth can take place. I called her, and her warmth and tone with me was immediately nurturing. We established a spiritual connection almost immediately over the phone—it was as if she could already feel my body as we spoke. She called me “baby”, “my love”, and offered me an appointment the next day.
When I got there, I met her daughters and grand-daughters, and then she had me drive her over to her vivero, where she keeps and grows her medicinal plants. She walked me around and I was worried about her because she nearly toppled over once or twice. She’s nearly 80. She then showed me her home and her studio where she teaches people the healing arts, and then took me to a massage room, put on a fresh sheet, had me take off my shirt and pants and lie down face up.
We talked about spirit animals, and she said that she is many animals, but in reality, her natural form is crystal clear cave water. She then gave me a massage unlike any other I have had before.
The massage began and ended with my belly. Every other massage I ever get, they never even touch my belly. Any concern about her strength and stability was gone the second she laid hands on me. She was very strong. And she dug her hands, her fists, into my guts, from one side and then the other, then scraping my skin with her nails as she dug deep, and pulled my intestines around.
My guts were a symphony of squishing and gurgling sounds. Mistress always tells me that when my belly is making so much noise it is letting go of emotions and stress. Well, not only do I have a lot of that, but it was almost orchestral, so I guess there was a lot of letting go going on.
She asked if it hurt. “Yes,” I said. “That’s because things aren’t where they should be. When your guts are where they belong, it doesn’t hurt.” She pushed so far into my belly and was pulling and manipulating my organs with such force that I felt she had pushed through and was massaging my spine. At times I felt nausea, and it was rather painful, but the second she stopped, the pain went away.
She then proceeded to give me a “normal” massage, in the sense that it touched on the parts of my body that you would expect. Only I put things in quotes as her method was very different. She did not knead my muscles or dig at knots. Instead, she rubbed with a slow and powerful vigour that made my muscles feel as if they were being spread like peanut butter across my skeleton. Her power was remarkable…and the pain of it was not like what I feel when someone digs at my knots, which is a sharp pain…here it was a deep pain, dull in application, but equally releasing.
She used copious quantities of her own herbal-infused coconut oil which was mixed with honey, and which left my skin glowing.
With both my skull and my feet, too, she was different. Here she was digging into me, putting pressure, squeezing. She bent my feet down, my toes down. On my skull she pushed into me, cradling my head. It was not like anything I had ever experienced before.
She finished by digging back into my guts. This time it hurt less, but still a bit. When she was done there was a remarkable lightness in my belly. Emptiness. I didn’t feel hunger. It was as if my belly was gone. That it didn’t exist. That feeling persisted through the night and is still with me now a few days later. I have a general feeling of wellness and calm in my guts.
Total Body Modification
I was recommended to the good doctor by a friend who swears by the method and the person. The jury is out on this one. I might have gotten more conscious benefit if I had known what was coming, but I had misunderstood what kinesiology was, and if there is a difference with kinesthesiology. I am still none the wiser, but this was neither. Total Body Manipulation sounds deliciously kinky, but in the event, it was rather more mundane.
The exercise consisted in my raising first one arm and then the other. The good doctor worked one side of my body whilst placing a finger on a key point on my body, and then pushing against my arm to test the level of resistance. The concept was that if I resist, there is no problem with that part of my body, but if I do not resist, then there is. Wherever he found a problem he taped a small glass vial containing a different herbal liquid with different electro-magnetic properties. Pretty soon my whole body was covered with taped-on vials!
As my friend said, “you must have a lot wrong with you!” The good doctor did tell me, however, that my organs were so good that, “in case you are in an accident, can I have your organs, because they are perfect?” Hmm. He is right, and this has been posited by no less august an institution than the Mayo Clinic who poked and prodded every part of me earlier this year.
It was supposed to be a fully clothed experience, and that meant to me that it would not get personal, and anyway, I don’t really like being touched by men…but pretty soon, I discovered that “fully clothed” did not mean that he would not be taping vials inside the waistband of my g-string! Oh well. He didn’t say a word, but it was his female assistant who later came to remove them. Message delivered.
My favourite vial was the one taped to my collarbone…right above my breastbone, as that one was affixed with a piece of tape that went all the way around my neck. It felt a bit like a collar. You find your joy where you can, right?
After I was taped up, the good doctor had me lie down on a bed with rubber blocks under me in certain places and wait. Since I didn’t know what was happening, my mind was racing. Then his assistant came and undid everything.
That was it. I didn’t feel anything. I spoke to the good doctor after. He said that the effects would play out over time, that I wouldn’t feel anything, but it would be working, and that I should come again. It felt a bit like quackery. If any of you has had experience with this, let me know. Should I try it again? One thing I can say for him is that he nailed the same stress points that my massage therapist is working on, the same as well as the Cranio-sacral therapist is working on, so at least for diagnosis, he was spot on, and his method seems to work.
My friend was non-plussed about the experience, and convinced that the good doctor has delivered the goods and cured me.
Foot Spirit Experience
Separately, one of my S.O.’s best friends told me as I recounted tales of these experiences that she is a medium, and that she can feel everything through someone’s feet. She talked of sucking all the poison out of me, etc. She was proposing to do this for me…the idea of someone seeing everything is always appealing. Especially if they get there through spirit means. But I was sitting there thinking, you will see my toenails painted in the colours of the trans flag!
I asked, “does doctor-patient privilege apply?” She laughed. I said, “if you find out all about me through my feet it stays between us.” She said, “well, X [my S.O.] doesn’t even know I do this, so that would be weird.” We more-or-less dropped it. But for the next 20 minutes she told me all these stories of her experiences with people. It was a bit like that prisoner in the Tom Hanks movie The Green Mile, who was able to suck evil and pain out of people and take it into himself. Now that I know she has this power, I really want to do it. I ran off today to get some nail polish remover!