Many people go to Peru to be healed by shamans or to dance with ayahuasca and other sacred plants. In the middle of the Andes, I found myself in need of something different.
“We need to talk…”
I heard Michael’s voice before I saw him. A moment later he popped around a hedge to where I was sitting in a hotel garden in Cusco, Peru. I had just finished a five-minute coughing fit and was doubled over holding my chest, which was racked with pain and, I was pretty positive, must’ve been building up some pretty permanent scar tissue.
I was almost a week into an upper respiratory illness that had me coughing so hard that I had lost my voice and suffered an almost constant ringing in one ear. Apparently this is not uncommon in Cusco, where at 3,800 meters, the air is thin, the nights are cold and the weather is dry.
Michael sat down next to me and told me how his family of three had experienced something extraordinarily similar on their previous trip here. While he was sure that my upcoming travels to sea level in Colombia would bring the end of it, he told me about something I might want to try.
Two days later, I found myself lying on a bed covered in suction cups in a house in the hillside farmlands of Cusco surrounded by mamacitas with their braids and layered skirts. I was in the peaceful, beautiful treatment room of Dutch homeopath, Jens.
An elderly man on my left had a large tumor between his heart and his spine and was almost ready to leave this world when he met Jens three years ago. Unable to walk, the man had to be carried in by his son and wife. After three months of treatment, his cancer was gone and today he walks up and down the steep stairs and slopes of this mountainside.
“Western medicine is focused on diagnostics and pills,” explained Jens passionately. “In Asia, there are no diagnostics. It’s about energy—a healthy flow is the basis for health. Doctors encourage energy flow and dislodge blocks.”
Jens’ two-hour treatment is about getting his patients’ energy flowing. He uses a method called cupping where suction cups are attached along the energy meridians of the body. Throughout the treatment, Jens moves the cups about. The principle and its effect are similar to that of acupuncture, but without the needles.
“There are three things to avoid, is my recommendation—red meat, dairy and microwaves.” These three are, in Jens’ opinion, the root of energy blocks and general poor health. “If you are going to eat meat, eat chickens that have had a good life, not the farmed kind that are full of hormones.”
He alternates his explanations and teachings in Spanish and English—the latter for my benefit.
“Especially you,” he says turning to me. “Avoid all dairy. It will make your congestion and phlegm worse. It’s at the root of asthma and bronchial problems. That would be my recommendation.”
He further explains, as he moves the suction cups to my legs, that the energy meridians in our bodies run from our fingers and toes into our teeth. “Never get a root canal. The meridian doesn’t know and dead energy is sent to your organs. You can never be in balance again.”
I didn’t dare admit that I had had a root canal, but I did check an chart in the waiting room after my treatment and saw that my dead tooth is connected with the large intestine, an area I have often struggled with.
Author: Selene Vakharia
Editor: Evan Yerburgh