To cure or not to cure?

CURE: Can hands heal?

CURE: Can hands heal?

Long before modern medicine took responsibility of our healthcare there were few options open to our ancestors, most of which can now be penned as ‘old wives tales,’ superstition and folklore. However it still strikes me with delight that in certain parts of Ireland ‘a cure’ can still be sought.

Researching the enigma of the cure is a bit of a minefield but almost all agree that the powers of healing all diseases are given to the seventh son of a seventh son by the laying on of hands, these powers are then passed on through the family. This also applies to seventh daughter of the seventh etc.

I am no stranger to receiving the odd ‘cure’ starting from a very young age. These visits were arranged by my father, a Monaghan man and always amused and mystified me.

Alongside modern medicine and in desperate times my parents tried anything to aid my poor lung function and chronic Asthma. Home remedies ranging from air purifiers to various bell peppers with the tops sliced off and left open by my bedside (which was claimed to clean the air) were all supplemented by the odd visit to a healer whenever we were back home in dad’s native town.

The first experience I can recall was probably around the age of five or six. Leaving mom and my sisters back at our auntie’s house, he told me to get in the car as we were going to see someone with special powers. He explained that under no circumstances was I to talk unless spoken to and I was most certainly not to say thank you. At that age youngsters are pressed about manners and being polite, so I remember finding it rather unusual to say the least!

We pulled up in the car and I was told to stay seated. Out came a rather ordinary looking man (I don’t know what I was expecting!) who talked to dad briefly outside and then he came over to me. He opened the car door put his hand on my head and muttered a few words in Gaelic, touched my cheek, stepped back and slammed the car door shut. With that we were back on the road and dad announced, “That’s it you’re now cured, you will be better.” Back at our relations house that afternoon I ran through the fields and played with my cousins like never before. I remember running so fast that I thought I could take off and fly!

Sure enough back in England a few months later my illness struck again but I wasn’t disillusioned; I was so grateful to that man that day that gave me hope and the confidence to believe I was ‘better!’ If it had not have been for him I would not have felt as free as I did back then.

In later years I realised that that man had planted a seed of question within me about the power of the brain and what belief and positive thinking can do.

Over the years more cures were sought, including more recently (about six years ago) when dad, bless him, bought home the hair of a sacred donkey with instructions; I was to stitch the hair into my pillow and rest my head on it every night for a month. I did so and whilst it really didn’t do much for my condition, I slept sound each night safe in the knowledge that this was a good, kind and loving gesture by both my parent and the healer.

So what of it exactly? If it brings comfort to others then surely I recommend it. Studies have shown that whilst the majority of the workings of the brain are still unexplored, I can vouch for the fact that mind over matter has played a significant role in my life, albeit unbeknownst to me at the time.

Fortunately for me, I have out grown the worst of the Asthma and haven’t seen the inside of a hospital, as a patient for more that fifteen years. So do I believe? Yes I do.

Is it special powers or the power within us? The jury is out on that one but if it brings comfort and allows you the freedom for even one hour, then why not give it a try, alongside modern medicine of course.

What are you experiences? Have you ever received a cure? Let us know- tell us your story – email: or call me, Siobhán on 07970 051 020.