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ShamanJuly 22, 2005 Friday

Shamans, Doctors and Healers

I started coughing since I went to Sagada in May. It's been nearly 3 months. Although it's been reduced to an occasional cough now, it hasn't completely gone away. I've consulted with people of different and diverse disciplines. Their diagnosis is equally as varied, amusing and interesting.

The Doctor
When self-medication failed, I was constrained to see a lung specialist, who happens to be one of the country's best radiologist. He's one of the directors of the Quezon Institute (ground zero for all lung ailments). He's seen it all....lungs, I mean. Fortunately, having connected common friends together, he spared me his lofty professional fee. Studying my x-ray film and doing some examination, he could not find anything wrong.

Diagnosis: I was having an allergic reaction to the filthy air we breathe
Prescription: anti-histamine, anti-oxidant and cough suppressant
Outcome: still coughing

A friend speculated that maybe, I have inadvertently offended some anitos (spirits) as I trespassed on some terrain in Sagada. I was advised to get tawas (benediction?) from a shaman. I'm not really into the shaman thing, but what did I have to lose? After asking around, I found myself in Cruz na Ligas with the town shaman. She rubbed oil on my forehead and applied a sheet of paper on top. She peeled it off and took it against the light to see what form it would reveal. She saw a figure of a woman amidst trees.

Diagnosis: I have offended a female anito, presumably in Sagada (thus the trees)
Prescription: She removed the hex, gave me a rub-down and told me to apply Agua de Colonia
Outcome: still coughing

Tarot Card Reader
A new acquaintance offered help by introducing me to her friend who reads Tarot cards. I was told it was free (sigh!!!). The meeting took place at the TreeHouse. She asked me to show her pictures of my stay in Sagada, which I did. She started reading the cards I picked.

Diagnosis: I was emotionally bottled up with my personal issues. This is causing me to cough.
Prescription: Talk to a certain person and reconcile whatever differences we have. Hmmm...maybe I should just eat broken glass.
Outcome: still coughing

I met this self-proclaimed exorcist sometime back in his plush Ayala Heights subdivision. A very interesting gentleman, I was fascinated by his bigger-than-life exploits - splitting himself in 2 to save a crashing airplane, astral travel and meeting the most unexpected characters, etc. Unfortunately, he himself was ill when I paid him a visit. I didn't bother to burden him with my issues.

Another dear friend treated me to a massage. The masseuse kneaded every knot in my muscle. It was such a satisfying treat.

Diagnosis: According to her, I had a lot of lamig (cold trapped in my muscle) that was causing me to cough.
Prescription: It would take a few more sessions to fully remove the lamig. P500/session, I could see myself eating pan de sal for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few weeks. Instead, I went to Philcoa and paid P70 to a blind masseure. I had one more massage since then.
Outcome: still coughing

Fitness Instructor
She's a power lifter and lethal with arnis. I usually find myself in conversation with her about sports and fitness.

Diagnosis: She said it's common for athletes to experience symptoms like coughing at a certain point in life...(read: when age catches up on them). Athletes push the envelope and learn to ignore pain. In the process, they fail to recognize the body's call to slow down until something like this happens. I got a good scare on this one.
Prescription: slow down. This is tough. Working out until I feel my edge is my drug. Try telling a junkie he can't get his fix.
Outcome: still coughing since I haven't really slowed down

Ending Thoughts
They all mean well but I can't help being amused by the whole thing. A doctor calls it an allergic reaction. A shaman sees an offended anito. A masseuse calls it lamig. A fitness instructor sees a burn-out. A tarot card reader calls it emotional unrest. I wonder. If I see a nutritionist, will it be vitamin "c" deficiency?

So, whatever happened to my cough? Through daily yoga, the cough has completely gone away (Aug. 8)

--- TheLoneRider

Facebook Users
Jul 22, 2005

Reader Comments:

Sun-You Kim
(26 Jul 2005) need Berkeley to cure your cough. Hope you get better. Keep in touch and take care.

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