Culture Clinic is a weekly blog with Dr. John
These days, lightning bolts from this Corona Storm are dropping fast, frequently, and furiously! In these dark times, I acknowledge and recognize the light I am/have. Being mindful, following the SMPs (sanitizing, masking, physical-distancing), I include some natural immunity strategies, useful regardless of vaccination status. Normally, I reconnect to steaming and bathing with bucket and calabash once or twice a week… but I had not done so for ten days.
Today, I woke up in a good place, tingling, as if light was being emitted from my pores. I was still sore, from working on my feet all weekend. Then, this thought/word came, “Take a steam and a bath”, intensifying to the point that it should not be ignored. So, I submitted, putting leaves and water into a huge pot, boiling it, and then sitting with it under a heavy blanket or tarpaulin, deeply breathing in the steam and allowing my pores to sweat. As I inhaled and exhaled deeply, my nostrils and lungs cleared, toxins got “sweated out”, muscles relaxed, my muddled mind became clear. I ‘travelled’, meditating, invoking, chanting, beating on my body’s chakras. Was it not for the 20-minute timer, who knows?
Called steam therapy, or steam inhalation, inhaling water vapour helps to open the airways and help the lungs drain mucus. The steam adds warmth and moisture to the air, may improve breathing and can provide relief to help people breathe more easily. Generally, western medicine has ruled it out as a cure. However, though I am no expert, I have rarely even experienced a lasting cold, cough or fever since March 2020.
After the steaming I took the water to make a hot rinse in the bath/shower. While making sure not to scald myself, I do keep the rinse hot enough. Afterward, I feel better aligned, recharged, refreshed, and renewed.
Then, as I dressed to go to work, my attention went to my hat rack. One hat said, “Take me with you”. Of a truth, I was in the sun most of the weekend, but I did not anticipate I would need a hat today. The hat insisted, “Take Me”. It did not even occur to me that it was strange for a hat to hail out, as ‘these days are funny nights’. So, I took the hat with me, and I departed into my day.
Today, another corona lightning bolt dropped. Someone in my vicinity developed “symptoms”. Once “contacted”, decisions include going for a PCR test at a polyclinic and/or going to the Garfield Sobers Complex for a rapid test, whilst remaining in quarantine. With the backdrop of medical and other tents, polyclinics and gymnasiums remind me of scenes from M*A*S*H (TV Series) set during the Korean War. However, this is no situation-comedy.
And, in a long line with people of ages going around the block in the blazing sun, with a mask on my face, the hat on my head said, See wha’ I was telling ya?!
Culture Clinic is a weekly column crafted by Dr. John Hunte. It identifies the impact of Culture and Creativity in the Caribbean. Photography by Adrian Richards.