“An Unusual Healing Experience”
The Philippines is rich in the natural beauty of nature, and aside from that, people have a vast magnificence in culture and beliefs, it has colorful traditions that are still alive up until the present times.
The cities, and provinces, both have their distinctive notions and beliefs. Especially in the far-flung areas, farmlands, and mountainous parts of a town or province.
Each has different beliefs yet they quite have similar conceptions too, such as the healers. These people are not professional doctors or graduates of medicine, yet they are believed blessed by the faith and they could heal.
Surprisingly, still many people believe in them.
Indeed mysterious and unusual. Yet as years passed by people become aware and know that when it comes to health we should talk with proper medical consultation with the professionals.
However, despite the emerging technology and society, there are still living healers somewhere in their towns, and there are still people who believe and have faith in them when it comes to healing.
Some days ago, it was Sunday morning when the weather was so bright, I decided to do my laundry and grabbed the opportunity of great climate.
But before that, I first took a bath and when I faced the mirror to comb my hair, I noticed small acne-like spots on my face.
I ignore it and started my laundry.
But while in the middle of my chore, I saw there were small red spots on my knees, then on my arms and later on I realized the rash was all over my body.
I immediately went to our medicine kit at home and looked for cetirizine to cure the rash because the cause might be an allergic reaction to the food I consumed earlier which was egg white of a hard-boiled egg, instant pancit canton, and coffee or the hot weather might result in it too.
At first, I am not worried since I already experienced having a sudden allergic reaction but not very often. I am sure that I have no allergies to the foods I ate since I always eat those foods normally. However, there are indeed times when I could say it might be just a coincidence.
The evening came and the rash still didn't fade, it eventually spread all over my body yet I am just feeling normal, with no fever, a normal body temperature, and just a little itchiness on my skin.
When Monday came, I changed my meds to loratadine, yet nothing was changed. Still, I got rash all over my body. So I decided to just stay inside our house and I also told my son's teacher that we can't attend the practice of their moving up ceremony on that day.
However, for me, two or three days of rash is still normal since I already experienced it, but not for my family in the compound.
They insisted that it could be caused by the ‘unseen’ and I need to consult a healer. They asserted that if it's an allergy it should be gone after taking even just one tablet of cetirizine.
I am just scratching my head because honestly, even though I already met a healer for my son before because of their suggestions too, I am not a believer in such faith healing.
It was Tuesday when I was left with no choice but to follow their recommendations, my uncle urged me to have myself checked by a healer before it gets worse because my rashes were not curing. He called my cousin who has a tricycle and told my cousin's wife, my mother, and one of my cousins to accompany me to the healer that he recognized.
I got no choice but to follow them, and besides, I guess there's nothing wrong to try it.
We left at 9 am and the place was a little far from the town. Because we were all strangers in that place that day, they asked the locals there if where's the house of the known healer in their locality.
And as soon as we saw where the house was located we were immediately catered to and waited patiently for our turn since two people were being ‘healed’ still and the other one was waiting for their turn too.
Of course, we brought with us the kids because no one was left to attend to them at home. 😅
After a couple of minutes as the other customers left, I immediately went to a tiny room where the healer was waiting. The room is full of religious figurines and her paraphernalia for healing.
As I sat down, she immediately uttered,
“What happened to you, why did you get so many “apok” in your skin?”
Apok, that's what she said, and that term is common in our dialect but to be honest, I don't know what it is. 😅 But based on how my relatives described it, apok is what they call the rashes.
She then grabbed the tiny piece of cut ginger I brought with me and started her ritual.
After that, she jots down all the 'stuff' I need to be cured. She wrote it down on a piece of paper with some instructions.
Some were uncommon leaves needed for ‘suob’ or steam/smoke inhalation.
Then, she gave me that coconut oil or what we call ‘Lana’ in our dialect, I have to apply that to my skin until the rash fades and heals.
After the session, we went to the market first to buy our viand since we finished at lunchtime.
And in the afternoon, I did what the healer told me to do, and one thing was the ‘suob’.
With lighted charcoal, the leaves and the other stuff the healer jotted down were placed on it to make smoke and I have to stand before it to inhale or be reached by the smoke it emits.
After that, I started applying coconut oil.
Funny it may seem, thinking that I am not a believer in faith healers or such, I am here already met a healer and doing what she instructed me to do just to be cured. No choice, since my family insisted too.
And until today, (Thursday) I am still applying the coconut oil she gave me.
But of course, before I applied the coconut oil, I researched some articles if it won't irritate my skin or make it worse, and surprisingly, I got positive outcomes that coconut oil is eventually good in soothing rashes and other skin diseases.
So, in short, it might be, even if there's no healer, no suob, etc., as long as the coconut oil is here, it would completely help ease my rash.
Nevertheless still, I am thankful because the oil was given by the healer my uncle recommended, and for that, I must be grateful still.
Presently, my rash is not yet completely healed it's lighter and not bumpy anymore unlike how it was the past days. And I could say it's healing gradually and hopefully just a few more days it will be gone eventually.
But before anything else, the main reason why I followed what my family suggests is that I respect them and their beliefs. And I know all they wanted is for my betterment too.
Sometimes, all we need is to respect the beliefs of others, it doesn't mean that because their beliefs aren't the same as ours, we have to reject them and judge them. Let's just accept that not all people share the same principles and notions here in our society.
Respect for what you don't believe won't make you less human, just let them live their beliefs as long as it doesn't harm anyone.
So that's it for today it's kinda long but thank you for your support.
ps: all photos are mine.
Written by: @eommaZel ✍🏻🌼