Ritual Medicine
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Health and Wellness

Ritual Medicine

An emergence of community healers in a time of healthcare crisis

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Ritual Medicine
Higher Perspective

You know when you first meet someone and you immediately feel a deep familiarity, a cosmic recognition? Like you’ve known them or that you’re right where you need to be in that moment, that you’re safe. That’s how I felt when I met Eutimia. She was my sigh of relief.

Several years ago, I had completely lost connection with my body. I had pushed myself into an exhaustive lifestyle. I was committed to two jobs, an internship, college, and single motherhood simultaneously, not only to survive, but in an attempt to thrive. I told myself I was invincible. Or that I had to be. In order to provide for my daughter while pursuing my dreams, I had to play the game. I had to grind. And hard. I convinced myself I could live off sunshine, coffee, and only a few hours of sleep. I couldn’t slow down, I couldn’t stop. It took less than a year before my body fell apart. I had countless panic attacks that landed me in hospital bed after hospital bed. I was a wreck. My mind was chaotic, my body was deteriorating. The system, in addition to my ambition, drove me into a void. I’d lost myself.

As a massage therapist and bodywork practitioner with a background in medical herbalism and midwifery, and having been raised around my paternal grandmother who’s a healer, I’ve always had a deep trust in my body. But sometimes we lose sight. Sometimes our passions, our purpose, must re-assert itself in a way that cripples us, humbles us. Sometimes, in order to bring us back into our bodies, it has to break us. It reminds us of our humanity, of our mortality, but also of our strength and resiliency. We are so much more than our productivity. And we have to be gentle with ourselves, even when capitalism drives us to the brink of insanity.

I first met Eutimia while desperately seeking answers to the series of medical enigmas I was experiencing. Eutimia is deeply rooted in the realm of medicine. As a healer who traverses through many forms and modalities, her work is expansive and multifaceted. It's undeniable that her presence has a profound impact on the Denver community and how folks navigate their options in health and healing. I can personally attest to this, having received treatments from her that brought me back to myself, rekindling my fire.

Having been on Medicaid at the time, my usual preferences like acupuncture and plant-based medicines weren’t covered. Knowing medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, I am always reluctant to seek allopathic help. But I was desperate, and my health was declining rapidly, so I jumped in. Finally, after far too many inconclusive visits to Western medical doctors who either misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose, who pulled blood from my already struggling body, who prescribed drug after drug that I instinctively refused to swallow, Eutimia nourished me. She pulled the heaviness from my body and transformed it. She was my guide back to the light. She played such a significant role in my healing, and it only took a few sessions. She held space for me. She helped me find my voice again.

Jasmine: Can you share a little about your background?

Eutimia: I am a Denver born and raised Xicana with roots in New Mexican and Texan mestizo (mixed indigenous and conquistador) culture. I was raised with healing touch, herbs and mysticism in the home. I was also raised in pan-American indigenous ceremony traditions, including ritualistic Aztec dancing, giving me an inborn connection to my body and to Source. I am a licensed acupuncturist and practicing Chinese Medicine Doctor, a Stanford-trained anthropologist and a spiritual and consciousness-based healer in the modalities of Curanderismo and BodyTalk. As a healer, I work with all levels of the human experience…mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. I extend my medicine ways to my artistry as a performer of song, dance and verse. I believe art is the most accessible form of communal healing.

Jasmine: On the topic of healthcare, there is far too much to unpack here than we have time for, but your thoughts on this topic are so valuable and your voice has the power to comfort and guide many who may feel lost, whether it’s due to unaffordable health insurance, or being unable to find a practitioner they can trust, many find themselves feeling without options or a sense of agency. Is there anything you can say to those who feel overwhelmed or uncertain about their health or healthcare accessibility?

Eutimia: YOU are the future of healthcare. WE are the future of our own health. The system and its media representation of wellness has done a great job of disenfranchising us from our own knowing and understanding of our own body systems and functions. We have forgotten how capable our human form is of healing itself given the right circumstances. To ease the uncertainty of healthcare we must understand HOW POWERFUL WE ARE IN OUR OWN HEALING. This is attainable through returning to the ways of our earth-based ancestors which teach us how we fit into the natural world. All dis-ease comes from being out of harmony with our internal and external environments. When we understand this, we return to our own agency in our own healing. In knowing ourselves, and accepting our imbalances, we begin to heal. Know that you are in charge of your wellness, and, you have work to do! And you can do it! Let this be your peace.

Jasmine: I believe autonomous healers serving their communities are key to our achieving goals on access and choice. What are your thoughts around this...how does your work affect cultural or societal change beyond the individuals you serve?

“The Medical Industrial Complex keeps itself in power by projecting fear and powerlessness onto the people seeking its help.”

Eutimia: This is an important question specifically because the Medical Industrial Complex has systematically taken power away from "the people," individually and collectively. So many of my patients believe that they are beholden to the system. "My doctor says I have to... or I'll die!" The Medical Industrial Complex keeps itself in power by projecting fear and powerlessness onto the people seeking its help. And this is not only ineffective in stewarding actual healing, it is amoral and unjust, as it disallows for the intrinsic power of each individual in making clear and true decisions for herself, himself, themselves, all based on the systematically promulgated fear of death.

