Homeopathic Remedies Don’t Always Come From Pharmacies

It was early one Sunday morning, here in Guanajuato, Mexico. I was out at 7:00 a.m. walking the dog as the temperatures were threatening to soar to 38 degrees celsius (100.4 fahrenheit) later that day. As I got to the bottom of the main cobbled road that Diego Rivera’s childhood home is on, I was about to make a left when a large man sitting on the stone wall called out to me in English, “Excuse me, Senora, but can you tell me what this building was used for as I’m having trouble understanding all the Spanish that the tour guide was using yesterday.” He was pointing up to the Museo Regional de Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas. Say that with a half eaten taco in your mouth!

Allyson and her dog, Cecil. Photo courtesy of Jeff Korentayer, Author’s Husband.

I looked up at the old grain storehouse that was once used as a fortress by the Spanish. I thought for a moment and then launched forth, ”The Alhóndiga became a fortress in the early 1800s, when about 300 Spanish troops barricaded themselves inside after 20,000 Mexican rebels, led by a priest named Miguel Hidalgo, attempted a siege of Guanajuato. A huge, young miner built like an ox nicknamed, ‘El Pipila’, tied a stone slab to his back as a shield and lit the entrance on fire. He and the rebels stormed the building, killing everyone inside. Later, The Alhóndiga was used as an armory, a school, a prison for about 80 years, and now a museum since the late 1950s. El Pipila is situated over the city as a reminder of the courage of the rebels and the process of reclaiming Mexico’s liberty from the tyrannical Spanish.

Photo of El Pipila statue by Allyson McQuinn

The man asked me where I was from originally and I answered back, “Canada, but we’ve been here for nine years.” He asked, “Why choose to relocate here?” Without thinking or checking myself, I blurted, “Because Canada is being destroyed by those in power!” The catch in my voice and tears that followed completely caught me by surprise. For some reason, though, I just let them come. Five years of pent up emotion threatened from my solar plexus.

The man’s eyes softened, he let me know that his name was Pablo, and that he was born in Mexico but his family had moved to Salt Lake City when he was just 13. He said that he was a chiropractor and osteopath. Then he asked if he could touch me. I answered yes, practically jumping into his arms, not having seen my chiropractor since leaving Canada almost 9 months earlier.

Pablo began rubbing a spot near my collarbone, a pressure point that was clearly very tender. “This is a key spot for harbored grief.” He brought up his other hand and wiped my tears away.

Pablo went on to say that he really loved visiting Guanajuato with his wife and that it had changed a lot since he’d been here a couple of decades ago. He said that he felt, “… done with ‘The States’ and its politics. It’s not my home and the food is horrible.” I smiled thinking of the fresh offerings we get here daily, with not an ounce of processed food in our Mexican midst. 

He said that when he touches his patients, “They feel so rigid and are carrying so much pain and fear. In many cases, it’s hard to know where to start.” I told him that my name was Allyson McQuinn and that I was a physician as well and that in my practice of treating trauma, homeopathically, in patients in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, I could totally understand exactly where he was coming from.

For a moment, we just looked at each other completely silent. A kind of reverence and regard just seemed to permeate the air between us. And then, Pablo said, “You know that this moment wasn’t an accident.” I nodded and replied, “It’s totally a destined occurrence.” He answered with a nod, smiled, and then asked, “Do you know what I was thinking just as you came down the street?” I shook my head no. “I have no clue where I belong. In my heart, I’m Mexican, but know little of my culture and language. And I’m coming to realize that I no longer identify as American either.” His eyes filled with tears as he started to apologize over and over for crying.

I told him, “Not to worry. Tears are cleansing especially for those of us that feel like spiritual refugees.” “That’s a great way of putting it,” he said, “You should be a writer.” I then put my hand on his chest adding, “Your home is here my friend.” I was pointing to his heart. This just made him cry even harder. “Also,” I quipped, “We need a good osteopath/chiropractor here. If you decide to come back to central Mexico, I could have your office space and your tables arranged for by the afternoon! We both started to laugh. We hugged genuinely for a long minute and then I started to head left to continue walking Cecil. 

Pablo yelled out, “Gracias! I love you!”, with laughter in his voice. I yelled out, “Gracias. ¡Qué mexicano de tu parte! ¡Yo también te amo mi precioso amigo!” (Thank you. How Mexican of you! I also love you my precious friend!). I could hear his belly laughter in my ears for several moments afterwards. His presence lives on in a corner of my heart where I store precious Mexican moments. I have a lot of them packed away in there, but none, though, quite as homeopathic as that one – like always cures like. As a result, I felt quite well adjusted for many, many days.

Photo of Allyson McQuinn courtesy of Natalie Friese.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *