The Maya see physical health and spiritual wellbeing as one, so that emotional and energetic disturbances must be resolved before the body can heal. Maya medicine works to restore these imbalances, some of which may originate from an ancestral or non-physical source. Time is spent with each patient to consider the spiritual, interpersonal and societal factors that may influence the state of health of the individual. Treatment is always considered within the wider context of the home, family and community as a whole.
Diagnosis is performed by pulsing and egg reading. The pulse is read through the radial artery near the crease of the wrist to determine the state of each of the organs and the general constitution of the patient. A raw egg is held then passed lightly over the body and when broken into a glass of water, reveals the energetic blueprint of the patient. The formation of the egg in the water gives a holographic image of the patient’s life force, showing the constitution of the energy as bubbles – whether unified or fragmented, strong or depleted, fluid or stagnant.
The cloudiness in the water indicates the levels of negativity or unprocessed emotion trapped in the system, and the yolk itself reveals information about the body and the cause of disease. An in-depth discussion then takes place to establish the patient’s general mental, emotional and physical state, as seen from their own perspective and in relation to their current life situation, with reference to the recent and deep past.
Treatment varies hugely according to the needs of the individual and the priorities in which these needs must be addressed. Unless the patient has a clear understanding of the cause of the affliction there can be no hope for a remedy. Each session begins with an open discussion to ascertain the possible causes of imbalances and health conditions, which may be difficult to determine at first glance, but can be made clear and manifest in time. Symptoms and physical conditions vary but the underlying causes are often non-physical and follow predictable patterns.
Pain is seen as a sign post, pointing towards energetic imbalances which may have their root deep within the psyche, energetic body and karmic blueprint of the patient. One’s emotional state of being and relationship with the outer world has a huge impact on one’s general health, so the healer’s first priority is to help the patient relax and feel into the emotional body and bring to the surface any old wounds or buried traumas so they can be worked through and liberated. Dream therapy may also help at this stage, as the unconscious mind can often shed light on the sources of disturbances and pathways to heal.
In most sessions, energy healing is practiced to release negativity trapped in the system and to increase the flow of energy in the channels. There are three primary channels in the body: the male, the female, and the clear light channel, through which the energy centres intersect and from which branch thousands of smaller subsidiary channels. The male channel (on the right in men and left in women) represents the dynamic active force, the female channel (on the left in men and right in women) represents the fertile, nurturing aspect of ourselves and the central channel is where the clear light of non-dual primordial awareness resides. The channels are the veins in the system of energetic circulation through which stream the currents of subtle energy that sustain life. Over time these channels can become knotted and contaminated through unhealthy lifestyles and emotional or spiritual fractures so the apertures narrow and the flow of energy becomes constricted.
As the patient lies down, the healer tunes into these channels by cradling the patient’s skull in his hands and gently manipulating the flow of energy through the channels with his finger tips. This helps relax the whole system and with some gentle breathing techniques, the patient begins to let go of both physical and emotional tension held in the body. The energy system is like a warm medicinal river; there must always be flow, warmth and vitality. Whatever fills must be emptied to create space for growth and rejuvenation.
With more specific focus on areas that are tense, knotted or injured, such as the neck, shoulders or back, some deep tissue massage will be applied to release tension and toxicity, or to help heal injury. Abdominal massage is given to release emotional tension which almost everybody carries unconsciously, which affects both digestion and menstrual health. The fear-based holding patterns in the body’s cellular memory are broken down so that one’s own healing energy can begin its restorative work. Post treatment one feels light and relaxed, refocused and grounded.
A typical session of 90 minutes will also include an analysis of the patient’s daily practice and routine, diet, posture, behavioural and sleeping patterns to see what lifestyle elements may be helping or harming one’s health. Plant or herbal remedies may be prescribed, along with purification practices and meditation to help clarify the mind and redress imbalances. Accessory therapies may be indicated, such as sweat lodges (ceremonial steam baths) to help purge the system of negativity or unprocessed emotion. House blessings may also be carried out as part of the healing process to clear the home of stagnant energy or uninvited guests.
Maya Medicine aims not only to restore health but also to help maintain robust health and promote longevity throughout one’s life. The Maya see their medicine men and women regularly for treatments and ceremonies to help them stay healthy in body, spirit and mind. As in all native holistic medical systems, prevention is always the best cure, and it is the healer’s job to help keep clients healthy, rather than to wait until illness strikes before taking action.
In Mexico, Maya Medicine is sought to help patients with general health conditions as well as chronic disorders which western medicine finds difficult to treat, such as anxiety and depression, emotional or psychological imbalances, trauma, relationship problems, spiritual or ancestral disturbances, addictions, tension and stress-related conditions, menstrual disorders and infertility, back pain and chronic injury.
“The real aim of this medicine,” says Torikian, “is to help people find space and openness in their hearts, transforming suffering into wisdom and learning how to live and work with the elements. If the sacredness and magic of each moment can be appreciated, true healing can take place. When pure energy flows and the five elements are in balance, clarity, physical and mental well-being and a healthy and happy relationship with the cosmos prevail. We can then come into our true power as warriors, to illuminate the darkness of our time and give medicine back to this Earth.”