The Woman Who Glows in the DarkElena Avila, RN MSN with Joy Parker
“In Western medicine, the body goes to the hospital, the mind to the psychiatrist, and the spirit to church. In curanderismo, the healing takes place under one roof.” So says Elena Avila, a certified psychiatric nurse and professional curandera who has been effectively combining the best of Western and folk medicine for twenty-five years.
Curanderismo developed in the New World from a marriage of ancient Aztec, Spanish, Native American, and African medicines. Advocating that true wellness is impossible unless every aspect of a person can be healed, a curandero employs tools such as herbs and massage for the body, platicas and limpias (heart-to-heart talks and spiritual cleansings) for the emotions, and soul retrievals for the spirit. Much as a Western doctor might treat the flu or a broken leg, a curandero treats diseases such as susto (soul loss), envidia (envy), bills (anger), and real puesto (bad luck).
Woman Who Glows in the Dark shows readers how the blending of folk medicine, the ancient Aztec health-care system, and modern medicine and psychology can result in a system of health care that empowers women to become not only physically healthy but creatively and spiritually whole.
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