Okay, okay, so you might be asking “what’s with the title?” It was my best attempt to throw in a little pun about water, sorry to disappoint. Today, our first Saturday here in Querétaro, we were blessed with the opportunity to visit a pool on campus that is used for hydrotherapy. This type of therapy is used to make patients more aware of their movements with the help of the resistance to the water. Some are able to learn to walk again, or even simply stand, as the “floatability,” as they called it, allows them to have less impact and stress from the force of gravity and bearing full weight. After our night salsa dancing and being on our feet touring the city, this hydrotherapy came as a very relaxing activity. We all partnered up and were taught different techniques to testing and mixing different movements to achieve ultimate relaxation. I’d even go so far as to say some of us were on the brink of taking a nice snooze in the warm pool for how relaxed we became.
After taking a long dip in the pool, we had the privilege of attending a lecture and laboratory session on traditional Mexican medicine. In the theory, or lecture, portion of the day, we were taught about various infusions, ointments, and even masks that can aid in detoxing and healing various illnesses or wounds. After this, we headed over to the laboratory where we were able to make and test out a few traditional medicines.
The first thing we made was a facial mask consisting of clay and water boiled with dried chamomile stalks. The clay and chamomile each have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that help to reduce inflammation, promote circulation, and assist in reducing acne. We applied this clay mask to our faces and allowed it to dry to test out this traditional remedy. It essentially looked like we stuck our faces in mud, but let me tell you, our faces were smooth as a baby’s bottom!
In testing out various traditional medicines, we were able to make an infusion of lavender and mint leaves to create a calming and soothing herbal tea. The lavender allows the mind and body to relax, while the mint helps to invigorate and allow digestion to be more effective and smooth. Lastly, we made a traditional ointment out of several ingredients I am sorry to admit I was not able to retain (also they did not translate to English). However, these two plants combined with a type of bark had various antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects, which promote circulation and healing of damaged tissue. So, if any of us have a run in with any mosquitos or sharp objects we should be set with some nice ointment to promote healing!
Overall, today was very eye-opening to various aspects of culture and the incorporation of cultural remedies into medicine. Medicine here in Mexico has many traditional influences, so it was neat to see how these are still used and concocted today–and also to see how beneficial they can be!
Peace and Blessings for a wonderful Sunday.
It’s been neat to see how God is working here and throughout the people with whom we come into contact, and a verse I read today reminded me of just that:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” -Acts 1:8
God does not call us simply to be content in our faith in the places we are comfortable, but to go out and spread His love and word to the ends of the earth to all with whom we cross paths. So, I challenge you to go be a witness! Show others through words and more importantly, through actions, just what the good news is about!