Learning about folk healing – curanderismo

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This July I had the rich and profoundly healing opportunity to attend a two week course called Traditional Healing without Borders:  Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico.  The course provided beautiful opportunities to learn techniques, engage with the land based culture and the lineage of teachers.
In case you want to know more:
What is curanderismo you might be asking? The term has been translated as “folk healing”.  It is what people used and use to do their own healing over the centuries.  It can involve using herbs and other medicinal plants, feathers, candles oils, eggs, and blessings. The people who practice curanderismo are referred to as traditional healers (curandera or curandero). Some traditional healers also use massage techniques and sweat lodges or temezcals as there are called in Mexico.

Curanderismo stresses healing approaches that you can use for yourself and for others.  “I am my own healer” is a core understanding of this tradition.  Through achieving your own healing  you can also contribute to helping to heal people around you, in your communities.  This can be as passive as a gentle unfolding or as active are you would like to make it.

One of the key strengths of Curanderismo is that many different cultures and healing  traditions have contributed to its evolution and what is included.  This folk healing arena begins with traditional indigenous healing practices and knowledge from Mexico (centuries of indigenous knowledge) and has been added to through Spanish healings, influenced by the North African Moor/Arabic and other African approaches,and Jewish ones too. One example is the widespread use of rosemary and basil in healing sessions and teas in Mexico.  These plants came from  Spain and were added to the library of over 2000 plants the Aztecs where already using.

Plants and gardens are one of the key aspects of curanderismo: through their use in teas, creams, in cleansing healing sessions, their scents, their use in sweatlodge healing,  their colours.

Here is a link to the course in case you would like to learn more: http://curanderismo.unm.edu/

Author: elin.gwyn@gmail.com

I have been many things including a connector of people to knowledge (at research and government institutions) and a mother of three now grown children. And in additions to these, and after many years of training and preparation I am also a holistic energy practitioner where I provide support to others for their healing processes and journeys and to assist in the caring of the natural world.

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