Rejuvenating the Spirit

At 5 AM my alarm goes off, and no, I’m not working a day shift. The air is brisk, but surprisingly mild. The birds are chattering away, and the dogs are howling for only canine-known reasons. We crest the levee and walk onto the river bed; it’s low tide and the canoes are resting elegantly in the sand.

It’s 5:25 and the sun has already peaked its head from the horizon. The white-washed siding on the trailers are drenched in pink and lavender. An awe-inspiring sight indeed.


I had the chance to participate in a traditional healing session a couple of weeks ago. The traditional healer at the hospital invited me to participate in a cleansing foot soak and massage session. This group of healers conducting this session were well-known to the community, and they travel all throughout the province.

At the beginning of the session, I was asked if I was pregnant or on my “moontime.” I had never heard of menstruation being called moontime before, but apparently women are very powerful during this period. You see, women have the ability to create and give life; therefore, we possess a lot of spiritual energy and it peaks during menstruation. If someone is on their moontime, they cannot be touched by a male healer, for he will be “zapped” of his own energy and unable to work. The other question regarding pregnancy is related to the cedar tea they offered us. It is high in vitamin C and was given to Jacques Cartier and his crew when they developed scurvy. Apparently is has also been known to stimulate the uterus.

I sat in a comfortable chair soaking my feet in a mixture of epsom salt, lavender, tea tree oil, extra virgin olive oil and hot water. Once my feet were as wrinkly as prunes as the healers described it, then the toxins in my body would start flowing out. The cedar tea would help detoxify my inside, while the foot soak would purify the outside. I meditated and drank my tea for almost 45 minutes. It was nice to have some quiet time in the midst of somewhere already considered too quiet for many.

The healers then proceeded to the next phase of the session, therapeutic massage. I’ve had massages before, but this was a little different. The lavender massage oil they used were relaxing, but it was the technique which was different. After each hand stroke, the healer would make a flicking motion — as if you just held something dirty in your hand. And other times they would blow on their hands. What I later learned was that with each stroke, they were removing negative energy from my body and offering it to my ancestors. So they asked me to think of things that made me upset and wanted to purge. At the end of the session, I felt a great weight had been lifted. It was a remarkable feeling.

Of course, I’m still a skeptic when it comes to alternative medicine. But I have always kept an open-mind about it, and surely, it is something that can be done in tandem with conventional medicine.

A short history of Medicine

“Doctor, doctor, I have a chest infection”

2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.”
1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, recite this prayer.”
1850 A.D. – “That prayer is Pagan, drink this elixir.”
1940 A.D. – “That elixir is snake oil, swallow this pill.”
1985 A.D. – “The pill is bogus, swallow this antibiotic.”
2000 A.D. – “The antibiotic is artificial. Here eat this root!”


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