My work consistently challenges this norm. Every person who comes to see me receives hands-on-healing during our one-on-one clinic experience, as well as immediately accessible and effective tools for self-healing and self-soothing as their homework in their own healing process. My work directly empowers the individual to be an agent in their own healing. I consider myself a successful practitioner when my patients no longer need my services.

Word of mouth travels fast. I believe in making large scale changes that begin small and slow. Every individual who is reminded of their own ability to self-heal shares this renewed understanding (it was never really lost) with their respective circles. In this way, the consciousness of self-healing through self-awareness and self-discipline rises. In this way the people take back their power, and in this way we shift the consciousness of our personal worlds and the world at large.

Jasmine: Most people share the belief that preservation of the medical industry and incremental change within the current infrastructure (reformism) is a valid means of progress. I personally disagree with this, believing that decentralized, horizontal organization within communities is not only more efficient, it's an ideal model in terms of achieving true accessibility and sustainability. What would an ideal healthcare system look like to you and what are some immediate steps folks can take to participate in a movement toward that liberation?

Eutimia: Girl! This question though! As a literal daughter of the Xicano Civil Rights movement I was raised into "activism." I place this word in quotations as it is a fundamentally patriarchal and hierarchical concept, predisposing all power to someone outside of ourselves (whether or not it is systematically or ideologically true or false). The answer: BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR FIRST. Employ the skills of observation and deduction to your own symptoms, and act accordingly. Do you notice you get bloated after eating certain foods? Does your mood shift negatively after interacting with certain things/people? Are you more predisposed to irritability in certain seasons or around certain times of the month? Have you eaten today? Did you get enough sleep? And, what can YOU do, right now, to positively shift your experience? We are liberated in knowing and understanding our own personalities, tendencies, idiosyncrasies, etc., and acting in ways that honor our personal truths with our personal self-observation and understanding as the foundation for our quandaries and human responses. And we must be willing to educate ourselves in the realm of our own human function and form.

“Our liberation from the systems that keep us subservient, in debt, and alienated from our own agency, is directly correlated to our community involvement and our support of the local economies.”

Lastly, our liberation from the systematic ties that bind us lies in directly supporting our community members in their efforts toward our collective liberation. BUY LOCAL. We all vote with our dollars everyday. We must be willing to support our grassroots healing efforts: good quality local food from local farmers, our community herbalists, body workers, spirit medicine practitioners, our local family-owned and operated plumbers and roofers and mechanics, etc. Our liberation from the systems that keep us subservient, in debt, and alienated from our own agency, is directly correlated to our community involvement and our support of the local economies. The more energy and dollars we invest into our personal and collective well-being, in our own local communities, the less we will depend on the Medical Industrial Complex to maintain our diagnoses in a manner that makes us lifelong customers and mere bystanders in the fate of our life experience.

Jasmine: Absolutely…collective liberation through supporting our neighbors. There are so many ways to do this. As for health, more and more folks are becoming aware of the deeply flawed, oppressive medical system that entraps, hoodwinks and disempowers. A unifying thread we all share is an inherent desire for wellness. Do you foresee a major cultural shift happening in regards to our disengagement from a capitalist system of privilege and profit?

Eutimia: Throughout history the same story has presented itself over and over again. We have all been the victim and the predator. Where there is light, there is dark. All we can do is our personal part at all times. We only came here to do that. There is duality in all, and what rises must fall. It is Yin and Yang, and it is unavoidable. We have been given the gift of reveling in the beauty of the world and watching it all crumble, alike. And yes, a shift is happening. And who knows what's next? I'll just keep doing my work until it is time for me to pass from this plane to the next. One day at a time.

Jasmine: Can you tell us about your community involvement? Events? Offerings? Ways folks can participate?

Eutimia: Yes. I am always open to facilitating one-on-one healing sessions. Please email eutimia@gmail.com for inquiries about my integrative medicine practice. Everyone, with any condition, formally diagnosed or not, is welcome!

I offer community donation-based clinics and donation-based cleanses (limpias) by the river at least twice per month. Please visit my Facebook page, Muse In Medicine, or join the Facebook Group Muse In Medicine for announcements and upcoming community clinics.

Every 4th Saturday at the Urban Sanctuary, Lady Speech Sankofa and I co-host an intergenerational, ceremonial healing dance party called The Body Altar. Please come and bring your babies and your grandma and grandpa too! I am also in a band called Baubo! We are 3 mystical musical creatrixes.

Jasmine: And lastly, are you working on any current projects?

Eutimia: I have a new brand that I'm launching within the next few months. Also, in partnership with #WeAreDenver, I have a new podcast, La Kwaxiru (She who is CRaZy for LoVe). It’s all about, you guessed it, LOVE and relationships from my perspective as a medicine woman, and an emphatic, empathic lover of worlds.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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