In 1986 I developed an annoying health issue. hemorrhoids. I did some research and discovered this was connected to a weakness in the liver. I’m a yogi, I know how to heal my liver. So I began some exercises and added specific foods to my diet and eliminated other foods. After a few months, nothing had changed. By chance, I could ask Yogi Bhajan what do to for my liver. He was very enthusiastic about some special liver pills to order from India. He claimed they worked great. I got the pills, took them for some months, but nothing changed. I then discovered in one of the kundalini yoga books a special liver cleansing diet. It consisted of barley, beets, and beet greens. Nothing else. I ate these three items daily for six months. I missed a few of the other tastes but managed without too much trouble. At the end of the six months, my liver problem had not gone away. Hummmmm, now what?

Just as I was wondering what to do, someone recommended I go see a healer named Gregorita Rodriguez. She is a curandera. They are trained to cure ailments in the abdominal area by seeking out each organ and clearing blockages with their hands. I arrived for my appointment at her house just to the north of Santa Fe. Her treatment room was the small side room one might use for a dining room next to the kitchen. She was very welcoming and relaxed, which was helpful since I was a bit nervous. She asked me to remove my shirt and lie down on the massage table. I laid there breathing and she gently began to poke around my abdomen. As she worked her way around the different organs, she begins to describe what she was feeling and doing. “There is a knot in this part of your intestine, I will straighten this out.”  She continued to discover and manipulate the different organs and parts of the intestines, the pain is very noticeable. Strong, sharp, intense, even frightening. I felt complete trust of what she was doing, but the pain continued building as she poked deeper and in new places. It was one of the most painful experiences I have ever felt in my life. I did my best to breath deep but felt I might faint from the intensity of the pain. Gregorita continued for some more minutes and then declared she was done. It was powerful, strange, painful, and underneath, a deep feeling something useful happen to my body. I was shaking a little as I went to my car and drove home. 

The next day, I awoke and discovered the hemorrhoid problem I had been living with for almost two years, was gone. After all the remedies, diets, and other efforts, Gregorita managed to hit the right spots to cure me overnight. I was amazed, delighted and impressed. I now had a new understanding of the power of a proper functioning digestive area. I have continued to study, research, read and experiment to keep the abdomen and all the associated organs, in good working order. I recently viewed videos detailing the growing problem of auto-immune diseases. The foundation for curing these are to be found in the digestive area. What many call, the gut. 

I went back to see Gregorita once more a few months later for a check-up. She poked around my abdomen without the intense pain I felt before. She told me I was fine and to keep paying attention to my digestive system.  A few years later I felt the interest to see her again, but she had died earlier that year at 88. She was an amazing healer, who believed each person had and right to be healthy. Her gift to me continues to inspire my work as well as my health.

There is one curious question that comes up in such a situation, would the healing Gregorita did with her hands have worked as well if I had not done the diet for six months, taken the pills and other effort? We will never know. I believe our personal journey is never a straight line. We must try things, learn from our efforts, make new experiences and eventually we allow ourselves to be guided towards the one thing that seems to heal us. We need all these steps to evolve. So the question of whether the poking of my intestines by a curandera would have been enough is not really important. We make the experiences we need to heal ourselves, and to be able to serve others.